Paul Thomas Anderson

8 Reasons Why “Boogie Nights” is a Modern Masterpiece

By Allan Khumalo

This year on October 10, “Boogie Nights” will be celebrating its 20th anniversary. Released in 1997, the film signaled the arrival of a major talent and future legend. Paul Thomas Anderson had made one film prior, the criminally unseen and underrated “Sydney/Hard Eight” but with “Boogie Nights” film society had no choice but to take notice.

Following a story set in the Golden Age of Porn in the 70s before video came and ruined it for everybody in the 80s, “Boogie Nights” plays more like a montage of stories and characters wrapped up in the excesses of their worst impulses. At heart, it’s really a story of a surrogate family who find home among other “damaged” people.

Every shot, every line of dialogue, every cut is the work of someone with film in their veins. Constantly quotable, constantly re-watchable and constantly entertaining, the film never gets old. It’s jam-packed with everything that makes film great throughout its 155-minute runtime. Besides its length, the time flies by. In celebration we look at everything that makes “Boogie Nights” a seminal classic, because after all, it’s not one but a million things that make a film work.

1. The Ensemble Cast

boogie nights

While the story may focus more on Mark Wahlberg’s Dirk Diggler, the film is no doubt an ensemble with the dream cast to end all dream casts. Every character has their own storyline and their own reason for working in the industry.

As a surrogate family, they each fill a particular role. Burt Reynolds is the cool father that everyone calls by first name. A maestro who provides a safe haven for lost souls at the price of baring it all. Although Reynolds reportedly hated the film and his character, he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

6 Reasons Why “Inherent Vice” Is Criminally Underrated

By Hrvoje Galić

“I don’t know what I just saw.”

– “Doc” Sportello

“Inherent Vice” is the 2014 film by the wunderkind Paul Thomas Anderson; it is based on the novel of the same name by acclaimed postmodernist author Thomas Pynchon. Jean-François Lyotard famously defined postmodernism as an “incredulity towards metanarratives,” meaning that the narratives that gave meaning to political, ethical (etc.) concepts in the past are simply no longer credible.

In the New York Times article on Pynchon’s novel, the author says: “The private eyes of classic American noir dwell in a moral shadow land somewhere between order and anarchy, principle and pragmatism. They’re too unruly to be cops and too decent to be crooks, leaving them no natural allies on either side but attracting enemies from both.”

Pynchon is a writer who is “notoriously” reclusive; only a few photographs have been taken of him. He started publishing in the late 1950s and early 1960s and that fact is crucial for understanding “Inherent Vice”.

Anderson’s film follows that idea in the spirit of Pynchon’s novel; the film is not easily ‘digestible’, to say the least. The film seemingly follows the tradition of stoner films like “The Big Lebowski”, but it is also very different than that particular type of film.

When the viewer watches it, they should ask themselves: “Who can I ‘trust’?” The answer is – no one. Not the narrator, not the characters who even don’t trust themselves, not even the director who seems to ‘play’ with the viewer, making him believe what is not, and the other way around.

This may look stark, but it surely is not. It is what gives this film a spell-binding attraction, but also incurs the loss of popularity among the viewers. The film gained a rating of only 6.7/10 on IMDb. This article will try to present the arguments as → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

The 10 Most Underrated American Directors Working Today

By Vitor Guima

We know that, especially in the American film industry, this might be the biggest blockbuster era of all time where studios have the control of large budget productions and never-ending franchises. The rise of the superhero genre allied with fantasy and sci-fi franchises representing a big and profitable deal in the film industry might make some independent films go even more under the radar than it would in other times.

This is not nearly an article that focuses on criticizing blockbusters, but it is important to make sure that diversity exists in the industry – or outside of the industry – so many different creative voices with a diverse variety of approaches are able to bring different themes and stories to the silver screen.

In America today, we have acclaimed auteurs that have all the recognition they deserve. Filmmakers like Paul Thomas Anderson and David Fincher are definitely as acclaimed as they should be, but some brilliant ones do not have the appreciation they should, and 10 of those are the focus of this article.

If you think other American underrated directors should be in this article, please leave their names and some recommendations of their films in the comments section below.

So, here are 10 amazing underrated American directors working today for us to see that there’s way more to American cinema than superheroes in the 21st century.

10. Dan Gilroy

Born on June 24, 1959 in Santa Monica, California, Dan Gilroy is a screenwriter and director mostly known for writing and directing the acclaimed film “Nightcrawler” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, and which was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 87th Academy Awards in 2015.

Before his director debut with “Nightcrawler”, Gilroy had already written movies like “Two for the Money” (directed by D.J. Caruso and starring Al Pacino and Matthew → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema