God and Maya Rudolph are the only ones who know when Paul Thomas Anderson will get around to directing another feature, but it’s not all bad. Time...
Paul Thomas Anderson
Along with Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson probably rank as the most popularly beloved American filmmakers currently working. They’re among a small faction of directors with enough public clout that their name alone can sell a film to audiences beyond cinephiles. Hugo was a delightful tale about plucky children and the wonder of silent cinema, but America pricked up its ears and took notice because it was also une film de Scorsese. When Quentin Tarantino prepares to unveil a new feature, as he did quite recently with his take-no-prisoners oater The Hateful Eight, it’s more than just a theatrical release, it’s an event. (And in this case, literally, with Tarantino commandeering America’s cineplexes for his quixotic 70mm Roadshow project.)
We’ve heard many stories about the making of Boogie Nights and the tough time Burt Reynolds had (or that everyone else had with Burt Reynolds) on the set of Paul Thomas Anderson’s classic film. And while many believe the actor gave his career-best performance in the porn industry drama, Reynolds doesn’t really have anything positive to say about his time with Anderson or the film — which he’s never watched all the way through.
Way way back in the 2000s, Paul Thomas Anderson devotees were forced to wait two, three, five years for new work from the celebrated director. There was a quiet dignity to it, the countless nights spent agonizing over wispy rumors and hearsay. Nowadays, the guy’s got more material out in the word every week. In the year following his last major feature Inherent Vice, PTA pieced together the digital music doc Junun, directed the lilting video to accompany Joanna Newsom’s single “Sapokanikan,” and now he’s struck again with another music video.
Judging from the newly released trailer, that’s no reason to suppose that Junun will be anything less than excellent, as audiences have come to expect from director Paul Thomas Anderson.
We do not understand the mysteries of the universe. With every breakthrough comes the revelation that we know less than we thought we did. Our plane of existence is beset on all sides by things we cannot comprehend, ideas we can barely grasp, and riddles whose answers lie in another time or dimension.
Imagine you’re asked to appear as an extra in a new movie. Also imagine you’re told but a handful of things about the movie: that it’s set in the seventies, that it stars Burt Reynolds, and that you just need to clap a lot during some sort of awards show scene.
It’s true that superhero films are more prevalent now than 20 years ago, and thanks to Marvel Studios’ excellent work, they’re garnering more respect for the genre. But not everyone feels that way: some critics have bemoaned the current film landscape, heavily criticizing the abundance of superhero-driven films. You can now officially add ‘Inherent Vice’ director Paul Thomas Anderson to the list of people who love superhero movies, and he’s got some opinions to share about it.
‘Inherent Vice’ doesn’t open in wide release until next Friday, so if Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest opus hasn’t appeared at a theater near you yet, you can pass a little of the time waiting for it with this scene breakdown by PTA himself, originally from The New York Times.
It’s a weird thing, I can already tell that ‘Inherent Vice’ will grow on me after time. I can already tell I like it better as I type this than I did while watching it. People will compare ‘Inherent Vice’ to the Coen brothers’ 1998 movie ‘The Big Lebowski’ and that’s totally fair because I’m going to do just that right now. Both films feature protagonists – with an affinity for marijuana use – who experience a remarkable adventure while searching for something that doesn’t matter. Sixteen years later, Mickey Woolfman means about as much as the money for a urine-soaked rug. It matters to the character but it never really matters much to us and, in both of these cases, we wind up being right.