• Charles Arrowsmith

Feature: Paul Thomas Anderson (Washington Post)


From 1996’s “Hard Eight” through “Inherent Vice” in 2014, filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson produced a vast historical survey of California and the Southwest. Moving through the San Fernando Valley of “Boogie Nights” and “Punch-Drunk Love” to the New Mexico desert, San Francisco, Nevada and beyond, his work has grown in scope both geographically and thematically. In a beautifully produced new book, “Paul Thomas Anderson: Masterworks,” critic Adam Nayman analyzes the movies in the order in which they’re set, and “[w]hat emerges,” he writes, “is a largely localized yet hugely allusive and expansive cinematic century, a social, economic, architectural and psychogeographic history” of the region. Great Californian forces — philosophical, religious, moral, political — are at play in Anderson’s work, governing the dirty business of oil, the filthy business of pornography, and much else besides.


For the feature in full, visit The Washington Post.

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