Read my essay for Cinephilia & Beyond : https://cinephiliabeyond.org/punch-drunk-love/
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“This scene, that Dylan my editor has dubbed, uh, ‘Godzilla vs. Mothra,’ I dunno, sort of acting styles, Philip Baker Hall vs. Burt Reynolds here, where Floyd Gondolli (Hall) comes in and talks about the introduction of video, to me it’s funny, it’s just the major major sort of hook that once I latched into really kind of freed me up to write the movie…My sort of romantic notions that um, back in the old days in the 70s when porno movies were shot on film, as opposed to now when they’re shot on video, there was…there’s a major difference. And first and foremost is just a technical difference: um, when you’re shooting on film it’s more expensive, you really have to concentrate and you have to focus and you have to think, ok, where am I gonna put the camera to tell this story well?That’s not even getting into the emotional factor, which, to me is: I look at the porno stars of the 70s and I think they could draw a straighter line, uh, between themselves and legitimate movie stars because they were both being shot on film. They were both running at 24 frames per second and being thrown up through light onto a big white screen, and it was kinda easier to think ‘I’m a movie star.’ So in this business that’s so degrading so quickly, you know, they could sort of hold onto a shred of their dignity thinking ‘I’m a movie star,’ you know, but then when video came along it just sort of ruined that, and it kind of created this assembly-line mentality…which was, you know, it’s 5 dollars a tape, just keep shooting, you know like Ricky Jay’s line ‘we’ll shoot and shoot and shoot and we’ll figure it out later’ ya know, um, and that kinda mentality happened and I think obviously the quality of the work went down, and look, you know, they’re not movie stars anymore they’re video stars. Not to mention that if you’re a director you’re making your movie for an audience, and the market is what?
The market is a VCR, the market is a guy at home who has a fast-forward button, you know, you do not have time for a plot he has a fast-forward button…so it really kinda, it stripped away any kinda-any version of dignity that mighta been in the business.”
“I’ve known Reilly a long time. John C. Reilly is, umm, I’d sa-yea probably one of my favorite actors, definitely one of my favorite actors. But, certainly number 1 on the scale of making me fucking laugh. I’m sorry but, there’s no one, there’s no one that makes me break down crying, falling on the floor thinking I’m gonna throw up laughing.
And every little thing he does makes me laugh. It’s kind of criminal…it drives Dylan my editor nuts, even though Dylan loves him…I just can’t see the forest for the trees with John Reilly. Maybe he sucks in this movie, I don’t know. And I don’t know, maybe he’ll suck in the next movie but it’s all good to me, and I just can’t get enough of him. I can stare at that fucking face all day long. God, he-he’s just so good, and he just, he just has so much to bring to the movie and so much-it’s so great to be around him and have him as a friend because so much that we do and we joke around about and have as little sort of interesting things to us, just ends up in the movie. I mean all this stuff, all this fuckin’ stuff, this whole conversation making the margarita is me and Reilly just fuckin’ around one summer. And the stuff in the pool, it’s all just me and Reilly, just me and him.
I met him because he was one of my favorite actors. I saw him in Casualties of War in 19-when I was 17 years old, and it was his first movie, I said ‘that’s my guy,’ that is the fucking guy. And then followed every movie that he made since then and wrote Sydney for him before I knew him personally- and was able through the Sundance lab and going there with the movie, get the script to him through his agent, you know, and uh, you know, to me it’s like, I dunno, maybe someone else would wanna meet, ya know, Robert De Niro or Tom Hanks or something, I wanted to meet John C. fuckin’ Reilly…and have him be my best friend and in every one of my movies, and now I have it.”
On March 8, Paul Thomas Anderson will win the inaugural Jonathan Demme Award at the Austin Film Society’s Texas Film Awards ceremony.
“I was a fan and aficionado first,” PT Anderson said in an interview about Demme. “Just the timing of my life and his life just seemed to work out that, while he was making his strongest films, I was at this very impressionable age of 15, 16, 17, 18.” PTA was born in 1970.
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.