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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:44 pm 
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Stunning. I stand corrected. The mushrooms could be a little less fairy tale though.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:59 pm 
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John Shade wrote:
Sadly I missed this in theaters, should I wait it out and get the 4K?

I'd say it's actually imperative to buy the 4K: it'll probably be a very important release for distributors to identify how viable it is to release films of similar style (meaning, major auteurs) and commercial success on the new format. If this does well, I can easily imagine Paramount (who seem to be all-in on catalog releases recently) bringing out There Will Be Blood relatively shortly, but it would just be tragic if because this disappoints that new and upcoming movies like You Were Never Really Here or First Reformed might be taken off the table when their respective distributors make their judgment call. Not doing any research at all, this is probably one of the two or three lowest-grossing contemporary titles to come to UHD to date (Unsane is apparently coming, though). So, yeah, hold out.

I actually think all 3 official posters for this movie are very good: I am most partial to the teaser poster with the back of DDL's head, but recognize it's probably guilty of the Quiz Show rule of "don't show the star's face and no one will see the movie."


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:11 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:04 pm
Rented the blu ray; saw this and Isle of Dogs on the same day: Anderson feast day? There is something Gustave H. about Reynolds Woodcock. Anyway, there's been an opaque strand running through some of Anderson's recent movies; I don't want to say it's baffling for the sake of being baffling (and I enjoyed Inherent Vice regardless of it being a shaggy labyrinth), but there does seem to be a lot of staring to stirring music. My memory of The Master is great shots and weird moments in between a few stirring staredowns between Hoffman and Phoenix. All of this is my preamble to say that Krieps' line,
[Reveal] Spoiler:
If you want to have a staring contest with me, you'll lose
might be Anderson's best line and sets the tone for the whole thing. Oh and I found this very humorous in a number of parts too, not remembering them all now.

Obviously this was filled with beautiful shots and lush music, but I enjoyed it most for Alma's character. And yet again with Anderson there's something hidden. Who is Alma? What's her past? Who, or where, is her family, and where is she from? I really wanted more of this character.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Her playful moments and little one-liners, like the note at the restaurant; the scene stealing the dress.
Those moments left me wanting a little bit more and perhaps a little less breakfast.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
On another note I thought the ghost scene was very affecting. Woodcock talking about how he wakes up sobbing, etc. His line about the dead watching us felt both like a loving reference to Kubrick and an important note in a film that, as has been mentioned, goes alongside Rebecca as enigmatic ghost-haunted love story.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:48 am 
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What's there is plenty, with regard to filling out some backstory on Alma's past. You just have to look for it.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
The key moment (aside from the discussion about keeping her mother close to her) is when Barbara Rose is being interrogated about selling Visas to the Jews during the war. It is not a mistake that Alma is front and center reacting with understandable disgust at this line of inquiry. From an interview with Krieps:

Quote:
The closest she comes to explaining Alma is in terms of the second world war and its after-effects: “Alma has seen people die. She has seen what it means to lose your home and country. She comes from cold, windy Germany and is transported into a warm world in London, wrapped in silk and light. People who live through the war cannot think about themselves. They cannot ask: ‘Am I weak?’ ‘Am I strong?’ They just have to get up and be brave.” And being brave – although she would be the last person to boast – comes naturally to Krieps.

It is clear through the subtext of the film (and verified through sources like these) that Alma is Jewish, and that her family is likely long gone. The likelihood that someone like her would have wound up waitressing in the countryside in England at that time is somewhat unlikely were her home life still in tact. Say what you will about Anderson's decision to keep much of this below a few layers of the film's skin, but I think it's a stronger whole because of it. The movie is about Alma in a lot of ways, but it would have been a violation of its tone to go too deep on her backstory beyond contextual hints. She is an incredibly strong-willed person who is looking forward, who has found herself a lucky and unique niche in the world when she may not have had a world at all, and in my view, it would not have been quite right to focus too much on where she came from. In this respect, I thought her character might have been mildly inspired by Zero in The Grand Budapest Hotel, which Anderson saw likely around the time this film was coming together. It's similarly important to that film that we see the character mostly as looking forward and moving on from his past instead of dwelling on the tragedy of it, until he's pushed to the brink by incredible rudeness in the guise of high society mockery by a harried Gustave H. (Perhaps, if Alma were in the room when Lady Baltimore was going on about "Is this some kind of custom where she comes from? Is she out there stealing things?" we might have gotten a similarly biting soliloquy that would've been well earned, but this isn't the film for it.)

I agree that Alma is the star of the show and absolutely the film's most compelling character, and its protagonist in many ways. She carries the load of being the one with the most memorable one-liners, the audience surrogate, the most sympathetic character, the most mysterious one... and completely steals the movie out from under Daniel Day-Lewis. That is no small feat, and it still absolutely boggles my mind that she wasn't nominated for an Oscar since this film overperformed when nominations were announced.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:09 am 
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The "Jewish question" is definitely one of this film's many enigmas. The use of the violin in the score also struck me as having a vaguely Jewish tone. It's interesting to hear Krieps say that Alma is supposed to be German because I believe Mark Bridges made passing reference in one of his interviews to her being the daughter of a Swedish fisherman or something like that. (Her name, Alma Elson, certainly sounds more Scandinavian than German.) And of course Krieps is neither German nor Scandinavian--she's from Luxembourg! I like the ambiguity and the mystery there.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:58 am 
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You make some great points, ianthemovie. And I think what's so captivating about Alma to us is what is likely so captivating about her to Reynolds, and to Cyril. By making her a bit mysterious, Anderson manages to make us feel the pull toward her that the other characters do in varying degrees. The doctor is obviously smitten, but doesn't realize that despite her social standing, he'd be batting way out of his league from an emotional intelligence and street smarts standpoint. The guy would get chewed up and spit out. I do think his attraction to Alma

[Reveal] Spoiler:
is ultimately why she and Reynolds are not reported for engaging in their consentual poisoning routine, though. He wouldn't want to eliminate some chance of swooping in and courting her were it to present itself. But again: chewed up; spit out.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:09 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:07 am
I haven't gotten around to reading the whole thing yet, but I picked up a copy of the script that was sent to Academy voters at a used bookstore (naughty voter—you were supposed to destroy it), and there's some additional information tucked away in it, e.g. in a scant few cut lines we learn during the first fireside chat scene with Reynolds that Alma has a sister who's "a great terror—maybe she'll be a great Dictator some day—" and can draw well, and that Alma can't, but she can "make clothes," and that "I want to be a Mother and I want to be a Wife" (her words) when she "finally grow[s] up" (Reynolds' words), which are some tossed-off details that are perfect in confirming what the film and Krieps' acting intimates, and yet it also makes sense that Anderson might think they were too heavy-handed in revealing Alma's character, in both senses of her personal constitution and as fictional composition.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:00 pm 
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That reminds me of the excised stuff in There Will Be Blood, where Daniel Plainview is seen giving oral sex to a prostitute, and later drunkenly explains to Henry that his "dick doesn't even work". It's certainly the sort of thing you can piece together yourself, or at least speculate on, since we don't see Plainview with a woman throughout the entire film - and the film's better for not explaining this aspect of Plainview too literally.

Since making some bad decisions in the editing process of Magnolia, Anderson has become his own best editor. Despite the his reputation for making very long movies, he makes economical and wise editing decisions. Particularly in The Master, which got rid of some really stunning stuff (that resurfaced in "Back Beyond" on the Blu-ray) in favor of telling its story in as lean a fashion as possible. That could have easily been a half hour longer, but it likely would not have the same impact if it were.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:57 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:14 am
mfunk9786 wrote:
Since making some bad decisions in the editing process of Magnolia, Anderson has become his own best editor. Despite the his reputation for making very long movies, he makes economical and wise editing decisions. Particularly in The Master, which got rid of some really stunning stuff (that resurfaced in "Back Beyond" on the Blu-ray) in favor of telling its story in as lean a fashion as possible. That could have easily been a half hour longer, but it likely would not have the same impact if it were.

What were those bad decisions in Magnolia? That film like Boogie Nights (and those that followed) never felt overlong to me (like you said)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:06 pm 
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I don't mind Magnolia's length per se, but there are things left in that are loose plot threads that feel unnecessary (including the opening John C. Reilly scene and the kid's rap, they both tie to a plot that was mostly taken out of the film, so why are they still there?). Something tells me that were Anderson to edit it today, it would have wound up being around 30 minutes shorter, if not more. It is a pretty sloppily constructed film in some ways that Boogie Nights is not.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:22 pm 
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mfunk9786 wrote:
That reminds me of the excised stuff in There Will Be Blood, where Daniel Plainview is seen giving oral sex to a prostitute, and later drunkenly explains to Henry that his "dick doesn't even work".


Where did this material end up?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:59 pm 
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Just in the shooting script, unsure if it was filmed. Guessing it probably wasn't, or wasn't any good if it was, but I know Anderson remarked at a Q&A I was at that the movie was cut to the bone, and they approached editing the film the way Plainview would have, eating steak and vodka every night for dinner.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:07 am
mfunk9786 wrote:
I don't mind Magnolia's length per se, but there are things left in that are loose plot threads that feel unnecessary (including the opening John C. Reilly scene and the kid's rap, they both tie to a plot that was mostly taken out of the film, so why are they still there?). Something tells me that were Anderson to edit it today, it would have wound up being around 30 minutes shorter, if not more. It is a pretty sloppily constructed film in some ways that Boogie Nights is not.

From his reddit AMA:
[–]lilbunited
677 points 3 months ago
If you could go back, what’s one thing you’d tell yourself while making Magnolia?

[–]ptaphantomthread
[S] 2569 points 3 months ago
Chill The Fuck Out and Cut Twenty Minutes


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:09 pm 
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Cleo King is delightful in that post-credits opening scene, I can see why he didn't want to lose stuff like that. But the movie sags in places it shouldn't.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:16 pm 
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I would cut another two hours out of that movie before even thinking of losing a single Reilly moment.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:00 pm 
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It is a long and exhausting film, to be sure. But when I saw it screened theatrically a couple of years ago I was pleasantly surprised by how well it held up.

Two favorite throwaway moments: Tom Cruise mispronouncing the word "heinous" and then correcting himself, and Philip Baker Hall stuttering ("two-fifty... two-fifty... two, uh, fifty...") during the game show.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:29 pm 
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Yeah, he shouldn't have kept in the stuff about Orlando Jones and then cut his big (only?) scene with the younger quiz kid-- it always bothered me that the "Tell me about the Worm" montage stayed in, since it has no payoff or reason for being there


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:57 pm 
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I'd gladly sit through a four-hour cut of Magnolia.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:41 pm 
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Me too.


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