The Point of the Pivot

The Point of the Pivot

If you’re a New Orleanian who loves the written word, you should be reading Mark Folse at Odd Words for the outstanding weekly literary listings. And as a little lagniappe, Folse also lets his astute eye wander, stumbling upon new, odd delights. Here’s his realization re-watching Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1999 film Magnolia. Particularly, Folse zeroes in on the moment when Frank T.J. Mackey (Tom Cruise) is battling it out with interviewer Gwenovier (April Grace):

Cruise freezes, refuses to speak, staring at her with burning intensity. Seconds drag by like hours in the long shot. It is then I notice the blemish , the bump on his cheek carefully blended by makeup into his skin, the smallest flaw in his curly-locked Herculean projection of perfection, the tiniest detail of theatrical composition of both the character and auteur Paul Thomas Anderson in over two hours of film. Following this moment the carefully constructed lives of all the characters begin to fall apart, their own masks striped away and their flaws revealed, and they begin to align themselves into a new coherence.

Go read the rest. I’m about to rent Magnolia.


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