Paul Thomas Anderson on Dunkirk, Lady Bird, The Shape of Water, and Get Out

The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival - Outstanding Directors Award Sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter

Feb 6—The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival celebrated the 5 Academy Award-nominated directors— Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), Jordan Peele (Get Out), and Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread)– and honored them with the Outstanding Directors of the Year Award for 2018, at the Arlington Theatre.

Here’s what PT Anderson had to say about his fellow Oscar nominees’ movies during a Q&A at the event.

Question: Since you’ve been making the rounds with Guillermo del Toro, Christopher Nolan, Jordan Peele, and Greta Gerwig this awards’ season, what impression did you get from seeing their films?

guillermo-del-toros-the-shape-of-water-is-a-moving-monster-love-story--and-will-definitely-get-oscar-attentionP.T. ANDERSON: The first thing I think of, when I think of Guillermo’s film (The Shape of Water) is Sally Hawkins and her performance. I’ve felt, for so long, that there she was, right in front of our faces. I wondered who was going to be the person to grab her and put her where she needed to be, and the most memorable thing about that film is seeing her, front and center.

 

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I always get to see Chris’ films in the optimal setting, hot off the presses. I just remember thinking that, as many times as you’ve done this, there’s no greater pleasure than sitting in a movie theater now and saying, “How the fuck did he do that?!” That was every single moment [with Dunkirk], really.

 

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With Greta’s film (Lady Bird), I go right to Saoirse [Ronan]. You see this Irish actress be somebody from California, and more specifically from Sacramento, and you go, “How did she do that?!” That’s the best feeling, when you see a magic trick in front of you and all the things you know about being a director go away.

 

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And I got to see [Jordan Peele’s] movie (Get Out) in the middle of shooting, in winter in London, when I really needed a lifeline and I needed something to inspire me. I was cold and I didn’t think we were doing well, and I took myself to the movies on Sunday night. I was an enormous fan of everything he’d done in television, but the film inspired me so deeply and hugely. It was also a connection back to my country, as peculiar as that connection might be. It actually ironically made me homesick.

For PTA’s full comments at the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival, visit Collider.

PT Anderson SBIFF 2018 discussion 1/2
PT Anderson SBIFF 2018 discussion 2/2
33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival group Q&A with Peele, Gerwig, Anderson, Nolan, and del Toro. February 6, 2018.

 

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