Paul Thomas Anderson documentary

Whatever is in the air that led to three major filmmakers doing low key or even “secret” documentaries this year, we love it. Christopher Nolan just debuted Quay, his 8-minute short about animators the Quay Brothers. Noah Baumbach worked with Jake Paltrow on De Palma, a portrait of director Brian De Palma which will premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

And now there’s a new Paul Thomas Anderson documentary — a secret documentary, even. Anderson’s film is called Junun. The movie, which Anderson shot without any fanfare, runs just under an hour, and follows Anderson’s regular musical collaborator Jonny Greenwood as he travels to India to record a record with Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur.

The good news is that Junun premieres soon, at the New York Film Festival. The bad news is we don’t know how long those who can’t go to the fest will have to wait to see it.  Read More »

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Sapokanikan video

Paul Thomas Anderson has a good history of making music videos between feature films, and now he has collaborated with one of his Inherent Vice actors on a new video project. Joanna Newsom appeared in Inherent Vice as Sortilege, and more importantly narrated the film in a slightly magical way that put Newsom’s voice to great use.

‘Sapokanikan’ is the first new song from Newsom’s forthcoming album, Divers, her first record in five years, which was announced today for an October 23 release. PTA directed the Sapokanikan video, which follows Newsom through the streets of wintery New York, bathed in gorgeous light. Read More »

Paul Thomas Anderson Pinocchio

Paul Thomas Anderson is writing a new movie, and it almost certainly isn’t anything you’re expecting. This isn’t a film of his own, but a for-hire gig working with the guy who nearly starred in Inherent Vice. Anderson will write a new draft of Pinocchio, the live-action film Robert Downey Jr. is pulling together based on the classic story of a wooden puppet who dreams of being a real boy. In addition, there’s a chance Anderson will end up directing as well. Get the details on the potential Paul Thomas Anderson Pinocchio project, below. Read More »

Inherent Vice music

Interviews with Paul Thomas Anderson are still cropping up left and right as he’s out in the public eye doing promotion for Inherent Vice, and we’re not complaining. In a couple of new talks, the director expressed his enthusiasm for Edge of Tomorrow, a film we felt strongly about last year, and also talked about the process of choosing the excellent collection of music that brings additional life to Inherent Vice. Read More »

Paul Thomas Anderson Inherent Vice

Paul Thomas Anderson is definitely considered a champion of cinema. He’s a guy who shot his last film on 70mm film, loves the medium, and makes movies with deep characters and complex themes. Recently, he’s began eschewing strict narrative in favor of a looser structures, too. In short, he sounds like exactly the kind of person who’d be opposed to the boom of massive superhero movies at the box office.

But, you’d be wrong. In a new interview, Anderson defends the genre. Read the Paul Thomas Anderson superhero movie quotes below. Read More »

Inherent Vice Behind the Scenes

Some of the most inspirational filmmaking stories are tales of failure. Not the sort of failure that shuts down a production, but the sort that makes people look at a scene or a problem in a new light. It’s impressive to see a film that works in a near-perfect manner, but more so to realize that it didn’t just happen that way. Making a film like There Will Be Blood may seem impossible, until you realize Paul Thomas Anderson and everyone else involved just built it step by step, dealing with setbacks along the way, and using intuition and imagination to solve problems.

Or take Anderson’s new film Inherent Vice. One scene that works really well is a long conversation between Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon — you’ve seen it excerpted in trailers and in the image above. They talk for a few minutes, and the whole thing is one shot in which the camera slowly pushes in on a dolly to add movement and a changing perspective. It works so well that a lot of people won’t even think about the shot the first time.

But that’s not how Anderson initially conceived and shot the scene. He first did it in a way that didn’t work, spending a lot of time and energy before realizing that a different, simpler approach was the way to go. He talks about the process in a new interview, which you can watch below. Read More »

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Inherent Vice UK trailer

Inherent Vice is a big movie with a lot of moving parts. Even though it cuts out a lot of material from the novel by Thomas Pynchon, the film still has a wealth of characters with odd names, many of whom are given pretty breezy introductions. But a set of Inherent Vice character posters and brief video introductions for many of the major characters might help you sort people out ahead of time.

The downside is that these video intros give up a few of the film’s good jokes (but not all of them by any means). The upside is that these videos feature a bunch of footage that isn’t in the film, not that most people will have a chance to know which is which until after this Friday. Read More »

Paul Thomas Anderson Boogie Nights

Two movies. That’s all it took for every single Paul Thomas Anderson movie to become an event. His first film, Hard Eight, opened with relatively little fanfare. His second, Boogie Nights, announced to the world that Anderson would be a filmmaker to celebrate. One whose work we would anticipate, possibly revere. With each subsequent film, film fans everywhere have salivated to find out what Anderson has in store for us next.

The latest event, Inherent Vice, opens in limited release this weekend. It’s both a huge departure for the director in that it’s the first film of his directly based on someone else’s work (the inspiration for There Will Be Blood was very different from the final film), but somehow it also perfectly fits into his career. Like most of his movies, it’s a film set in and around California and tells a story about its history. Anderson loves California, and that interest shows in almost every one of his movies. And while exploring that running theme, each of his seven movies gets more confident and daring. There has yet to be a single misstep.

Still, there has to be some kind of hierarchy, right? Some kind of almost impossible deathmatch in which these seven glorious works are pitted against one another, to see which triumphs.

Below, read our ranking of the best Paul Thomas Anderson movies. Read More »

Inherent Vice scene commentary

Inherent Vice begins its limited rollout tomorrow, and the excellent and unusual film should be on your must-see list for the end of the year. (Or for early January, if you’re in a market that doesn’t get it this month.) As prep for that release there has been a new trailer, a handful of clips, and now writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson has taken a minute to talk the New York Times through one scene in the film. The upshot of that is, you can listen in. Check out a brief Inherent Vice scene commentary from the director below. Read More »