Monday, October 4, 2010

Director notes for "Magnolia"

Most of the characters in Magnolia are simultaneously realizing how despicable their lives have become, and attempt to make some emends. The script holds a lot of tragedy, betrayal, but also family. I see most of the roles of the characters being filled by completely normal looking actors. None of the characters are more important than the other, as this film is also a portrayal of life in general. Magnolia’s cast may almost be considered a random selection of people, whose lives are only slightly connected. Everyone just happen to be going through turmoil at the same time.
The song towards the end of the film, “Wise up”, in which all the characters sing a line of, will be played throughout the film. Usually just the instrumental version will be played. The song will come on during any moment in which a character begins to understand the reality of what their life has become.
A thin, small boy would play Stanley, the child genius. The film set and props for the game show would need to be extravagant and dazzling. The colors will begin as bright and exciting at the beginning of the film, but slowly transition to dull, muddy colors in order to show monotony. Even the audience’s faces will appear to be almost gray and disappearing at the end of the film.
Likewise, most scenes in the movie will have a dull hue to them. The colors will have become their darkest during the scene in which they all sing a line in the song.
Frank Mackey is good looking, but in a sinister, slimy way. He will spend most of the movie with a sly grin on his face. The scene when Frank eventually is reunited with his father, however, his expressions start to change. His whole demeanor will change. He will become more humble, more afraid, and more honest.
Characters such as Linda and Claudia remain beautiful yet disheveled throughout. They are both beautiful but become more and more self-destructive. Characters such as Jim and Donnie look as though they had looked better at a different point in their lives when they had more energy.
The final scene concerning the raining frogs is the most important. Here, the atmosphere changes completely as the characters for a moment pause from their dying lives to be apart of this oddity. After the initial frogs fall from the sky, any shots outside are from the point of view from the ground, looking towards the sky. The frogs are vibrant and clash against the dull colors of the city. Everything remains silent until “Bein’ Green” starts playing. The song plays over the silent chaos caused by the raining frogs.