Thursday, August 12, 1999

August 12, 1999

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005

Magnolia Test Screening Down Under?
Editors Note: I received this email from a reader who had the opportunity to see a rough cut of Magnolia in Australia. There are very minor spoilers so read with caution!
I live in Sydney Australia, and would you believe I saw "Magnolia" a week ago! I was handed a flier in the street which said "You and a guest are invited to the most anticipated film of the year 2000". It didn't say anything else other than where it was on and that it ran for 3 hours. Out of curiosity more than anything else I went along. The cinema was packed, and no one new what they were about to see. Finally an American guy came out and said that he wasn't going to say anything about the film except that it wasn't quite finished, and that we were the first audience in the world to see it.
I had no idea what I was about to see or why it was being shown in Australia. Within about 20 minutes of it starting, Tom Cruise appeared. Then one by one, heaps of the cast of Boogie Nights. Then it hit me. Tom Cruise was in the audience. He had to be.  He's in Sydney at the moment doing Mission Impossible 2. The back row of the cinema was reserved with security sitting on the aisles. The back row was empty when the credits rolled (obviously to get Tom out in time) and why else would they show an unfinished version of a new film in Sydney? Obviously Tom wanted to see it and see it with an audience reaction.
So, what was the film like? I thought it was brilliant. It ran for 3 hours 25 minutes and wasn't boring for a second. The performances are uniformly sensational (Tom Cruise at his best ever). It's quite bizarre at times. The soundtrack is great by the way. It's just a superb movie in so many ways.
At the end of the movie the American guy came back into the theatre. There were only about five people left in there. I asked him what his connection with the movie was. He said, "Oh I wrote and directed it". I couldn't believe it. Here was the genius right in front of me. I shook his hand and told him he was brilliant. He asked us whether the film was too long. I said only by a bit, and he said he was going to cut it by about 20 minutes. It would be perfect at that length. I said I loved the music and he said it was all going to stay in. I said, "Even Revolution 9 (Beatles Song)?". He laughed and said, "No, all except that one. I can't afford that one". Damn that Michael Jackson, hey. Anyway, as he was leaving I got him to sign a popcorn container for me. I was pretty chuffed about that. He was THE nicest guy. Very humble, incredibly friendly.

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