Friday, May 09, 2003
Magnolia. Watch out: Falling Frogs


The Exodus for Kids

Maybe it is all about the frogs. A master prestidigitator tells the story of the children in bondage, with child genius Stanley Spector playing Moses.



must say that I liked this film…until the frogs.  Maybe you are right.  The frogs mean nothing.  And that is what infuriated me.  I was wondering…“What in the world do the frogs have to do with anything?”  And if you are right, that they meant nothing, then this movie was a few hours that I could have spend mowing the lawn.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 23 May 03 at 10:05 AM

You might want to take another look at the interpretation.  I am actually arguing that the frogs DO mean something.  In fact, they reveal more than PTA even knows.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 26 May 03 at 12:43 AM

Well, when I get three hours to waste, I’ll be sure to pop that video in.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 27 May 03 at 09:02 AM

I loved this movie. the frogs were awesome! this was a movie about miracles, and about deliverance. The characters represent a reasonable cross-section of limping, broken humanity, wreaking havoc on themselves and on others through blindness, pain, selfishness or cruelty. the usual mess. God finally takes a radical action—raining frogs—doing something so utterly stupefying and jaw-dropping that it stops everyone dead in their tracks, dead in the middle of their latest destructive or self-destructive acts. they simply cannot carry out their own wills and do themselves, or anyone else, any further harm, being so profoundly interrupted. it is a hilarious and touching response on God’s part to the regularly unfolding disaster of Godless human existence. it is a movie about miracles, about how much God wants us, and loves us, and about deliverance, as reflected in claudia’s final (and only) beatific grin.

God’s initial penetration of the characters’ collective madness begins with the song that all the characters, in wide-eyed wonder, join in on: “it won’t stop/‘til you wise up…”. it is from this first piercing of their hearts that they (some of them) are willing and able to hear God, to be changed by His intervention. the truth is that God is there, speaking to us all the time, sometimes softly, sometimes with a shout—it is only up to us to listen. I wept on closing credits.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03 Jul 03 at 09:59 AM

I thought your interpretation of this film was very good, or should say philm? Very observant and well researched. I do believe the frogs are the plague that was set upon Pharaoh or in this case Earl Partridge. As far as having to do with the overall content, If your interpretation is correct then they are necessary and, yes, pretty cool. If your intepretation isn’t correct, which I think it is, then you got me. Either way it begs the question we are all wondering. How many of those rubber frogs did they make for this film, or should I say philm?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 15 Jul 03 at 12:50 PM

The frogs mean *everything*!

The film is certainly about all the themes mentioned by everyone else above - but at the core, the movie is about Forteana, the field of observing (usually without theorising about origin/cause) that, as Stanley says “These things (meaing weird things outside the realm of consensual normality) are real. They do happen.” It’s not for nothing that Stanley is shown to be an avid reader of Fortean Times, the premiere monthly magazine on the subject.
The name comes from the early 20th century author Charles Fort, who collected newspaper clippings and commented on about every odd thing he could find, anything that contradicted the status quo. He reported several rains of frogs.
It’s worth noting also that, when interviewed and asked if he had any actual theory as to why such things happen, he said:
“I think we’re property.”
As Stanley, Donnie and so many of the characters are owned by someone or something.

Posted by Cat Vincent on 17 May 04 at 03:15 PM

I have had the film in my possession for a few years and have seen it from time to time. It was intriguing but I did not get to the point. Your analysis was just the last push I needed for the pieces to fall together. Almost liberating, thankx

Posted by Georgio on 14 Sep 04 at 04:33 AM

The purpose of the frogs is this: When everything jus seems so messed up and the world is thrown to chaos, frogs falling from the sky is about the only thing that does make sense. and this was from the Paul Thomas Anderson website.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06 Nov 04 at 03:18 AM

The Scuba Diver was scooped up from the lake and into the sky. So were the Frogs

P.T. Anderson 2:8 letters

Frogs represent the inability to make the transition from Water to Land like other creatures. They are forced to be linked to their past even as adults and neither land nor water animals….a failure to evolve

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 15 May 06 at 07:32 AM

The frogs didnt mean anything, I remember hearing PTA say that if he had the funding he would of made it rain cats and dogs.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06 Apr 11 at 12:07 AM

Your interpretation is basically a conspiracy theory of Magnolia. ;-) But it’s a fun read.

Maybe I’m a simpleton and I’m certainly not a Christian, but to me the film is about love, forgiveness, regret, making mistakes, being a parent, being a child, guilt, pain, hope, love… Quite obvious. Quite simple. And also, like reality, very very complex.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 22 Sep 14 at 07:25 AM

I know it’s been a long time since you wrote this article, but I’d like to say it is very beautiful. I noticed the 82 throughout the movie, but I took great curiosity in it when it appeared in the game show. A women held it up on a sign that said “Exodus 8:2,” and someone (a security guard at the show) ripped it out of her hands.

I was intrigued by the repeated phrases, especially “it’s raining cats and dogs.” But in the end, it rained frogs.

I want to look into it more and see more. Because it does have a lot to do with forgiveness.

I want to look back at the “weather predictions.” Because for the night of the frogs, it said something about it being clear and windy… And really, the frogs only affected our main character (and the ambulance people). The frogs were like an enlightenment that our characters all experienced. It stopped the suicide, it turned off the tv, it brought the mother and daughter closer, it caused the man to fall on his teeth (the teeth he wanted braces for because of vanity)... and most of all, amongst the frogs, the policeman’s gun revealed itself.

Any thoughts?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07 Jan 15 at 02:54 AM
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