Paul Thomas Anderson dominated the New York Film Festival this weekend. His seventh feature length effort, “Inherent Vice” screened on Saturday (read our review), a press conference followed (read a recap here and watch the video) and then the filmmaker joined NYFF committee selection head Kent Jones on Sunday for a 90 minute conversation about his recent influences, music videos he likes, films he thinks you ought to know and much more (most of the talk is recapped here).
Naturally, the conversation turned to film formats, film stocks and what PTA often referred to over the course of the weekend as “nerd talk.” Anderson said that the filmmakers that have banded together to save Kodak film stock are doing valiant work, but that it’s “still a temporary reprieve. The death notice—there’s a sign on your back that’s saying you’re still gonna get executed— [is still there],” adding, “[And so] more needs to be done [about the potential extinction of the film format].”
During the discussion, PTA and Jones discussed all the filmmakers who continue to work with celluloid, including Quentin Tarantino, who is shooting “The Hateful Eight” on 70mm, J.J. Abrams, shooting “Star Wars: Episode 7” on 35mm and of course Christopher Nolan, who has yet to shoot a film digitally. “Christopher Nolan is at the front lines of all of this, I have to say,” Anderson said about the struggle to keep celluloid viable for filmmakers. “He’s made a beautiful film, if anybody gets out to see ‘Interstellar’ when it comes out.” Jones then quipped sarcastically that he thinks people just may just go check out the movie, which lead to a lot of uproarious laughter. “I’m just trying to put in the good word, he’s a decent filmmaker; you probably haven’t heard about this one.” Anderson joked. “Support this filmmaker.”
“But don’t fuck around, go see it in IMAX,” PTA said turning serious. “Brave the line. Do it, bite the bullet,” he stressed.
“Quentin’s much more vocal about it though,” Anderson said of his friend. “He wants to tar and feather people. It’s turned into one of his movies. ‘I’ll cut your fucking ear off.’” Jones noted some filmmakers like David Fincher feel totally different and he could “see film disappear tomorrow” and it wouldn’t make a difference. “He’s got a great articulate argument for people on the other side,” Jones said.
“I stay out of it,” Anderson said sheepishly followed by a laugh. “I know I throw my hat into the ring for what I like, but I find it difficult getting on anybody because it’s their bag,” Anderson said of individual taste. “If it’s your bag, and you’re into it…” he said sounding not unlike his laid-back “Inherent Vice” protagonist. “I wouldn’t tell you what to do, and you don’t tell me what to do.”
There was much more from the NYFF conversation, so here are some additional highlights.