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Movies We Like • Season 5 • Lyn Moncrief on Magnolia

Cinematographer Lyn Moncrief on Magnolia

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“This is something that happens.”

Talking About Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1999 film Magnolia with our guest, cinematographer Lyn Moncrief

On this episode of Movies We Like, hosts Andy Nelson and Pete Wright invite cinematographer Lyn Moncrief to discuss his career and one of his favorite films, Paul Thomas Anderson’s sprawling 1999 drama Magnolia.

We talk with Lyn about how he first got interested in cinematography and making the move to Los Angeles to pursue his passion. He discusses some of his early work in independent films and horror movies, explaining that the genre can allow for creative freedom visually. Lyn also touches on his collaborations with director Emma Tammi, including the recent Five Nights at Freddy’s adaptation.

When we dive into Magnolia, we analyze the film’s unique visual style, editing, and how the different storylines weave together. We highlight standout emotional performances, especially from Tom Cruise and Julianne Moore. We also praise the film’s musical interludes featuring songs written for the movie by Aimee Mann. Lyn explains how Magnolia inspired him as a young cinematographer and made him want to be part of ambitious filmmaking.

With its sprawling stories, raw performances, and stunning cinematography, Magnolia is truly a modern classic. This was a fascinating discussion about both Lyn’s career and one of his favorite films. We clearly had an excellent time geeking out over this towering achievement. Be sure to check out Magnolia if you haven’t seen it and listen to Lyn’s insights from working in the industry.

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In each episode, co-hosts Andy Nelson and Pete Wright invite someone from inside the film industry to discuss their favorite films. What makes a movie inspirational to a cinematographer or a costume designer? Listen in to hear how these pros watch their favorite films.