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"My filmmaking education consisted of finding out what filmmakers I liked were watching, then seeing those films." Paul is a real master of the medium. He's a visual wizard (like David Fincher), a lingual stylist (like Richard Linklater),he's great with character (like Alexander Payne),a master of affection and music (like Sofia Coppola),a reinventor (like Steven Soderbergh) and a well of film knowledge (like his rival and friend Quentin Tarantino).These are Mr. Anderson's favorite films that are a part of the Criterion family and they were taken from various interviews that are available to read at: Cigarettes & Red Vines:The Definitive Paul Thomas Anderson Resource.
"I came across it at a video store when I was 15. Robert Downey Sr. seemed interesting to me because I'd just seen Robert Downey Jr. in some little movie. I was also interested in having a 'black culture' phase in my life, and this seemed like a cool movie. When I watched it, I realized that you could be really punk rock in a movie. You could do anything: it didn't have to make sense. As long as it was funny, or funny to the guy who was making it, it would come across as exciting. At the time, Downey Sr. was considered very odd and avant-garde."
Welles is an idol of his
"I love Godard in a very film school way. I cant say that I've ever been emotionally attacked by him. Where I have been emotionally attacked by Truffaut."
"This is what I call a 'pop song' movie. It's so simple. You can say it in one sentence: a
rookie cop loses his gun. It's unbelievable. And this movie opens with a bang, which I
love. The first shot is a close-up of a guy saying, 'I lost my gun.' It's funny: Truffaut's in
France, ripping off American gangster movies, Kurosawa's over in Japan doing the
same. They sit there going, 'We love Howard Hawks, we love Raoul Walsh,' and then
they take them home, mix it up and take it to another level. And the violence isn't
gratuitous - it fucking hurts. It's, like, Fuck! Ow! Dead! Blood everywhere!"
Paul's debut ("Hard Eight" or "Sydney" if your a true fan) owes a lot to Melville's masterpiece
Paul did say he was trying to make a Jacques Tati film when he was making Punch Drunk Love.
Think Paul or Scorsese are the masters of the tracking shot? Listen to his introduction on this gem of a film and then you tell me.
"I always loved gangster movies, but if you've seen a hundred of them you've seen two
hundred of them, right? But in this, Truffaut took the American gangster movies that I
knew and loved as a kid all that Humphrey Bogart stuff - and took it somewhere brand
new and postmodern: our hero could be a little skinnier and not so tough. This films
also taught me how to dress - I wanted to wear those suits! I wanted to be in that
movie! The people in the film weren't typically handsome, but they were so sexy and
A film he wishes he would have written.
"As far as I'm concerned, he's under appreciated," Anderson said of the British cult filmmaker."I was 13 or 14 years old and I recognized the world [of ‘Repo Man']. There such abandon in this movie – it's focused, it's funny, it's outlandish. It's talky in a way that never feels like a stage play 'cause it's always moving. Quentin [Tarantino] I'm sure loved this movie, we've never talked about it, but there's Quentin fingerprints all over the way these characters talk to each other."
“If people want to call me Little Bobbie Altman, then I have no problem with that at all.”
"We're all children of Kubrick, aren't we? Is there anything you can do that he hasn't done?" There Will Be Blood had many shots that were very much taken from his films. Even the ending recalls Eyes Wide Shut.
Paul obsession with this mockumentary inspired him to make his own doc:The Dirk Diggler Story, the basis for Boogie Nights.
"Did you consciously train your ear to be sensitive to how people talk?"
"I probably did when I was eighteen and was just starting as a writer. Actually my mission then was to rip off David Mamet, because I foolishly believed Mamet's dialogue was how people really talked. It took me a while to realize that Mamet had developed a wonderfully stylized way of highlighting the way humans speak. People immediately think of dialogue when they hear Mamet's name, but I think the strength of his writing is his storytelling - he uses very solid, old fashioned techniques in setting up his stories. House of Games, for instance, is one the best scripts ever written, and it's the story structure that makes it so brilliant."
"Which three directors influenced you the most?” “Jonathan Demme, Jonathan Demme, and Jonathan Demme.”