Sunday, September 17, 2023

Paul Thomas Anderson (Ongoing Filmmaker Archive)

 Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the best filmmakers of the 21st Century. His first film Hard Eight  (1996) is a good debut and shows the style/flair that would develop in his later films, but I would like us to focus on the later films as this is when the PTA that is celebrated really starts to take off (also the final control of Hard Eight was taken away by the studio - notably, in the title of the film which PTA wanted to be Sydney, after the protagonist - this never happened to him again). 

There is an ocean of critical responses to PTA's films and filmmaking, so as an introduction, I will provide you with video essays that do not ruin the plots of the film and take a look at his career trajectory and filmmaking style.

166. The Career of Paul Thomas Anderson in Five Shots from Kevin B. Lee on Vimeo.

The trailers for the films can be accessed by clicking on the titles.
Notice the link for the archive of resources below the titles - check them out after watching the film to expand and enrich your viewing experience, and to think about your responses.

Boogie Nights (1997)
Film description: "Set in 1977, back when sex was safe, pleasure was a business and business was booming, idealistic porn producer Jack Horner aspires to elevate his craft to an art form. Horner discovers Eddie Adams, a hot young talent working as a busboy in a nightclub, and welcomes him into the extended family of movie-makers, misfits and hangers-on that are always around. Adams’ rise from nobody to a celebrity adult entertainer is meteoric, and soon the whole world seems to know his porn alter ego, “Dirk Diggler”. Now, when disco and drugs are in vogue, fashion is in flux and the party never seems to stop, Adams’ dreams of turning sex into stardom are about to collide with cold, hard reality."
Archive of resources for after you watch the film

Magnolia (1999)
Film Description: "On one random day in the San Fernando Valley, a dying father, a young wife, a male caretaker, a famous lost son, a police officer in love, a boy genius, an ex-boy genius, a game show host and an estranged daughter will each become part of a dazzling multiplicity of plots, but one story."
Archive of Resources for After You Watch the Film

Punch Drunk Love (2002)
Film Description: "Although susceptible to violent outbursts, bathroom supply business owner Barry Egan (Adam Sandler) is a timid and shy man by disposition, leading a lonely, uneventful life -- partly due to the constant berating he suffers from his seven sisters. However, several events transpire that shake up Egan's mundane existence, one of which is falling in love with one sister's co-worker, Lena Leonard (Emily Watson). But the romance is threatened when Egan falls victim to an extortionist."
Archive of Resources for After You Watch the Film

There Will Be Blood (2007)
Film Description: "Ruthless silver miner, turned oil prospector, Daniel Plainview moves to oil-rich California. Using his son to project a trustworthy, family-man image, Plainview cons local landowners into selling him their valuable properties for a pittance. However, local preacher Eli Sunday suspects Plainview’s motives and intentions, starting a slow-burning feud that threatens both their lives."
Archive of Resources for After You Watch the Film

The Master (2012)
Film Description: "A Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future - until he is tantalized by the Cause and its charismatic leader."
Archive of Resources for After You Watch the Film

Inherent Vice (2014)
Film description: "The film follows Larry "Doc" Sportello, a well-intentioned but fumbling stoner, hippie, and private investigator embroiled in the criminal underworld of 1970 Los Angeles, investigating three cases linked by the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend and her wealthy new boyfriend."
Archive of Resources for After You Watch the Film

Phantom Thread (2017) 
Film Description: "In glamorous 1950s post-war London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) are at the center of British fashion, dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutantes, and dames in the distinct style of The House of Woodcock. Women come and go through Woodcock's life, providing the confirmed bachelor with inspiration and companionship, until he comes across a strong-willed young woman, Alma (Vicky Krieps), who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. Once controlled and planned, he finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love."
Archive of Resources for After You Watch the Film

Licorice Pizza (2021)
Film Description: "The story of Alana Kane and Gary Valentine growing up, running around and going through the treacherous navigation of first love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973."
Archive of Resources for After You Watch the Film

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