For the first time, Paul Thomas Anderson has produced a film distinguished not merely by his characteristic fascination with the world but by a deep love for it.
As I walked up the steps to the Walter Reade theater, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of triumph, my first day back on campus. Everyone was there! In line, tired, clutching cheap coffee and festival badges. Some people got haircuts. Even the grumps were buzzing, happy to finally have some place to be.
The Green Knight seeks not simply to retell or reimagine the poem’s story, but to interrogate or cross-examine the poem itself: to cast a shadow of postmodern skepticism over the original telling, and indeed all of Arthuriana.
"People have flocked to the theater forever to feel something, to experience what it’s like to see a reflection of oneself, distilled in stark revelation. To share in communalized trauma or joy, to escape one’s daily humdrum and strife, and for a brief moment to possibly be cleansed by laughter or tears. To be brought closer into a fellow traveler’s shoes, or to learn about comparable travails and customs of foreign and alien cultures. To be punched in the gut with a vicarious experience. To share in what it means to be human."
Once I noticed the Kimberlys in Nora Ephron’s work, I couldn’t stop noticing them. If we’re accepting Ephron’s own assertion that real-life hurt and heartbreak can be put into fiction with impunity, what did she have against some woman named Kimberly?
Two films featuring Michael Nyman's "Fish Beach" seem so utterly opposed that it’s hard to believe they could share anything at all, but a deeper shared resonance can be drawn out thanks to the particular ways that Nyman’s style of composition works upon picture and viewer.
"I always made choices based on my gut and sometimes they ended up more commercially successful and sometimes less so. I have to make something that I might want to watch, or show a world that I find interesting."