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Grand Hotel is the Magnolia of 1932?


sewhite2000
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Once in a blue moon I stumble across an article about classic cinema on an all-encompassing pop culture website like AVClub. This article is from four years ago and compares 1932's Best Picture winner to a more recent movie, although one that's now old enough that I doubt few people under 30 have seen it.

https://film.avclub.com/an-early-best-picture-winner-plays-like-the-magnolia-of-1798266749

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I didn't read the article, but I'd venture to say the similarities are they are both "ensemble" pieces. GRAND HOTEL has a much simpler storyline while MAGNOLIA is much more complicated-both in story & emotional investment.

(I love Magnolia but always put it back on the shelf knowing it's an "investment" to watch. It's great for days when you're home, sick with a cold or snowed in!)

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Its an odd comparison really. Grand Hotel and Magnolia only share the similarities of several overlapping stories, an all-star cast, and many sad tales. (And also of being very fine films....but I digress) If anything, Grand Hotel was the very first all-star film and so every film afterward that would use that format would be in its debt. But it seems silly to compare an early 30s title to a late 90s one. It would have been better comparing Grand Hotel to Dinner at Eight and Magnolia to Grand Canyon and Short Cuts.

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No, I sure as heck don't know "what" Magnolia "is" ...reason? Complete and abject apathy. I have heard of it though, and I understand its some kind of contemporary flick. But that don't cut no ice with me. I'll never watch it.

The fact is, every single time I even take a glance at some current-era movie or current-era television show, I want to puke. All sorts of incompetent and unconscious mistakes exhibited on the screen.

Bad videography, plagiarism, trends like 'jerky-cam', unnecessary distractions (expletives/gratuituous nudity), commercial product placement, timid camerawork, over-bright lighting, cheesecake actresses, hurried editing.

Another example would be this horrible fad of placing modern-pop music into period movies like 'Moulin Rouge' or 'Gatsby' remakes. Instead of appropriate period-era music which function as they should to transport me to the era.

Or, Tarantino inserting David Bowie songs into a WWII commando flick. This is a debacle, as far as I'm concerned. When you can't even get the background music correct for a historical flick, just throw up your hands and walk away.

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On 9/23/2018 at 11:23 PM, CinemaInternational said:

Its an odd comparison really. Grand Hotel and Magnolia only share the similarities of several overlapping stories, an all-star cast, and many sad tales. (And also of being very fine films....but I digress) If anything, Grand Hotel was the very first all-star film and so every film afterward that would use that format would be in its debt. But it seems silly to compare an early 30s title to a late 90s one. It would have been better comparing Grand Hotel to Dinner at Eight and Magnolia to Grand Canyon and Short Cuts.

I agree. It is an unusual comparison to make. 

If anything we can say MAGNOLIA is the GRAND HOTEL of 1999 without the hotel and without the grandness.

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