Monday, July 28, 2014

The Directors Project: #25 - Paul Thomas Anderson

Scene from Cinema Paradiso
With the many lists and essays written on the subject of film, there has been one thing that The Oscar Buzz has tried to understand: Who is my favorite of the film world? For 10 weeks this summer, I will be exploring this with a countdown of the Top 50 names based on a numerical ranking of ratings from various sources, the following is a list of directors who rank above everyone else. With occasional upsets, this is intended as both a discussion opener as well as a better understanding of me as a film critic and fan. Please enjoy and leave any comments you have regarding the entry's selection.


Years Active: 1988-present

Films as Director: 6

Oscar Wins: None

Who: There are few current directors whose work is as enigmatic and poetic as Anderson's to the point of comparison to Stanley Kubrick. Even then, his work excels beyond this with his stories often focusing on communities of salesmen and deviant groups who form nuclear families. With hypnotic scores and ambitious camera techniques, his films are not always amazing, but can be commended for their challenging nature. e is the type of director who works as an auteur and an event filmmaker for those into the art house films. Often bringing out some of the best performances from his actors, he creates contemporary visions of humanity that are often dark, comedic, and beautiful to look at in enviable ways. With most of his films taking place around the Southern California area, he manages to revive old school cinema techniques in ways that has helped to create some of the most perverse, timeless films of the past 20 years.

Scene from There Will Be Blood
-- The Master (2012) --

Flickchart Ranking: #14 (900 points)
IMDb Rating: 6/10 (60 points)
Perks: None
Total: 960 points

-- There Will Be Blood (2007) --

Flickchart Ranking: #92 (850 points)
IMDb Rating: 6/10 (60 points)
Perks: None
Total: 910 points

-- Punch-Drunk Love (2002) --

Flickchart Ranking: #274 (650 points)
IMDb Rating: 7/10 (70 points)
Perks: None
Total: 720 points

-- Boogie Nights (1997) --

Flickchart Ranking: #381 (550 points)
IMDb Rating: 7/10 (70 points)
Perks: None
Total: 620 points

-- Magnolia (1999) --

Flickchart Ranking: #840 (200 points)
IMDb Rating: 3/10 (230 points)
Perks: None
Total: 230 points

Scene from The Master
For starters, the influence of Anderson shouldn't be ignored. His film The Master is a large proponent for making The Oscar Buzz. His films are particularly engaging and uniquely constructed in ways that are beautiful to look at. They are artistic without being pretentious. He gets some of the greatest performances from his actors, and his enigmatic approach to narrative often gives the films a timeless quality that allows them to be perceived as art. With his past two films, he is at the height of his career and will hopefully remain there as time goes on and he matures into a stranger, more complex director.

UP NEXT: An old school director whose sad personal history influenced his work on some of the most influential horror and film noir.

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