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

+ Creator/JonathanDemme, Creator/RobertAltman, Creator/MartinScorsese, Creator/StanleyKubrick, Creator/OrsonWelles, Creator/MaxOphuls ]

Paul Thomas Anderson (born June 26, 1970), 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/JonathanDemme and Creator/StanleyKubrick were the godfathers, 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/CigarettesAndCoffee'' (short film) (1993)
* ''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. [[/note]]
* ''Film/PhantomThread'' (2017)

!!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.
* BeYourself: A common theme in his characters is eventually accepting who they are, warts and all.
* 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.
* BlackAndGreyMorality / GreyAndGrayMorality
* BornInTheWrongCentury: A common trait among his protagonists is them being out of step with the times.
* ByronicHero: Deconstructed mercilessly throughout his work. His characters are extremely unfulfilled without human connection, while [[Film/ThereWillBeBlood Daniel Plainview]], the one protagonist of his who rejects companionship, is far and away his coldest, most vile character.
* CentralTheme: Themes in his films include dysfunctional family relationships, the power of forgiveness, alienation, regret, loneliness, and destiny.
* ChurchOfHappyology: His film ''Film/TheMaster'' sounds suspiciously like a Happyology concept: A "charismatic intellectual" starts a religion in the 1950s.
* 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
* FamilyOfChoice: One of the major themes in his movies is the need for a family (usually non-biological) and how denying/betraying it can lead to one's down
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Many of his films including ''Hard Eight'', ''Boogie Nights'', ''Inherent Vice'' etc. usually have a hooker who is sweet, generous, or kind-hearted.
* HumansAreBastards / HumansAreFlawed: His films are known for exploring characters who have realistic flaws. However, his main protagonists are usually more like bastards.
* KitschyLocalCommercial: ''Magnolia,'' and ''Inherent Vice'' had these. ''Punch-Drunk Love'' has one in the DVD supplements.
** The pornos in ''Boogie Nights'' get an honorable mention, for their inspired StylisticSuck.
* 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.
** Same could be said for ''Punch-Drunk Love,'' a ninety-minute Adam Sandler rom-com, when compared to the mammoth, depressing epic that was ''Magnolia.''
** And repeated with ''Phantom Thread'', with much of the movie being a restrained chamber drama [[spoiler:that also has one of his few unambiguous [[EarnYourHappyEnding happy endings]].]]
* 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: Aimee Mann, Jon Brion and from ''Blood'' onwards, [[Music/{{Radiohead}} Jonny Greenwood]] have provided scores for his films.
* ReclusiveArtist: Of a sort. Many specifics about his films are shrouded in secrecy until release, he doesn't do many interviews, and refuses to be much of a participant on special features, believing his films should speak for themselves.
** However, the promotion for ''Phantom Thread'' has him averting this, with an appearance on ''Series/JimmyKimmelLive'', and well-received Q&As on Twitter and Reddit.
* SceneryPorn: Especially ''Film/ThereWillBeBlood'' and ''Film/TheMaster.'' There's a reason that the former won [[UsefulNotes/AcademyAward Best Cinematography.]]
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Mostly on the cynical end, it feels through the film from the "go".
** His work does show signs of hope, [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet may they be.]] ''Boogie Nights'' and ''Magnolia'' are semi-hopeful and ''Punch-Drunk Love'' is downright optimistic. His latest film, Film/PhantomThread is somewhere in the middle of the scale. It ends on a more satisfying end.
* 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]].
* WorkingWithTheEx: Despite breaking up with Music/FionaApple, and along with her album ''Extraordinary Machine'' allegedly being about their relationship falling apart, Anderson later directed the video for "Hot Knife" off of ''The Idler Wheel...''