Monday, January 31, 2000

January 31, 2000

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

According to the two best unofficial Fiona Apple Websites, Never is a Promise and Fiona Has Wings, MTV will debut the new PTA directed Fiona Apple "Limp" video tonight (Sunday/Monday) during 120 Minutes. The show begins at 12:00 a.m. with estimates that the video will debut around 1:00 a.m. Set your VCR's or stay up and late and don't miss it!

Saturday, January 29, 2000

January 29, 2000

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

Well, it looks like the Kevin Smith/Magnolia story got big enough that Entertainment Weekly picked it up. There is not much to the story, and that's good, because I have had enough of it. Now, let's talk about more important things.... 
Hope you caught PTA on Late Night with Conan O'Brien last night. It was pretty short and sweet, but it's good to see him and the film get some more exposure. It was nice to see Tom win the Golden Globe Award, let's hope that will equate to Oscar Gold this time.  
In case you missed it, the official Magnolia Shooting Script/Companion Book is out in paperback. There will be a Hardback coming out as well. I'm still trying to get the latest information on the Jon Brion score being released on CD. I will keep you posted. 
True West will open in New York on March 2. For those that don't remember, it's the play with John C. Reilly and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The official site is up and running so take a look. 

Friday, January 28, 2000

Interview: DGA Magazine

DGA Magazine, Written By Darrel L. Hope
January 2000

Making Magnolia Blossom

If ever there were a poster boy against the problem of U.S. runaway production it would be director Paul Thomas Anderson. Foreign locations and exotic settings have no appeal over him. For Anderson, all the intrigue in the world can be found a few steps from his front door in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley. After all, he shot his last two films there, the critically applauded depiction of life in the porn word fast lane, Boogie Nights, and the eagerly anticipated almost indescribable ensemble drama, Magnolia.

In Magnolia, Anderson set out to make what he has called "the Mother of All San Fernando Valley Films." The film weaves together nine story lines, each connected to the other by tethers not immediately apparent to the audience, but revealed over the three-hour course of the film. Magnolia's cast of characters include a kindhearted beat cop (John C. Reilly), a troubled drug addict (Melora Walters), a troubled child genius (Jeremy Blackman), an addled former child genius (William H. Macy), a game-show host (Philip Baker Hall), a brash personal motivator (Tom Cruise), a troubled young widow-to-be (Julianne Moore) and her soon-to-be-deceased husband (Jason Robards), and his caretaker (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) - all shedding their secrets and looking for love, acceptance, redemption and forgiveness in their various lives along the boulevard that bisects the San Fernando Valley.

Monday, January 24, 2000

Interview: Toledo Blade

The Toledo Blade, Written By Chris Borrelli
January 24, 2000

Son of Ghoulardi-Hot Hollywood Director

Paul Thomas Anderson is 30 years old, with stylishly rumpled hair and seemingly permanent stubble. He looks the stereotype of the handsome, tortured artist, which works well for him because he makes big sprawling movies that weave and connect multiple plot lines, grand statements about epic subjects like family and home, compassion and love. He's what is called by the media a "hot young director."

His latest, Magnolia, is the kind of self-indulgent but exciting opus that great artists attempt: 3 hours and 15 minutes of gut-wrenching anguish and soul-searching.

Interview: "Son Of Ghoulardi-Hot Hollywood Director"

Toledo Blade, Written By Chris Borrelli
January 24th, 2000

Paul Thomas Anderson is 30 years old, with stylishly rumpled hair and seemingly permanent stubble. He looks the stereotype of the handsome, tortured artist, which works well for him because he makes big sprawling movies that weave and connect multiple plot lines, grand statements about epic subjects like family and home, compassion and love. He's what is called by the media a "hot young director."

His latest, Magnolia, is the kind of self-indulgent but exciting opus that great artists attempt: 3 hours and 15 minutes of gut-wrenching anguish and soul-searching.

This is not the kind of guy you might expect to spring from the loins of Ghoulardi.

But, hey group! - as Ohio's famous horror-movie host might have screamed.

Mr. Hot Serious Director of the Moment is the son of the late Ohio legend Ernie "Ghoulardi" Anderson, who became a local phenomenon during the 1960s when he threw a ratty fright wig on his head, popped one lens out of his sunglasses, and hosted horror movies - from Little Shop of Horrors to House of Wax - on Toledo and Cleveland TV.

Ghoulardi was a bane to parents, telling his audience to "Turn blue!" and "Stay sick!"

He turned the Cleveland suburb of Parma into a running joke. He even made fun of Mike Douglas.

Sunday, January 23, 2000

Interview: NY Times

NY Times, Written By Damon Wise
January 23, 2000

Progress from Hardcore to Soft Sell

Director Paul Thomas Anderson has followed the success of `porn romp' Boogie Nights by talking down his new film, Magnolia. Bernard Weinraub met Anderson on set, while Damon Wise applauds his use of anti-hype

It's a day and night of heavy rains in the San Fernando Valley and, in the new film Magnolia, at least a dozen disparate lives intersect in sometimes strange ways. The characters include a television game-show host and his angry, estranged daughter; a boy genius, who appears on the game show, and his ambitious father; a dying old man, his young sexy wife and his lost son; and a policeman in love.

Interview: Creative Screenwriting

Creative Screenwriting, Interview By David Konow
January 2000

PTA Meeting

An Interview with Paul Thomas Anderson

On the eve of Magnolia’s release, Paul Thomas Anderson is clearly a happy man. Then again, it’s not every twenty-nine-year-old filmmaker who gets compared to Martin Scorsese and Robert Altman on his second film, gets final cut on his third, and is able to get Tom Cruise to work for peanuts. Yet Paul’s journey to where he is now wasn’t always so smooth.

Paul Thomas Anderson was born in 1970 and grew up in the San Fernando Valley where Boogie Nights and Magnolia take place. Paul’s father was Ernie Anderson, a comic who played a wild horror-show host in the ‘60s named Ghoulardi. Ernie would later gain fame in the ‘70s as a famous voiceover announcer for ABC. His voice was instantly recognizable when introducing spots for America’s Funniest Home Videos, The Winds of War, Roots, and of course, The Love Boat. Ernie instilled a unique sense of humor, as well as a strong independent streak, in his son which Paul carried with him into his filmmaking career. And as you’ll read here, Ernie’s antics would later inspire one of the most celebrated scenes in Boogie Nights.

Saturday, January 22, 2000

Interview: Toronto Sun

The Toronto Sun, Written By Bruce Kirkland
January 22, 2000

Art for Commerce's Sake

Magnolia director Paul Thomas Anderson likes honours

Fast forward to Feb. 15, Oscar nomination day. That's a big day for filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, a day for hope and maybe more pain.

Emotionally battered by the rough ride his extraordinary film Magnolia has received so far from many American critics, Anderson is hoping that Oscar nominations will rescue it, especially at the U.S. box office, where Magnolia has not performed as well as it has in Canada.

Friday, January 21, 2000

January 21, 2000

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

Here's a picture of the recently released Magnolia Screener DVD which was sent out to Academy voters. Of course, I would love to get my hands on one, but so far I have had no luck.
I have also heard that there may be some Seduce And Destroy "infomercials" that are circulating on late night TV. If anyone has seen one, knows when the next one is going to be on, or can tape it for me, please let me know! 
As people see this film repeatedly and pick up new things, there are many new "secrets" being noticed. In addition to all the 8:2 references, and the many active phone numbers, there are many website addresses that link back to the Official Magnolia Page. Here are a few:
There are a few readers of the site that are working on "Secrets of Magnolia" type web pages. I will let you know the link when they are up and running.
Aimee is scheduled to perform live on the net at, here are the details:
Guests include Aimee Mann, John Popper and Lisa Loeb.
Aimee Mann is also scheduled to perform on Conan O'Brien on February 18th. Hopefully she will be performing her Oscar nominated song "Save Me"!

Thursday, January 20, 2000

Interview: Boston Globe

The Boston Globe, Written By Beth Carney & Jim Sullivan
January 20, 2000

Harvard Film Archive Screening of Magnolia - January 19, 2000

Director Paul Thomas Anderson is doing his best to keep attention on his new movie ``Magnolia.''

"It's a three-hour movie. I know what that means to people. They might get to it a little later," said the 29-year-old director, who screened his film and fielded questions yesterday at the Harvard Film Archive.

"I guess I've always looked at the three-hour movie as a genre by itself," said Anderson, whose breakthrough hit "Boogie Nights" was also a viewing commitment at 2 1/2 hours. "I get suspicious any time I go to see a three-hour movie, and not because you're afraid you're going to be bored or anything. You just instantly structure your day differently. You think: You know, we should eat before we go see this movie."

"Magnolia" intertwines the stories of nine people over the course of a day in the San Fernando Valley in vignettes that include biblical references, a sky raining frogs, and a scene in which characters burst into song simultaneously.

"I guess I went through a strange time" before writing the movie, Anderson said, "and this is what I found."

Wednesday, January 19, 2000

Interview: Corona's Coming Attractions

Corona Coming Attractions, Written By Jean-François Allaire
January 19, 2000

15 Questions For Paul Thomas Anderson

I had the privilege of interviewing Academy Award nominated director Paul Thomas Anderson. His previous works include Hard Eight, Boogie Nights and this month's release Magnolia. Here are the results of our brief chat:

January 19, 2000

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

MTV has a short article regarding Fiona Apple's latest PTA directed music video "Limp" which will be released in the next few weeks. If you have or download a Real Player, you can even check out a small clip from the video. Paul's David Letterman appearance has been postponed again as Dave is suffering from some heart/artery problems. If this gets rescheduled, I will let you know.

Sunday, January 16, 2000

January 16, 2000

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

Things are getting vicious over at Kevin Smith (Dogma, Chasing Amy, Clerks) website and more specifically his posting board. There have been many positive posts about Magnolia and Kevin & his director pal Vincent Pereira (A Better Place) has took the opportunity to not only say he did not like the film (he called it the worst film of the year) but really had  some harsh things about the movie and Paul Thomas Anderson. I don't want to fling mud here as Kevin is entitled to his opinion of not liking the film but I think he stepped over the line with some of his comments: Here are just a few from the posting board:
Poster: Out of all of your films, is there one particular scene or moment that you absolutely cringe at... just an awful moment. "What was I thinking???"
Kevin Smith: The scene where I had the little boy come into his father's room and insist he be treated better.
Oh wait - that wasn't me.
There are a few moments in all the stuff we've done that I shake my head at. Can't call any to mind right now, though, but I know I've spotted my share.
Poster: I guess I'm in the minority on this board, but I think 'Magnolia' was insanely brilliant.
Kevin Smith: Oh, good Lord. There's the 'B' word being thrown around again. And as wildly inappropriate as it is when people use it in reference to our stuff, in the example you've put forward, Neil, it's just plain daffy.
Poster: I've seen it 3 times so far
Kevin Smith: You poor, poor man.
They sent me an Academy screener DVD this week. I'll never watch it again, but I will keep it. I'll keep it right on my desk, as a constant reminder that a bloated sense of self-importance is the most unattractive quality in a person or their work.
Poster: To each his own, I guess.
Kevin Smith: Too true. I'm sure there are folks out there who regard 'Detroit Rock City' as the best movie ever made too.
Hell - there are folks who post here who regard 'Mallrats' as the best movie ever made.
In the words of Will Hunting...
"Fucking people baffle me."
Kevin Smith: This 'Magnolia' nonesuch has got to stop. I don't get some of you people. If you're a fan of 'Magnolia', God bless you. I'm not. But why is that such a stone in your shoe? Hell from the tone of some of these posts and some of the email I've gotten, it's apparently a stone up the ass of some people.
Is that what rabid fandom is like? Do those of you who claim to be big fans of what we do at View Askew behave in the same manner as some of these P.T. Anderson apostles - by attacking those that don't agree with you and demanding justice for a fucking opinion? If so, then you do me and mine no good service, and I request that you stop being fans.
Honestly - who gives a fuck. It's an unfair world. There is no justice. And half the time, you're going to be in a minority. People will not always agree with your opinion. Shit - in the case of this flick, I say I don't like it, and I've suddenly got a gaggle of you attacking my character, as well as my craft! Honestly - I've got assholes shooting off their mouths with shit like "You only WISH you were as good as P.T.!" What am I - nine years old? Is this the fourth grade? Some dick-lick even went so far as to EMAIL me his post from the board, so I wouldn't miss it; a post, I might add, that maintained I couldn't taste the shit on Anderson's heels - so lousy an auteur am I in comparison. What the fuck possesses some people, I ask you?
Hey man, I enjoy 'Boogie Nights'. I didn't enjoy 'Magnolia'. Maybe I'll cream my pants over the guy's next flick. But sweet Christmas! What the fuck do you care? You liked 'Magnolia'? Wonderful. I hope it illuminated your darkness in some way and fuel-injected three hours and change of joy into your engine. Me? I found it to be cinematic root canal. I'll take 'Short Cuts' any old day. There are very few movies that make me want lost time back, and that movie tops the list.
Oh, you precious but pesky few who feel maligned if 'Magnolia' is questioned! From beyond my rage I thank and bless you - for this has been a life-changing, eye-opening experience for me. If this is what rabid fans are like, then I don't want any. Oh, defenders of my imagined cinematic crown, please don't do me any favors in the face of those who'd blah-blah-blah about what shite I be! I can fight my own battles. And I've gotta tell you: someone not digging what I do is not a war that needs waging. That's film. That's art. That's life. You make something and put it on display, you get some people nodding and some people shaking their heads. What a better world it'd be if it could stop at that, as opposed to the nodders and the shakers clawing at one another's throats for having different (not better or worse) tastes.
I only wish it were a line I'd written, but again...
"Fucking people baffle me."
Vincent Pereira: P.T. Anderson's "style" is a direct lift of Martin Scorsese's style, only P.T. doesn't know how to use it. Sure, MAGNOLIA was chuck full of LONG steadicam shots, "dramatic" push-ins, and various other little tricks, but to what end? NONE of these devices were well used in the film- they ALL called attention to themselves. If Kevin wanted to be self-conscious, he could wildly throw around the camera too because it's "cool", but you know what? He doesn't need to dress his films up with a bunch of window-dressing to make them interesting. Take away all the overbearing "style" and what have you got with MAGNOLIA? Three still boring, but less annoyingly self-consciously "cool" hours of tripe. Every camera move in MAGNOLIA seems to serve but one purpose- P.T. Anderson looking at us and jumping up and down exclaiming- "LOOK! I did a steadicam shot like the one in GOODFELLAS! I'm cool, right? RIGHT??"
Actually, he's probably saying he hasn't seen any of those movies- there's a boatload of movies that I'm sure were really bad that I didn't see this year, because I had no interest in seeing them. MAGNOLIA is the worst kind of failure, because it's such a self-conscious, insincere attempt to be "meaningful" and "important", and it fails so badly because P.T. doesn't have his heart in any of it, and it shows.
Ricky Jay on the X-files
That's right the man himself will be featured on tonight's episode as an illusionist! Hey you might as well get one of the best if you're going to do an episode about magic. Check your local listings!
Reilly and Hoffman to the Stage
John C. Reilly and Philip Seymour Hoffman will return to the stage as feuding brothers in Matthew Warchus' staging of Sam Shepard's True West. When I can get some dates and ticket information, I will post that here but I believe this will be in New York.

Saturday, January 15, 2000

Interview: National Post

National Post, Written By Katrina Onstad
January 15, 2000

Doing It To Music

Magnolia director Paul Thomas Anderson says he owes the inspiration for the film to Aimee Mann. 'Her music is in my DNA, always has been'

January 15, 2000

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

Here's what Roger Ebert had to say recently when asked about critics who spoiled a major plot point in Magnolia:
Q: "Magnolia" has a completely unanticipated scene that David Denby revealed in the first paragraph of his review in the New Yorker. Was this fair? 
Ebert: Denby should be drawn and quartered, metaphorically, of course, for describing the film's astonishing and inspired surprise. The scene you refer to does not develop necessarily out of what goes before, and there is no way for a viewer to anticipate it; therefore a critic does not need to describe it in order to discuss its function. Denby's eagerness to blurt out Paul Thomas Anderson's gift to the audience was unseemly and ill-mannered, like a dinner guest shouting out the punch line to the host's best joke.

Thursday, January 13, 2000

January 13, 2000

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

Paul will be hosting a special screening of Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot and Ace in Hole at The James Bridge Theater in UCLA at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 16th.
Call (310) 206-8013 for up-to-date information. Here's the link. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Interview: Associated Press

The Associated Press, Written By Mark Kennedy
January 12, 2000

Whiz filmmaker plows familiar ground

NEW YORK (AP) - The next one, Paul Thomas Anderson insists, won't be about families. Maybe he'll make a war flick. Perhaps he'll make a silly little comedy. Maybe it'll be set in space. Just not another movie about families - please.

"Enough with the family topic!" the 29-year-old filmmaker bellows even as "Magnolia," his third consecutive examination of dysfunctional families, earns rave reviews.

"I think it might be tapped out at this point," he says, mournfully. "I think my gut wants to take a right-hand turn. Let's go make a funny movie! With explosions!"

Trouble is, Anderson doesn't believe it.

Monday, January 10, 2000

Interview: Rough Cut Chat Transcript

RoughCut Chat Transcript
January 10, 2000

pt_anderson2000: Hello. Let's get it on!

January 10, 2000

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

Magnolia was 7th at the Box Office this weekend in limited wide release (1034 screens). It did have the highest average per screen in the whole country so that is great news.

Sunday, January 09, 2000

Interview: Denver Rocky Mountain News

The Denver Rocky Mountain News, Written By Robert Denerstein
January 9, 2000

Magnolia Director in Full, Vivid Bloom

Paul Thomas Anderson was sniffling, not that the 29-year-old director was upset. In fact, he sounded incredibly upbeat for a man whose head had been invaded by a cold and who was about to discuss Magnolia, a sprawling tapestry of a movie that's threaded with agitation and angst.

Maybe that's a clue to why Magnolia, a movie about nine desperate Los Angeles characters, can be enjoyable even though it's stocked with desperation. Anderson loves making movies, and his enthusiasm shows on screen, even when his characters are suffering.

Anderson originally planned to recover from his widely acclaimed Boogie Nights, a large-scale ensemble piece about the porn industry, by writing something short, quick and cheap. Magnolia is three hours long and has more than 30 speaking parts.

January 9, 2000

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

I sat down with Paul for a bit on the set of the latest Fiona Apple video “Limp” which will be the second single & video from her critically acclaimed When the Pawn… release. This is their third collaboration together which follows “Across The Universe” & “Fast as You Can”
Greg Mariotti: Let’s talk about Magnolia. The preview screening you held in Sydney, Australia with Tom Cruise in late summer came in at 3:23. What did you trim? The worm is what I am hearing, some of the worm stuff? 
Paul Thomas Anderson: Yeah, the worm stuff. There’s sort of, a little bit more of a follow through on the mystery character, who’s in it now.  It’s better to remain sort of a mystery character.  The brown jacket and the little kid (Dixon).  And that stuff is sort of better served as something to truly think about as opposed to something to answer and in an effort to make it more mysterious and make it shorter…I just took it out.
GM: Cause I was wondering how the little kid (Dixon) got to the car where Linda Partridge was unconscious.  I mean seems like that was a way different neighborhood for him to be all of a sudden over there ….
PTA: No, that really wouldn’t have been any different if you had seen anything else. No, that makes total sense in terms of the reality base of the movie. I mean it’s not as if anything is missing now.
GM: Sure so what else got trimmed?  I heard that maybe the frog sequence got trimmed a little bit?
PTA: The frog sequence got trimmed, maybe like 5 minutes came out of the frog sequence and just heads and tails of film.
GM: I had read in Premiere Magazine that you made Bill Macy do like ten takes of the scene where he sticks a key a door and then turns around and slips and falls flat on his ass. I didn’t see that in the film, was that true or not true?
PTA: It’s in there. When he walks out and the key snaps off. He kinda smacks himself back into the door. We did like forty takes of it.  Or something like that.
GM: And he got hit in the face with a frog quite a few times too?
PTA: Yeah, he did. Yeah. Yeah
GM: I don’t know if I told you this I just thought the film was incredibly ballsy, raw and naked.
PTA: Thank you. Thanks a lot.
GM:  They are having a special screening in Seattle on the 28th of December, so I will get another opportunity to see it again before it goes into wide release on January 7th.
PTA:  Great. What kind of screening is it?
GM: My guess is probably a press screening with the few critics that are up there.  Speaking of critics, was there a gag order on reviews to try to keep the plot, etc. under wraps? I noticed that the Variety, Hollywood Reporter and David Anson (who gave it 3 1/2 stars) reviews have started to come out. Is that OK with you?
PTA: It’s fine, I think David Anson had to give it 3 ½ stars because he saw an earlier cut. He needed to give it a star rating for the magazine Film Comment. 
GM: Tell me about this proposed Lennon biopic rumor which has been circulating for more than two years. Is this true?
PTA: No, it’s not true.
GM: So with the dance sequence in Boogie Nights and the use of Aimee Mann’s music in Magnolia, I see a musical in your future. What do you think?
PTA: Sure. Oh yeah, definitely…definitely.
GM: Any idea what’s next at all? Maybe a lean mean short of thing?
PTA: Definitely short.
GM: Yeah. Are you going to take a break for a while?
PTA: I am, I am definitely going to try. I am going to try to take, like a year off or something like that
GM: Are you going keep doing music videos?
PTA: Just for Fiona
GM: What about Michael Penn who has a new record coming out early next year?
PTA:  Oh no, I would do it for Michael or Aimee or Fiona and of course John Brion. 
GM: Are they going to release Jon Brion’s Magnolia score? Because I know there is an Oscar promo CD floating around.
PTA: Yeah, there is an Oscar promo but there will be a true Jon Brion musical score for Magnolia coming out in January.
GM: What about your collaboration with Jonathon Demme?  What are you doin?
PTA: I can’t tell you…..
GM: All right, are you working on a script for him?
PTA: Sort of..
GM: A new script? Not a rewrite or something else like for the remake of Charade?
PTA: No. It’s so….I can’t say (chuckling under breath)
GM: Did you film the Sydney death sequence where the hostage kills him at the end of the film?
PTA: Yeah, I did.
GM: Did you also shoot the Clementine turd, story? 
PTA: Yes, I did.  Goddamn, that’s, how’d you know that? That’s great.
GM: It’s in the script. I read a bit about it in an interview with her and then I actually picked up the Sydney script and it was in there.
PTA: That’s great….is it in the script?  Gwyneth told me that story and I just wrote it down and then we shot it.  And it was just fuckin far too long.
GM: Hilarious.    
PTA: She just couldn’t tell the story any faster.
GM: Why not stick it on the DVD? 
PTA: I lost the footage. It’s gone somewhere….in hell with all that stuff.
GM: And you didn’t want to put your short film Cigarettes and Coffee on the DVD as sort of a precursor to Sydney?
PTA: No.
GM: OK. Why not include Johnny Doe’s death, the Becky and Jerome scene with Dirk crashing the car on the DVD (in the Deleted Scenes section) when it was one of the last things that you decided to cut. I know this was your final cut obviously but are you thinking of maybe eventually doing not a director’s cut… but maybe a fun cut…or an expanded version for people who really want to see that stuff?
PTA: I think we are going to do a new edition of the DVD. Because the directors cut is the cut of the movie.
GM: Right.  But even some of the lines that got cut….I know that you cut Dirk grinding on Amber a bit in addition to all the dialogue that was altered or removed for MPAA reasons (Little Bill’s Wife & Jessie, etc.)….   
PTA: You know it’s just so small. I don’t know if I really consider it exactly worth it. I might put the Becky sequence in possibly on a new Boogie Nights DVD. We might do a new version because I don’t really think it got transferred right the first time and I want to take another shot at it.
GM: Have you started to think about what you are going to do with the Magnolia DVD? Considering the length of the film that won’t leave a lot of room for extra materials unless you use the new DVD-18 or do a two disc set?
PTA: I think I will put one or two scenes that I took out. Maybe Earl Partridge’s longer monologue and the Frank Mackey seminar stuff that I took out. But I’m not going to do a commentary track for this movie.
GM: No? Do you just not want to talk about the film at length? Are you burned out talking about it?
PTA: Yeah. Totally. I just don’t want to talk about it. I’m just so proud of the movie and I think that it speak so much for itself that I should just shut up about it. We will put the Aimee Mann “Save Me” music video on there, and the trailers. I want to keep that stuff to a minimum so it allows more room for the best possible picture and sound.
GM: Are you ever going to do a real sex scene? I mean none of your films have had a real “Hollywood” type of sex scene. Maybe something like that but in a less clichéd way?
PTA: I really want to try. But I don’t want to worry about a ratings issue. I have to decide if it’s something I want to try to do within an R rating or something that I just want to period and not think about a rating.
GM: Melora Walters was incredible in this film. She completely stole the show in my opinion. I know all the early Oscar buzz is for Tom Cruise and Julianne Moore, but I really hope they seriously look at her and the job she did.
PTA: Me too. She’s incredible. I wrote the part for her. The last image in the film was the first one that I had in my mind.
GM: Did anyone pass on roles that were offered to them because I know that Rebecca Pidgeon (David Mamet’s wife) had to pass on a role because she was pregnant [this was the role of Jimmy Gator's mistress which was cut] Did anyone else pass?
PTA: There was moment where Jason Robards was too sick to do it and I offered the role to George C. Scott and he passed. And then Jason got better and I got my first choice back again which was great.
GM: Are there any actors that you are eager to work with?
PTA: Daniel Day Lewis. I think that he’s fucking awesome. I think that he’s a fantastic actor. I really want to work with him.
GM: What about Jennifer Jason Leigh? You are real good friends and I’m surprised that you haven’t worked together?
PTA: You know what. It’s just a matter of time before we get to each other. We are big fans of each other’s work. Maybe next time. I’ve been thinking about that a lot actually.
GM: What movies have you really liked the past few years?
PTA: La Promesse. I thought it was fucking incredible and amazing movie. I loved The Sixth Sense. I thought it was wonderful. I liked Eyes Wide Shut. Nothing else is popping into my head.
Bill Hader  (Friend of the site): Did you see Rosetta (same filmmakers that made La Promesse)?
PTA: No, not yet. I haven't had a chance but I really want to. I can't wait to see it.
GM: How’s your DVD collection?
PTA: I got a good collection going now. I’ve got a backlog of like a hundred that I haven’t had a chance to watch because I just buy them when I’m working or I’ll never remember if I don’t buy them now.
GM: What do you think of Cookie’s Fortune and the last few Altman films?
PTA: It was okay. I liked the Gingerbread Man. I thought it was a pretty good thriller, but Cookie’s Fortune was kind of silly.
GM: The spontaneous friction scene in Sydney. A reader from the site saw this happen outside a theater in 1990….
PTA: Hey, that might be true. I was outside of Reno and my car broke down and a tow truck driver picked me up and told me that story. It could have been. That was 1991. I can’t imagine that has happened a lot of times.
GM: So do you like the cigarettes & coffee website?
PTA: It’s great. Yeah. There’s maybe one time I saw something and I wanted to correct something. It wasn’t a big deal. I was gonna call you but I didn’t get around to it. No. Everything is pretty much spot on.
GM: I made the site for me because I was sick of searching the Internet and looking for stuff on you. I wanted somewhere for people to come and find everything they could need in one resource.
PTA: I don’t know if you know this but as my press gears up. People are going to your site and clearly they are getting shit from your website. All these big time interviewers are going there and getting all this stuff. Part of its great and part of its a little scary because they’re like “You once said” and I’m like “Really, Oh shit”. Oh yeah, I might have said that!
You will have peaks and valleys just like a director. I have a feeling these next few months there are going to be a lot of people checking out the site and looking for things.
GM: Yeah, I have really noticed the press on you gearing up. There was a real nice Q & A in Madison Magazine recently. Didn’t they want you on the cover?
PTA: Yeah. I don’t want to be on the cover. That’s not my style.
GM: Your films have made a lot of covers over in the U.K. They really appreciate you and your films quite a bit. I think there movie magazines are far superior to the ones we have over here.
PTA: I totally agree. Sight and Sound especially. I am gonna do another Sight and Sound interview in a few weeks. I don’t know. I can say with great pride that they really like my movies over there.
GM: Yeah, their love of film seems stronger than ours. Much better than the fluff over here.
PTA: Yeah, there’s a lot of weird internal politics over here with articles and interviewers.
GM: Do you mind if I post some pictures of your dad as himself and as Ghoulardi on the site? I didn’t want to do it until I got your okay.
PTA: Sure. That would be fine.
GM: I appreciate you having me out here and getting a chance to interview you and see you work.
PTA: No, are you kidding? You shouldn’t appreciate it. I appreciate you and all your work on the website

Friday, January 07, 2000

Interview: The Virginian Pilot

The Virginian-Pilot, Written By Mal Vincent
January 7, 2000

Magnolia Blossom

Profile: Budding Director Anderson Scores A Hit with This Flamboyant, Audacious Epic

Paul Thomas Anderson says he wanted to write "something small and intimate" to follow up his breakthrough 1997 movie Boogie Nights. What he ended up with is a flamboyant and audacious epic of modern relationships that juggles nine stories. Critics, including this one, are calling it a "masterpiece" and surely the most original movie of the year.

Whether you like or abhor Magnolia, it's going to emerge as one of the most talked-about movies in a while. What makes this 29-year-old director tick?

Interview: USA Today

USA Today, Written By Claudia Puig
January 7, 2000

Life and Love and Death and Genius

Self-taught filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson tackles alienation, rage, love and redemption in latest flick. He plans a short, playful film next season.

Being labeled a genius is nothing new for Paul Thomas Anderson.

Critics gushed over his previous movies, Hard Eight and Boogie Nights, both structurally complex and emotionally wrenching. His Magnolia, which is expanding across the USA today, has been called one of the most ambitious films of the past year, and the word is being bandied about again.

Interview: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, Written By Ron Weiskind
January 7, 2000

The Virtue of Self - Indulgence

Director Paul Thomas Anderson held nothing back with Magnolia

To anyone who complains the movie Magnolia is too long (slightly more than three hours), dense and repetitive -- in short, too self-indulgent -- writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson offers a simple rejoinder.

Interview: Nitrate Online

Nitrate Online, Written By Cynthia Fuchs
January 7, 2000

It's a Weeping Movie

Paul Thomas Anderson describes his new film, Magnolia, in language that only seems simple. It's a complicated and large-scale movie, running over three hours and covering one day in the lives of multiple characters living and dying in California's San Fernando Valley. But for Anderson, the movie is part of his own lifelong exploration of what it means to be human, to forgive and endure despite what seem impossible circumstances. Mostly, though, it sounds as though he's happy to have it released and to be talking about it, which, he observes, is part of the process. "I was exhausted when the movie was coming out in New York and LA, but then I took a couple of weeks off for the holidays and I was able to kind of get my juice back, and think, okay, I can do phone calls and talk show things. I try and balance it out. I mean, I don't want to be blabbermouth-young-white-director-guy, but I gotta help. You just don't want to get a disgusting sheen on yourself."

Interview: Entertainment Weekly (with Aimee Mann)

Entertainment Weekly, Written By Chris Willman
January 7, 2000

Mann Crazy

For director Paul Thomas Anderson, singer-songwriter Aimee Mann is more than just a voice to carry his new movie, Magnolia. She also inspired its leitmotif of despair.

It seemed like a great idea at the time, when Mike Nichols built The Graduate around Simon & Garfunkel songs. But few filmmakers since have used one act's tunes to anchor a movie. Director Paul Thomas Anderson, unofficial president of the Aimee Mann fan club, has revived the tradition with his new film, Magnolia. The ensemble drama has nine Mann songs complementing the pathos of such likable losers as actor William H. Macy's lovesick ex-boy genius, John C. Reilly's lonely cop, and Melora Walters' emotional burnout. EW got symbiotic with the filmmaker and singer last month.

Interview: Deseret News

The Deseret News, Written By Jeff Vice
January 7, 2000

Director Sings Praises of Unique Soundtrack

Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson isn't one to turn down outside inspiration. "I'm always open to listening to other people's ideas," he said. "If they're good enough, I'll even steal them for myself. I'm not stupid."

That statement may sound like it was made in jest . . . or maybe Anderson is just brutally honest. The acclaimed writer-director simply admits he is the sum of his inspirations, be they authors, other directors or musicians.

This time around, Anderson's muse was Aimee Mann, the former 'Til Tuesday singer who's carved out a niche for herself with introspective pop songs. Her music — including several original songs and a cover of Three Dog Night's "One" — appears throughout Magnolia.

Interview: Akron Beacon Journal

Akron-Beacon Journal, Written By George Thomas
January 7, 2000

Success Blossoms for Magnolia Director

Most people take the majority of their lives to find their calling. Not movie director Paul Thomas Anderson.

"Absolutely without question, with no backup A1 plan, I knew what I wanted to do," the creator of the film Magnolia said from his Manhattan hotel room yesterday. There's no reason the 29-year-old shouldn't have show business aspirations. His father, Ernie Anderson, developed Ghoulardi, a legendary Cleveland TV character, before he packed up and moved to Southern California's San Fernando Valley and landed a job as the voice of the ABC television network. He finished his career as the announcer of America's Funniest Home Videos.

Thursday, January 06, 2000

Interview: Kansas City Star

The Kansas City Star, Writen By Robert W. Butler
January 6, 2000

Characters Make it Hard to Keep Simple

A little over a year ago, after the hubbub faded in the wake of Boogie Nights, his paean to the '70s porn industry, writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson thought he deserved a rest.

His next film, he decided, should be simple, uncomplicated.

"Boogie Nights was such a big epic experience, I figured maybe I should let my mood take me somewhere small," Anderson said in a recent telephone conversation from Los Angeles. "I mean, I was tired. I thought I should let myself relax a little."

Uh, think again.

Interview: Austin American Statesman

The Austin American Statesman, Written By Chris Garcia
January 6, 2000

All Paul Thomas Anderson Does

Sure, the director of 'Boogie Nights' saw 'Short Cuts.' Wanna make something of it? If you don't like his new movie, 'Magnolia,' you're wrong, anyway.

At the tender age of 29, Paul Thomas Anderson -- P.T.A. to his friends -- is making some of the most ambitious movies in Hollywood.

In 1997 he unleashed "Boogie Nights," an outsized and adrenalized saga about the 1970s porn industry in L.A. Starring Mark Wahlberg as well-endowed porn star Dirk Diggler, the uneven but technically impressive movie won rave reviews and a cult following. Important people in Hollywood noticed (including Tom Cruise, who stars in Anderson's new film). There's a new prodigy in town.

Wednesday, January 05, 2000

Interview: Entertainment News Wire

Entertainment News Wire, Written By Joshua Mooney
January 5, 2000

Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson felt free to create Magnolia on his own terms

LOS ANGELES -- Paul Thomas Anderson is not yet 30, but, on the strength of two films, he's a director who's come to be considered one of the most talented filmmakers working in America today. His first film was a very small drama about gamblers in Nevada called "Hard Eight." His second was the much-talked about "Boogie Nights," set in the pornography industry of Los Angeles in the 1970s and '80s. The film garnered three Oscar nominations and won Anderson the freedom to make his third film pretty much on his terms.

Anderson has utilized that freedom to the limit for "Magnolia" (opening Friday), a sprawling, three-hour-long drama set in 1999 in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley. "Magnolia" is very much Anderson's private vision -- he wrote, directed and produced the film. One thing is for certain: the guy has a way with actors. Some of Hollywood's best, including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Philip Baker Hall, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly and William H. Macy, are part of "Magnolia's" big ensemble cast. These actors have all worked for Anderson before, and when asked to describe him as a director, they throw around terms such as "genius," "visionary," and "the future of movies."

Interview: Atlanta Journal Constitution

The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Written By Bob Longino
January 2000

Life after Boogie Nights

Director Anderson talks about
his new film, 'Magnolia,' and working with Cruise, Robards

Paul Thomas Anderson, the 30-year-old big gun among Hollywood's new cinematic wave of young auteurs, is finally putting his feet up in his Los Angeles home, smoking Camels, drinking Diet Cokes and getting a spy flick fix watching Sterling Hayden in 1957's "Five Steps to Danger" on Turner Classic Movies. "The vacation has now begun!" he shouts. On this day, the writer-director of 1997's Oscar-nominated "Boogie Nights" and this season's "Magnolia," which opens Friday in metro Atlanta, is happy.

Rewind to the day before, and Anderson is decidedly unhappy.

Tuesday, January 04, 2000

Interview: Calgary Sun

Courtesy of The Calgary Herald, Written ByJamie Portman
January 4, 2000

Road to Redemption

Magnolia director Paul Thomas Anderson leads an ensemble cast along the road to redemption

Paul Thomas Anderson rushes into the hotel suite clutching a cigarette in one hand and a bagel in another. He's a young man in a hurry, so much so that he starts answering questions about Magnolia, his new marathon of a movie, while his mouth is still full of bagel.

Sunday, January 02, 2000

Interview: Times Union

The Times Union Albany, NY, Writen By Sean Daly
January 2, 2000

Director Has His Pick of Actors

If you believe the buzz around the popcorn stand, the future of American cinema has arrived. And its name is Paul Thomas Anderson. Regarded as a genius by many of his peers, Anderson is a self- taught writer/producer/director, whose encyclopedic knowledge of movies and unique appreciation for the human condition have shaped some of the most strikingly original films to emerge recently from mainstream Hollywood.

Interview: San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle, Written By Edward Guthmann
January 2, 2000

The Actor's Director

Magnolia filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson has a big cast of admirers

After Boogie Nights, the ambitious 1997 drama about life in the porn-film industry, Paul Thomas Anderson thought he might take it easy.

Interview: Philadelphia Inquirer

Philadelphia Inquirer, Written By Steven Rea
January 2, 2000

Magnolia Bloomed From a Song Lyric

"Now that I've met you, would you object to never seeing me again?"

That's the opening line of "Deathly," a song from Aimee Mann. And that one line is all it took to get Paul Thomas Anderson - upstart writer and director of 1997's porn-world opus Boogie Nights - to get cracking on his PC again. He heard Mann's song and a whole scenario - make that multiple scenarios - flashed in his head. The result, the extraordinary Magnolia, opens Friday at the Ritz Theaters.

Interview: Movieline (With John C. Reilly)

Movieline Magazine
Dec/Jan 2000

Life of Reilly

A conversation between Boogie Nights director Paul Thomas Anderson and his favorite actor, John C. Reilly, reveals what it’s like for Reilly to be starring in Anderson’s new Magnolia, which features a supporting player named Tom Cruise.

John C. Reilly is an unsung hero of American movies. The appealingly grizzled, gruff-looking 34-year-old has given indelible performance in movies like What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Dolores Claiborne, Georgia, Boogie Nights, The Thin Red Line and For the Love of the Game without attaining critical-darling status the way a showier actor might have. Reilly’s cult following is made up of those who appreciate an absolute natural. It isn’t so much that you don’t catch him making a false move. It’s more like you don’t catch him acting. Reilly’s biggest Hollywood fan is Paul Thomas Anderson, the writer/director who has used him most astutely to date, first in Hard Eight, then in Boogie Nights, and now in his new film, Magnolia. Anderson has such confidence in Reilly that, even though Tom Cruise is also in the movie, Reilly is the film’s romantic lead. What better person to interview Reilly than the director who sees so much in him?

Interview: Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Free Press, Written By Terry Lawson
January 2, 2000

Young Filmmaker Probes Heads, Hearts

Oh, man, you just got to wait a minute," says Paul Thomas Anderson, who suddenly has found himself in the middle of a moment that could have been lifted directly from his new movie Magnolia.

The film is about people who find themselves disconnected from humanity at large.

Interview: Boston Globe

Courtesy of the Boston Globe, Written By Bob Strauss
January 2, 2000

Wising Up

Paul Thomas Anderson understands what he's doing as a filmmaker with Magnolia

LOS ANGELES - Making movies as a form of therapy?

The cliche gag - based, like many stereotypes, on observed reality - is that filmmaking is more like group psychosis, with various sources of megalomania vying for control of the script, the set, and the agenda.

But Paul Thomas Anderson's movies do look and play like the working out of troubling emotions, both in "Hard Eight," "Boogie Nights," and now his magnum opus, "Magnolia," which opens Friday in Boston. In the three-hour-plus film, Anderson explores the family traumas and frayed personal connections of unhappy people with all the passion of youth - he turned 30 yesterday - and an insight into human feelings many of his elders never achieve. Anderson's characters are typically miserable - which is, perhaps, the primary thing critics have been slamming "Magnolia" for - but so vulnerable and surprisingly compassionate, too, that they can't help rep re sent ing the deep desire we all harbor to live better, more loving lives.

Saturday, January 01, 2000

Fiona Apple - Limp (2000)

This video seems to be done to the morning after the song's lyrics take place. With Fiona Apple waking in her clothes from the day previous, with signature shots such as Fiona yelling into the ear of her contented image on television. The last moments of the video are cut to the fast beat of the song, a very tricky and time consuming editing technique.

Fiona Apple - Paper Bag (2000)

An homage to old-time musical sequences, Fiona Apple moves gracefully along through the song with 20 choreographed 10-13 year old children. Paul Thomas Anderson executes the video using the usual long, sweeping shots with fast dolly/zoom shots to the timing to M. Rooney's dance sequencing. The songs old time feel and dreamy/dark lyrics come to life here in the latest PTA offering.