What is the cinematic analogue to Infinite Jest?
PTA's Magnolia seems pretty close. Both have a convoluted plot, both feature a number of sad people prone to sudden revelatory outbursts, both have drug abuse/addiction as one of the prominent themes, both have tons of seemingly unimportant detail, both are very long for their respective mediums, both were released in the 90s, and it can be said that both are pretty damn similar atmosphere-wise (think 'hysterical realism').
What's funny is that DFW actually hated PTA's Magnolia. He trashed it in a letter to DeLillo as pretentious and grad-schoolish. I thought, that's funny, since Magnolia is basically a cinematic Infinite Jest. Can't eat what you serve? Then I found out that PTA was actually one of DFW's students at Emerson. Yikes.
>pretentious and grad-schoolish
Wasn't that one of the more common criticisms levelled at DFW h(H)imself?
It don't detract from his books, though, in my opinion. Some of my friends are pretentious and grad-schoolish, and so am I.
I said it here too, actually. This fact (i.e. that Magnolia is mut. mut. filmic IJ) deserves to be known to people who love either one but don't know about the other.
I can't think of any other movies closely resembling DFW's work on many points, but I'm not sure if it's because I don't watch many movies or because there isn't a lot of similar works anywhere.
I always wondered whether PTA read Infinite Jest, and then he came out recently and said that Wallace was one of his professors and he adored him. So he at least bought it and started it. I think Anderson designed the blue sky and frogs poster for Magnolia... I wonder if he was trying to mimic the IJ cover...
Sure, and OK Computer is the musical equivalent.
>released in the late 90's
>considered a groundbreaking work in their respective mediums
>launched their creators to levels of success/acclaim they never knew before
>focused on alienation as a result of technology and the human condition in the beginnings of the information era
I mean, even PTA thinks Magnolia is just too much.
Trivia: before he wrote IJ, Wallace was researching a porn novel. He went out to California to gather info and do interviews. But it didn't come together. When he saw Boogie Nights, he said, that's pretty much exactly what I wanted to do. (Source: D.T. Max)
I've thought this since I watched it.
The way in which supernatural elements are slowly brought into IJ mirrors how the apocalyptic/fantastical elements are introduced piece by piece towards the end of the movie. It may well be that the world of IJ is also ending due to the mech in the sky at the beginning but it seems as though it's made clear in both works that even this isn't enough to distract the main characters from their obsessions.
It's a fine equivalent in form, but Magnolia is not by any means a good, or smart film, even PTA takes a dim view of it these days, and I think Infinite Jest has a little more on it
Magnolia has no intellectual or moral force, it's just an unsubtle barrage of LIFE IS HARD and LIFE IS FUNNY
Nah, it was mediocre. You just didn't understand what PTA was trying to do so you didn't notice that he failed.
Magnolia is a plagiarism of Short Cuts/Altman, so Magnolia is the film more similar to Infinite Jest. You have to consider the lack of originality in both Infinite Jest and Magnolia.