On PT Anderson’s Use of Color

The latest issue of Senses of Cinema includes Cubie King’s intriguing look at PT Anderson’s use of color in Punch-Drunk Love. In addition to the interstitial abstract animations by artist Jeremy Blake [which were originally meant to represent–is that too strong a word?–Adam Sandler’s character’s state of mind], King cites Anderson’s recurring, particular use of red, white, and blue, and his inclusion of in-camera effects like washout lighting and lens flares. That’s a lot.
King asserts that Anderson truly comes into his own in P-DL. But I recently rewatched Magnolia, and yeah, it’s Altman-esque in its structure, but damn, that is one uniquely intense film. Tom Cruise is actually good, unnervingly so, [although the schtick gets tired when he tries it for real on Oprah; suspension of disbelief, my butt] and Julianne Moore, wow, what a sustained performance. Macy, too, now that I think about it.
FYI, Blake’s latest trilogy of video work, Winchester moves to incorporate more representational and narrative elements than before. It’s showing at SFMOMA through October 10. P-DL screens June 12 at the Museum as the last of a damn-I-missed-it Blake-curated film series.

Punch-Drunk Love: The Budding of an Auteur
Winchester, by Jeremy Blake [sfmoma.org]
Buy the Punch-Drunk Love 2-disc edition DVD or this sweet little Winchester exhibition catalogue [amazon.com]