Author Topic: PTA's MacGuffins  (Read 5289 times)

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Jeremy Blackman

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PTA's MacGuffins
« on: February 22, 2003, 06:53:02 PM »
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Can we make a comprehensive list of all of them?

(if anyone is wondering what a MacGuffin is, Ebert defines it as "something everyone cares about, although it doesn't matter what it is" ... usually an object)

I can't remember much. I don't think there's one in Magnolia. Is there one in Boogie Nights? (maybe what Todd Parker is looking for at Rahad's place, although he basically says what it is). I know there's one in Sydney, but I can't remember what it is. The only one I can really think of is the suitcase in the Paper Bag music video.

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sphinx

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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2003, 07:28:34 PM »
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the contents of the floor safe in boogie nights aren't really a macguffin (todd mentions coke and cash are the biggest commodities in it)

i'm just trying to think of actual macguffins......

MacGuffin

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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2003, 10:47:41 PM »
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A better definition is: A plot device primarily intended to motivate the action in a film, and to which relatively little attention is paid.

John trying to get money to bury his mother would be the one in Hard Eight.

I guess the pudding would be the one in PDL and/or maybe the extorted phone sex money.
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Cecil

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PTA's MacGuffins
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2003, 11:21:07 PM »
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i guess for boogie nights it would be that each character has a dream.

sphinx

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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2003, 11:23:02 PM »
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Quote from: cecil b. demented
i guess for boogie nights it would be that each character has a dream.


w.....it's my understanding that you're missing the point.  i was under the impression that the most effective or popular macguffins are tangible ones, but things like reasons and events are also plausible.

one that might count: the girl that rollergirl needs to call

Cecil

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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2003, 11:29:42 PM »
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i see. i thought a macguffin was more major than that.

Xixax

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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2003, 11:38:02 PM »
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I've also been under the impression that a macguffin is something that is necessary to the telling of the story, but something who's details aren't vital to the story.

In other words, the MacGuffin in Sydney could be getting money to bury John's mother, or it could getting money to pay off some mob debt, or it could be getting money to get a friend out of jail.

Although that's not too great of an example, since the reason Sydney searches out John to help him is because of his responsibility over killing John's dad. However, I suppose that obligation could also extend to any other scenario, so maybe it's a good example after all.
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Ernie

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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2003, 12:21:38 AM »
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Are the frogs in Magnolia a PTA macguffin? I thought macguffin was just a cool name that macguffin made up, the ignorant bastard that I am.

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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2003, 12:26:20 AM »
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yeah I can't think of any PTA macguffins but just so you all get the idea..

A MacGuffin is a plot device in the script only used to move the plot or characters...  First coined by Hitchcock a MacGuffin by deffinition is not something that will be revealed to the audience but stays ambiguous.

Ah.. just thought of one..  The harmonium is a perfect example.
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82

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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2003, 12:29:49 AM »
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Quote from: ebeaman69
Are the frogs in Magnolia a PTA macguffin? I thought macguffin was just a cool name that macguffin made up, the ignorant bastard that I am.


Not really.. because the frogs can be explained as something that is "bringing" the characters together.
"We're all one thing, Lieutenant. That's what I've come to realize. Like cells in a body. 'Cept we can't see the body. The way fish can't see the ocean. And so we envy each other. Hurt each other. Hate each other. How silly is that? A heart cell hating a lung cell"

xerxes

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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2003, 12:49:05 AM »
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i don't think the harmonium is one

Cecil

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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2003, 12:51:50 AM »
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damn this macguffin stuff is complicated.

BonBon85

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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2003, 01:15:32 AM »
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To sum up a Macguffin, the prime example is Rosebud in Citizen Kane. Although some critics argue against this, the quest for Rosebud drove the whole plot but the object itself had little significance.

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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2003, 01:35:04 AM »
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Quote from: cecil b. demented
damn this macguffin stuff is complicated.


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Quote from: BonBon85
To sum up a Macguffin, the prime example is Rosebud in Citizen Kane. Although some critics argue against this, the quest for Rosebud drove the whole plot but the object itself had little significance.


Perfect example. Also in Raiders Of The Lost Ark, the ark is the MacGuffin.
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2003, 03:50:04 AM »
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Quote from: xerxes
i don't think the harmonium is one


Yeah.. It is..  It propels Barry's character... it keeps him going...  you never find out why the harmonium exists, but at the same time it is a major plot piece.  Just because it can symbolize something doesn't answer why it exists.
"We're all one thing, Lieutenant. That's what I've come to realize. Like cells in a body. 'Cept we can't see the body. The way fish can't see the ocean. And so we envy each other. Hurt each other. Hate each other. How silly is that? A heart cell hating a lung cell"

 

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