Friday, April 27, 2018

Great Moments In Movie Shelves #147

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One of my favorite things about Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread - and I had quite a few since it was my second favorite movie of 2017 - is how small and cramped and old almost all of the rooms felt in the world of Woodcock. Something the tacky Donald Trumps of the world will never understand about actual luxury is the grandeur of compact spaces - lord knows I'm a New Yorker so I'm brainwashed by necessity but the football-field sized living-rooms of America's McMansions smell of utter desolation to me; give me a series of tight small spaces overwhelmed with beautiful objects (think the endless drawing rooms in The Age of Innocence for another example) and I feel utter peace. 

There are a load of examples of this  old-money think-small mindset in Phantom Thread - the party at the Baltimores towards the end of the film is pretty choice - but I was obviously pretty keen on this fainting quarters of Reynolds' own because swoon times one thousand what i would give for a library slash fainting quarters of my own. Also on the big screen...

... that painting feels much more prominent and I was really transfixed by it. I don't know if that's a real artist or not - does anyone recognize it? But it's prominently lit so we're clearly meant to notice it. What it reminds me of most is the scene (later in the film) where Reynolds, actually sick (not just being a toddler having a fit) and again being waited on by Alma, where he is visited by the ghost of his mother. The picture n the shelves feels like an early echo of that sort of ghostly presence that haunts the film... or you might even say the thread of phantoms that run through the picture...


1 comment:

Shawn McGuire said...

An unforgettable film. I was very surprised at its power.