The characters in the films of Paul Thomas Anderson share many similarities. They come from dysfunctional families, they are desperately seeking acceptance, they let their emotions get the best of them, and the list goes on. But a similarity that seems to especially stand out is a sense of isolation. Anderson's characters are adrift, looking for someone or something to connect with in their lonely worlds. This idea is expressed visually through the use of long/extreme long shots. We are often presented with characters lost within the frame, and therefore have trouble connecting with said characters--we become isolated ourselves. Here is a look at Anderson's use of the long/extreme long shot throughout his first six feature films.
His follow-up video should focus on PTA’s unique usage of close-ups. Character faces are always cut-off more than they should be and it always unsettles me—much in the same way the characters in the conversation are unsettled.
Once I find the time to see Inherent Vice, I’ll be writing a review of his career thus far, much in the same manner that I did for Stanley Kubrick.