Wednesday, December 26, 2012

‘There Will Be Blood' Was Released 5 Years Ago Today

When Ambition Meets Faith.

"There Will Be Blood" was released on December 26, 2007 to rave reviews and record-breaking grosses in New York and Los Angeles. The fifth film by Paul Thomas Anderson took five long years to make its way to the screen and was unlike anything his critics or fans could've anticipated. It was his first adaptation, first film not to feature any of his usual stock company of actors and first film since "Hard Eight" to leave the Valley behind completely. If "Punch-Drunk Love" took a hard left turn from the highly controlled ensemble films he had been known for, 'Blood' showed audiences that there was no turning back. Daniel Day-Lewis' towering performance as Daniel Plainview was immediately recognized as one for the ages, his character's speech was imitated (lovingly) by many and even spawned a phrase that entered the zeitgeist.  The film would be nominated for 8 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay and go on to win 2 for Best Actor (Daniel Day Lewis) and Best Cinematography for PTA's longtime cinematographer Robert Elswit.

To celebrate "There Will Be Blood"'s 5th Anniversary, take a stroll down memory lane on our "There Will Be Blood" info page. There you can find interviews, production notes, posters, deleted scenes and more.  We'll be posting some archival bits and pieces throughout the day on Twitter so stay tuned.

I first saw "There Will Be Blood" at an advance screening in early December of '07 presented by the Museum of the Moving Image in New York. PTA and Daniel Day-Lewis were there for a Q&A and I spotted PTA-regular Julianne Moore in the crowd. I was seated with two rows of longtime PTA fans and when it ended I think we were all speechless. I knew I had seen something great but I didn't know at that moment it would be my favorite film of the decade. But a second, third and fourth viewing theatrically confirmed this would be the case. Each time I brought a few different friends to see the film, gathering different reactions each time and until "The Master," I hadn't seen any film that many times theatrically since. That first screening of 'Blood' will always stand out as being a special one because it was also my first (unofficial) date with my longtime girlfriend.

Where did you first see "There Will Be Blood"?
What are your favorite moments from the film?
Leave a comment below or use the hashtag #ThereWillBeBlood5 on Twitter.

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  1. Lawrence, KS on opening night. Crowd went wild when they randomly mentioned Kansas in the movie. I, too, felt like I had just witnessed greatness as the credits rolled, but wasn't yet entirely sure if I loved the film or if it were grossly over my head. It ranks 2nd on my list of PTA flicks, behind the ensemble-tastic Boogie Nights. Love your site, man.

    William H. Dirkness

  2. I was in Los Angeles. I saw it at the Arclight. In the middle of a cold LA afternoon. I tried to see it with the porn star Evan Stone, but he showed up late to the screening and I'd already bought my ticket, so he went and saw Charlie Wilson's War instead. I remember being blown away. Especially in concurrence with seeing No Country For Old Men at around the same time. TWBB and NCFOM both gave me so much hope for the near future of cinema. A hope that both films remain alight in me. There Will Be Blood made clear that PTA was the filmmaker of his generation. Here he was, bucking genre for the sake of making a true American classic, as informed by a love of history as his previous work had been with cinema itself. True there were nods to McCabe and Mrs. Miller and The Shining and John Huston and so on, but it was the first time I really saw him breaking away from being a filmmaker-who-made-movies-because-he-loved-them-so-much to being a man who was using cinema to try and retrace what the fuck went wrong with our country. What was it? What went wrong? Our greed murdered our faith because our faith was false and deeply corrupted and not worth holding in the first place. What a thing to make a horror movie about. And to me, it is one, albeit a horror movie dust-moted with transcendent soars of true beauty and deep sadness. It is a requiem for a man, and a place, on the quicksliver verge of losing it's soul. And when the fuck does a movie deliver you that? I'm rambling. Something that TWBB (unlike Magnolia and Boogie Nights) does not do, but I hope you get my point. I love this film. I love him. And I am so glad to live in a world that has him making movies in it. Because he keeps our consciousness, and our conscience, alive and awake through cinema. Which is, to me, the very best that it can do. Ramble over. Can't wait for INHERENT VICE . . .

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