Filmmakers tend to ask each other great questions because they intimately know the work. That’s not to say that journalists and critics can’t also ask great questions, but there’s something about the shared experience of trying to find the right lab for film processing or knowing how people react to certain decisions on set that only filmmakers can speak to you. There’s a great sense of that in this recent chat from the DGA’s podcast The Director’s Cut which features Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson interviewing Paul Thomas Anderson about his new film Phantom Thread.
During their conversation, they talk about how the film came about, Daniel Day-Lewis’ process and preparing to play a dressmaker, the challenges of filming in London when you need dailies, how the crew reacts when you cross the line (the invisible 180-degree mark of a shot/reverse-shot), and much more. It’s a must-listen conversation for fans of either filmmaker.
Check out the interview below, and in case you haven’t read it, here’s my Phantom Thread review. The film opens in limited release on Christmas Day and expands nationwide the following weeks.
Here’s the official synopsis for Phantom Thread:
Set in the glamour of 1950s post-war London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) are at the center of British fashion, dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutants and dames with the distinct style of The House of Woodcock. Women come and go through Woodcock’s life, providing the confirmed bachelor with inspiration and companionship, until he comes across a young, strong-willed woman, Alma (Vicky Krieps), who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. Once controlled and planned, he finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love. With his latest film, Paul Thomas Anderson paints an illuminating portrait both of an artist on a creative journey, and the women who keep his world running. Phantom Thread is Paul Thomas Anderson’s eighth movie, and his second collaboration with Daniel Day-Lewis.