Noon — A biannual magazine which explores art and commerce in contemporary culture
Noon is a biannual magazine which explores art and commerce in contemporary culture
A Chance of Frog
A CHANCE OF FROG
It’s been almost twenty years since Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic ensemble drama Magnolia captivated and confounded cinemagoers. The film may not be considered Anderson’s most accomplished work by his critics1 (that accolade is reserved for There Will Be Blood and Boogie Nights) but it is undoubtedly his most memorable. Even if you haven’t seen Magnolia since its 1999 release, it’s hard to forget a film that includes a sing-a- long to Aimee Mann’s “Wise Up.” Featuring serious Hollywood players Julianne Moore2, John C. Reilly, Tom Cruise, Philip Baker Hall, William H. Macy, Melora Walters, Jason Robards and Philip Seymour Hoffman singing in character, the ambitious sequence manages to avoid Glee-ful connotations and instead holds up as one of the most moving, emotional scenes in Anderson’s oeuvre. Magnolia is punctuated by wondrous moments and performances like these and none is more miraculous than the infamous frogs-falling-from-the- sky montage. As writer Julian Kimble notes in his essay for Complex on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the film; “it’s impossible to discuss Magnolia without addressing the elephant frogs in the room.”
FRANKIE MATHIESON: Do you think it's harder to know someone in the digital age?
OLIVIA SUDJIC: I do think it’s harder to know someone in the digital age if you have a predetermined idea of what they are like before you actually meet them. That multiple selves’ idea was not just about having an Instagram persona and a Twitter persona, it was also about the relationship we as individuals have with the internet itself, and how the internet thinks it knows us…
At the heart of it, Hustvedt is most concerned with the previously neglected relationship between science and emotion. Why has science been so slow to catch up with the thought processes of literature and art? “We cannot begin to understand human experience if we don’t understand emotion,” says Hustvedt. “I offer one of many reasons why: emotion consolidates memory. We remember what moved us in one way or another. If we weren’t moved, we are likely to forget the whole thing.”
It may surprise you to discover that the man known as the 'Pope of Trash', 'King of Bad Taste' and 'Sultan of Sleaze' is also an ardent fan of the most traditional of holidays: Christmas. Not one to do things by half, John Waters has celebrated the season on film (in his 1974 cult classic Female Trouble), on record (he released a compilation album of his favourite Christmas songs in 2004) and on stage, every winter, for the past 15 years. The Pink Flamingos and Hairspray director takes his annual one-man show, A John Waters Christmas, on the road this month – hitchhiking into a town near you with a sack full of yuletide profanity, smutty stories and Santa-sized laughs. Speaking to us on the phone from his home in Baltimore earlier last month, Waters promised that this year’s show would address everything you’ve always wanted to know about Christmas – “Is Prancer the only gay reindeer?”, “Has Santa ever been nude?”, “Should you disrupt living nativity celebrations this year in the name of political action?” – but were too scared to ask.