Although two of the premier auteurs of the modern era share the same last name, their styles are radically different. Last year, we saw a wonderful video essay on the center-obsessed composition of Wes Anderson, and now there’s a similar feature devoted to Paul Thomas Anderson’s signature move: the long shot.
Paul Thomas Anderson: From a Distance examines the way that the heir apparent of Stanley Kubrick tends to surround his characters with a lot of space in the frame–and what it says about them. Created by videographer Jacob T. Swinney for Indiewire, the video uses scenes from each of Anderson’s movies except for the latest, Inherent Vice, as well as a segment of Jonny Greenwood’s orchestral score from The Master, to demonstrate how each character appears to be lost in their surroundings. As anyone who has seen a Paul Thomas Anderson movie can attest, his characters tend to be lost in other ways as well.
Let us know how this footage deepens your understanding of Anderson’s style in the comments below.