Hearing Paul Thomas Anderson by Jacob T. Swinney

Writing on Antonin Artaud, Mikhail Yampolsky notes that “a sound always comes from where one doesn’t look. It occurs, as Freud would have said, on another Schauplatz [watch place], or rather ein anderes Höreplatz [hearing place]. There is, in sound, a spaciousness that prevents it from being framed.” Such geographies of sound reminded me somewhat of Jacob T. Swinney’s sound-frame compilation of the director and script writer Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, Magnolia and others). The sound-by-sound frames encapsulate the listener, guiding her geographically from place to place.

While perhaps his films are better known for cinematography and acting performances, the sounds of a [Paul Thomas Anderson] picture deserve equal merit. Many of these sounds seem to create their impact through a certain degree of harshness. The sounds are cold and sterile, standing out amongst the lush, extravagant cinematography. From lines of cocaine being savagely snorted, to oil rigs exploding in the desert, to bullfrogs cracking windshields, here is a showcase of some of PTA’s greatest sounds.

Hearing Paul Thomas Anderson from Jacob T. Swinney on Vimeo.