3 Films We Need To Talk About: Donnie Darko, American Beauty, Magnolia (GUEST: Mike Bruno)


Welcome back to 3 Films We Need to Talk About! Timmie and Ryan are joined by interim cohost & friend of the show, Mike Bruno.  Tune in to hear their discussion on 3 contemporary Americana films: Donnie Darko, American Beauty, & Magnolia!

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I. Intro 

A. Guest Co-Co-Host: Mike Bruno

B.  Welcome Back to the Series

C.  What Is the Common Link Between These 3 Films?

II. Basic Info [00:06:30]

A.  American Beauty (1999): Written by Alan Ball, Directed by Sam Mendes: Runtime 122 Minutes

B. Magnolia (1999): Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson: Runtime 188 Minutes

C. Donnie Darko (2001): Written and Directed by Richard Kelly: Runtime 113 Minutes

III. Commonalities and Contrasts [00:15:15]

A. Ordinary People (1980)

  • What plays out behind the scenes is not so ordinary
  • Keeping up appearances
  • Sleaziness

B. Characters With Hallucinations

C. Side Characters With Secrets

D. Meta/Breaking the Fourth Wall

E. Witty Dialogue

F. Strong/Standout Performances

G. Use of Popular Music

H. Score

I.  End Panorama Montage

J.  Guns

K.  Death

L.  Contrasts In Creation & Development [01:04:08]

M.  Which Character Would You Cut?

  • Donnie Darko
  • Magnolia
  • American Beauty 

IV. Mini Segments [01:11:20]

A.  Speed Round

  • Did any of them make you cry?
  • Where?

B. The Rotten Tomato Scores Might Surprise You

  • Magnolia: 84%
  • Donnie Darko: 85% (Directors Cut: 91%)
  • American Beauty: 88%

VI. Conclusions 

A. Related Links

Original Music

The music found in this episode was written and performed by the talented Jesse James.

Audio Editing

This show was edited by Ryan Jacobi.

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