As a filmmaker accumulates a body of work, it is inevitable that elements will recur, echoing each other and possibly growing in significance over time. Jeremy Ratzlaff proposes something slightly different about the work of Paul Thomas Anderson, suggesting that in fact his stories are all variations on each other, not an indicator of unoriginality but of symphonic intelligence. What if the tortured relationship between Daniel Plainview and Paul Sunday in ‘There Will Be Blood’ was reborn in the warped instructor-pupil relationship between Lancaster Dodd and Freddie Quell in ‘The Master’? What if the drug-addled protagonist of ‘Inherent Vice’ is actually Freddie Quell reborn? This is a finely made and meticulous consideration of an ancient truth.
Watch: What If Paul Thomas Anderson’s Films Are All Reincarnations of Each Other?