XIXAX Film Forum

The Director's Chair => Paul Thomas Anderson => Topic started by: KJ on October 23, 2017, 09:37:05 PM

Title: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: KJ on October 23, 2017, 09:37:05 PM
there is probably an older thread, but i'm interesting in seeing what everyone thinks a couple of films later.

1. the master
2. there will be blood
3. magnolia
4. punch-drunk love
5. inherent vice
6. boogie nights
7. sydney
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: BigSock on October 23, 2017, 09:42:04 PM
1. There Will Be Blood
2. Boogie Nights
3. Magnolia
4. The Master
5. Punch-Drunk Love
6. Inherent Vice
7. Hard 8
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on October 23, 2017, 09:43:23 PM
Sure.  I'll play.  But my ranking is based on how much i respond to each film.  (It also more or less describes how many times I've seen them.)

1. Boogie Nights
2. Magnolia
3. Punch-Drunk Love
4. There Will Be Blood
5. The Master
6. Hard Eight
7. Inherent Vice

I think TWBB may well be his best film--but Boogie Nights will always be my favorite of his films.

[edit]  I just noticed that 1 - 5 on my list happens to match the order in which I first saw these films.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 23, 2017, 10:22:13 PM
1. Magnolia
2. Punch-Drunk Love
3. There Will Be Blood
4. Boogie Nights
5. The Master
6. Inherent Vice
7. Hard Sydney
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on October 23, 2017, 11:34:37 PM
I've often wondered if the order in which you see PTA's films has any effect on your ranking of them...  Thoughts?
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Lottery on October 23, 2017, 11:56:40 PM
I reckon if you're one of his earlier fans, you're more likely to rank Magnolia higher.

Probably:

1. The Master
2. Punch Drunk Love
3. There Will Be Blood
4. Boogie Nights
5. Inherent Vice
6. Magnolia
7. Sydney

Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: polkablues on October 24, 2017, 12:10:19 AM
This is like Sophie's Choice, except instead of forcing me to choose which of my children I would let die, you're asking me to do something hard.

1. Blood
2. Mag
3. Mast
4. Boog
5. Punch
6. Vice
7. Syd
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilder on October 24, 2017, 12:24:28 AM
Even though on a scene-by-scene basis his more recent work may be stronger or more original, there’s still nothing that matches the sheer emotional intensity of Magnolia for me, and I’m sure many of us. It’s like a cathartic tidal wave. His filmography aside, the only other thing that comes close to achieving its feeling is Margaret, in my eyes. So...

Phantom Thread
Magnolia
Boogie Nights
Inherent Vice
There Will Be Blood
The Master
Punch-Drunk Love
Hard Eight

This is becoming increasingly hard. I dig the performance more in TWBB but the filmmaking more in The Master. The sort of beat down regal gentleman vibe of Hard Eight more than Punch-Drunk, but it being his earliest work, by nature it just isn’t as tightly executed and doesn’t have as unique rhythm. I’d probably care for The Master more if he’d done another draft. It was pretty shocking when the version that came out was so close to that early script that leaked. As much as I like it, the story seems a little undercooked to me. But then again, given that it was sort of his first non-adaptation, non filmmaker inspired movie (in the way Hard Eight had Bob le flambeur and Boogie Nights has Goodfellas etc as models) maybe that was to be expected. I don’t know. I like them all. I like everything.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: WorldForgot on October 24, 2017, 03:21:45 AM
1. Inherent Vice (... when I watch this film it's as if all of my feelings about life, and the reverberations of the feelings I've forgotten, have been distilled onto celluloid)
2. There Will Be Blood
3. The Master
4. Punch-Drunk Love
5. Magnolia
6. Boogie Nights
7. Hard Sydney
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Drenk on October 24, 2017, 07:45:52 AM
Well.

1) Magnolia
2) There Will Be Blood
3) Punch Drunk Love
4) Whatever
5) Sydney
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Shughes on October 24, 2017, 07:51:13 AM
Ranked:

1. There Will Be Blood
2. The Master
3. Magnolia
4. Boogie Nights
5. Punch Drunk Love
6. Inherent Vice
7. Sydney

Order I first watched:

1. Boogie Nights (VHS)
2. Sydney (VHS - UK so 'Hard Eight', ratio cropped, etc)
3. Magnolia (DVD)
4. Punch Drunk Love (Cinema)
5. There Will Be Blood (Cinema)
6. The Master (Cinema)
7. Inherent Vice (Cinema)

I'm not sure if the order in which I watched has had an effect on my rankings, but would argue that the format in which I watched had an effect on the impact of each film. Down to the fact that Sydney/Hard Eight was pan and scan VHS and looked like crap. I later re-watched in the correct aspect ratio and liked it a whole lot more. Still at the bottom of my list - but every film on the list is great!
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Sleepless on October 24, 2017, 08:54:53 AM
Based on nothing more than my personal love:

1. There Will Be Blood
2. Magnolia
3. Boogie Nights
4. Punch-Drunk Love
5. Sydney
6. Inherent Vice
7. The Master
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Reelist on October 24, 2017, 09:02:47 AM
1. Punch Drunk Love
2. Magnolia
3. Boogie Nights
4. There Will Be Blood
5. The Master
6. Hard Eight
7. Inherent Vice


Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: HACKANUT on October 24, 2017, 09:15:25 AM
I'm a very compulsive film watcher, often rewatching the same film many many times because I enjoy living in their worlds. I've lost track of how many times i've seen Pauls movies but I'm gonna try to guess as well.

In order by how compulsively I rewatch each film:

1. The Master (50+)(5 times in theaters)
2. Inherent Vice (50+)(4 times in theaters)
3. Punch Drunk Love (~30)
4. Boogie Nights (~30)
5. There Will Be Blood(~30)
6. Magnolia (~10)
7. Hard Eight (5)

I much prefer post-coke PTA.
but I do think There Will Be Blood and The Master are his most important films, even though I tend to not rewatch Blood nearly as much as the comfort food that is The Master and Inherent Vice.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Reelist on October 24, 2017, 09:35:48 AM
I can never believe someone who says they've seen a movie over 50 times, unless you actually made that movie or you're 4 years old watching "Frozen". My conclusion is that you may have pressed play and had it on in the room 50 times, but you haven't actually sat down and seen the thing front to back that much. That's just too many goddamn times! The only movie I could honestly say I might have watched that much is Disney's "Beauty And The Beast" because it was the first VHS I ever owned so it I played it like clockwork everyday after school.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Fuzzy Dunlop on October 24, 2017, 10:00:34 AM
Favorites, with guesses as to how many times I've watched them / had them on in the room:

Magnolia (80+)
Boogie Nights (100+)
The Master (7)
Chere Mill Be Blood (15)
Punch-Drunk Love (30)
Hard Eight (35)
Inherent Vice (5)
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: modage on October 24, 2017, 10:04:06 AM
Literally can't believe we don't have a thread for this already but...

1. Magnolia
2. Boogie Nights
3. There Will Be Blood
4. Punch-Drunk Love
5. The Master
6. Inherent Vice
7. Hard Eight

I think Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood are locked in a tie for best but Magnolia will always be my favorite.

On my personal list I think I just have to accept that the BOOGIExMAGGIExCHEREMILL Top 3 is probably never changing.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: axxonn on October 24, 2017, 10:34:23 AM
1. Inherent Vice
2. Punch-Drunk Love
3. The Master
4. Magnolia
5. There Will Be Blood
6. Boogie Nights
7. Hard Eight
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Kal on October 24, 2017, 12:03:15 PM
1) Boogie Nights
2) Magnolia
3) There Will Be Blood
4) Punch Drunk Love
5) The Master
6) Hard Eight
7) Inherent Vice

I think as I get older, I don't get to re-watch new things as much as I used to. I'll re-watch older films still over and over again, but I haven't re-watched recent films more than once or twice even if I love them. Maybe Inherent Vice will grow more on me if I watch it more...

#1 is a no brainer for me, #2 and #3 are pretty close.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: RegularKarate on October 24, 2017, 12:24:59 PM
1. Maggie
2. Cherey
3. Punchy
4. Boogie
5. Masty
6. Vicey
7. Sidney
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: jenkins on October 24, 2017, 01:18:49 PM
Boogie Nights
Inherent Vice
Punch-Drunk Love
Magnolia
Hard Eight
The Master
There Will Be Blood
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on October 24, 2017, 03:51:22 PM
1. Maggie
2. Cherey
3. Punchy
4. Boogie
5. Masty
6. Vicey
7. Sidney

These made me smile, but you gotta help a brother out:  "Cherey"?   I'm not getting the reference...
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: polkablues on October 24, 2017, 03:54:38 PM
A history of the best long-running inside joke this board has produced:

http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=10940.msg284554#msg284554
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on October 24, 2017, 03:58:16 PM
As of this posting, here's where the various films have been ranked.   Not sure what it means yet, other than Hard Eight and Inherent Vice seem to rank the lowest most often.  And Magnolia and There Will Be Blood the highest most often...
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: jenkins on October 24, 2017, 04:06:57 PM
we gotta wait to see TUBA's list, that'll clear things up
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: KJ on October 24, 2017, 04:13:03 PM
at least we agree on calling it cmbb.

7. sydney
7. Hard 8
6. Hard Eight
Quote from: Jeremy Blackman link=topic=13779.msg349690#msg349690
7. Hard Sydney
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on October 24, 2017, 04:26:48 PM
If you award 7-points to a first-place vote, 6-points to a 2nd-place vote...

Again, Magnolia and TWBB seem to be at the top, Hard 8 clearly at the bottom, with Boogie, Punch, Master pretty close in the middle. 

(This Boogie Nights obsessive is rather surprised.  At least it made it to the podium.  Bronze ain't bad, I guess.)
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: HACKANUT on October 24, 2017, 05:14:30 PM
I can never believe someone who says they've seen a movie over 50 times, unless you actually made that movie or you're 4 years old watching "Frozen". My conclusion is that you may have pressed play and had it on in the room 50 times, but you haven't actually sat down and seen the thing front to back that much. That's just too many goddamn times! The only movie I could honestly say I might have watched that much is Disney's "Beauty And The Beast" because it was the first VHS I ever owned so it I played it like clockwork everyday after school.

I mean, it is just a guess, but there was a time there when the dvd came out that i watched it about 5 times a week for months. i'm really not exaggerating there. and I have seen it at least 5 times this year alone. The Master is totally the Frozen of my inner 4 year old:)
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on October 24, 2017, 05:20:03 PM
I can never believe someone who says they've seen a movie over 50 times, unless you actually made that movie or you're 4 years old watching "Frozen".

I mean, it is just a guess, but there was a time there when the dvd came out that i watched it about 5 times a week for months. i'm really not exaggerating there. and I have seen it at least 5 times this year alone. The Master is totally the Frozen of my inner 4 year old:)

A little off-topic, but I was obsessed with Kubrick and 2001 back in the day and once wrote down every time I'd seen it.  It's always been in a theater (to this day I've never watched it on TV), and the total got up into the low-30s... 
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Something Spanish on November 05, 2017, 06:53:58 PM
Watched Magnolia for the first time in almost 8 years for confirmation and here's mine:

Magnolia
Inherent Vice
Punch-Drunk Love
The Master
There Will Be Blood
Boogie Nights
Hard Eight

"I want you to come in with me, and I want you to stay away from me"
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Gold Trumpet on November 05, 2017, 09:44:09 PM
Lists are dumb but allow me to indulge.

The excellent...

There Will Be Blood
The Master
Punch Drunk Love
Boogie Nights

The not as excellent...

Magnolia
Inherent Vice
Hard Eight

(Watching Magnolia now is tough because the melodramatics come off as corny instead of moving. It's overload.)
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Lottery on November 05, 2017, 10:04:50 PM
(Watching Magnolia now is tough because the melodramatics come off as corny instead of moving. It's overload.)

This definitely could be in the triggering opinions thread but I kinda agree to some extent. It was overwhelming and draining in a good way the first few times I watched it but it doesn't feel as strong as it once was. It's earnest, youthful and ambitious but his later works are more emotionally convincing and powerful to me.
Still pretty great though.

Literally can't believe we don't have a thread for this already but...

Also yeah, that's crazy.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Something Spanish on November 06, 2017, 10:27:14 AM
On the contrary for me, watching it now after all these years was almost like seeing it anew and from a new perspective; I found it just as powerful, if not more so, than when I saw it in my youth. I saw this flick 9 times during its theatrical run, an unprecedented number of times considering the most I've ever seen a movie in theaters at that point was maybe twice. Last time I saw it was when the blu-ray was released, now I'm 34, have seen at least a thousand other flicks int her interim and still revel at the movie's ambitions, its scope, its innovations, the incredible dialogue, just everything about it is awe-inspiring. I don't ever want to wait such a long time between viewing again. I can recognize people feeling the emotions are over-the-top, especially for some of the characters, but I find that the many emotional breakdowns are well-balanced with the other more level headed characters, not to mentioned earned due to the topics at hand; terminal cancer and child abuse/molestation tend to have that effect. The movie is so personal, wears its heart on its sleeve so blatantly that the filmmaker will probably never feel inclined to plumb those depths again.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: velociraptor on November 06, 2017, 11:38:59 AM
1. The Master
2. There Will Be Blood
3. Punch-Drunk Love
4. Boogie Nights
5. Inherent Vice
6. Magnolia
7. Hard Eight
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: The Ultimate Badass on November 11, 2017, 08:22:13 PM
1. Magnolia
2. Punch-Drunk Love
3. Boogie Nights
4. There Will Be Blood
5. The Master
6. Inherent Vice
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: eward on November 11, 2017, 09:51:06 PM
1. The Master
2. Phantom Thread
3. Magnolia
4. Punch-Drunk Love
5. Boogie Nights
6. There Will Be Blood
7. Inherent Vice (and I LOVE Inherent Vice)
8. Hard Eight

Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: RedHawk10 on November 25, 2017, 11:18:51 AM
1. Magnolia
2. The Master
3. There Will Be Blood
4. Boogie Nights
5. Punch Drunk Love
6. Inherent Vice
7. Hard Eight

#1 is in my top ten films of all time, #2-#4 are masterworks, #5 is great, I liked #6, and #7 is decent but I'm not a huge fan of it.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on November 25, 2017, 12:00:00 PM
After only one viewing of Phantom, (so subject to minor adjustments following additional viewings), mine might now look like this:

1. Boogie Nights
2. Magnolia
3. Punch-Drunk Love
4. Phantom Thread
5. There Will Be Blood
6. The Master
7. Hard Eight
8. Inherent Vice
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: martinthewarrior on November 26, 2017, 10:26:50 PM
1. There will be Blood.
2. Inherent Vice.
3. Punch Drunk Love.
4. Boogie Nights.
5 The Master.
6. Magnolia.
7. Hard Eight.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Lempwick on November 27, 2017, 12:01:36 PM
Love:

1.  Boogie Nights
2.  Punch-Drunk Love

Like:

3.  Hard Eight

Meh:

4.  There Will Be Blood

Dislike:

5.  The Master
6.  Magnolia
7.  Inherent Vice
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: ono on November 27, 2017, 12:06:27 PM
 :saywhat:
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Lempwick on November 27, 2017, 02:11:46 PM
:saywhat:

Issues with PTA's screenwriting; I find it often very unfocused in a way the technical/formal elements aren't. 
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on November 27, 2017, 02:18:39 PM
Issues with PTA's screenwriting; I find it often very unfocused in a way the technical/formal elements aren't.

Elaborate...?
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Lempwick on November 27, 2017, 03:02:26 PM
Take TWBB.  I really like the imaginative blocking, the cinematography, mise-en-scene, etc., but I feel like there's little attention paid to narrative development; I don't find the story interesting, or the exploration of its ostensible themes illuminating (capitalism, etc.).  It's ultimately just monotonous formalism.  And DDL's cartoonishness made it all the more incongruous to me. 
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Drenk on November 27, 2017, 03:38:05 PM
Take TWBB.  I really like the imaginative blocking, the cinematography, mise-en-scene, etc., but I feel like there's little attention paid to narrative development; I don't find the story interesting, or the exploration of its ostensible themes illuminating (capitalism, etc.).  It's ultimately just monotonous formalism.  And DDL's cartoonishness made it all the more incongruous to me.

There Will Be Blood is not about capitalism. A lot of critics don't know how to describe his movies. But I agree that it is weak if we are looking at it as a comment about capitalism v religion.

I don't even remember how he describes it in the Marc Maron podcast. "It's about oil" or some bullshit. I know it's easy to say that he often writes about family but TWBB is fascinating because Plainview is a family man who is against people and his own family. He is not looking for human shelter. He is dreaming about that house. But he is a family man because H.W lands on him and even if he exploits his "son" he loves him. He is a family man for the people he gives work/money/to. I love the line when he says that they should have bread. And that he would give bread to them.

The ultimate insult is the false brother in law. The ultimate betrayal. He softens us to his past. But it's a lie. Plainview is in tension between his need to be left alone and his need to be surrounded by people. Of course, he wants to control them, too...

And Sunday doesn't want him to take his people away from him. If there is a comment about religion vs capitalism it is that ultimately it doesn't matter if we are talking about oil or God, it is only about power...It is slim. I find Plainview way more fascinating. He is the anti PTA character living in the most PTA character.

I rarely see characters as good in movies living through so many memorable moments.

He is also helped by the fact that he knows when he writes what mood he aims at. And he can direct the hell out of these moods.

You can also see The Master as an incoherent script or a depiction of a fascinating and complex relationship.

Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilder on November 27, 2017, 03:44:51 PM
Damn well put.

Wondering if you saw this remark PT made about Phantom Thread that wilberfan linked (SPOILERS EVERYBODY)

https://twitter.com/ErikDavis/status/934978136369958912
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Drenk on November 27, 2017, 04:06:03 PM
I saw it and remembered what he said after writing that sentence. I hadn't thought about it in context with Plainview before. I'm very excited for Phantom Thread...
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Drenk on November 27, 2017, 04:58:22 PM
Well, marriage is definitely a thing that makes Dodd unavailable for Freddy but he also has The Cause to deal with. And his couple with Freddy works outside the logic of marriage (I'm not even sure it is really about sex, I'd even say it works better that a "normal" couple or his marriage because there is no sex) and can't be chained to The Cause...Their short honeymoon is when Freddy is saying that The Cause works! But it doesn't for him. So he leaves.

He is not the master with Freddy, I guess. Nor is Freddy the master. It's a companionship. They need to travel and do things all around the world. The song he sings to him is perfect. That's a toxic way to see marriage and we also see that he is not really the master of his couple but he plays that role for the world—and they are a couple that works in the way that their mariage is strong for The Cause, the extended family, and Freddy fucks everything up. Dodd was beginning to lose interest in The Cause toward the end...But he can't escape. He looks so trapped in that gigantic desk but it's his fault if he can't go away...

(Of course, he's probably gay and I don't think that Freddy is...It was messed up.)

Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on November 27, 2017, 07:09:57 PM
...still revel at the movie's ambitions, its scope, its innovations, the incredible dialogue, just everything about it is awe-inspiring. I don't ever want to wait such a long time between viewing again.

In general, this describes my feelings about Boogie Nights.  I'm deeply fond of Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love, but I've only watched those 5 or 6 times each.  I've seen BN more than 30 (and maybe half of those in the last 5 years or so).
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: ono on November 28, 2017, 07:57:07 PM
One such older thread:

http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=12860.0

As for me:

The Master -- I just love how elliptical he's gotten.  The scene of Freddie falling asleep to Casper and getting a phone call is emblematic of everything I want a film to be.  The final confrontation reminds me a tiny bit of the final Eyes Wide Shut confrontation.  And that final sex scene is just too good.

There Will Be Blood -- the last 20-ish minutes never happened.  A theory I've been working on based on the editing choices made.  If ever you were to point to a film with perfect filmmaking, this would be it.  Everything is just so precise.

Magnolia -- But that did happen.

Punch-Drunk Love -- Best love story.  I wrote an essay about its quirks back in college, thanks to a lot of people's observations here.  It helped foster my film love in so many ways.

Boogie Nights -- It's only listed 5th because he's made 4 better films.  Not that it isn't great.

Hard Eight -- It's only listed 6th because he's made 5 better films.  And everyone had to start somewhere.

I still haven't seen Inherent Vice or Junun.  IV, because I promised myself I'd read it first, but it is such a slog to read.  Lame excuse, I know.  I own IV.  Will probably watch them all again before Phantom Thread.  Just the other day, I listened to the first Boogie Nights commentary all over again for the 50th time.  Like catching up with an old friend.  Listened to the Hard Eight one a couple months ago.  They make me bummed PTA doesn't do commentaries anymore.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on November 28, 2017, 08:20:36 PM
Just the other day, I listened to the first Boogie Nights commentary all over again for the 50th time.  Like catching up with an old friend.  Listened to the Hard Eight one a couple months ago.  They make me bummed PTA doesn't do commentaries anymore.

You used the phrase "...the first Boogie Nights commentary".  Was there a second?  :shock:   Oh, wait.  You probably meant that was his first?  Has he really not done once since?  THAT is tragic...
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: ono on November 28, 2017, 08:34:03 PM
There are two Boogie Nights commentary tracks, yeah.  One is more interviews with the actors that play along with the movie.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on November 28, 2017, 08:43:53 PM
There are two Boogie Nights commentary tracks, yeah.  One is more interviews with the actors that play along with the movie.

That's right!  I remember Cheedle and Moore in the second one...
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Something Spanish on November 28, 2017, 09:24:19 PM
TWBB may not be primarily about capitalism, but capitalism, and its tussle with religion, certainly is a driving force throughout, as is porn in Boogie, Dianetics in Master, gambling in Sydney, etc. PTA's films are character driven and whatever themes arise are mainly due to the characters' personalities and interactions within that setting. I know people say they understand the plot elements of IV, that the story is easy to follow if you pay attention, but I find that untrue, particularly if you haven't read the book. The story is simply too elusive and he does not seem interested in it. It's all about the characters being thrust into situations and a yearning for ideals passed by. The movie perfectly bottles the spirit of Pynchon's themes.

I remember he said in one interviewer that he likes to go for the saddest happiest ending possible, and that's one of the magic touches I connect to most in his films. Like Dirk returning to porn, he's back in his element, but what a sad place to be after the successes he experienced, or Freddie flashing to the image of himself laying down with the sand sculpture after everything he was taught throughout The Master, Doc riding down a foggy road with his old lady, after spending the entire movie worried about her safety, even though they're not back together. Every ending, with maybe the exception of Punch-Drunk, is tinged with a bittersweet flavor that fits perfectly with all that preceded. 
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on November 28, 2017, 09:44:26 PM
I remember he said in one interviewer that he likes to go for the saddest happiest ending possible, and that's one of the magic touches I connect to most in his films. Like Dirk returning to porn, he's back in his element, but what a sad place to be after the successes he experienced, or Freddie flashing to the image of himself laying down with the sand sculpture after everything he was taught throughout The Master, Doc riding down a foggy road with his old lady, after spending the entire movie worried about her safety, even though they're not back together. Every ending, with maybe the exception of Punch-Drunk, is tinged with a bittersweet flavor that fits perfectly with all that preceded.

Yes.  I've occasionally heard someone describe the ending of Boogie Nights as "happy", but I could never agree with that.  It was gratifying to see them all back together (and safe? but for how long?) but just look at Maggie's blank expression in her vanity mirror, despite Jack's "I'm staring at the foxiest bitch in the whole world"...or Rollergirl lost in a daydream, looking out of the GED classroom.

Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Something Spanish on November 28, 2017, 09:47:34 PM

Yes.  I've occasionally heard someone describe the ending of Boogie Nights as "happy", but I could never agree with that.  It was gratifying to see them all back together (and safe? but for how long?) but just look at Maggie's blank expression in her vanity mirror, despite Jack's "I'm staring at the foxiest bitch in the whole world"...or Rollergirl lost in a daydream, looking out of the GED classroom.



Yeah, Jack's final walk through the house with Michael Penn's downer melody says it all, especially when he passes Little Bill's portrait.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Punch Drunk Hate on November 28, 2017, 10:56:23 PM
Isn't it ironic that what is consider the darker and more depressing film(Magnolia) has a more hopeful ending then what is considered by many to be a joyful 70's romp(Boogie Nights)? Not that those characters have that much better, though you could see them changing for the better, while the Boogie Night characters are stacked in a hole they cannot dig out of. Even the more hopeful conclusions(Reed and Buck) have a bittersweetness, knowing Reed stupidity and Buck stealing the money from the armed robber at the donut shop.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: jviness02 on November 29, 2017, 01:26:20 PM
We can talk about religion and capitalism all day long, but all you really need to know about There Will Be Blood is in the man's own description of the film he gives to Marc Maron: It's a Tom and Jerry episode. Ultimately what makes PTA such a great artist is his interest in character over anything else. Yes, there are themes that the two men represent, but at it's heart it's a cat and mouse game between two cunning individuals and if the film doesn't work on that basic level, it doesn't work on any higher level. PTA understands and appreciates the basics and uses them as roots to deeper and richer aspects of his work, unlike, for example, The Revenant, which never tried to understand the basic aspect of it's revengw story and simply tried to make it richer and deeper without the understanding of the story's basic roots and it lead to a lot of mumbo jumbo. It was a bit of a mess. For lack of a better word, I don't think PTA "over-thinks" himself. It's why Paul Dano described him as making movies straight from his balls, versus straight from intellect.

Oh and my rankings:

1. The Master
2. There Will Be Blood
3. Boogie Nights
4. Punch Drunk Love
5. Magnolia
6. Inherent Vice
7. Sydney

I'd give 1-6 A's and Sydney a solid B+.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on November 29, 2017, 08:18:36 PM

Yes.  I've occasionally heard someone describe the ending of Boogie Nights as "happy", but I could never agree with that.  It was gratifying to see them all back together (and safe? but for how long?) but just look at Maggie's blank expression in her vanity mirror, despite Jack's "I'm staring at the foxiest bitch in the whole world"...or Rollergirl lost in a daydream, looking out of the GED classroom.

Yeah, Jack's final walk through the house with Michael Penn's downer melody says it all, especially when he passes Little Bill's portrait.

Someone left this beautiful paragraph as part of a comment a few years ago:

Quote
Sometimes I think of this scene, and the way Burt Reynolds takes us through it. The way the soft, evening light leaks into the windows of the house. The way the camera hugs his back and never lets Jack leave the frame, though others pass in and out. The way the camera lingers on Little Bill Thompson's portrait, hung on the wall where he took his life. The way the mournful musical suite from the imageless opening returns, hovering just low enough in the mix. And I think, God, what a fucking film.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: eward on November 29, 2017, 08:32:38 PM
That comment left me momentarily misty-eyed, for sure.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: d on December 16, 2017, 03:26:08 PM
I've been reading the forums for some time now but only decided to register recently. This is not my first post but let me share my list as a formal hello. PTA is definately my favourite living filmmaker.

Absolutely adore:
1. The Master (probably my all time fav, definitely in my top3)
2. Inherent Vice (would never undestand why IV is so underrated even among PTA fans; as a whole it may not be perfect but individual scenes, lines, cinematography, acting, use of music all feel so great)

Love
3. Magnolia
4. Boogie Nights (I love it, it's fun to watch, some great scenes but just feels too long and repetitive in the last act... and I kinda hate the Dirk Diggler fake home videos)
5. Punch-Drunk Love


Respect:
6. TWBB (yeah, it's my IV; I absolutely understand why even not big PTA fans consider it one of the best movies ever but I just don't get it, I would really like to love it but I just can't, which is strange considering how much more I love The Master and IV than his (still great) eariler work.
7. Hard Eight

I can't imagine Phantom Thread is better than The Master but judging from your opinions I believe it may rank just below The Master or Vice.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on December 20, 2017, 08:09:48 PM
Phantom Urges: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Films Ranked

https://www.slantmagazine.com/features/article/phantom-urges-paul-thomas-andersons-films-ranked

(Well, I must say, his rankings are about as upside-down and inside-out from my rankings as you can get...)

Another ranking from Indiewire.  (This includes things like "Junun".)

Paul Thomas Anderson Movies Ranked from Worst to Best
http://www.indiewire.com/2017/12/paul-thomas-anderson-movies-ranked-worst-best-boogie-nights-there-will-be-blood-phantom-thread-1201910078/

A third set of rankings, this time from The Wrap:
https://www.thewrap.com/paul-thomas-anderson-movies-ranked-worst-best-boogie-nights-magnolia-there-will-be-blood/

Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Mogambo on February 02, 2018, 04:54:08 AM
PTA's most recent are top 4 PTA. IV at no. 4.