Copyright 1999 Toronto Star Newspapers, Ltd.  
The Toronto Star

December 16, 1999, Thursday, Edition 1


LENGTH: 400 words



Magnolia director was inspired by

Aimee Mann's work

Jim Bessman


NEW YORK - The soundtrack to Paul Thomas Anderson's coming film Magnolia not only marks the long-awaited return of Aimee Mann to the major-label recording scene. It actually influenced the movie's making.

As longtime Mann fan Anderson relates in the album's liner notes, when he began writing the screenplay to Magnolia, he was listening intensely to Mann's music, which he intended to adapt for the screen much like adapting a book. He even took the opening line of her song ''Deathly'' and ''wrote backwards'' in telling the story of central character Claudia - around whom the film's complicated plot revolves.

Anderson's hotly anticipated follow-up to Boogie Nights stars Jason Robards, Julianne Moore, Tom Cruise, and John C. Reilly and opens Dec. 24 in Toronto.

The soundtrack for the film came out on Dec. 7 and features eight songs written and performed by Mann, as well as her cover of the Three Dog Night hit ''One'' from the 1995 For The Love Of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson tribute album. Supertramp's hits ''Goodbye Stranger'' and ''Logical Song'' are also included, as are Gabrielle's ''Dreams'' and Jon Brion's title track.

''In this age where every film, TV show, and video game has a compilation song soundtrack, this is really a pure soundtrack, where all the music is in the film and is closely associated with the story,'' says Danny Bramson, Reprise Records' senior vice-president of soundtrack development and the Magnolia soundtrack's executive producer.

''It's wonderful the way Paul incorporated Aimee's songs into his film. He's one of the rare filmmakers who truly loves music and instinctively knows how to integrate it - rather than force it in to use it as a marketing tool.''

Anderson became friends with Mann after her husband, Michael Penn, scored Boogie Nights and Anderson's first film, the 1997 gambling pic Hard Eight.

''He heard the record I was working on and was really excited about some of the songs and started working on a screenplay. Then I would read some of the screenplay and play some music and fit it in thematically,'' says Mann. ''There were a couple songs that were written that way, back and forth.''

The songs ''Save Me'' and ''You Do'' were written expressly for the movie, Mann adds.


Aimee Mann has returned to the major-label music scene with her recently released soundtrack for director Paul Thomas Anderson's forthcoming film Magnolia.