Sunday, February 27, 2011

Movies That Made Us Critics

As you may have heard, Roger Ebert recently rebooted his "At The Movies" with co-hosts 24 year old Ignatiy Vishnevetsky and former AP critic Christy Lemire. To help introduce the pair, the two have recorded a series of videos on The Movies That Made Us Critics and Lemire has chosen "Magnolia" as one of her picks. She says of the film:
"Now, I saw MAGNOLIA when I was just staring out as a critic in 1999, and I found it really polarizing. People were either wowed by it, like I was, or they thought it was over-long and pretentious. It’s one of the first films that forced me to stand my ground, and here I stand today."
Hard to believe that was 11 years ago. You can watch the full video over at Ebert's site. (thanks Matt Martin!)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

‘Boogie Nights' Silkscreen

The market for fan-made prints of movie posters has gone crazy over the past few years. MondoTees in Austin is carving out a nice little niche for themselves with this kind of thing, but there are plenty of great artists doing it on their own. One such artist is David O’Daniel, a San Francisco based designer making original posters for repertory fare at that city's famous Castro Theatre. Scrolling through his site brought up this print for "Boogie Nights". It appears that he has a limited number available for sale for each print but there doesn't seem to be any info for this one. In addition to 'Boogie' he's done great prints for the films of Stanley Kubrick, Charlie Chaplin and more. You may want to take a few minutes to browse through his site (especially if you have wallspace available). (via @MattGoldberg)

EW Greatest Working Directors

Entertainment Weekly has just posted their list of the 25 Greatest Working Directors and ranked Paul at #11. Here's what they had to say:

11. Paul Thomas Anderson
THE EVIDENCE: Boogie Nights (1997), Magnolia (1999), There Will Be Blood (2007)
WHY HIM: One of the most dynamic directors to emerge in the last 20 years, Anderson makes movies that crackle with energy and typically showcase volcanic performances (see: Daniel Day-Lewis in Blood). Anderson is particularly good at taking a well-worn genre — the Western epic, the romantic comedy — and transforming it into something modern and unforgettable. — Tim Stack
Thought the list is (arbitrary and) weighted towards current favorites (would Fincher have ranked so highly after Benjamin Button came out?) it's nice to see PTA make the list even though he hasn't had a film out in almost 4 years. Check out the entire list at EW. (Thanks xixax!)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Marc Maron Mention with Paul F. Tompkins

Apologies for the alliteration but just a small bit of non-news while we wait for word on "The Master" and "Inherent Vice". On a recent episode of Marc Maron's WTF podcast, Maron interviews comedian (and friend to PTA), Paul F. Tompkins. You may also remember Tompkins briefly as Prescott in "There Will Be Blood" and as an offscreen voice during Seduce & Destroy. The hour+ long interview is a candid and hilarious discussion between the two comedians which briefly turns to his work with Paul.
MM: What's your relationship with Paul Thomas Anderson?

PFT: I haven't seen Paul in a while...

MM: ...the director of There Will Be Blood.

PFT: That's right. I have not seen him since then.

MM: Did you do another movie? You've sort of shown up in most of his movies.

PFT: Magnolia. I did what ended up being just a voice in Magnolia. And that was it. But he's a guy that I have known off and on through Largo, the old nightclub Largo. And he started coming to Largo around the time that comedy started happening at Largo. It had been open for about a year and it was just a music club and then they started doing comedy on Monday nights. And then all the comics and the musicians started to get to know each other and appear on each others shows.
If you haven't listened to the WTF podcast or Paul F. Tompkins own hilariously weird Pod F. Tompkast, you really should.

In other news, did you know that Amazon recently put Blu-rays for "Magnolia" and "Boogie Nights" on sale for $9.49 and $12.99? It's true. So if you were looking to upgrade those old DVD's, now might be a good time for that. They are magnificent.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

‘Inherent Vice' Might Shoot This Fall

According to an article in The Hollywood Reporter, Robert Downey Jr. is "making plans" to film "Inherent Vice" this fall with PTA. It was reported in December that Downey was being thought of for the lead in the film but his busy schedule made his involvement a big question mark. But as we/everyone speculated recently when he bailed from "Oz The Great And Powerful," he now has room in his schedule for 'Vice.' THR says that Downey's commitment to the film has "recently grown serious" so it looks like a creative relationship might be blossoming for the two. Neither Paul nor Downey have spoken officially about the project, so as usual we will keep you updated as news comes in. For now, you can check out a trailer for the book below:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Watch 11 People Watch ‘There Will Be Blood'

This is an excerpt from There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007). 11 adult viewers were shown the video and their eye movements recorded using an Eyelink 1000 (SR Research) infra-red camera-based eyetracker. Each dot represents the center of one viewer's gaze. The size of each dot represents the length of time they have held fixation.

source: zablotny, facebook.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

‘The Master' Hiatus Timeline

Since our site was on a bit of a hiatus as well during our little redesign, and in light of yesterday's good news, we thought it might be nice to do a quick rundown of the status of The Master project over the last 6 months or so.


The Playlist reports that the film has been "postponed indefinitely". The source of this info is an interview with Jeremy Renner in Total Film magazine.
"I was really bummed about that," Renner revealed. "It really kind of stalled because when we were rehearsing — Phil, Paul and myself — we kept coming up against a wall that we couldn't overcome. Or at least Paul couldn't overcome."
They also ask Phillip Seymour Hoffman about the status of it during the press rounds for "Jack Goes Boating". His non-quote:
"I don't have any new information ['The Master']. I really mean that, I'm not being obtuse. I don't quite know what that is at the moment, but hopefully I will and hopefully I'll be part of something soon. It would be great to work with him again."
The Wrap contacts River Road who had been reportedly financing the film and they said they were not involved with the project (though it's not entirely clear if they ever were).


Deadline interviews producer Mike De Luca who offers the following tidbit about The Master's hiatus:

DNY: What does it say when Anderson¹s The Master is having such a hard time
getting off the ground?

De Luca: I think he has the financing. He’s just going through his own creative process, asking himself, ‘Is this what I want to make,’ and is it ready to be made? That’s just what he does.

He also offers a few other PTA-related quotes not about The Master.

DNY: How much tougher would a young Paul Thomas Anderson have getting Boogie Nights made now? He’s struggling with his new film, The Master, about the formation of a religion in the 1950s.

De Luca: Anything that worked at New Line would be ten times harder to get made at a major studio. I’m not sure the Summits or the Lionsgates would go for Boogie Nights or Wag the Dog, or even the first Austin Powers. There’s such a bias against what they call tweeners, the movies that aren’t so cheap that you can’t get hurt, but aren’t big enough to have special effects and big movie stars and directors that make executives feel their bet is somewhat insured. New Line lived in that tweener space. To a certain degree, Social Network is that. It’s not so low budget that you’re protected, but it’s no giant tent pole, either.

DNY: What was hardest about Boogie Nights?

De Luca: That gave Bob the most aggravation, the length issue, the ‘who’s going to see this?’ Until the first reviews, he was really fighting it and unsure. The test screenings were not promising. That process is good for down the middle mainstream movies. Trailers and TV spots prepare you for a movie, and if you saw one for Boogie Nights, you can decide, that’s not for me. You don’t get that from the paragraph they use to recruit an audience. They’re told, comedy with Mark Wahlberg. And when it’s a disturbing film like a Scorsese, a Boogie Nights or There Will Be Blood, pissed off people write disturbed things on their cards precisely because the film did its job. I didn’t think Boogie Nights was appropriate for testing, but we did a lot of them and the numbers were always poor. In Bob’s eyes, the movie wasn’t a winner and a piece of art until the reviews started coming in.

DNY: How much did it lose in length?

De Luca: Paul pruned about 20 minutes, through his own process. At one point, Bob asked Paul, let me do a cut, let me show you what I think you should love. Paul wisely said okay, knowing it wouldn’t go further than Bob getting it out of his system. It was not anything we’d release or Paul would sanction. Bob went through the movie and did a cut, showing Paul, here’s what I would take out. Paul sat there and probably wanted to kill himself, but he was really patient, watched it and went back to his own editorial process.

In an interview with MTV (reported on once again by The Playlist), Jeremy Renner gives one more quote about PTA:
“He’s swimming out there somewhere, probably typing behind a computer. That guy is genius. If he was directing the phone book I’d be in it.”

Vulture reports that Paul is now working on an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s "Inherent Vice", so it appears that he has put The Master project aside for now.


Vulture once again breaks the news that billionairess Megan Ellison is looking to co-finanace both The Master project and PTA’s adaptation of "Inherent Vice". All is right with the world.

In other news, Mondo Tees recently put a small number of Olly Moss’ There Will Be Blood Rolling Roadshow prints onsale and they were gone in a matter of seconds. You can find a few of them on eBay if you are so inclined to pay collectors prices.

Friday, February 11, 2011

‘The Master' and ‘Inherent Vice' Both Close To Being Financed

Huge news day for PTA fans. According to an article at Vulture, Paul may have found financing for not one, but both of his upcoming projects. Twenty five year old billionairess Megan Ellison, (who recently helped finance The Coen Bros. "True Grit" and John Hilcoat's upcoming "The Wettest County In The World"), is in negotiations to co-finance Paul's adaptation of "Inherent Vice" as well as his untitled religious drama known as The Master. The article also says that Jeremy Renner is no longer attached to The Master project but that Phillip Seymour Hoffman is still "interested." Well, duh.

Paul has been in contact with Thomas Pynchon, author of "Inherent Vice", and is currently halfway through a second draft. Now the question becomes, assuming that the financing goes through, is which project would get made first? Vulture speculates "Inherent Vice" might have the edge since Robert Downey Jr., who is interested in the lead, recently dropped out of Sam Raimi's Oz, The Great And Powerful and now has an opening in his schedule later this year that could very well be filled with 'Vice'. Either way, this is hugely exciting news and we will post more info on this as soon as it surfaces.

Read the full article at Vulture.