Watch: A Supercut of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Use of Long Shots


Photo: Paramount Vantage

Paul Thomas Anderson has crafted a unique visual style with his seven deep filmography. He has the slow dolly in on someone’s face, long steadicam takes, etc. Among his visual go-tos is the long shot, or even extreme long shot (which is just a long shot to the EXTREME). Anderson’s films generally deal with characters in isolation, and the long shot is a perfect way to illustrate this.

In this supercut, courtesy of Jacob T. Sweeney, we get to see PTA’s various uses of the long shot, which are both beautiful to look at and can say so much about the characters completely out of context.

I wish this was more of a video essay and not a supercut, explaining why these are effective shots, but it is nice to see them all compiled in a neat package like this. Regardless, it still showcases the extremely well constructed shots of PTA and cinematographer Robert Elswitt (and in one case Mihai Mălaimare, Jr.). You can check out the video below, featuring footage from Hard Eight (1996), Boogie Nights (1997), Magnolia (1999), Punch-Drunk Love (2002), There Will be Blood (2007) and The Master (2012).

[vimeo id=”120423327″ width=”640″]

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Weekend: Feb. 27, 2020, Mar. 1, 2020

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