Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Films of PT Anderson

PT Anderson? Where have I heard that name?

Paul Thomas Anderson is known for his 'quirky' films featuring ensemble casts and lots of camera movement. His style is reminiscent of Robert Altman (especially the ensemble cast and interweaving storylines of Magnolia), the Coen Brothers (the use of 'regular' actors, idiosyncratic characters and sometimes bizarre narratives) and even the great Stanley Kubrick.

I highly recommend seeing them all, several times, if you haven't already.

Hard Eight or Sydney (1996)

Underrated and little seen it stars, among others, Samuel L Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C Reilly. An interesting plot featuring gambling, betrayal, murder and other good stuff.

Boogie Nights (1997)

Boogie Nights launched him into the mainstream consciousness to some extent. Starring Burt Reynolds and big-dicked Mark Walhberg (in a Quentin Tarantino-like casting move) it's a behind the scenes look at the porn industry of the 1970s. It also stars Luis Guzman, William H Macy, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and John C Reilly.

Magnolia (1999)

Starring Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore and, um, oh William H Macy, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C Reilly, this is the classic Altman-esque interweaving storylines film. Great stuff. Cruise is fantastic playing a misogynistic motivational speaker.

Punch Drunk Love (2002)

Another superb casting choice where Adam Sandler proves he can act in something other than a LCD (Lowest Common Denominator) comedy. This is a terrific film with some fine set pieces, again underrated and often, disappointingly, maligned. Probably because Adam Sandler fans tuned in for some crazy fart-joke hijinks.

Philip Seymour Hoffman's in this one, incidentally. So is Luis Guzman. So is Emily Watson.

There Will Be Blood (2007)

You won't find Philip Seymour Hoffman, John C Reilly, Luis Guzman or Philip Baker Hall in this one. But you will find, in every single fucking riveting scene, a fucking mesmerising Daniel Day fucking Lewis.

This is brilliant and was released in a year that also saw the release of No Country for Old Men, making that year, 2007, fucking great. Fuck.

The conclusion? Luis Guzman needs a middle name.


eat my shorts said...

Have not seen: Hard Eight/Sydney; Magnolia; There Will Be Blood.

Have seen: Boogie Nights (I met someone once at a function who was wearing the name-tag "Dirk Diggler" - I can confirm that he did not have the same equipment as the Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights, BUT - he more than made up for it, if you know what I mean nudgenudgewinkwink). Oh, wait. That's a tad inappropriate and more than slightly over-sharing. Sorry.

Have seen 5 mins of: Punch Drunk Love (I wanted to watch the rest of it, but my boyfriend at the time hated it so ... so it got turned off - funnily enough so did I *boom tish, here all week try the somethingsomething*).

Want to see: Magnolia; There Will Be Blood; Punch Drunk Love (the last one especially if it turns out that I like it, because then I have just one more thing to hate my ex-boyfriend for).

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I'd watch John C Reilly reading a telephone book, such is my admiration for the man.

Anonymous said...


No complaints about Hard Eight. It's well put together and I'm especially fond of Philip Hall's performance in it. In fact, I'm always fond of seeing ugly people get lead roles when they're deserving. Doesn't happen nearly often enough.

"Boogey Nights", I didn't care for. Probably because I'd had a gutful of the porn industry when I saw it. I do remember thinking how nice it was to see Marky Mark making a go of it after The Funky Bunch went tits-up. Might be worth another look at some point.

Ensemble pieces, I love. Not having a protagonist is a great way to get the audience to sympathise with multiple perspectives in complex situations; "Magnolia" being a fine example. Except for the rubbish ending and prologue. Also, while Cruise is remarkable, hearing people quote "Tame the cunt!" is starting to wear thin.

"Punch Drunk Love" is a sweet film that could've done with more editing. It feels about an hour longer than it actually is. And, if you do want to see Anderson & Sandler teaming up for crazy fart-joke hijinks - here.

"There Will Be Blood" is too recent for me. I don't get around to watching so many new movies these days.

So yeah, on balance, I'd agree that he's at least one of the decent ones. Nice going, Bob.

Catastrophe Waitress said...

Sometimes I struggle to decipher what my tiny iPhone screen is trying to tell me. I thought you were espousing the latest film featuring "ensemble cats".

Turns out you weren't.

Youre not the first person to mention how much they enjoyed "There Will Be Blood", but I scare easily. How would you rate it on a scare scale of 1-10? Are there Ny sparkly vampires in it? Or cat ensembles?

Catastrophe Waitress said...

I meant ANY.

Damn you, tiny iPhone screen!

Lewd Bob said...

Despite the title it's not scary, just occasionally brutal.

No vamps, no cat ensembles.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

No vamps, no cat ensembles.


Melba said...

I thought there was something wrong with me for liking Magnolia. I liked it and at the time no one else seemed to.

Boogie Nights. Yes. The P Seymour Hoffman character, might have been the first time I saw him in anything; excellent.

Anonymous said...

In these situations, Melba, I think it's best to assume that there's something wrong with everyone else.