On the heals of the critically acclaimed “There Will Be Blood,” I think a journey into where this film spawned from is worth an evening or two.
Here are some works to check out:
1) The Boxer
A beautifully shot film, with better boxing sequences than the Ali documentary, here we see a very tight script brought to life by three of the hardest hitters in the real acting world, Albert Finney, Emily Watson, and of course Daniel Day Lewis.
Does Daniel Day make There Will Be Blood a good film? A fair question, and just as unanswerable with The Boxer.
A perfectly balanced film, that makes a back alley look beautiful.
2) Punch-Drunk Love
This film brought Adam Sandler out of the bowels of Saturday Night channel change extended play to modern quirky actor, which has further tried to have been harnessed by films like Reign Over Me. Paul Thomas Anderson made this film after the very successful ensemble efforts of Boogie Nights and Magnolia and what I expected from Punch-Drunk was yet another huge movie exploiting Adam Sandler’s popularity at the time. Instead we have a smart play on lonely loveliness with a performance from Sandler that is driven by an undercurrent of anger, making you want to smash windows with a hammer and travel thousands of miles to punch someone out.
Punch-Drunk Love is not a perfect film, but is the bulls-eye in why Paul Thomas Anderson will never cease to be comfortable.
3) Radiohead – OK Computer
I never go to the cinema. I hate it. I have no control as to when the idiot behind me decides to scarf popcorn and then ask his girlfriend “what did he say?”, I can’t take cigarette breaks, and I have to leave my house. Fuck you. But I had to see this. I am not sure if the Oscar should have gone to Cinematography because ultimately the stand out shots in this film were essentially some nice sweeping nature picks of the set. But what made the helicopter and crane-shots so intense was the eerie modern composition from Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood.
Listen to Thom Yorke’s solo album, then pop in Radiohead’s masterpiece OK computer and you will realize how this musical genius takes Yorke’s sucker sentimentalism to the next level, as well as PT Anderson's There Will Be Blood to the tension that it deserves.