So do you guys like it when PTA holds back his more extravagant formalistic flourishes (Hard Eight/Sydney, Punch-Drunk Love) or when he goes for broke (Magnolia, Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood)? You could argue that Punch-Drunk Love belongs in the second category, but the story is so simple and his style is rather reserved (for a PTA film…). It’s a bit of a silly question as each film should be understood in its own right, but might get discussion going…
I love all of his movies. I love when he goes for broke.
goes for broke
takes more risks
Agreed with Simon, it’s not that there’s more depth when he goes for broke, but those films tend to be darker. And PTA tend to thrive in “the dark”
I like all his films( he actually made me watch an Adam Sandler movie) but feel is best work is Magnolis, Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood. Interesting to see what his next project will be-he has talked about wanting to do a horror film.
It’s interesting what we think of as “daring.” I would say that his films are all of a piece — the scenes in Hard Eight where Gwyneth Paltrow is turning a trick on her wedding night and John C. Reilly is killing the guy, and where Sydney confronts Samuel L. Jackson are very emotionally extreme. Like the mother-son fight in Boogie Nights, or most of Magnolia. Some of his films have more of what is called “magic realism” when it appears in literature — the rain of frogs, and in Boogie Nights the fact that all of the pornstars go through cathartic life changes on the same night. That magic realism is absent from Hard Eight or Punch Drunk Love, but it feels like it could come bubbling up. PTA is similar to Welles in that sense, his films are narratives that constantly threaten to become dreams, or nightmares.
It’s hard to say, as I love all his films, but for this topic I think I’d pick the second category, as Magnolia and Boogie Nights are the films that got me into PTA in the first place.
Definitely when hes goes all out.
Formalism has its place, but a lot of the truly great films are made with risks in mind. Because if you’re taking a risk (especially in the case of Anderson), then you’re trying for something difficult and excellent.
I find that if its almost impossible to define what a film is about in only one sentence, greatness is around the corner.