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how would you rank his films so far?

Robyn · 110 · 15242

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Shughes

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Reply #105 on: May 31, 2021, 08:21:49 PM
I've been a fan since early-ish - saw Boogie Nights first when released on VHS. I think Magnolia was the first PTA I saw in the cinema. For a LONG time Magnolia was my favourite film. I watched a 35mm print of it around 18 months ago trying to convince a friend of its greatness. He had seen it before, liked it fine, but thought it too long. It didn't hold up as well as I thought. It was still great to watch on the big screen, but its problems were magnified (in contrast to Boogie Nights, which gets better every time). My friend ended up liking it a little more after that screening, and I liked it a little less.

The Master is my number 1, very closely followed by TWBB.

I like IV a lot and enjoy it more with each viewing. It was slightly disappointing on first viewing, but I think that's because I wanted to see the film that the trailer was selling. With expectations adjusted IV falls somewhere in the middle for me. With the obvious caveat that PTA hasn't made a bad film.


Find Your Magali

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Reply #106 on: June 01, 2021, 05:49:16 PM
I could be wrong but I have the feeling that generally the old fans of his (since late '90s/early '00s) have warmer response to his early works (especially BN-Magn-PDL) than the newer fans who seem to prefer the post-TWBB era. Could it be just emotionalism? I dunno.

I have a particular friend who is a die-hard PTA fan for at least twenty years, he digs all of his movies, but every time I bring this discussion he claims that Magnolia will always be his favorite ("Of course he's evolved as an artist since those days and I respect that, he's still great, but my emotional bonding with Magnolia is unparalleled.")

I am willing and capable of evolving alongside the director. Magnolia remains my favorite and, to me, its flaws are minor and insignificant. It's a monumental achievement.

That said, Phantom Thread (my second or third favorite movie of his) is objectively a better film than Magnolia. ....  Magnolia-era PTA could never have made Phantom Thread. Nor would Magnolia-era PTA have the patience for the long silences of The Master.

His evolution as a writer, director of actors, cinematographer is amazing to behold.


WorldForgot

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Reply #107 on: June 01, 2021, 09:23:36 PM
His evolution as a writer, director of actors, cinematographer is amazing to behold.

Highkey.

And, to me, the last three PTA projects are singular.  Inherent Vice iz a masterwork of subculture via a city, American zeitgeist, and how lived-in culture reflects on screen. Magnolia and PDL may reveal more of Paul, but IV, The Master, Phantom Thread, (and Boogie, in its deft adoration of "crew"ing) are speaking tongues beyond the auteur, intra the medium.


Lewton

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Reply #108 on: June 02, 2021, 03:25:25 PM
The hiatus between PDL and TWBB seemed like a real turning point. What was he thinking about, reading, watching at that time, I wonder? Besides TWBB research. My guess has always been that he really got into Malick's work but he never discusses him. Everything after that hiatus just seems considerably more mellow and yet weirder and richer, and I guess less desperate for the audience's admiration?

I don't mean "desperate" in a pejorative way, though. That desperation was part of the power of those earlier movies...like, the opening of Boogie Nights works so hard to grab the viewer by the lapels and it succeeds. Then the Master is just like...accidentally brushing past those lapels in a dazed way, and it may be his best movie.

There are also those bits like Joaquin saying "blah blah blah" while reading the newspaper early on in IV or Laura Dern's hurt expression after PSH's sudden blow-up near the end of The Master. These moments just seem like they could never have happened in the early days. Can't quite put my finger on it, but something about those examples have this unrehearsed, low-key, authentic energy to them. (His earlier movies were authentic of course, but just not in the same way)


Find Your Magali

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Reply #109 on: June 02, 2021, 03:32:29 PM

There are also those bits like Joaquin saying "blah blah blah" while reading the newspaper early on in IV or Laura Dern's hurt expression after PSH's sudden blow-up near the end of The Master. These moments just seem like they could never have happened in the early days. Can't quite put my finger on it, but something about those examples have this unrehearsed, low-key, authentic energy to them. (His earlier movies were authentic of course, but just not in the same way)

The Julianne Moore subplot in Magnolia is the weakest. I wouldn't change a thing about the pharmacy scene, but I wonder how post-PDL Paul would have handled her scenes with the doctor and the lawyer.