There Will Be Tracking Shots
December 10, 2014 6:03 AM   Subscribe

Given that Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" opens in two days, what a great time to explore... "The Career of Paul Thomas Anderson in Five Shots"
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI (36 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
I would still love to see how the opening shot of Boogie Nights moves from the crane to the steadi. He's on a platform and then just steps off, yeah?
posted by nevercalm at 6:27 AM on December 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" opens in select cities in two days

Grumble, grumble.
posted by octothorpe at 6:33 AM on December 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


I have like a week to read 300 pages.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:36 AM on December 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Punch Drunk Love was such a unicorn of a movie.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:41 AM on December 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


These are great. I like to think of these as the aesthetic antidote to JJ Abrams(ish) shots that involve jiggling the camera for dramatic effect.
posted by mcstayinskool at 6:43 AM on December 10, 2014


The more I hear about Inherent Vice, the more convinced I am that it's actually a documentary about my father's poker buddies.
posted by pxe2000 at 7:24 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Grantland is in the middle of a Paul Thomas Anderson week, there's a lot of good stuff there. I especially enjoyed Molly Lambert's The Valley Plays Itself, a look at some of his filming locations.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:26 AM on December 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


I like the point the video makes about how different the tracks are in There Will Be Blood. There's a lot more willingness to let the viewer explore the frame and decide what to see, in contrast to the grab-your-head-and-pull feeling of earlier films. Even the more sedate tracks of Punch-Drunk Love are very committed to giving you a single point of focus in every frame. But TWBB, despite being about a much more self-aggrandizing character, is the first Anderson film to give the viewer more autonomy.

Also, anyone into PTA's tracking shots owes it to themselves to check out the films of Mikhail Kalatozov, particularly Cranes Are Flying and I Am Cuba. Anderson has always been open about what an influence Kalatozov was, and some of his most celebrated shots, like the party scene in Boogie Nights, are lifted almost wholesale from Kalatozov's films.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:40 AM on December 10, 2014 [9 favorites]


I saw Cranes are Flying years ago, but didn't know about the connection to Anderson at the time. Guess I'll have to revisit.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:42 AM on December 10, 2014


I get that he is a skilled director, but ... boy I just do not like the movies he makes. Actually I have a hard time putting my finger on what it is about them, especially since most everyone seems to love them. It wasn't until between there will be blood and the master that I realized they were all by the same guy, so I guess that's the thread.

Again the direction is great, but they seem to command a level of importance and substance that the movies themselves just don't seem to live up to.

My favorite thing about him is his wife, Maya Rudolph, and something about the pretentious director coupling with the goofy comic makes the world seem alright.
posted by lkc at 8:05 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]




Guy's one of my favorite directors. But how did I not know he was married to Maya Rudolph?
posted by resurrexit at 9:12 AM on December 10, 2014


Actually I have a hard time putting my finger on what it is about them, especially since most everyone seems to love them.

Recently at least it's probably the Greenwood soundtracks.
posted by ReeMonster at 9:27 AM on December 10, 2014


Guy's one of my favorite directors. But how did I not know he was married to Maya Rudolph?

When Maya Rudolph appeared pregnant in the Prairie Home Companion movie, it was PTA's baby. PTA was the unofficial assistant director who filled in when Robert Altman was getting too weak to continue. It was Altman's last film.
posted by jonp72 at 10:15 AM on December 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah I'm with lkc, never really got into PTA. He's clearly great at the technical parts of movie making but the performances he elicits and the scripts he works with are the definition of scene-chewing melodrama imo. My feeling on his films range from ECHHH (PDL, Magnolia) to HMMMM (Master, TWBB) with an occasional AIGHT (Boogie Nights, Hard 8). Since gritty crime noir + nostalgia seems to be the sweet spot where he and I meet maybe I'll love this new thang. But who knows. If I'm watching weird LA, why wouldn't I just queue up Mulholland Drive again?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:23 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I will always be grateful to Magnolia, as much as it gets mocked, for introducing me to Aimee Mann (though I did love "Voices Carry" I had no idea that she had gone on to a new career after Til Tuesday). And Punch Drunk Love was such an intense experience that I don't know if I enjoyed it, but I was never bored.
posted by emjaybee at 10:55 AM on December 10, 2014


OH HEY thanks for reminding me it's opening this weekend! *pings her ex-with-benefits about a DATE NIGHT*
posted by egypturnash at 10:57 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm a huge Pynchon nerd and I love PTA (There Will Be Blood is one of my all-time favorite movies) so I cannot wait to see this. I doubt it'll be playing in my town even after it goes to general release though - we didn't even get The Imitation Game recently.

Thanks for that Grantland link, everybody had matching towels. I especially enjoyed A Golden State: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Secret, Sprawling, Multi-Film History of California. I hadn't really thought of his work in that context before but it's a spot-on analysis.
posted by dialetheia at 11:32 AM on December 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


PT Anderson + Thomas Pynchon + Joaquin Phoenix + Martin Short + Owen Wilson + Jena Malone ... I have LITERALLY been creaming in my jeans all year. (I didn't even know about Jonny Greenwood and Joanna Newsom!! and Supergrass!!!!!)

So ... any of those Academy screener versions online yet?

(Wonderful video, btw. Thanks!)
posted by mrgrimm at 12:07 PM on December 10, 2014


So ... any of those Academy screener versions online yet?

No offense man, I totally get that it's a pretty limited release so far, but maybe you wanna pay for this in theaters? I imagine it'll expand to more cities soon. P.T. Anderson movies rarely make back their money, especially once advertising budget is taken into account. It's good to support that kind of thing, plus it'll look way better than a screener.
posted by JauntyFedora at 12:18 PM on December 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


octothorpe: "Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" opens in select cities in two days

Grumble, grumble.
"

Now that I have purchased my ticket and my place is secure I feel comfortable informing everyone that there is an advanced screening at the Castro Theater in SF tomorrow night for which tickets are still available.
posted by invitapriore at 12:59 PM on December 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


This new trailer promises showings in several cities this Saturday.

Since it seems unlikely to capture much awards buzz, don't know the likelihood of it coming to where I am, even come January. So enjoy, those of you who live in large cities.
posted by TimTypeZed at 1:16 PM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure it's just opening in a couple of theaters in December to qualify for Oscar nomination.
posted by octothorpe at 1:39 PM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, all kinds of movies open for a week or two in December in order to qualify for that year's Oscars.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 3:34 PM on December 10, 2014


Potomac Avenue I was with your comment for the first 90% of it, then you mentioned Mulholland Drive which caused my blood to boil. Thank you for writing the Magnolia of mefi comments.
posted by crashlanding at 4:34 PM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


"...Magnolia, as much as it gets mocked..."

WUT?
posted by Cookiebastard at 4:48 PM on December 10, 2014


"...Magnolia, as much as it gets mocked..."

WUT?


Well, I've never bothered to read any reviews or criticism about Magnolia, so I can't speak to what other people find risible about it, but I will say that at a... certain point in the film, my flatmate and I (both hardened art-wankers and cinephiles) looked at each other, burst out laughing, fell to the floor and literally rolled about on the floor with laughter, paused the video, and then ran out into the street laughing and wheezing, faint with mirth. YMMV.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 5:50 PM on December 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Caveat: I also found Requiem for a Dream absolutely hilarious.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 5:53 PM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'll give you Requiem although I found it more tedious than hilarious but I love Magnolia unconditionally.
posted by octothorpe at 7:17 PM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


To be fair, I fell asleep the first two times I tried to watch Requiem for a Dream, much to the irritation of my flatmate, who was excited to show me how awful it was. I finally watched it ten years later and found it one of the most wonderful examples of accidental self-satire.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 7:38 PM on December 10, 2014


Huh, yeah. Magnolia represents pretty much everything I hate about that era of sentimental dross (also: American Beauty, Almost Famous). Just ... bleeeh.

The kozmo.com product placement doesn't do it any favors, either.
posted by lkc at 10:04 PM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I like Magnolia, so foo on the haters! Nothing wrong with a bit of sentiment now and then and the performances are pretty great. Having said that I do tend to pretend that the glurgey little homilies about "coincidence" at the beginning and end don't exist or were tacked on by a misguided producer or whatever.
posted by Drexen at 4:53 AM on December 11, 2014


I both love Magnolia deeply and unconditionally and find a certain scene in it completely hilarious. I contain multitudes.
posted by Stacey at 5:33 AM on December 11, 2014 [1 favorite]




10 Films To Watch Before You See Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' - mainly what the article calls Sunshine Noir, mainly from the 70s or early 80s.
posted by twirlip at 4:06 PM on December 11, 2014




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