Right now, Paul Thomas Anderson is focused on promoting his latest film Licorice Pizza – 100%. The film starring Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman, son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, is receiving rave reviews. In general, the stunts and the audience are grateful that the director took a more relaxed route for this Coming of Age inspired by the life of Gary Goetzman when he was a child actor. There has also been a lot of talk about the young Hoffman’s natural talent and the possibility of seeing him in other projects, with or without the director at the helm.
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In addition to his talent for storytelling and guiding his actors to do their best in front of the camera, Anderson himself is also a movie fanatic. On his own he has spoken about the influence of other directors and how he tries to keep up with the new releases each year. In fact, he recently revealed in an interview that his family is obsessed with Marvel and that all members are watching each new installment of the MCU. Although this surprised some of his fans, what it really means is that the creator knows how to give the opportunity to a great variety of titles that in one way or another manage to entertain him or teach him something that he can use in the future.
In that sense, Anderson does not hesitate to talk about the elements that he considers most appropriate to tell a story on the big screen. Of course, the script is the key, but a good connection with the actors is also required and that is why you want to repeat this work with names like Joaquin Phoenix, protagonist of The Master: Every Man Needs a Guide – 85% and Own Vice – 74%. In addition to these points, the director considers that time is also one of the most important factors to achieve something of quality.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Paul Thomas Anderson revealed that he considers that a film should not last more than two hours, and if you think he is sending a hypocritical message because many of his tapes easily exceed that limit, you will notice that he says it precisely for his own works:
A movie should preferably be two hours long. That’s when movies are at their best. I’ve missed the mark, but that’s the goal.
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This comment comes from discovering during the editing process so much recorded material that it is not known what to do with it. Anderson refers to the limited series and how they come to be used as an excuse to extend a story that could well be told in less time. In fact, for him the series seek a totally different format that is in itself a very complicated challenge:
[Las series limitadas] they are a great format when they work. It is exciting. But again, so are the series. I’ve never gotten into that world, but I imagine it must be very difficult to sustain the life of the story for more than two, three, or four seasons.
Nobody asks me [hacer televisión]. I’m just playing in my own corner of the sandbox. As a writer, I think we have fantasies when you have trouble editing material: “I have so much material, maybe this is a limited series.” When in fact it is not, you simply have to edit your own story.
This comment is very interesting, because it is true that lately there has been a lot of talk about turning certain films into series to keep as much material as possible. This discussion took place, for example, with the arrival of Zack Snyder’s The Justice League – 82% at HBO Max. At first rumors arose assuring that the edition would work as a miniseries to leave absolutely everything that Zack Snyder had worked on. Tapes like Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone – 80% and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – 91% served to accustom the public to longer stories, but not all of them need to be that way. In fact, when some titles are shorter, a lot is criticized as if it were automatically a problem, as happened with Venom: Carnage Freed – 45%, that if we think about it, he did not need more minutes to tell what he wanted to tell. It is a new custom born from the panic of creators and fans to lose details, even if they are not essential.
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