If you are a filmmaker (or editor or music supervisor) and you have a weaker scene, or even just a scene that could be vastly improved by a masterful choice of music, your job is to put kickass music behind that scene. Duh. Music is one of a filmmaker’s tools.[...]
Garden State is a VERY interior film. While Braff could have gone the “Interiors” route of Woody Allen, using no music, and making an unwatchable film, he didn’t. He chose to use music to turn the film inward, to show an exterior landscape, but to allow the viewer to hear the interior landscape.
Of course, I’m utterly mad for the divine Ms. El. But then she has to go and show me up:
My adored Ampersand comments on the Pandagon post and notes:
In the comments of Pandagon, “The J Train” calls Natalie Portman’s character in Garden State a “vagina ex machina” character, which she defines as “the beautiful, together, inexplicably single woman who just seems to fall out of the sky in front of the protagonist.”
This reminds me of my student the other day who pretended to have viewed the film for class, but referred to the main character as a “he” though the protagonist was, in fact, unmistakably a woman, and a movie star to boot. I don’t know if “The J Train” saw or remembers Garden State. One thing Natalie Portman’s character is NOT is “together”. She’s a total mess. It completely understandable that she’s single. She’s a total mess. She doesn’t fall from the sky. She’s a total mess, he’s a total mess, they meet at the doctor’s office to take care of that.
(Also, shouldn’t feminists be a bit alarmed by a phrase like “inexplicably single”? Doesn’t it kind of indicate that the only reason a woman would be single is because she’s damaged goods?)
I haven’t seen Garden State since it was in theaters, so it’s very likely that I’m mistaken and El is correct on this point.