02 October 2007

Classic Film Openings #2: Magnolia

Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia (1999) is a masterpiece and the opening scene is a mini-masterpiece of it's own.

Magnolia is a mosaic of disparate American lives woven together by chance. The opening scene and voice over narration tell of extraordinary events, notably stories considered to be urban legends, but explains that they are so common and ordinary that we don't notice them happening every day. The opening has no connection to the story other than it's concept and is all the better for it.

The style sets us up for a film that will engross us and not let us know what to expect. The opening is shot like a documentary on the subject of "Chance" and gets the brain in gear for the intelligent movie that follows.

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