Author Topic: Influences on each film  (Read 1280 times)

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ono

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Re: Influences on each film
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2017, 03:43:02 PM »
+1
Right...and then with the adoption of tools, everything changes...

I’m putting it.
On the Prowl.  (The chapter on the DVD is called On The Lookout, and PTA talks about it in the commentary.)

wilder

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Re: Influences on each film
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2017, 04:06:32 PM »
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Thanks!

Oh and the baptism scene in There Will Be Blood is visually similar to the duel scene in Barry Lyndon. Theres similar light spilling in through the window.

Are we sure about this one? I do see the link, the window thing seems to stretch through The Master and his most recent work. Trying to put mostly admitted influences. Is there an article somewhere?


Edit - not an influence per se, but this is the movie PT mentioned noticing Vicky Krieps in, during that post-NY screening interview:



Tdog

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Re: Influences on each film
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2017, 04:55:06 PM »
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Yeah I think it might have been a bit of stretch but There Will Be Blood really seems like a best of Kubrick in terms of influences.

wilder

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Re: Influences on each film
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2017, 05:03:20 PM »
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There's also that other porno he talked about with the girl rollerskating from house to house looking in all the windows. I don't even know where to start looking for that.

Also think he mentioned Dreyer and Bergman in relation to Magnolia, but don't have a source.

Was Jean Renoir's The Rules of the Game related to anything? And were the Monte Hellman westerns The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind referenced as influences on Blood or just thrown out there as movies he liked?

Added Something Wild and Murnau's Sunrise for the "gearshift" storytelling influence on Hard Eight.

Quote from: Sight & Sound 1998
One of the things that's interesting about Boogie Nights is its tone shifts, for instance between dramatic and comic/parodic.

There are two answers to that. First, two of my favorite movies are F.W. Murnau's Sunrise and Jonathan Demme's Something Wild, what I call gearshift movies, that can change tones [snaps fingers] like that. I like to see that in movies because that's what real life is like, and it's also good storytelling.

samsong

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Re: Influences on each film
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2017, 03:08:48 AM »
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punch-drunk love took a lot of its visual cues from the long goodbye.  if i remember correctly, it's where the blue suit comes from too.

Lottery

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Re: Influences on each film
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2017, 03:36:19 AM »
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Yeah I think it might have been a bit of stretch but There Will Be Blood really seems like a best of Kubrick in terms of influences.

I reckon he was done with Kubrick stylistically by the end of TWBB. TWBB certainly seems like the one where the influence was most prominent, perhaps it helped him get it out of his system.

Quote
Anderson, a fan of Stanley Kubrick’s films, wanted the bowling alley to have a Kubrickian symmetry and menace. “Paul wanted to paint the walls white and turn the room into a white cube, like something out of A Clockwork Orange,” says Elswit. “There’s no character to the lighting at all; it’s just a white box. Paul kept marveling at how Kubrick did things, and I would say, ‘But Paul, Kubrick built sets. He didn’t come walking into a place like this!’”

https://theasc.com/ac_magazine/January2008/ThereWillBeBlood/page4.html

Just Withnail

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Re: Influences on each film
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2017, 12:13:28 PM »
+1
But those kind of white bare walls Kubrickian walls are very present in both The Master and Inherent Vice as well. Much more than TWBB.

In any case I feel like the influence of Kubrick is present in more ambiguous and less easily measured ways, like for instance the conceptual structuring of the films.

Lewton

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Re: Influences on each film
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2017, 02:16:53 PM »
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I reckon he was done with Kubrick stylistically by the end of TWBB. TWBB certainly seems like the one where the influence was most prominent, perhaps it helped him get it out of his system.

I'm not sure about this.

The office footage in the "Was There A Fight?" teaser for The Master -- which I still think is just amazing as anything in the actual film -- seems to borrow from The Shining. Although, perhaps that's just coincidental, as Anderson was probably thinking of Huston's Let There Be Light in that instance.

Still, there's something about the sets and locations that PTA uses, and the way they're decorated, and the way the actors' faces are lit, which recalls The Shining and other Kubrick films. I've struggled to define this effect in another thread. It has something to do with the generous distribution of light and a related sense of the surroundings having a certain stark authenticity to them -- intricate textures, a lived-in feel, etc. Lancaster Dodd's bathroom in TM is one example, and there's also Hope's house in IV. The approach recalls the visual look of the drill-sergeant portions of Full Metal Jacket, and perhaps some of Eyes Wide Shut, which, despite its surreality, had many fine-grained, believably untidy visions of outdoor and indoor spaces. While Kubrick may have relied on sets more frequently, both directors infuse their spaces with a similar kind of credible shabbiness.

But those kind of white bare walls Kubrickian walls are very present in both The Master and Inherent Vice as well. Much more than TWBB.

It's not post-TWBB, but the white backgrounds show up in Punch-Drunk Love, too. It's kind of there in the opening shot, but also in that scene when Barry gets the first threatening call from "Georgia."

wilder

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Re: Influences on each film
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2017, 07:53:55 PM »
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In any case I feel like the influence of Kubrick is present in more ambiguous and less easily measured ways, like for instance the conceptual structuring of the films.

I agree with this. Aside from the Penderecki-inspired music and the center framing (and the bowling alley), comparisons between Kubrick and TWBB seem a bit superficial to me. This is to say nothing of its quality, it's a great movie, but I get the vibe he was still feeling out what makes Big K tick the way he does. It has the paint job but not the engine, imo. Whereas the Altman technique seems to come sort of naturally for him in his earlier movies, it feels more like at a certain point PT stopped and said 'I wanna do that, how?' with Kubrick.

I see a connection more in The Master, in the way the movie is able to capture the strange, elusive tone of all the Scientology-inspired elements, and the aspiration towards that kind of singular story structure where it's sort of inventing puzzle pieces to send your mind wondering in unexplored locales, but still tenuously. The structure-of-my-own-invention aspect is present in TWBB too, but I don't think it's operating on the same level. Just different, not worse. There’s allegory but it’s primarily an inflation of the character’s uniquely personal desires, not necessarily a dually functioning grander statement about humanity at large.

During Phantom Thread I kept thinking Eyes Wide Shut, as I've since learned other people were, too, but it's really hard to explain why. It seemed the most invisibly Kubrick. I'm so curious to see if PT ends up mentioning anything about it.

Last night I was thinking about this, reading around to refresh my memory. I came across this page:

Quote from: Marcus Geduld
But it's a mistake to say that Kubrick believed the id would always triumph over the superego. He believed both forces would always be with us and would always be locked in battle. That is Kubrick's ethos: the battle between constraints and freedoms never ends. Society will always beat people down. The beast will always disrupt society. Society is good, because it keeps us from all killing each other; society is evil, because it castrates us; our natures are evil, because they are sexually depraved and murderous; our natures are good, because they're artistic and creative.

This is a markedly different ethos that that of most other artists. Most seem to take a side: human nature is wicked and must be subdued; culture is wicked and must be rebelled against. Humanity will ultimately triumph; Society will destroy humanity. Kubrick was neither a romantic nor an Orwellian. He was a Freudian. Neither the id nor the superego are going anywhere. They are both here to stay.

The more I think about it, the more I believe those ideas are present in Phantom Thread as well. I'll wait to elaborate as not to spoil anything.

Lottery

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Re: Influences on each film
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2017, 08:18:08 PM »
+1
I can't recall any mention of Kubrick from the team in regard to The Master, he's been pretty clear with the sort of work that informed it- but that doesn't mean much. I reckon PTA's later films have a looser editing and structure than a lot of Kubrick's work. If the influence is there, then I think it's probably just a general presence rather than an active reference- which may be more significant. Both filmmakers reached a high level of technical mastery and there is visual similarity at times but I think they approach ideas/images in very different way. Kubrick is far more conceptually aware, driving toward concept and exploring it from every angle until something that is intellectually satisfying. Once PTA has his setting, he goes from the characters out. He does extensive research to find verisimilitude and to create models for his characters but it's far less calculated and is more about exploring reality through the character. Since he's gotten older he always goes back to saying- this movie is about relationship, about the father and son, about these two etc. I also think Kubrick's later work also doesn't have the same type of humanity that has driven the entirety of PTA's career.

PTA has been so stylistically informed by the 70s (and so on, you know the early influences) in his early career that all of these elements have permanently left a mark on him visually but The Master onwards, I reckon he's trying to make a break from that.

Quote
On The Master it was just a gut thing, I saw it that way in my head. I was actually seeing it in 1.66, an even boxier, more European aspect ratio. It probably has to do with the fact that most of the movies I watch are 1.33, they’re older movies. On The Master, somehow it felt more accurate to the period...
I don’t fetishize ’70s movies the way some people do. I love them, but my models are those ’30s films, and I’m always trying to emulate that. Sometimes you can’t – sometimes you try to get things in one shot and you realize you’re forcing the staging, and you have to own up to the fact that it’s not working. You always have to keep an eye on it to make sure that your visual ideas aren’t affectations, and that you’re not just adhering to some kind of dogma. But when you can make that kind of thing work naturally, it’s just the best.
http://filmmakermagazine.com/88626-the-only-thing-i-ever-really-look-at-in-movies-is-the-actors-paul-thomas-anderson-on-inherent-vice/


If I could ask PTA many dork questions without him getting annoyed, one would defs be about his use of that intense white light he likes and the bare grubby walls. Why and where he got that from (Altman, Kubrick, nowhere and so on).

Someone will inevitably ask about the Kubrick connection in regard to the PT 'lighting cameraman' credit in the coming months so we might hear more on that front.

Lewton

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Re: Influences on each film
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2017, 09:01:49 PM »
+1
I also think Kubrick's later work also doesn't have the same type of humanity that has driven the entirety of PTA's career.

Not the same approach to humanity, no, but Kubrick's later work -- namely, EWS -- still gets fairly close to PTA's level, in a way. It's also occurring to me now the way in which Inherent Vice seems to recall Eyes Wide Shut in a few respects...

Anyway, I used to find the Kubrick comparisons kind of boring because I thought they suggested, generally speaking, a superficial auteurist impulse: people elevating PTA's legacy, at the height of TWBB mania, by gesturing toward another venerated filmmaker. TWBB is great, but it never felt like it was necessary to turn to Kubrick in order to prove that. However, in some ways, I think my early assessment of the Kubrick comparisons was actually superficial. It makes sense to compare the two.

On the other hand, I do think there are many limits to such comparisons. In my previous post, I was only discussing vague echoes in terms of their respective visual styles, but even those comparisons exceed Kubrick and seem more diffusely spread around 70s cinema and, stretching back, noir and Italian neo-realism. I also keep thinking about Anderson praising Repo Man's cinematography for apparently showing nighttime the way it really looks. I think he's interested in distinguishing his images through a particular kind of stark, seemingly unfussy authenticity.

Someone will inevitably ask about the Kubrick connection in regard to the PT 'lighting cameraman' credit in the coming months so we might hear more on that front.

Yeah, that might yield an interesting response. I would also like to learn PTA's opinion of EWS.

Lewton

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Re: Influences on each film
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2017, 01:28:26 PM »
+1
Perhaps this will takes things too far outside of the intended focus of this thread, but it may be worthwhile to extend the scope to include literary references, and other kinds of influences (i.e., the transcript from the 1920s, from which he borrowed the "milkshake" line for use in TWBB).

A selection from the beginning of Moby Dick was included in The Master's script, for instance, and was essentially used to introduce Freddie: "Sometimes my hypo's get the best of me, I really feel like walking into the street and hitting people's hats off."

Other influences for The Master include Radiohead's "Harry Patch (In Memory Of)," which Anderson listened to a lot during the writing process.

I wish we knew more about his favourite books...

Drenk

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Re: Influences on each film
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2017, 01:38:24 PM »
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Freddy almost falling of the ship while people are throwing bananas at him is some kind of allusion to the beginning of Gravity's Rainbow. In the script, I think I remember some stuff that sounded like V by Pynchon too—alligators in the sewers.
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Lottery

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Re: Influences on each film
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2017, 09:55:06 PM »
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Quick summary from Cigs and Red Vines PTA interview for The Master, many of these influences have already been mentioned in the thread.

Quote
You’ve talked about the doc “Let There Be Light” and book “At Ease: Navy Men Of WWII” as being great reference points but can you talk about any other books/films/art that inspired “The Master”?

It's always such a long list.....sometimes it's whatever was on TV that morning. Other times, it's something i'm really into. tons of old film noir's. Out of the Past, dark Corner, Mr. Arkadin, Lady from Shanghai, etc. Nightmare Alley! Val Lewton stuff like Seventh Victim and Ghost Ship. Dianetics in Limbo by Helen O'Brien. Helen Forrest/Kitty Kallen and anything by Jo Stafford music wise. also listened over and over to Stravinsky piece "Ebony Concerto." Duke Ellington - Peer Gynt Suite. list goes on.....oh! how about John O'Hara short stories. earlier drafts have a slight adaption of one of his stories, "Bucket of Blood" I think. great short story.
Quote
...All that stuff with Alligators in sewers was stolen from Pynchon's V. We looked around some sewers in upstate New York...... eventually decided to ditch the whole story line in writing before spending money and time on something unnecessary to the Main Event.

Quote
We know it was always a semi-regular sing along at the old Largo but how did “Slow Boat To China” come to you as the climax of the film?

Can't remember the moment of decision for sure....but i think i was influenced by a tapestry on a bathroom wall i saw at a house i was staying at in Gloucster, Mass. great fishing/sailing town and the tapestry was about Sailors and Lighthouses lighting up the night...it was a little poem with a lighthouse on it....reminded me of Slow Boat to China the way it rhymed......that's probably the connection. kept going back to that bathroom while writing and then presto -chango - you've got Master's serenade.

From memory, one of the most commonly heard influence/inspirations from this period was TCM.

Lottery

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Re: Influences on each film
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2017, 06:28:20 PM »
+1
Phantom Thread

Regarding the score.

http://variety.com/2017/film/news/jonny-greenwood-radiohead-phantom-thread-1202636131/

Quote
“We talked a lot about ‘50s music, what was popularly heard then as well as what was being written and recorded,” Greenwood tells Variety. “Nelson Riddle and Glenn Gould’s Bach recordings were the main references. I was interested in the kind of jazz records that toyed with incorporating big string sections, Ben Webster made some good ones, and focus on what the strings were doing rather than the jazz musicians themselves.”

 

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