The characters in the films of Paul Thomas Anderson share many similarities. They come from dysfunctional families, they are desperately seeking acceptance, they let their emotions get the best of them, and the list goes on. But a similarity that seems to especially stand out is a sense of isolation. Anderson's characters are adrift, looking for someone or something to connect with in their lonely worlds. This idea is expressed visually through the use of long/extreme long shots. We are often presented with characters lost within the frame, and therefore have trouble connecting with said characters--we become isolated ourselves. Here is a look at Anderson's use of the long/extreme long shot throughout his first six feature films.

MUSIC: "Alethia" by Jonny Greenwood

Films:

Hard Eight (1996)
Boogie Nights (1997)
Magnolia (1999)
Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
There Will be Blood (2007)
The Master (2012)

Jacob T. Swinney is an industrious film editor and filmmaker, as well as a recent graduate of Salisbury University.