With PHANTOM THREAD hitting theaters Christmas Day, I thought now would be a good time to examine a less-discussed Paul Thomas Anderson technique. Though PTA made a name for himself with elaborate and technically complex filmmaking, one of his defining trademarks is a simple one--letting his camera linger on a silent character. While many filmmakers rely on dialogue to convey poignancy or gravity, PTA allows his lens to absorb a character's silence. They may be watching, they may be listening, or or they may be in utter shock, but the result is the same; we feel the moment. Here is a look at PTA's lingering and reflective silence.
THERE WILL BE BLOOD
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