Saturday, December 22, 2007

Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Day-Lewis -- "There Will Be Blood" -- Post-Screening Q&A, 12/11/07

Paul Thomas Anderson's masterful new film There Will Be Blood opens on December 26, and has already been topping numerous year-end critics' lists. Based on Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel Oil!, the film is simultaneously epic and intimate, and a terrifying vision of the greed and violence that are the primal underpinnings of American history. Besides the prodigious command of sound and image present in nearly every frame -- from the bravura opening sequence that is as great an example of pure cinema as I've seen in recent memory, to the final astonishing sequence that fulfills the promise of the film's title -- the film makes frequent and canny use of perhaps its greatest asset, the volcanic performance of Daniel Day-Lewis, brilliantly essaying a role that most nearly recalls his only slightly more evil character in Scorsese's Gangs of New York.

Much like Walt Whitman's famous description of himself in "Song of Myself," There Will Be Blood is indeed large, and contains multitudes. I saw the film two weeks ago, and am still struggling to wrap my head around it. So until I can put together a proper review, I've posted below some video highlights of Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis discussing the film. Appearing with them are moderator David Schwartz of the Museum of the Moving Image, which hosted the screening, and actor Kevin O'Connor.

In this clip, Anderson discusses the influence of John Huston's Treasure of the Sierra Madre on his film, and Day-Lewis explains how clothing can reveal character:

In this next clip, Day-Lewis discusses the relationship between his character Daniel Plainview and his adopted son:

In this last clip, Anderson and Day-Lewis talk about their working relationship while making the film: