How Paul Thomas Anderson sets himself apart from Hollywood’s other wunderkinds

 

It's only fitting that Paul Thomas Anderson's breakthrough film, Boogie Nights, was the story of a triple-X superstar with a python in his pants. This is one director you could safely call a size freak—or, to put it more politely, a maximalist. The gushers of oil in his new film, There Will Be Blood, are an apt visualization of how all his films function: They're designed to erupt and spill over. The larger the canvas, the grander the theme, the higher the volume, the wilder the emotion, the more inspired the filmmaking.

We may not be living in a golden age of American movies, but a new New Hollywood of sorts has emerged—a cluster of adventurous directors in their 30s and 40s who have figured out how to get personal films made with Hollywood or Indiewood money: Steven Soderbergh, David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, Richard Linklater, Todd Haynes, Sofia Coppola, Alexander Payne. Many of them have a specialty. Fincher is a visual virtuoso, Linklater a verbal stylist. Payne is good with character, Coppola with moods and music. Tarantino has the encyclopedic geek smarts, Soderbergh the taste for reinvention. With Paul Thomas Anderson, all of the above apply. His thing is that he can do it all.

(Source: Slate)


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