Watching a Paul Thomas Anderson Movie

Stage by Stage

1/8 OF THE WAY IN: I don’t get it.

1/4 OF THE WAY IN: It’s pretty, but I still don’t get it.

1/3 OF THE WAY IN: Oh! Something’s happening, and I understand it, I think!

3/8 OF THE WAY IN: Nope, nevermind, I don’t get it.

HALFWAY THROUGH: What time is it?

5/8 OF THE WAY THROUGH: What year is it?

2/3 OF THE WAY THROUGH: Is it me? Am I just not intelligent or sensitive enough to understand this? Why do his films just feel like a long, meandering, moody character study that doesn’t go anywhere? And I like long, meandering, moody character studies that don’t go anywhere! I love Chekhov and Tolstoy and Richard Linklater! Is everybody else lying when they say they love his movies? Am I overthinking it? Do I just not speak his language? That’s impossible, Paul Thomas Anderson and I are both from the San Fernando Valley! Why can’t I understand a goddamn thing he does?

3/4 OF THE WAY THROUGH: HOLY SHIT, I THINK I FINALLY UNDERSTAND THIS

7/8 OF THE WAY THROUGH: Nope. No. Not at all. I have no clue.

ENDING: At least I still have Maya Rudolph.

Stuff I Did This Week: I moderated my dear friend and Welcome to Night Vale creator Joseph Fink’s L.A. book reading for Alice Isn’t Dead! It is a beautiful and creepy story about love and anxiety, and if you haven’t already listened to the podcast, you need to get this book! And you should get the book even if you have listened to the podcast. (And you should listen to the podcast.) GET THIS BOOK!

Then, last night, I moderated my other dear friend Lane Moore’s book event! Her book How To Be Alone is an honest and cathartic look at Lane’s life spent raising herself, with lots of advice and hope for those who grew up without a support system. But regardless of your upbringing, it’s a funny, eye-opening, and heartening read. GET THIS BOOK, TOO!

Fake BBC Show Title of the Week: Great Britain’s Greatest Binmen