Back in 1997, I saw “Boogie Nights” in a double feature at the local odd quietly Freemason-owned cinema—slightly under-aged—with the now little talked about “2 Days in the Valley,” and, like with “Clerks” and “Pulp Fiction,” I knew I was watching something that would last and prove influential and that was also part of something bigger.
The dark elements of the story are balanced with an effervescent and vital style of directing that Paul Thomas Anderson has used in other ways since, but to my mind with nowhere near as much dexterity and confident exuberance—I can’t think of another film that does so much with moving camera and music and so well (with far greater variety than, for example, “Goodfellas,” or the more grounded and orchestral-scored “Citizen Kane”).
In recent times, Paul Thomas Anderson has probably inspired more people to become filmmakers than anybody else; and by working again with Daniel Day-Lewis, he is aiming to capture and share his fascinating (and progressively more rare) portrayals as well.
This post will be updated, therefore, when I have had a chance to see “Phantom Thread”! (As it has, as you will see below.) It has been a great year for thought-provoking and entertaining films. My favourites for the year are:
The Florida Project
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Big Sick
Call Me By Your Name