I think Paul Thomas Anderson is the best filmmaker working today

In 1998 (I think) I went to the London Film Festival screening of Boogie Nights. At the end of the movie Paul Thomas Anderson came to the stage for a Q and A session. I only remember one question/answer: a pretentious-sounding man in his twenties stood up and drawled, ‘In depicting the 1970s, what were you trying to convey?’ There was a pause, then Paul responded (in a way that somewhat mimicked the voice of the questioner), ‘In depicting the 1970s I was trying to convey… the 1970s’. We all laughed. He’s funny, piss-takey and far less cerebral than you might expect.

A few years later I attended the London Film Festival screening of Punch Drunk Love, the only Adam Sandler Film I’ve seen that is not utter, utter, utter shit (although the first half of Funny People is pretty good). Again, Paul came to the stage for a Q and A. Again, I only remember one question/answer: a middle-aged woman got up and said that she thought the film was really good but asked why it had to be so loud (if you haven’t seen it in a good cinema you might not know that the scenes where trucks speed by are supposed to be very loud). Paul then explained that those trucks are supposed to be metaphors for the experience of falling in love, and that is an experience that is often quite loud (metaphorically speaking). The woman then refused to sit down. She kept on asking the same question even when people asked her to sit down. She seemed to want another answer. It was interesting to watch her defiance.

Anyway, PTA has another movie coming out this year. It’s called The Master and I expect it will be as good as Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love and There Will Be Blood:

And I think I’ve put this up before, but here’s an interview: