Paul Thomas Anderson

Flavorwire’s Most Anticipated Movies of 2014

Well, 2013 is over, and thank goodness for that. Sure, it was one of the best years in recent memory for movies, but the year-end box office returns indicate it was a year where people mostly wanted to sequels and remakes. And there are plenty of those on tap for 2014 — and a few of them even look promising! (A very few.) So in the spirit of looking forward, let’s have a glance at some of the films we’re most looking forward to in the new… Read More

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The 50 Most Heart-Wrenching Movies of All Time

It’s fall, and there’s something in my eye. Or it’s allergy season. Or I’m newly sensitive to hyper-emotional filmmaking. Or maybe it isn’t just me; every year, when prestige movie season begins, we find ourselves sniffling and dabbing through moving, heartstring-tugging pictures, though this year seems to already have a surplus of big-time weepies. In the spirit of those pictures, here’s a rundown of the 50 most cry-worthy flicks in movie history — not just the saddest, mind you, but those most likely to move us to tears, be it through tragedy, triumph, or the sheer goodness of their… Read More

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The 10 Best Cults in Pop Culture

Calling a social group a “cult” in a contemporary context means you aren’t speaking of them in the most positive light. Decades of tabloid news causes us to associate the word with worst-case scenarios, from the Manson Family to the Peoples Temple. Generally, belonging to a “cult” nowadays is a no-no and, for the most part, ends badly. In fiction, however, small groups of people living together and worshiping a person or deity not from one of the major religions can make for great — and even sometimes lighthearted — entertainment. We’ve rounded up some of the best examples. … Read More

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The 50 Best Directorial Debuts in Movie History

The Toronto Film Festival, which came to a close recently, wasn’t just the starter pistol for We’re-Not-Saying-It-Yet Season; the long-term value of the festival may well be its place as a launching pad for first-time filmmakers. Twenty-eight films screened in its “Discovery” section, and while we won’t know for some time how many soon-to-be-immortal filmmakers were among its ranks, it’s a good excuse to peruse the history of film and pluck out the debut feature efforts of great directors who knocked us out from their first… Read More

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Flavorwire’s Guide to Movies You Need to Stream This Week

Welcome to Flavorwire’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week, there’s great stuff from Al Pacino, Daniel Day Lewis, Brad Pitt, Emma Watson, Ellen Page, Woody Allen, Chris Rock, Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Mia Farrow, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Sofia Coppola, Alfred Hitchcock, Paul Thomas Anderson, and more. Check them out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More

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Famous Directors and Their Famous Music Video Muses

Paul Thomas Anderson has reunited with Fiona Apple for the video for “Hot Knife,” the second single from last year’s The Idler Wheel…. It’s the latest episode in a long creative relationship between the two, and it got us thinking about similar connections between directors and musicians — specifically, noted directors and the musicians who’ve served as their muses over the years. Here’s a selection of the most… Read More

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Hollywood’s All-Time Most Memorable Meltdowns

That Kanye West, he just keeps on giving. Gawker has gotten its hands on a surreptitiously recorded audiotape of West having a rather nonsensical meltdown after the Tyler Swift-VMA debacle back in 2009. It’s a pretty entertaining bit of tape, and it immediately reminded this viewer of the notorious David O. Russell tape, and other movie-related throwdowns. After the jump, a roundup of the most notorious tempter tantrums in movies — both on-screen and off. … Read More

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Why Is Netflix Secretly Cropping Movies?

Like a lot of film writers, I spent a good deal of my life working in video stores. Some of that occurred in the time frame (2000-2002, roughly) when DVDs began to replace VHS, and as a result, I was on the receiving end of much anger and confusion over widescreen formatting — “letterboxing,” as we called it, which began on LaserDisc, appeared on a few VHS tapes, and became the standard on DVD (luckily, since widescreen televisions were also becoming ubiquitous). “I’m not seein’ the whole picture!” customers would complain. “It’s got these lines on the top and bottom!” And I would patiently explain that getting a widescreen movie frame into a television was a case of putting a rectangular peg into a square hole, and the black bars actually showed you more of the picture, and preserved the original image. And customers would nod and smile and understand completely… just kidding. They stared at me blankly before saying the exact same nonsense about what a rip-off it is to have only part of the TV being used and it was a terrible job, the end. But we won, ultimately! In the pan-and-scan vs. widescreen battle, widescreen came out on top. So why, in 2013, is Netflix cropping their movies? … Read More

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It’s Time to Fire Rex Reed

Let’s get this out in the open: being a movie critic is a pretty easy job. It’s not all fun and games and popcorn — you have to deal with publicists, for one thing, and coming up with new and intelligent things to say about cookie-cutter studio movies is a challenge, and you often have to sit through movies you’re not all that excited to see. But, to be clear, we’re not breaking rocks here. You get to see movies for free before they’re released, often in the comfort of private screening rooms, and you get to pontificate about them for (hopefully) lots of readers. It’s a pretty cushy gig. And that’s why it’s so maddening that the New York Observer’s Rex Reed continues to fuck it up — and why it’s time to take the job away from him. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s Guide to Movies You Need to Stream This Week

Welcome to Flavorwire’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week, there’s three great documentaries, plus good stuff from Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, Angela Bassett, Ralph Finnes, Laura Linney, Emily Watson, Albert Brooks, Gene Hackman, Ray Liotta, Nick Nolte, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kathryn Bigelow, Roger Corman, and more. Check them out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More

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