2017 was a great year for good movies but a relatively mild year for great ones. Movies in the same league as Logan, The Shape of Water, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Spider-Man: Homecoming were plentiful, but ones in the same league as A Quiet Passion, Get Out, Good Time, Columbus, and A Ghost Story were hard to come by. The difference is between movies that worked within a familiar, largely unchallenged narrative framework and ones that disregarded those time-tested frames in lieu of finding their own pace and visual rhythm.
The last great movie to be released in 2017 was Phantom Thread, the ninth feature by P.T. Anderson, which did indeed run on its own internal logic and offered imagery that was both revealing and sumptuous. This is to be expected of Anderson, one of the best living American filmmakers in the same tier as David Fincher, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, Wes Anderson, and the Coen brothers. And as if I wasn’t already smitten with Anderson enough, he’s spent his time on the awards circuit essentially just praising other artists, from Steven Spielberg and Tiffany Haddish to Adam Sandler and Timothee Chalamet. Along with Soderbergh, he’s one of the rare directors who actually comes off as an obsessive fan of the arts because he loves the work, not just he needs something nice to say to his colleagues.
This love of art is now extending toward gifted people in a realm of a different sort of imagery. Focus, which put out Phantom Thread, has partnered with Talenthouse to put together a competition for fans of Anderson’s latest to make their own artwork in response to the movie, a few of which you can check out right below. Submissions are due by January 19th and on February 7th, they will select five winners that will get both a $2,000 reward and a chance to have their artwork used in marketing for the film, which could alone garner them more work in the field they love. If you’ve got an idea, let fire!