During winter break, the Los Angeles Review of Books covered our new book on Paul Thomas Anderson by film scholar George Toles, himself a figure of distinction in the moviemaking dream factory. Martin Woessner guides you through a deep delve into Toles’s take on the director that kicks off with a little old fashioned compare-and-contrast:

As I read Toles’s intriguing new book on Anderson—part of the increasingly influential Contemporary Film Directors series published by the University of Illinois Press—I began to realize that he and I value the film for very different, perhaps even incommensurable reasons. A film that had me thinking about history and geopolitics had him thinking about psychology and personal trauma. What had me thinking of Walter Benjamin—“there is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism”—had him thinking about Freud, and not necessarily the Freud of Civilization and Its Discontents, either.

Overall, a fascinating article on Anderson the director, Toles the film scholar, and the just-published union of the two. Read the rest here.

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