Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman-1527808

Let it Rain: On the Death of Philip Seymour Hoffman

When I was a teenager, my uncle told me that the person whose death affected him the most in his life was John Lennon. Not his father or his mother, nor a childhood friend. Instead, he mourned for a person he never knew and had little chance of ever having a personal relationship with. When…

wes-anderson-horz

The Magnificent Andersons

Despite their common last names and the similar trajectories of their careers, filmmakers Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson are rarely mentioned in the same sentence. At first glance, this may seem logical. Their films do not on the surface have much in common. Wes makes nostalgia-drenched hipster fairytales; Paul’s movies are viscerally emotional and…

Joaquin Phoenix

Paul Thomas Anderson is a “Master” of History

“The Master” opens on a shot of the marbled blue-white wake of a battleship, and director Paul Thomas Anderson returns to that image several times throughout the film. Soon, it becomes clear why; the image embodies the film’s subject, the muddled and mysterious history that we leave behind us, specifically the history of one sailor…

Boogie Nights

Top Five Liberal Movies: Part One

Last month, we counted down the five most conservative movies of all time. Now it’s the liberals’ turn. I’ll admit that this list was a little tougher to construct. Because movie studios are profit-driven and must appeal to the most basic set of values, most successful studio movies have an undercurrent of conservatism running through…