I cannot explain how big a fan I am of your work. Maybe if you took the size of the Universe you could come close. I stand in awe of how amazing your writing is, the way you create characters so fluidly, and how each of your films are clearly YOURS, no one else’s. Hollywood today is filled to the brim with unoriginal work, work that is assembly line shit and mind numbingly fuck all. But you, you take your time in crafting art, in making pure cinema. I am 17 years old, and you are my idol.
The most surprising thing I’ve found about your work is your stylistic shift in the early 2000s. After you made two huge ensemble films, you shifted your focus to just a couple of characters in a film. Most directors stick to what they’re good at, but you constantly surprise me by tackling new paths to take your stories. I recently saw a video that articulated how Punch-Drunk Love is a subtle parallel to the original 1978 Superman, did you do that on purpose?
I really want to meet you before I die. The fact that you directed your first short film at 17 inspires me to do the same, so I’ve written a short film that pays homage to you and your work. Your films are the kind of films I want to make: meaningful stories told in a stylistic manner. Recently, I was debating with myself whether you or Tarantino were better storytellers and I realized I gravitated more to you because Tarantino makes the same kind of movie with every story he tells. Django Unchained is, for me, a Tarantino movie set in the 19th century while The Master is a Paul Thomas Anderson film, not a P.T. Anderson film.
But its in your theories on filmmaking and writing that inspire me the most. You’ve said that writing is exclusively important to you, and this has motivated me to write more and explore characters and make writing a habitual part of my life. Your writing is joyously literary and fruity, not aiming to be realistic, but to elevate your characters into your scripted universe. Though I try to write everyday, its not easy, but that’s when I turn to one of your interviews and get back into it again.
Recently, my father watched The Master and hated it, called it an absolute disaster even. Your films are divisive in the public arena, not exclusively on one end of the spectrum. A divisive film has done its job, in my opinion, for it forces opinions to collide. Kevin Smith said he would keep a DVD of Magnolia on his desk just to remind him how pretentious and indulgent filmmakers can be, but when did Kevin Smith make a meaningful film?
How do you bring out the best out of every actor you work with? From John C. Reilly to Adam Sandler, you make sure every actor that works with you delivers Oscar worthy performances. Is it something you say to them before each take, or just another trick in your magic box?
I’ll never stop obsessing over your work, just as long as you keep evolving cinematically. You are a rockstar.
A devoted fan,