Saturday, February 28, 1998

Interview: "20 Questions"

Playboy Magazine, Written By David Rensin
February ??, 1998

For 27-year-old director Paul Thomas Anderson, the thrilled critical response to his film Boogie Nights - the story of an innocent young man whose foot-long love gland transforms him into a porn star of the late Seventies and early Eighties - must make the sophomore director feel like he's similarly endowed. The film is based on a short Anderson made when he was 17, called The Dirk Diggler Story. Ten years later, its screen history. In the interim Anderson made another short, Cigarettes and Coffee that got him into the Sundance Institute's Filmmaker's Workshop and that led to his first feature, Hard Eight. Starring Samuel L. Jackson and Gwyneth Paltrow, it was retitled Hard Eight and quickly faded away. We asked Contributing Editor David Rensin to talk with Anderson as Boogie Nights went into wide release. Rensin says, "We met at a popular Valley deli, where the waitresses knew and adored Anderson. He sat down, rummaged into his huge briefcase for his glasses, and with a smile announced, "Let me wash my hands before I begin the interview." I think that he also washed them afterward.

1. You wait until the end of Boogie Nights to show Dirk Diggler's 13-inch cock. Did you ever think of revealing the goods sooner?

In the earliest assembly of the movie, we showed it in his first sex scene. At the time, I wasn't sure if it was to get it out of the way. But when I watched the film, I realized it had to be saved for the end. Metaphorically, it's the come shot. It's everything you could hope for from a movie ending. David Mamet once said, "The last five seconds separates the men from the boys." I took that quote to heart and ran with it.

Friday, February 27, 1998

Interview: "Do The Hustle"

Total Film Magazine UK, Written By Cam Winstanley
February ??, 1998

He's arrived. Boogie Nights has catapulted an ex-teen star onto Hollywood's hot list, showcasing his turn as a thrusting young trouser serpent called Eddie, sucked into the world of '70s porn. Director Paul Thomas Anderson tells how he made a funny, honest mainstream patch of the film biz.

Dog-eared stroke mags stuffed under mattresses. Fuzzy videotapes featuring fat Germans energetically servicing busty farmgirl types ("Ja, ja, ja! Ich kommen!") Men with scruffy moustaches peering around rickety doors, enquiring, "Mind if I join in?" Well-thumbed pocket-sized magazines containing 'all genuine' letters that start with phrases like "I'd always dreamt about sex with identical twins, but never imagined that it could happen to me."

Pornography is something that men are usually cagey and embarrassed about. They enjoy it, for the most part, and like to consume as large an acreage of fleshy skin tones as they can, but one with provison - no one else really knows about it. Not friends, not lovers, and certainly not parents.

Director Paul Thomas Anderson stands alone in that he's not afraid to proclaim his fascination with porn - in a two-and-a-half hour movie. It follows the life of teenage dishwasher Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) as he becomes porn megastar Dirk Diggler in a series of flicks directed by old time sleaze-merchant Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds), and is as fascinating and funny as it is horrifying. Hold your head up high, and share your sins, Mr Anderson...

We heard you'd seen your first porn flick at the age of nine. How?

Wednesday, February 25, 1998

Interview: "Chicks...Dicks And Porno Flicks"

Uncut Magazine UK, Written By Simon Lewis
February ??, 1998

Welcome to the world of Paul Thomas Anderson, the director of Boogie Nights, the first essential film of 1998. Simon Lewis is the man in the mac with the Kleenex

Paul Thomas Anderson is Hollywood’s first true Generation X auteur. Scrawny, plaid-shirted and unkempt, son of a voice-over artist, a grade-school drop-out who enrolled at university but never attended, he should have ended up making lo-fi, Kevin Smith-style flicks. Instead, after an apprenticeship as a production assistant on various TV shows, the Sundance Filmmaker’s Workshop gave him the backing to produce last year’s Hard Eight, a hard-boiled redemption tale of gamblers starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Samuel L. Jackson that you probably won’t have seen (he was, he says, stiffed by the distributors). Its maturity and technical bravado won him studio backing he needed to make Boogie Nights, this year’s surprise Oscar contender and an epic journey through the myths of the Seventies’ porn industry. Gathering a funky ensemble cast including Mark Wahlberg, Heather Graham (last seen in Swingers), Julianne Moore and a wonderfully bemused William H. Macy, his biggest coup is a heartwarming, career-reviving performance from Burt Reynolds as patriarchal pornographer Jack Horner.

Simon Lewis: You shot instantly from obscurity to Oscar-level plaudits, and you’re still only 27. How the hell did you get so good so young?

Monday, February 23, 1998

Interview: "Boogie Fever"

Boogie Fever, Written By Greg King
February ??, 1998

Greg King gets down with Paul Thomas Anderson, the director of Boogie Nights.

"I was just obsessed with movies, and I've done everything in my life just guiding towards that." Ever since he saw Rocky twenty years ago, 26 year old film director Paul Thomas Anderson has wanted to make movies. He admires the work of the late John Sturges, but he also loves the films of contemporary directors like Jonathan Demme, Robert Altman and Martin Scorsese.

Anderson began working as a production assistant on television movies, videos and game shows and several independent movies before moving into writing and directing his own films. In 1992 he wrote a short film called Cigarettes And Coffee, borrowing a camera to shoot it. The film appeared at Sundance in 1993, and Anderson was later to develop it into a full length feature. The result was Hard Eight, a low key morality play about a veteran gambler (Philip Baker Hall) who seeks redemption for his past sins by teaching a down and out gambler (John C Reilly) some of the tricks of his trade. The film also starred Gwyneth Paltrow as a down and out hooker and Samuel L Jackson as an enforcer. Although described as a cross between Pulp Fiction and Leaving Las Vegas by some American critics, this down beat and ultimately flawed crime thriller disappeared straight onto video in this country.

Sunday, February 22, 1998

Interview: "Naked Ambition"

Empire Magazine, Written By Jeff Dawson
February ?? 1998

Boogie Nights director Paul Thomas Anderson on how he became obsessed with porn......

"The basic bones of the story are the Busby Berkeley musical, A Star is Born," says Paul Thomas Anderson, 27-year old writer-director of Boogie Nights. "It's any of the backstage musicals, the kid with the dream."

It's probably not quite what Old Bubsy had in mind, but Anderson is right, for if one is to strip down his movie to its 100 per cent Rayon undies, it is essentially that - new kid on the block shows talent, is seduced by an industry that soon becomes a surrogate for his family, the rise necessitating the paradox of fall. Though here there is certainly no ingénue chorus girl waiting for her big break. Nope, the star-in-question's talent is fairly singular.

Anderson chuckles: "It's about a guy with a big dick."

Friday, February 13, 1998

Interview: The Geek Who Made Art From Porn

Daily Mail & Guardian
February 13th, 1998

At 27, Paul Thomas Anderson is winning plaudits with Boogie Nights, about the early days of blue movies. Jonathan Romney meets the man who has made Burt Reynolds hip again

Hollywood in the late Nineties is more than ever committed to child's play, to effects-laden nursery diversions designed to make grown-up money. No wonder critics and public respond so eagerly when faced with genuine adult cinema. It just happens, in the case of America's latest maverick hit, Boogie Nights, that the subject really is adult cinema, in the more specialised sense of the term - Paul Thomas Anderson's film is set in the blue-movie underworld of late seventies Los Angeles.

Thursday, February 05, 1998

Interview: Cinemattractions Q&A With Paul Thomas Anderson

Cinemattractions, Written By Matt Grainger
February ?? 1998

Matt Grainger: You must be getting used to hearing how good Boogie Nights is...

PTA: I never get used to hearing that - tell me more!

MG: Was this your baby, a spec script?

PTA: Yeah, it was something that I wrote originally when I was about seventeen years old and something that I've had in my head and around for like ten years. Not that I was trying to get it made that whole time - it was about two and a half years ago and the first company that saw it was the first company that said yes.