Thursday, November 07, 2002

Interview: "Practical Insanity"

Honolulu Star, Written By Nadine Kam
November 7th, 2002

Paul Thomas Anderson chronicles the heroics of surviving from day to day

I am waiting for Paul Thomas Anderson to call, but in the daylight savings switcheroo, I'm wondering if "his people" got the time right given the time difference from L.A. They say 10:30; I'm thinking 11:30 is more likely. I'm not risking the chance of missing the director's call, so I'm waiting by the phone by 9:30 a.m.

Trouble is, I also need to feed my parking meter before the meter maids start circling my car because I refuse to pay for monthly parking because it's like paying for six feet of nothing when I have more pressing expenses and somehow with streets full of two-hour meters I end up at a one-hour one. After several cups of water I need to head off to the restroom and I have bill payments due yesterday to get into the mail. Do I stay or do I go now?

Friday, October 25, 2002

Interview: "Love Might Do A Number On Paul"

Chicago Tribune, Written By Mark Caro
October 25th, 2002

Paul Thomas Anderson likes to stick actual phone numbers into his movies instead of those phony "555" ones, and if you called the ones mentioned in Magnolia, you heard phone messages related to the movie.

So when Adam Sandler's character recites his phone number in Punch-Drunk Love, you can imagine all of the Anderson cultists taking out their pens.

If you call the number, you hear a male voice saying, "Hi, this is Paul. Please leave a message."

Is that Anderson?

"No, it's not," the filmmaker said. "It's a funny story, actually. That's a phone number that we bought for Magnolia. You're supposed to just kind of own it forever, and it turned out New Line (which released Magnolia) gave up paying this really small bill per month. So I called the number just to check and see if they still had it, and it was some guy named Paul. So I guess he might get a lot of phone calls."

The number, in fact, is the same one that the Philip Seymour Hoffman character dials in Magnolia. A message for "Paul" from this reporter went unreturned.

"I think that Columbia contacted him," Anderson said. "My producer called to try and figure a situation out, so I don't know what the latest is on it."

Saturday, October 19, 2002

Interview: "Director Punch-Drunk With Joy"

Seattle PI, Written By Paula Nechak
October 19th, 2002

Paul Thomas Anderson has only made four feature films but he's one of our most original, insightful and invigorating filmmakers.

"Hard Eight," "Boogie Nights," "Magnolia" and now "Punch-Drunk Love" have earned Anderson two Oscar nominations for original screenplay, a spate of awards from film festivals worldwide and the coveted best director's prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival (for "Punch-Drunk Love").

No wonder he's so darn cheerful when I meet him in the lounge of Seattle's Four Seasons Olympic Hotel. Anderson is rumpled and casual, easy to talk to, self-deprecating, unpretentious -- and he smokes like a chimney.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Interview: "Paul Thomas Anderson Casts Wider Net With Punch-Drunk Love"

Chicago Tribune, Written By Mark Caro
October 16th, 2002

Here's a theory that doesn't particularly apply to "Punch-Drunk Love" director Paul Thomas Anderson, but since we're talking about a filmmaker who approaches everything from odd angles, you'll just have to roll with it:

When rockers such as Talking Heads, R.E.M. and Elvis Costello started out, they occupied their own strange planets, and their fans gravitated toward them to get a handle on Heads front man David Byrne's jittery alienation, R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe's mumbled lyrics or Costello's venom.

But as these performers grew in popularity, they became more aware of their impact on audiences and began to tailor their works accordingly, choreographing their stage moves (particularly Talking Heads and R.E.M.) and making their material more accessible. They were meeting their audiences halfway, sometimes with better artistic results than others.

The 32-year-old Anderson established a loyal cult following with his first three highly personal films, "Hard Eight" (1997), "Boogie Nights" (1997) and "Magnolia" (1999), the last being a three-hours-plus mosaic of troubled father-child relationships that supporters found mesmerizing (this writer included) and detractors deemed interminable. After "Magnolia," Anderson told interviewers that his job is to "communicate" and that he'd love to connect with a broad audience a la Steven Spielberg.

Then he made "Punch-Drunk Love," a 90-minute romantic comedy starring Adam Sandler, the childish, highly marketable star of such popular low-brow comedies as "The Waterboy" and "Big Daddy."

Monday, October 14, 2002

Interview: "Out There"

Boston Globe, Written By Wesley Morris
October 14th, 2002

Paul Thomas Anderson scales back his scope with 'Punch-Drunk Love' but remains committed to stretching your mind.

Paul Thomas Anderson is tall. He might be lanky, too. Today, he's kind of shaggy and fidgety but totally affable - if a little out of sorts. Somehow, he's managed to irritate his tailbone. This is a self-diagnosis: ''I must have sat on it weird."

Were he paler, he'd qualify for gaunt - like a self-styled hipster fronting a band whose records sell in the thousands and inspires talk of being the next great you-name-it.

But Anderson doesn't make garage rock. He makes movies, which is where he does his styling.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

Interview: "Love At First Sight"

Chicago Sun Times, Written By Roger Ebert
October 13th, 2002

So there I am at the Toronto Film Festival, eyeing Adam Sandler across the room. He knows and I know that I have never given him a good review. That time we met backstage at Letterman, he was very decent, considering. He said he hoped that someday he would make something I liked. Now he has.

The movie is "Punch-Drunk Love," by Paul Thomas Anderson. The moment it was announced, I got a lot of e-mails from people asking what in the hell Anderson was thinking of, making an Adam Sandler movie. Such is the power of Sandler's presence that it didn't occur to them it might be a Paul Thomas Anderson movie. Now I have seen it, and can report that it is both: an Adam Sandler movie by Paul Thomas Anderson. Imagine a Tom Green movie by Martin Scorsese. No, that's easier.

Saturday, October 12, 2002

Interview: "Director Now Punch-Drunk Over Comedy"

Seattle Times, Written By Moira MacDonald
October 13th, 2002

Paul Thomas Anderson, Oscar-nominated writer-director of "Boogie Nights" and "Magnolia," has developed a trademark style over the past few years, crafting ensemble dramas about lost, confused souls seeking connection and community. And now he's made an Adam Sandler comedy.

Say what?

"It was a really conscious decision to do something else," says Anderson, 32, in town last month for a sneak preview of "Punch-Drunk Love." He was in a happy frame of mind and decided to try something new. "I felt good. It's all where you land."

Interview: Charlie Rose Show Transcript

Charlie Rose Transcript, Written By Jeffrey Zablotny
October 12th, 2002

CHARLIE ROSE: Paul Thomas Anderson is the Oscar nominated behind the critically acclaimed films Boogie Nights and Magnolia, his latest film is Punch-Drunk Love.  He’s earned the Best Director award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and Sandler stars in what critics call his best performance of his career.  I am pleased to welcome AS and PTA to talk about that movie and many other things.  We were just saying this is the...third, fourth?

PTA: Third time here.

CR: Where did the idea for this come from?

Friday, October 11, 2002

Interview: "Punch In The Dark"

The Star, Written By Peter Howell
October 11th, 2002

Punch-Drunk Love director tones down past pretensions

It's a frantic afternoon during the Toronto International Film Festival, and filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson seems to be doing his best impression of Frodo Baggins, the hungry and hairy hobbit from The Lord Of The Rings.

Curled up on a club chair in a darkened corner of a Windsor Arms Hotel bar, he's barefoot, unshaven and plowing through a huge plate of French fries, scarfing them by the fistful. The 32-year-old Californian looks as if he's barely survived a mythic quest of some sort — which, when you're talking about the birth of a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, isn't far from the truth.

"You want some of these?" he says, proffering the platter of fries. The snack is declined, but wine makes a more enticing offer. Soon glasses are clinking in toast to Punch-Drunk Love, the off-kilter romance starring Adam Sandler and Emily Watson that shows how weird obsessions, extortion and death threats can lead to love.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Interview: "Pleased As Punch"

Toronto Sun, Written By Bruce Kirkland
October 8th, 2002

Director of Punch-Drunk Love Delights in Dark Side of 'Goofy' Sandler

Maverick Hollywood filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson sips a fine white wine and gobbles down a plate of greasy french fries smothered in ketchup. He swears like a sailor on shore leave and is as sweet and good-natured as Bambi.

We're sitting in a back room of the bar at the swank Toronto hotel The Windsor Arms and Anderson, with his tousled hair and vaguely sleepy look, is dressed casually in battered jeans and a rumpled white shirt.

Looks are deceiving. This is the genius who, in the past seven years, has made some of America's most daring, innovative, intellectually risky and visually dynamic films: Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia and now Punch-Drunk Love. The new film opens Friday in limited release after appearing to much acclaim (but some minor nay-saying) at the Toronto film festival. Punch-Drunk Love is dark and brooding, at odds with its supposed positioning as a romantic comedy. It is prickly and eccentric. It is provocative and hypnotic. It is everything that cinephiles admire and Hollywood marketing teams hate: A film which cannot be neatly packaged, labelled and sold as a product tie-in with burgers and candy.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Interview: "A Poet Of Love And Chaos In The Valley"

New York Times, Written By Dave Kehr
October 6th, 2002

PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON, 32, is the unofficial poet laureate of the San Fernando Valley.

"I was born in Studio City," Mr. Anderson said by telephone from his home, "and I'm here now, looking out over the expansive West."

The West he refers to includes Sherman Oaks, Reseda, Encino and many other valley settlements, large and small. They are all new cities in the American mode, composed of strip malls, franchises of every description and vast middle-class housing developments. A significant portion of the movie business has also migrated there, slipping over the San Vicente Mountains from Hollywood.

Three of Mr. Anderson's four films have been set in what Angelenos call simply the Valley, and with them he has emerged as one of the most original voices of his generation, a filmmaker who combines extreme formal experimentation with close observation. His work is at once sociologically accurate and poetically abstract.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Interview: New York Film Festival Q&A

New York Film Festival Q&A, Transcribed By Shaun Sages & Todd Parker
October 5th, 2002

This is a loose transcription of the New York Film Festival Q & A.

>> Since "Punch-Drunk Love" doesn't feature your regular material, such as the "Clementine Loop", or actors like Phillip Baker Hall and John C. Reilly, do you consider it to break the tradition of your previous three films?

PTA: It breaks from the tradition only in that they're not in it. But just because there was really no parts for them in the story…Um…Phil Hoffman is in it, and so is Luis Guzman. There's just nowhere to put the others really.

>> Why did you choose to shoot the film in scope?

PTA: Well, that decision happened a long time ago, when I was a youngster. I thought to myself, if its a movie, why should it look like television? And there's really nothing better than when that curtain opens ALL THE WAY UP.

>> Why is there a car crash in the beginning?

That's just something you write to get going, like, you need something to START. Joel Silver, a guy that, y’know, makes “those kind of movies”, I once heard him say that every movie should start with a BANG, and that just made sense to me.

>> The pudding story is a true thing that there anything else in the movie that's based on real events?, the pudding story is the touchstone of truth in this movie. (audience laughs)

>> Can you talk about the colors in the film. What they're derived from?

PTA: From an acid experience that I've had in 1967. (Laughs) They're just art by Jeremy Blake. I've seen his work…I had just kind of a…like a bad idea of some color. But it was really bad and I didn't know what to do. But then I saw this Jeremy Blake art, he does these installations I saw at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Classy stuff. I thought that was really phenomenal stuff.

>> When did the blue suit come in?

PTA: Uh. We kinda had a little obsession for different Technicolor musicals. And if you've watched many of them, there always seems to be a standard blue suit. There's a great blue suit in "Bandwagon", and I can remember seeing that and saying 'I want that color blue.'

>> How convinced were you that Adam had what was it takes to do this certain type of role?

PTA: Yeah. I was never convinced that it would be anything but wonderful working with him, because I think that's when…you respond to someone as an actor but you wanna make sure that you like being around them, cause you're gonna be around them a lot. You're going to be, y'know, you're gonna be in love with each other for two years or however long it's gonna take. I think Adam and I work in similar ways with alotta the same people and a close group. Adam is kind of in charge of his movies, and I'm sort of in charge with my movies. So you know you're coming from a similar place. A similar works ethic. And that's critical when you're jumping to do it. Does that answer your question?

>> I wanted to know when you were convinced…

PTA: Oh, when I was…Yeah. Yeah. From the beginning. Absolutely.

>> Let's talk about the score. Did you know what the sound was gonna be like while you were shooting?

PTA: Yeah. I worked with Jon Brion when I was writing the movie as well to talk about ideas and notions, what might sound right or good for the movie. And he would do 8-minute chunks of stuff, and it was really nice to have in going to shoot the movie because…if you don't know what the fuck you're doing you're just gonna turn to the music and kinda let it guide you a little bit. And it really helped Adam and Emily, I think, to know…if you kinda know what music is gonna happen there an actor can know how little they have to get away with. Y'know. Like, 'Okay, so that's gonna happen there.' So it's just kinda like attacking it a little bit like you're making a musical, y'know, even though it's not really a musical…just kinda pretend that it is. It becomes helpful. I know Adam is really a musical person, too. So it helped. And then some of the stock sound is just amazing where we shot. We shot in that warehouse, it's kind of an amazing place deep in the Valley. There's a railroad nearby. There's a mountain nearby. Some of the sounds are just natural sounds of the environment…it's just putting the microphone in the right place.

>> Why does Adam wear the blue suit for the whole movie?

(long pause, laughter) Um, you just need the brightest colors you can in a love story like this, I guess.

>> Luis, can you compare working with Paul to working with Brian De Palma? What's different?

LUIS: Um...Brian De Palma directs the movie. Paul directs and writes the movie. He creates the movie, the whole thing, everything comes from him. And he's so amazing to work with because he’s got everything down, and he’s become like a master at this, already. Paul, give me twenty dollars.

>> How did this character sort of develop, or come into shape…come into being. What did you start with? Was there a story or an incident that kinda came in? What was the process of developing the character.

PTA: Uh. Well. Well. I'm trying to remember. I don't remember maybe what might have started it, maybe some loose ideas or notions, but the real trigger was Adam. And then writing it while talking to Adam on the telephone…I went to Hawaii to write the movie and I was there writing it while Adam was working. And, uh, just the - - I don't know - - that's just the way it goes. Y'know. You're just farting around in things that make you laugh, or things that entertain you, or seem interesting and seemed interesting to him and back and forth and then…just collaborating with someone and then once I finished the script then we really started to kinda collaborate and figure out what the hell we were doing.

Adam: I think what happened was, Paul talked to me about the idea, but didn't really tell me much. While he was writing it, he let me hear...on occasion I would speak to him on the phone and he would say 'I wrote a good scene today.' And I'd say, 'Oh yeah? Well, what happens.' He'd go, 'Well I don't wanna tell ya'. And I'd say, 'Well, can you gimme a line?' And he'd say, 'Alright. Page 41, you say 'Sure, why not?'' Ok. I know I like to say 'Sure, why not? 'But now I don't want to. (Laughs) And then, uh, Paul actually came up to my house and he said 'I finished.' I went into my living room, he went away, I just read it and every page I kept going 'Man, what is gonna happen?' I kept asking 'Do I die in it? Do I kill somebody?' I was baffled, though, but it was nice. Paul and I became good friends, even before he showed me the script…talking about it, talking about it…getting to know each others lives. And we just had long conversations about Barry Egan. I learned a lot from Paul, and then I just tried to have fun with it.

>> Im a little confused, exactly why does Emily Watson fall for Adam. What's the reasoning behind her choosing him?

PTA: I think he just called you unattractive.

ADAM: Hey buddy, who are you to call me unattractive?

(audience laughs, the guy stammers trying to rephrase his question)

PTA: The real question is, who wouldn't fall in love with this guy?

>> This film is much shorter than your last two...what was the reason for switching editors?

I worked with an editor named Dylan Tichenor, and now Im working with Leslie Jones and you want to know if that's why the movie’s shorter? This movie was five hours long before Leslie Jones got a hold of it. There she is, in the balcony. She's a totally cool, beautiful woman.

(gives her applause, the audience joins in)

Come on, she deserves more than that!

(audience applauds harder)

>> How long did this film take to shoot?

Pretty long actually. We were doing it right at the time of the supposed actors strike. “The actors are gonna strike! We've gotta make movies!!!” So we shot some stuff, but then Adam had to go do Deeds, and Emily had to go do Gosford Park, but it was kind of an advantage, because  I got to look over all of the footage and kind of handle it the way Woody Allen and Stanley Kubrick did. And then they came back and we shot the second part.

>> When you look at the film now, can you really tell the difference between the footage you shot first and the second part of the footage?

No...I really don't. Because, its all one experience, y’know?

>> (holding up a script) I have a script!

Um, give it to Joe Roth. Joe? Oh, yeah, he's sitting about three rows down from you. Just give it to him. Yeah.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Interview: Exclusive Advance Seattle Screening Q&A Transcription

September 30th Q & A with Paul Thomas Anderson & Adam Sandler at

Seattle's Cinerama theater.

What came first, the pudding or Adam?

PTA: Adam came first. I think I had a lot of things in mind. A lot of big ideas, a lot of bright ideas in search of a thought. One thing lead to another. I had many many many pieces and chunks of something that I thought would be interesting to try and do or say. To grab a hold of something is always hard. Then, the pudding happened. I had read about the pudding dude. There's a real guy who bought all that pudding. He's sort of a frequent flier aficionado, which there are many. There's even magazines that are dedicated to frequent flier miles. That somehow became a real trigger, but there was no doubting the fact that I wanted a piece of Adam Sandler.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Jon Brion - Here We Go (2002)

The music video for the original track "Here We Go" was edited by Paul, and created from alternate takes & unused sequences from Punch-Drunk Love. The video was initially released within a 13 minute sizzle reel montage on an extremely limited/rare DVD release titled "Blossoms & Blood."

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Interview: "Who's Laughing Now?"

City Beat, Written By Steve Ramos
September 19th, 2002

Paul Thomas Anderson and Adam Sandler are Toronto Fest's unlikeliest pair

TORONTO -- Director Paul Thomas Anderson enjoys the last laugh at a Toronto International Film Festival news conference on behalf of his newest film, Punch-Drunk Love, a romantic-comedy about a hot-tempered businessman, Barry Egan (Adam Sandler), whose life improves after falling in love with Lena (Emily Watson), a soft-spoken stranger.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

Interview: Exclusive Internet Q&A

Written by Cigarettes & Red Vines
July 7th, 2002

This interview is based from questions submitted by internet fans.

>> What films (if any) did you use as inspiration when writing PDL?

....yeaah! to be able to answer the question which has been inside so long! I was watching tons of Astaire/Rodgers - Carefree/Gay Divorcee and of course ye old lads: Help! on repeat. remember watching tons of Tati...which RUN don't crawl and get. I recommend......the sound! the love! the affection!.........also music, must say: Joan Armatrading, Ferrante and Techer, Ernie Kovacs (!) lots of the Beatles and lots of Neil young 'silver and gold'. ever seen the moon is our home?

Monday, July 01, 2002

Couch (2003)

A very silly 2 minute black and white short featuring Adam Sandler as a man shopping for a couch. Originally premiered on Sandler's official site.

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Interview: "Looking For Laughs"

Dallas Morning News, Written By Charles Ealy
May 30th, 2002

Director Paul Thomas Anderson, known for the dark and moody dramas Boogie Nights and Magnolia, was all smiles at a media conference for his new romantic comedy, Punch-Drunk Love.
The Europeans peppered him with questions, primarily wanting him to explain the American phrase "punch-drunk."

Mr. Anderson acknowledged that the title was hard to translate but said that the movie's main character, played by Adam Sandler, "feels stuff that he can't express, so he throws punches" at walls and bathroom stalls. And when you fall in love, it's even more complicated, and you literally become punch-drunk. "At least that's how I feel when I'm in love," Mr. Anderson said.

Monday, May 20, 2002

Interview: "Crazy For Love"

LA Times, Written By Kenneth Turan
May 20th, 2002

The filmmaker whose creative drive was seen in 'Boogie Nights' and 'Hard Eight' has taken on the romantic-comedy genre, and he's determined to push the limits.

CANNES, France--"It's so simple," Paul Thomas Anderson says, looking out at the rain from the marble-floored living room of the rented villa shared with about a dozen of his cast and crew just outside of town. "A camera, film, a microphone. Stuff comes in, stuff goes out. That's it."

Except that with Paul Thomas Anderson, nothing is ever quite like that. Simple is just not in the cards.

It doesn't take more than seconds in the presence of this gifted, aware 31-year-old writer-director to feel the intensity and creative zip that led to "Hard Eight," "Boogie Nights" and "Magnolia." He is, in the best sense, a filmmaker who is driving everything--the audience, the form, his collaborators, himself most of all--to go further than they have before. Which is how his latest film, "Punch-Drunk Love," which premiered at the Festival de Cannes on Sunday, came to be.

Sunday, May 19, 2002

Interview: Paul Thomas Anderson Brings Adam Sandler, Emily Watson Together In Off-Beat Romance

Associated Press, Written By Jocelyn Noveck
May 19th, 2002

CANNES, France - It all started with pudding.

Paul Thomas Anderson, the talented young director of "Boogie Nights" and "Magnolia," read an article about a guy who bought a lot of pudding to take advantage of a frequent-flyer promotion.
Then he got Adam Sandler to be in his movie.

Thus was born "Punch-Drunk Love," starring Sandler and Emily Watson, a film that's described as a romantic comedy but has lots more edge than most romantic comedies.

Saturday, May 18, 2002

Interview: "US Comic Adam Sandler Makes Splash At Cannes"

Variety, Written By Jodie Diderich
May 19th, 2002

CANNES, France - Adam Sandler, the accident-prone comic hero of simplistic U.S. hits like "Big Daddy" and "The Waterboy," gate-crashed the rarefied world of art house film Sunday.

Sandler performs a 180-degree turn in "Punch-Drunk Love," a romantic comedy with a twist directed by cult independent director Paul Thomas Anderson.

The New York-born Sandler is emotionally wrenching as Barry Egan, a small business owner brow-beaten by his seven sisters and unable to fall in love until he meets Lena, a mysterious woman played by Emily Watson.

It was also a complete change of direction for Anderson, whose last movie was the three-hour lyrical opus "Magnolia" with Tom Cruise.

The much shorter "Punch-Drunk Love" is competing for the coveted Palme d'Or at the world's biggest film festival, where Anderson said he was thrilled to surprise audiences with his unlikely choice for the lead role.

Monday, February 04, 2002

February 1-4, 2002

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005
I spoke to PTA recently & he had a few things to share. He's putting the finishing touches on his untitled Adam Sandler film. He's still not 100% sure on a title & a release date, but we should expect some additional news in the next few months. Be patient, I hear the film will be worth the wait! We should also have some new PTA DVD Picks shortly as well!
Our second installment of PTA Influences is up for reading pleasure courtesy of site reader Bob Ellis. It's an in-depth look at the movies of Martin Scorsese. Enjoy!
Here's an interesting tidbit. Adam Shankman, the director of the recently released film A Walk to Remember (as well as The Wedding Planner) is the same guy who choreographed the disco dancing sequence in Boogie Nights. Interesting career movie, but thought it might be of interest. (Thanks Chris!)

Thursday, January 31, 2002

January 28-31, 2002

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005

Emily Watson talked Project X4 to the weekly magazine, The Georgia Straight, about Project X4 while promoting Altman's Gosford Park (Thanks Owen!):
Watson did say yes to Paul Thomas Anderson, the Magnolia and Boogie Nights director, when he was looking for a lead female for his first comedy, Punch Drunk Knuckle Love. The film's male lead: none other than Adam Sandler.
"I had the best time," she says, "and Adam is amazing. Paul pulls down something very different from what he has done before and so does Adam, and I guess so do I. I'll admit we're a strange threesome, but it was a happy meeting."
Musician Nick Cave (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds) had this to say about Magnolia in a recent interview in the 2001 Winter issue of Mojo. (Thanks Ryan!)
He doesn't find that much to admire about recent movies - especially the Coen brothers - though he did like Michael Mann's Heat and The Informer, and thoroughly enjoyed Paul Anderson's Magnolia. "I love the way that it descends into misery," he says. "There's a section in the middle which goes on for ages, where everyone's just in agony, sitting there crying. You don't often get that from Hollywood: lengthy periods of sorrow just aren't welcome, you have a cry for two seconds and then everybody's happy again. And I liked the shower of frogs: to me it was like an apocalypse, God yawning at everyone's stupidity, and sending down a plague."
In case you missed it, the Boogie Nights DVD was listed among Entertainment Weekly's Essential DVDs of the Century. Here's their comments:
Boogie Nights (1997) (New Line, R, $29.95) Leave it to the leader of a ''funky bunch'' to star in a porn flick. Or rather, a flick about porn. But Mark Wahlberg proved to be the perfect choice to play Dirk Diggler, the well-endowed star of Paul Thomas Anderson's ode to the adult-film industry. And while size may indeed matter, it was Anderson's deft attention to detail that made ''Boogie Nights'' the defining cinematic look back at the glitzy, glamorous (and grimy) late '70s.
Here's an interesting article about the spirituality of Magnolia. You can read it here. (Thanks Nick!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

January 22, 2002

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005

A few mentions of Project X4 have surfaced in the past week. The Daily Texan lists the film as the #3 most anticipated film for 2002. Here's what they said (Thanks William!):
# 3 - P.T. Anderson Project
Of all the projects kept under wraps, none have done a better job of doing so than Paul Thomas Anderson's follow-up to Magnolia. But even if Anderson kept an online production journal of the shoot, describing every detail, the curiosity surrounding it would remain unfettered. With Anderson's choices for leading man being Adam Sandler (that's not a misprint) and Emily Watson for leading lady, the level of mystery about the film, which is supposedly a romantic comedy, has only heightened. For months, the film has had online film circles guessing about both the titles (everything from Punch Drunk Love to Knuckle Sandwich) and the plot. What is known, however, is that part of the film will take place in Hawaii, where Anderson took his cast and crew last January. Also, Anderson film regulars Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Luis Guzman have both taken supporting roles in the film. Anderson was also quoted recently that the film will be Adam Sandler's "$25 million arthouse movie," which could have easily been said by Quentin Tarantino after the two met on the set of Sandler's Little Nicky and struck up a friendship. 
Tarantino turned around and wrote a part for Sandler in his upcoming war film, Glorious Bastards. Unfortunately for Tarantino, Anderson was quicker to sign Sandler, who has a busy 2002 ahead of him with two other films, including Mr. Deeds, a loosely based remake of the Frank Capra classic, and 8 Crazy Nights, an animated film about the joys of celebrating Hanukkah. Regardless of Sandler's other projects, the untitled P.T. Anderson project should receive the most ink come awards time, when the film is suspected to be released.
UK film magazine Empire also high expectations for Project X4 in their 2002 film preview. They are still showing the name as Punchdrunk Knuckle Love & their plot synopsis isn't right, but oh well.
Rocky Horror Magnolia? Here's an amusing story from site reader (& assistant manager of the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles) Marc Edward Heuck.
We show The Rocky Horror Picture Show Saturday night. We have a great house cast called Sins o' the Flesh that perform the live portion of the experience; they've won awards all over and should be considered the best Rocky cast in America. Anyhow, last Saturday, Jan. 12th, the cast did a "90's night" show, in which instead of dressing like Rocky characters--Brad, Frankie, etc.--they dressed as '90's icons. For example, "Brad" was Adam Sandler, "Frank 'n' Furter" was Ace Ventura, "Janet" was SNL character Mary Catherine Gallagher (Superstar), you get the idea. Also, at strategic points in the movie, we would cut out from the movie audio and drop in some 90's related audio for comic effect. For example, our "Eddie" came dressed as Cartman from South Park, and after the first verse of "Hot Patootie," we went out of that song and into "Kyle's Mom is a Bitch."
Anyhow, for the final scene of the movie before end credits, where the "Super Heroes" song number would be as Brad, Janet, and Dr. Scott crawl in the ruins of Frank 'n' Furter's castle, we dropped in Aimee Mann's "Wise Up," and as the performers lip-synched the song on stage, we proceeded to pelt the audience with tiny rubber frogs. I personally got on top of what would be the roof of the concession stand (the portion recessed into the theatre auditorium) and flung nearly 22 dozen of them into the puzzled crowd. Most people in the movie theatre, of course, had never seen Magnolia, so they were left wondering what the hell this was all about. In fact, most of the cast had never seen the film either, but just liked the bizarre idea of dropping frogs on the audience. The few people in attendance who had seen the film, though, loved it.

Monday, January 21, 2002

January 18-21, 2002

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005

UK's Hotdog Magazine has an interview with Mark Wahlberg in their January 2002 issue. He talks a bit about a possible upcoming musical project with PTA as well as the Sandler/PTA project. Thanks to site reader Lianne for sending this in. Here's the excerpt:
Hotdog - Jordan Riefe: What about a Musical?
MW: Actually, me and Paul Thomas Anderson have discussed it at length. Just a matter of finding the right thing. He's actually writing one, which is going to be crazy, a Paul Thomas Anderson musical. A lot of cocaine.
Hotdog: This isn't his next film, the Adam Sandler one?
MW: No, this is a kind of like a weird action drama thing he wrote. Kind of like the Chest and Brock movie, the characters we came up with in Boogie Nights, but a real, full-blown action feature with these guys running around crazy.
On a related note, Variety ran an article on PTA's current home, Joe Roth's Revolution Studios & they are reporting a Fall 2002 release for Project X4. We'll just have to wait & see. You can read the whole story here.
Lastly, here's an extremely well researched & fascinating analysis of Magnolia by site reader Natalie McDonald from Philadelphia, PA. Check it out here.

Thursday, January 17, 2002

January 14-17, 2002

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005

My condolences to the family & friends of filmmaker Ted Demme, who died of on Sunday. Demme was rushed to the emergency room of UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica when he collapsed after playing in a celebrity basketball game for the NBA Entertainment League at the private Crossroads School. The Los Angeles Coroner's office says the cause of death is not yet known and an autopsy will be conducted. Demme was 38.
Ricky Jay is a busy man. He'll be speaking at the Getty Center in Los Angeles this Friday, January 18th at 7:30 p.m. I hear tickets are sold out, but you can call 310-440-7300. Here's the details on the event: 
Deceptive Practices: A Conversation with Ricky Jay - Sleight-of-hand artist, collector, and magic historian Ricky Jay, in conversation with New Yorker writer Lawrence Weschler, discusses his new book Jay's Journal of Anomalies and his relationship with the Devices of Wonder exhibition.
In TV news, IFC continues to air the Independent Focus with PTA. Also, Starz! is showing Magnolia a few times this month. You can check out the dates & times here.
If you haven't picked up Jon Brion's latest CD, "Meaningless", now is a great time. It's showing up on many year end Top 10 lists (including Entertainment Weekly). 

Sunday, January 13, 2002

January 7-13, 2002

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005

I'm very pleased to present a new feature entitled "PTA Influences". As we look at the careers of directors who have inspired Paul. These inspirations can seen in a number of ways: dialogue, tone, camera moves, etc. This is the brainchild of site reader Bob Ellis, so I'm sure he'd love your feedback as well. We'll start with Robert Altman who's receiving a lot of critical attention with his new film "Gosford Park". 
Since we're talking about Altman, here's an in-depth interview with the director from the USA Today. They also list their favorite & most under-appreciated films here.
Aimee Mann & Michael  Penn will be performing the Beatles' song "Two of Us" from the Sean Penn film "I Am Sam" on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, January 21st.

Sunday, January 06, 2002

January 1-6, 2002

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005

I wanted to wish Paul a Happy 32nd Birthday this week! As you know, PTA was born on January 1, 1970 in Studio City, CA. Here's to a healthy & happy 2002.
Remember that Ricky Jay appearance in San Francisco in early December? Here's a recap of the event from site reader Michael Alessandro:
Just a note to let you know I saw Ricky Jay last night, interviewed by Michael Chabon and it was a great evening. Michael seemed to truly be a Ricky Jay aficionado and fan, they talked much about Jays Journal of Anomalies (Ricky's new book - a compilation of his short magazines, which is fabulous!) and some of his film work.
At the end of the chat, before questions from the audience Ricky Jay consented to perform a poem written for him by Shel Silverstein before he passed, it's to be part of his new show. It was truly delightful, a story of a hustler (Jay) challenged to an honest game of cards in a room with no windows, and a door locked from the outside, and a table of glass, the men wear no rings, no items in which to mark the cards, so he says yes to this "honest" game, and when he wins through skill his challenger pulls a knife at which Ricky throws a card twenty feet across the heads of the audience hitting the balconies edge and "disarms" assailant, at which the man says he'll use his bear hands and Ricky Jay then shoots another card across the opposite wall with equal force "cutting the hand" from the man, at which the man pulls a gun and Ricky sends a card right between his eyes.
It was a wonderful cap to the evening, and a great poem. Ricky Jay took some questions from the audience, was generous in his responses and then signed books after. I had him sign my worn copy of "Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women" and then chatted with him for a few moments about the film I directed "Smoke & Mirrors" which he and PT were a great inspiration for. He was very nice, and I was grateful for this time. (Not to slight Chabon - who gave a wonderful interview and was also a pleasant guy)
M. Night Shyamalan mentions how much he loves Boogie Nights in an interview that was conducted by Creative Screenwriting Magazine with the writer/director of the "Sixth Sense" You can check it out here. (Thanks Kurt!)
I will return with a new site feature entitled "PTA Influences" by site reader Bob Ellis. Stay tuned...