Boogie Nights (1997)

An effortlessly stylish look at the creative process, and finding family wherever one can.

Paul Thomas Anderson makes it look easy with how much style he has on display (though he never really manages to top the excellent long tracking shot that opens the movie), and the cast is game with their kooky set of characters (Anderson’s proclivity for just exploring characters in depth but not actually giving them much in the way of arcs or development works particularly well for those suited to this industry).

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Charting the progress of pornography from actual films on film, to the point where directors had aspirations to have them recognised artistically, to short loops purely of fornication on tape video, is fascinating. It lacks the ambition or the mastery of Anderson’s later films but is still enormously well-made. Three and a half videotapes, and a prosthetic.

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