It's been 5 years since we last heard from writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson, with the film There Will Be Blood. Over the years, he's written and directed six feature films: Hard Eight (1996), Boogie Nights (1997), Magnolia (1999), Punch-Drunk Love (2002), There Will Be Blood (2007), and the much anticipated The Master (2012), which opened September 14 in a limited release and opens everywhere Friday, September 21.
Critics are already stirring over The Master. Many are saying Anderson should be in line for Oscar nominations in both writing and directing. Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers recently gave this film four stars, a rating very rare coming from Travers. In his review, he also wrote something which really sums up P.T. Anderson’s films very well.
“I believe in the church of Paul Thomas Anderson. Hollywood films give you zilch to believe in, tying up their narratives with a tidy bow so you won’t leave confused and angry. Anderson refuses to do the thinking for you. His films mess with your head until you take them in and take them on. No wonder Anderson infuriates lazy audiences. What a roll call: Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood.”
This is exactly why I think Anderson should be considered one of the great film directors out there, and should be mentioned in the same breath as Scorsese, Spielberg and even Hitchcock. Anderson's style of film making challenges us as an audiences to think. He creates movies that will last much longer than the two hours you invest at the cinema.
If you have yet to discover the world of P.T. Anderson, I highly recommend you visit your local Half Price Books and pick up a few of his older titles. Whether it is about a young man’s discovery and downfall in Boogie Nights or a less than admirable oil baron in There Will Be Blood, you will be taken on a thought-provoking journey.
Enjoy The Master. And remember, no talking or texting during the feature presentation.
Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.