kottke.org posts about PT Anderson
Esquire profiles Paul Thomas Anderson, focusing on the director's early years and how he came to make Cigarettes and Coffee, Hard Eight, and eventually Boogie Nights, which was based on a film he made as a high schooler called The Dirk Diggler Story.
Although Anderson is one of the most autobiographical filmmakers of his generation, drawing heavily on his childhood in the San Fernando Valley, most stories about him offer some variation on "very little is known about his early years" or "little is known about Paul's childhood." He has stopped talking to most of his friends from those years, and none of them can say whether he just moved on naturally or broke with his past for some secret reason.
"When he did Magnolia," Stevens says, "I sent word through someone who worked with him to tell Paul it would be great if he could come back for a visit. I'd love to see him. And the answer came: 'Paul doesn't go back.'"
You can watch The Dirk Diggler Story on Google Video.
The milkshake line from There Will Be Blood came from a transcript that PT Anderson found of the 1924 congressional hearings over the Teapot Dome scandal.
Anderson concedes that he's puzzled by the phenomenon -- particularly because the lines came straight from a transcript he found of the 1924 congressional hearings over the Teapot Dome scandal, in which Sen. Albert Fall was convicted of accepting bribes for oil-drilling rights to public lands in Wyoming and California.
In explaining oil drainage, Fall's "way of describing it was to say 'Sir, if you have a milkshake and I have a milkshake and my straw reaches across the room, I'll end up drinking your milkshake,' " Anderson says. "I just took this insane concept and used it."
(via observations on film)
Daniel Day-Lewis is flat-out amazing in this film; I can't think of when I've seen a better performance. But with this movie and No Country For Old Men, both of which top many people's lists of the best movies of 2007, I found them really good but not great. Not sure why. Maybe I'll have better luck with Juno or The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
Tucked in among The Kinks, The Velvet Underground and Belle & Sebastian, the track behind the animated opening title sequence for the new movie Juno is All I Want is You by the children's folk musician Barry Louis Polisar. It's as inspired a choice for this enjoyable little movie as PT Anderson's inclusion on the Punch Drunk Love soundtrack of He Needs Me (iTunes link), Olive Oyl's love song from Robert Altman's 1980 adaptation of Popeye.
Polisar was a favorite of mine as a kid. In particular, the 1978 album Naughty Songs for Boys and Girls was my undisputed favorite record. Featuring the classics Don't Put Your Finger Up Your Nose and Never Cook Your Sister in a Frying Pan, the album has never gone out of print. Give the tracks a listen on iTunes and if you have kids, this will give them lots of laughs and teach them to rebell against their parents.
The New York Times has a review of Juno here. Amazon link to Naughty Songs for Boys and Girls here.
Update: My favorite funnyblogger Todd Levin chimes in on the Juno soundtrack at tremble.com.
Early rave review for There Will Be Blood, the new PT Anderson/Daniel Day-Lewis film, calling it "maybe one of the best movies I've ever seen".
Without revealing much of the plot (it's probably better to go in cold), it's a complex man's simple story rendered hugely, horribly, and wonderfully in equal measure, and it's revelatory as hell.
Trailer for There Will Be Blood, the highly anticipated film from PT Anderson starring Daniel Day-Lewis.
Trailer for There Will Be Blood, the first movie from PT Anderson in I don't know how long. The flick stars Daniel Day-Lewis and is adapted from Upton Sinclair's novel Oil! (via crazymonk)
In P.T. Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love, Adam Sandler's character takes advantage of a Healthy Choice promotion for frequent flier miles, buying 1000s of miles and lots of pudding for just a few dollars. This aspect of Sandler's character was based on a caper well-known within the frequent flier community when David Phillips purchased over 1.2 million frequent flyer miles for just under $2400, which has allowed him and his family to fly to over 20 countries for free.
Now the big thing is cheese. This weekend I was handed an opened wheel of processed cheeses by a friend. He said that his brother-in-law had caught wind of a frequent flyer promotion whereby you get 500 miles for each purchase of this cheese wheel and had purchased 75,000 miles for ~$300, which also means he's got more opened cheese wheels than he knows what to do with. The frequent flyer forums and blogs are already on the case. These forums are actually pretty fascinating...there's a lot of free/cheap travel to be had for those with a little time on their hands. This fellow claims to have taken advantage of airline pricing errors to fly 16 flights this year for a total cost of $77.57.
Why does it take Wes Anderson (and Sofia Coppola and Spike Jonze and PT Anderson and...) so long to make a movie? "The Eccentrics seem to be guarding their personal ideas so jealously that it sometimes suggests a creative block. The eternity of anticipation has frustrated those film lovers who look to certain artists to provide the Great American Movie." Slate also has a review of Wes Anderson's great Amex commerical.
Some PT Anderson news: A Prairie Home Companion is out this summer; Anderson seems to have co-directed this with Robert Altman, but no one seems to know just who did what. And There Will Be Blood is Anderson's newest solo project starring Daniel Day-Lewis and based on Oil! by Upton Sinclair.