Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Life & Cinematic Style of Paul Thomas Anderson

PTA. P.T. Anderson. Whichever monicker you refer to him by, Paul Thomas Anderson is a filmmaker that all students of film should be studying.

We've examined Anderson's work quite a bit here at NFS, including what characterizes his cinematic style, the way he tells stories with cinematography, and even hearing from the director himself discuss each one of his films. But this time, we get it all. Virtually every facet of PTA's life and work are explored in these two episodes of Raccord's The Directors Series, hosted by filmmaker Cameron Beyl.

So, pop some popcorn, get cozy, and get ready for an hour-long exploration of the great auteur.

P.T. Anderson is an auteur in a very peculiar way. If someone who has never seen one of his films were to watch, say, Boogie Nights and The Master, that person would probably never guess that those two films were made by the same guy. Sure, he certainly has his trademarks, like long, sweeping takes, handheld camerawork, and ensemble casts, but those things aren't necessarily unique to Anderson. What characterizes his films and makes them distinctly his is -- a little more nuanced. 

He tells dark, dirty stories about the ugly side of humanity, but manages to infuse humor and heart into each narrative and every character. He maximizes and then utilizes the storytelling potential of everything, from lighting to music to costuming, which creates a cinematic world that is wholly his.     

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This knowledge is just pure gold. Thank you!

February 6, 2016 at 3:14PM

Andy Tokarski
Director, Editor, Colorist