While Paul Thomas Anderson preps his work on an upcoming high school movie, we thought it would be great to look back on the movies that he's talked about that inspired him along the way. 

IndieWire assembled a list of PTA's favorite films and even cited where he talked about them. It's an eclectic mix that definitely belongs in the Netflix queue. Let's look at the list and talk after. 

44 Movies Paul Thomas Anderson Wants You to See

  1. Dr. Strangelove, Lolita, Full Metal Jacket, and The Shining
  2. Dunkirk (2017)

I think there's a lot of recency bias on the list, which is actually great. Knowing what PTA has watched in recent years gives us a better understanding of the kinds of things he does to jumpstart his ideation. While The Master is on here, I think it's fair to chalk that up as PTA saying it's his favorite one of his own works, which I think counts to the whole. 

PTA called the 4 Kubrick films the Kubrick Quartet. And I love that. 

I'm glad to report on PTA's love of Girl's Trip as well, and his love for Tiffany Haddish and her performance, "I dare anybody to try and do what Tiffany Haddish did in [Girls Trip]. That’s like a fucking magic trip how good she is in that, and I dare anybody to try and go take after take—or do one take as good as she does. She is a fucking force. She’s such a great performer.”

There are also lesser-known films like I Know Where I'm Going, about which Anderson told Film Inquiry. “It’s fantastic. It’s got a great female lead, and she’s kind of off, she’s off up north out of London and it’s just a great film. It’s a Powell–Pressburger movie. Where it falls in their scheme of things, I’m not really quite sure, but they shot a lot of it as the war was going on like in 1941 and 1942. And it’s not to be missed.”

Of course, he praises contemporary, Tarantino, for Jackie Brown“It’s a film so cool and so breezy about middle-aged people that feel the clock ticking,” Anderson said of the film. “It reduces me to tears. I consider Quentin a peer, but Jackie Brown is a watermark for how to shoot and film a scene with delicacy and compassion. A beautiful film, beautifully done.”

What movie surprised you on this list? 

Which one is your favorite? 

What's next? What are Bong Joon-Ho's favorite films

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