[[caption-width-right:300:P.T Anderson will not take your shit. [[KubrickStare His eyes]] and [[TheUnsmile mild smirk]] say so.]]

+ Creator/RobertAltman, Creator/MartinScorsese, Creator/StanleyKubrick, Creator/OrsonWelles, Jonathan Demme, Max Ophüls ]

Paul Thomas Anderson (more commonly known as P.T. Anderson), is an American filmmaker who has written and directed seven films, including ''Film/BoogieNights'', ''Film/{{Magnolia}}'', ''Film/PunchDrunkLove'' and ''Film/ThereWillBeBlood''.

Anderson has been said to belong to the "VCR Generation" of filmmakers, grouped with directors such as Creator/QuentinTarantino, Creator/RichardLinklater and Creator/KevinSmith, and described as filmmakers whose careers were founded not upon film school training, but from an enthusiastic love of movies.

If Creator/RobertAltman and Creator/MartinScorsese had [[CrackPairing made sweet, passionate love]] and Creator/StanleyKubrick was the godfather, P.T. Anderson would have been the fruit of their [[NoYay priapic loins]].

Awful mental pictures aside, his real father was comedian and voiceover artist Ernie Anderson, aka Creator/{{Ghoulardi}}. His life partner is Creator/MayaRudolph, and they have four children together.

Also known for working with composers named after some variation of "John".

Not to be confused with Creator/PaulWSAnderson, although both have gone by merely Paul Anderson before, or with science fiction author P'''o'''ul Anderson.
* ''Film/HardEight'' (1996)
* ''Film/BoogieNights'' (1997)
* ''Film/{{Magnolia}}'' (1999)
* ''Film/PunchDrunkLove'' (2002)
* ''Film/ThereWillBeBlood'' (2007)
* ''Film/TheMaster'' (2012)
* ''Film/InherentVice'' (2014)
* ''Junun'' (2015) (documentary short) [[note]] Anderson's first documentary, about his composer from ''There Will Be Blood'' onwards, [[Music/{{Radiohead}} Jonny Greenwood]] recording his new album in UsefulNotes/{{India}} with Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur and local musicians at the [[https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mehrangarh_Fort Mehrangarh Fort]] in Rajasthan. It's also the first film Anderson shot digitally, and was released on MUBI.com the day after its premiere at the New York Film Festival.
!!P.T. Anderson and his movies provide examples of:
* AllMenArePerverts: Sexual voyeurism in ''Boogie Nights'', a call to a phone sex line in ''Punch-Drunk Love'', etc. But ''The Master'', with its severely sex-addicted main character, takes the cake.
* {{Angrish}}: Characters often get so flustered that they resort to inarticulate yelling.
* AuteurLicense: Gained one after ''Film/BoogieNights'' and kept it ever since.
* BerserkButton: Apparently cancer jokes are this, as his father died of it. He has said that Creator/DavidFincher [[NeverLiveItDown should've gotten cancer simply for the jokes about it in]] ''Film/FightClub''.
* BlackComedy: We're talking no-light-escaping, blacker-than-death comedy.
* ChurchOfHappyology: His film ''Film/TheMaster'' sounds suspiciously like a Happyology concept: A "charismatic intellectual" starts a religion in the 1950s.
* CreatorBacklash: In the commentary for it, he regards his first movie, ''{{Film/Hard Eight}}'' with a mixture of dread and contempt, calling it by its original title, [[InsistentTerminology ''Sydney'']] and talking about the ExecutiveMeddling it faced.
* CreatorProvincialism: Tends to set his movies in his childhood home of the San Fernando Valley.
* CreatorThumbprint: Tends to reference the Literature/BookOfExodus [[spoiler: with the Plague of Frogs]] in ''Film/{{Magnolia}}'' and the origin of ''Film/ThereWillBeBlood''.
* DysfunctionJunction: The majority of his characters aren't exactly emotionally stable.
* {{Ensembles}}
* EpicMovie: Most of his films are epics with some being more traditional (''Film/ThereWillBeBlood'') and some more intimate while having a grandeur to it. (''Film/{{Magnolia}}'') He even said in interviews that one of the reasons for ''Film/PunchDrunkLove'' 's origin was to make a more accessible film that didn't run over two hours.
* EpicTrackingShot
* TheFilmOfTheBook
* HumansAreBastards
* LighterAndSofter: ''Literature/InherentVice'' has a more comedic tone to it than his other movies, and Anderson said in interviews that he was inspired by [[Film/{{Airplane}} Zucker]] [[Film/TopSecret Abrahams]] and [[Film/TheNakedGun Zucker]] movies.
* MoodWhiplash: It doesn't matter what the first half of the film was like; once you reach the midpoint of the film, all bets are off. P.T. Anderson is fond of what he describes as "gearshift movies."
* NoEnding / GainaxEnding: All his films from ''{{Film/Magnolia}}'' onwards have had one or both endings.
* PopStarComposer: AimeeMann, Jon Brion and [[Music/{{Radiohead}} Jonny Greenwood]] have provided scores for his films.
* PrimaDonnaDirector / {{Jerkass}}: [[TheAtoner Admitted]] that some power went to his head during the post-production of ''Film/{{Magnolia}}'', where he frequently got into arguments with producer/distributor Creator/NewLineCinema on how to market the film and leaving ''Film/FightClub'' after a half-hour and saying Creator/DavidFincher [[DisproportionateRetribution should get cancer simply because he made cancer jokes.]] He's thankfully mellowed since then. [[note]] Despite getting his way in terms of marketing, Anderson is quoted as saying that he had to: "learn to fight without being a jerk. I was a bit of a baby. At the first moment of conflict, I behaved in a slightly adolescent knee-jerk way. I just screamed." Regarding the latter topic, he wrote an apology letter to Fincher saying that he lost his sense of humor about cancer. [[/note]]
* ProductionPosse: Includes the late Creator/PhilipSeymourHoffman, who appeared in five of Anderson's first six films, Creator/JulianneMoore, Creator/JohnCReilly, Luis Guzman, and Creator/PhilipBakerHall. Hoffman has been in every P.T.A. movie except ''Film/ThereWillBeBlood''. Robert Elswit whas been the cinematographer for all of them except ''Film/TheMaster''.
** As of late, [[Music/{{Radiohead}} Jonny Greenwood]] has been his composer from ''Film/ThereWillBeBlood'' onwards.
*** From [[Film/TheMaster the looks]] [[Film/InherentVice of things]], it seems like Creator/JoaquinPhoenix has become the latest member of this group.
* SceneryPorn: Especially ''Film/ThereWillBeBlood'' and ''Film/TheMaster.'' There's a reason that the former won [[UsefulNotes/AcademyAward Best Cinematography.]]
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: On the cynical side from the word "go".
* SmashToBlack
* SoundtrackDissonance: A perfect example would be near the end of ''Film/ThereWillBeBlood'' in which, after Daniel [[spoiler: kills Eli and announces that he's "finished"]]. What plays right before we get to the credits? [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EhQd4nugps This]].
* ThrowItIn
* TrollingCreator: While at the Cannes press conference for ''Film/{{Magnolia}}'', he announced that his next film would be [[Film/PunchDrunkLove an hour-and-a-half long rom com starring Adam Sandler]] to a room full of people who just watched a three-hour long, emotionally draining epic.