Archiv der Kategorie: Paul Thomas Anderson

Food for Eyes and Thought

Film review: Phantom Thread (Director: Paul Thomas Anderson)

By Sascha Krieger

Breakfast. It used to be regarded as the day’s most important meal. Andy while experts have long denied it, for many people a good and harmonious breakfast is still a key ingredient in starting the day right. In Paul Thomas Anderson’s Oscars candidate Phantom Thread, it is perhaps the most important plot element. When the current love interest and muse of celebrated 1950s London couturier Reynolds Woodcock offers his the wrong bakery, she gets thrown out of his life and house. When waitress Alma holds her own and smiles steadfastly in the face of an excessive breakfast order, she enters his life forcefully. And when he explodes at her buttering her toast to noisily, their relationship changes dramatically. Woodcock is a man of many and inflexible rules, his life carefully structured. He knows what he wants and needs and that’s basically for everybody to conform to his whims and regulations. Alma poses a threat: she questions his rules, subverts them, stubbornly insists he meet her at eye level. There is only one person in his life who has done this: his sister Cyril on whom he relies in everything. When she checks him and tells him quietly he wouldn’t survive a fight with her, he gives in.

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Of Masters and Men

Film reviews: The Master (Director: Paul Thomas Anderson) and Hitchcock (Director: Sacha Gervasi)

By Sascha Krieger

The sea glistening in the sun, a not quite that young and well-worn face, expressionless, being attacked by the wind, young men lazing, playing on the beach: Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film starts with strong, ambivalent, volatile images whose meaning is not quite clear. They indicate peace, hope, joy of life, but there is an eeriness to them, an ambiguousness, the sense of something not quite right. They are a little to clean, a little too bright, a little too optimistic. And rightly so: the young man we see, Freddie Quell, played by Joaquin Phoenix, just released from the military, is a broken man – aimless, lost, a slave to addiction. A lost soul which nobody wants to rescue.

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