/Filmcast Ep. 452 – Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread dressing

This week on the /Filmcast, David, Devindra, and Jeff welcome Kristy Puchko as a regular contributor and discuss a massive backlog of What We’ve Been Watching, including The Polka KingThe Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Star Trek Discovery and Dave Chappelle’s new specials. Be sure to read Vulture’s piece on whether we should take Chappelle seriously, and if you missed it, check out our interview with Rian Johnson.
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Phantom Thread dressing

At any given moment within Phantom Thread, the newest film from writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson, it’s amazing to consider how far the filmmaker has come in the past 20 years. Earlier this fall, I wrote about Anderson’s masterful, sprawling tragicomic epic Boogie Nights upon its 20th anniversary and how so many of his films focus on the creation of a makeshift family when biological family members simply won’t do. However, while that theme recurs in many of Anderson’s films, it’s utterly remarkable to consider how much he’s pushed himself upon the release of his eighth feature. Phantom Thread is perhaps his most compelling, maddening, entrancing story to date.

The pattern that Anderson’s earlier films, the ones from the late 1990s, seemed to fit within began to evaporate with the release of Punch-Drunk Love in 2002. Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, and Magnolia are all talkier films, the latter two owing visible debts to Anderson’s inspirations, directors like Martin Scorsese and the late Robert Altman. Punch-Drunk Love does have a few aspects that seem to tie it to Anderson’s previous films: a Jon Brion score, a present-day California setting, the appearance of Philip Seymour Hoffman (a PTA regular), and a tie to Altman’s filmography (in the use of a song from Popeye). But Punch-Drunk Love is the start of two notable elements that have recurred in a few other PTA films, including Phantom Thread: implacably mysterious lead characters, and the battles of wills that occur between them and others.

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paul thomas anderson q&a

Folks, not only is Paul Thomas Anderson very good at making movies, he’s also very good at the internet. The acclaimed filmmaker is out there promoting his new masterpiece Phantom Thread, and in a series of recent Q&As, via Reddit and Twitter, he proceeded to charm the hell out of everyone and offer some good advice (to others, and to himself). See the results of the Paul Thomas Anderson Q&A below.

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Morning Watch - Phantom Thread

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, get up close and personal with the costumes of Paul Thomas Anderson‘s latest film Phantom Thread. Plus, watch the original audition tapes for the cast of The Maze Runner franchise, and find out some things that you may not have known about the original 1995 adaptation of Jumanji. Read More »

Phantom Thread Contest

Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Phantom Thread is expanding to theaters everywhere this week, and to honor the occasion, we’re giving away a Phantom Thread prize pack that includes Jonny Greenwood’s fantastic soundtrack and more. Details on the Phantom Thread contest are below!

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Phantom Thread Score

Only a few people have been able to see Phantom Thread in theaters since its limited release in December, but the Paul Thomas Anderson movie remains as tantalizing as ever. The release of its gorgeous, stirring soundtrack certainly helps.

The score by Jonny Greenwood, who has collaborated with Anderson three times before on There Will Be Blood, The Master, and Inherent Vice, is a work of art on par with the haute couture dresses that Daniel Day-Lewis‘ fashion designer crafts in the film, which he creates with the help of his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) and his muse, Alma (Vicky Krieps).

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/Filmcast Ep. 448 – The Top 10 Films of 2017

top10

David, Devindra, and Jeff count down their top 10 films of 2017. Be sure to read more about the state of the film industry (including the summer box office), and the original NYTimes and New Yorker pieces on Harvey Weinstein. Thanks for a great year, everyone.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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Paul Thomas Anderson Interview

Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Phantom Thread is now playing in select cities, and pretty soon, it’ll be everywhere. In anticipation of the film’s release, Anderson sat down with The Ringer podcast and took a journey through his career and his approach to filmmaking in general. In the revealing interview, Anderson dishes on his thoughts on trailers, working with actors like Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler, and sets the record straight on some Boogie Nights urban legends..

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Daniel Day-Lewis dress

Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the most acclaimed actors in the history of film, and while he’s become famous for his amazing and deeply rich performances, he’s also become arguably just as famous for the lengths to which he’ll go in order to achieve greatness. Since 1987, the actor has gone above and beyond traditional preparation techniques to get into character for his movie work, and he’s done the same thing with Phantom Thread – which will be his last movie if the retirement he announced this year actually sticks.

It turns out that to play his couturier character Reynolds Woodcock in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s new period drama, Day-Lewis designed and crafted a Balenciaga dress from scratch. Because of course he did.
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Tommy Wiseau disaster artist review

Director Greta Gerwig conducted the set of Lady Bird with the utmost respect for her crew. Cribbing an idea from her 20th Century Women director Mike Mills, she asked everyone to wear name tags during filming so people could get to know each other. She even took it one step further – a PA came up with a conversation-starting question of the day, which everyone then had to answer on their name tag.

Gerwig is not the first person to run a set with this kind of dignity and civility, nor does Lady Bird‘s status as Rotten Tomatoes’ best reviewed film of all time (well, until recently) inherently derive from this production environment. But it does show that there is more than one way to create great art, and it is not necessarily the product of toil and agony from a single tortured artist.

Look at the films from 2017 that centered around artists and their creative process, however, and it’s tough to find anyone who looks or acts remotely like a Gerwig. In a year where the toxicity of a male-dominated film production space became glaringly apparent thanks to the courage of countless brave individuals, the prevalence of this abrasive, abusive archetype in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel, James Franco’s The Disaster Artist, Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina’s Coco, Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories and Darren Aronofsky’s mother! speaks volumes about the mindset of an industry. Most stop short of full-scale lionizing this figure, but the collective fascination borders on fetishization.

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