The Paul Thomas Anderson Retrospective continues! Last time, we looked at the interlinking narratives that connected in Magnolia, Paul Thomas Anderson’s biggest, most ambitious film. Today, though, we’ll see him scale back to make the quirky, surrealist “rom-com” (If you can call it that) Punch-Drunk Love.
As usual, there will be spoilers in this analysis. Nothing major, like in the Magnolia and Boogie Nights pieces, but it’s still recommended that you see the film first. So if you haven’t seen it yet, you can easily do so because it’s the only Paul Thoms Anderson movie that’s on Netflix Instant Watch, as of this writing.
Also, much like the last installment, I’m going to be employing several clips as examples for the filmmaking techniques that Anderson uses throughout the film, so make sure your connection is good enough to be buffering plenty of videos. Plus, some of the clips contain some strong language, so if that’s not your thing, you’ve been warned.
With all that being said, let’s buy some pudding and take a closer look at Punch-Drunk Love.
The Paul Thomas Anderson Retrospective continues! Last time, we took a look at the film that put Paul Thomas Anderson on the map: the ambitious, epicly scoped Boogie Nights. Today, however, we see Anderson pushing the limits of ambition AND scope in his follow-up piece, 1999’s Magnolia.
It must also be made absolutely clear that it’s impossible to discuss Magnolia without getting into serious detail on the character arcs and the insane finale. So be warned: There are major, MAJOR spoilers.
Also, unlike most of my retrospectives, instead of just showing a bunch of pictures from the movie, I’m going to be employing clips from the film. So make sure your internet connection is good enough to buffer some YouTube videos, if you want the full experience. Not required, but definitely a plus!
With that being said, it’s time to analyze the web of coincidences that is Magnolia.
The Paul Thomas Anderson Retrospective continues! Last time, we took a look at Anderson’s debut feature, Hard Eight (or Sydney, in some circles). Today, however, we’re going to examine the film that put Paul Thomas Anderson on the map: the landmark Boogie Nights.
Also keep in mind that while I managed to keep away from spoilers for my Hard Eight discussion, I will most definitely be spoiling a lot of the best scenes in Boogie Nights. You’ve been warned.
With that being said, it’s time to get hard for Paul Thomas Anderson’s look at the porn-industry of the ’70s, Boogie Nights.
In just a few weeks, the latest Paul Thomas Anderson film, The Master, is going to finally hit theaters after many years of waiting since There Will Be Blood in 2007, his last movie. While The Master may be under the radar for most audiences, it’s one of the most highly anticipated movies amongst cinephiles, for good reason. Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the best and most important directors of our time, and any new film of his is a sure-fire event.
So much of an event, that I’ve decided that my second Director Retrospective will focus on him. Starting today, we’ll look back at Paul Thomas Anderson’s career and see his interesting evolution and maturation as a director and a screenwriter, starting with his first feature Hard Eight, and ending with my official review of The Master starring Joaquin Phoenix and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Like my Christopher Nolan retrospective, I’ll be looking at the themes and stylistic quirks that connect each film, and see how he grows and “learns” with each subsequent film.
Also worth noting: This review contains zero spoilers! Hooray!
With all that being said, let’s begin with his debut: Hard Eight.
American Horror Story is awesome. It’s also silly, stupid, ridiculous, lurid, cheesy, and a whole slew of adjectives that are popping in my head at random. But I fucking love it.
Written & Directed by David Cronenberg
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Paul Giamatti, and Sarah Gordon
MPAA: R – For Some Strong Sexual Content Including Graphic Nudity, Violence, and Language]
Directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, and Casey Affleck
MPAA: PG – For Scary Action and Images, Thematic Elements, Some Rude Humor, and Language]
Written & Directed by Joseph Kahn
Starring: Josh Hutcherson, Shanley Caswell, and Dane Cook
MPAA: R – For Bloody Violence, Crude and Sexual Content, Nudity, Language, Some Teen Drinking and Drug Use]
“Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s spríngs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.”
~Gerard Manley Hopkins, Spring and Fall: To A Young Child
The following is a review/analysis of the Extended 3-hour cut of Margaret. I still haven’t seen the original theatrical cut, which is half an hour shorter, but upon reading some articles that explain the differences between the two, I concur that the Extended Cut is the definitive version of the film. I’m well aware that writer/director Kenneth Lonergan doesn’t consider it so, since there was a much-longer Director’s Cut that was 3 hours and 30 minutes if I remember correctly. But that was never released. The only versions you, the reader, are able to watch are the Theatrical and the Extended, and in my opinion, the Extended Cut is the definitive version. Just don’t take my word for it 100% because I still haven’t seen the Theatrical cut, but from my understanding, the Extended Cut has more dialogue and more scenes that truly express the psychological turmoil of its main character, so it is the definitive version in my book.
With all of that out of the way, let me tell you why a.) you’ve never heard of Margaret and b.) you need to rectify that.
The Christopher Nolan Retrospective continues! Last time, we delved into the many dream-layers of Inception to see how it provides insight into the director’s mind itself. Today, in the final installment of the Christopher Nolan Retrospective, we take a look the trilogy that made Nolan an icon to thousands of movie fans: His Dark Knight Trilogy.
As always, I’m going to mention that there will be major spoilers in this discussion, except for The Dark Knight Rises since I know that not everybody has had a chance to see it yet. I will definitely be going into some plot details in The Dark Knight Rises that aren’t necessarily spoilers, but I know that plenty of people have been trying to know as little about the film as possible so that they can have a clean experience with it, so be advised on that regard. If you haven’t seen the other two movies (But seriously, who hasn’t?) they’re available wherever DVDs are sold or rentable.
With that being said, let’s glide across Gothan to analyze Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy…