Last year I wrote an essay dedicated to Paul Thomas Anderson's body of work. I hypothesized a thematic, chronological timeline rooted by the time periods of his films. Having read Thomas Pynchon's novel, I speculated as to Anderson's take on the material (placing it chronologically after The Master and preceding Boogie Nights):
"Then, in 1970, Freddie is Larry Sportello; a drifting pothead with a slightly better foothold on life. A private investigation sends him on an odyssey through greed, dependence…
You know, this actually made sense to me. I was bracing for a fevered surrealist nightmare, but this felt much more like a coherent narrative than anything else.
I found myself eerily reminded of Bergman's Persona more than once - was that just me? Not only a sense that the two lead women might just be the same person, but a similarly energetic claustrophobia that pulsates in the silences between them. There's sexual energy, but there's also sincere compassion and…
I have a new theory about Lars. It has to do with his flagrant tendency to force the hand of his narrative into impossible contortions until morality is thrust into the frame, naked and trembling, daring you to feel emotional involvement with actors on a film set.
Take Uma Thurman's scene. Only an idiot would script such a ridiculously contrived scenario: the wife of an adulterous man brings their three sons into the apartment of her husband's whore so they…