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Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson is known for writing and directing risk-taking feature films that head into unexpected directions and taboo terrain. Anderson's intricate character interplay and visceral evocation of a vast range of emotions have distinguished him as a director with an extremely personal and distinctive cinematic vision. Magnolia is his third and most ambitious film to date.

Anderson developed a passion for filmmaking at an early age and began his career as a production assistant on various television movies, videos and game shows in Los Angeles and New York. After working in a similar capacity for several small independent films, Anderson won attention for his short film Cigarettes and Coffee which he shot with a borrowed camera. The featurette, about five characters who interact in a Las Vegas coffee shop, led to his first full-length motion picture, developed at the Sundance Institutes Filmmaker's Workshop.

The result was Hard Eight, a story of love, revenge and surprise redemption in Nevada starring Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Samuel L. Jackson. The film was acclaimed for its complex performances and fascinating human psychology. Film Comment declared Paul Thomas Anderson the most promising director of 1997.

Anderson's second film, Boogie Nights, fulfilled on that promise, garnering critical acclaim and three Academy Award nominations. Starring a cast including Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, Heather Graham, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, Philip Baker Hall and Philip Seymour Hoffman, the film followed an extended family of filmmakers struggling to revolutionize the adult entertainment industry. The film also received the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best New Filmmaker and Anderson garnered the PEN Center USA West Literary Award for Best Screenplay.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2000.

Paul Thomas Anderson Facts

BirthdayJune 26, 1970 (53)
BirthplaceStudio City, California, USA

Selected Filmography

There Will Be Blood
Boogie Nights
Punch-Drunk Love
Inherent Vice
The Master
Hard Eight
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