28 January 2008

Pynchon and Anderson

Ever since drawing the parallel between Thomas Pynchon and Paul Thomas Anderson in my review of There Will Be Blood, I've been considering the connections between their works. Here's a lighthearted little bit.

Hard Eight, Anderson's first film, is like the stories in Slow Learner. Shows promise, but still existing within genre, and without the dizzying complexity that characterize the later works of both artists.

Boogie Nights is V., the first major work by both narrative artists. Hugely promising of things to come, both works shot their respective authors to a level of stardom in their respective communities.

Magnolia is Against the Day. Both are huge, long, masterful works that have been criticized as overindulgent, but which are embraced by fans nonetheless.

Punch-Drunk Love is Crying of Lot 49. Both are the shortest works of the respective artists, and represent a sort of "diddling play" with the tools of their medium.

There Will Be Blood is Gravity's Rainbow. It's tempting to call this Mason & Dixon, as both works deal with long-past historical fiction, but I suspect that in both cases the works in question will be considered to be the best works the artists ever create. Of course, Anderson is still young, and he may have an ever greater masterpiece in him, but right now I think it's fair to connect the two.

Okay, now I'm going to shut up about There Will Be Blood for awhile.

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