By Tim Pelan
Not unlike James Cameron and his flop sweat fever dream of a chrome skeleton-framed torso, dragging itself relentlessly by a wicked blade after a fleeing young woman that led to his tech-noir nightmare The Terminator, writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson can also chalk his inspiration for Phantom Thread down to a particularly nasty stomach bug. Nursed through the unpleasantness by his wife, actress Maya Rudolph, Anderson had the thread of an idea about the exposed vulnerability of the invalid and the power of the nurse. About mischievous power games, and whether sickness can sometimes be good for the soul. The thought that crossed his mind, he told Collider, was, “I wonder if she wants to keep me this way, maybe for a week or two.” I was watching the wrong movies when I was in bed, during this illness. I was watching Rebecca, The Story of Adele H., and Beauty and the Beast, and I really started to think that maybe she was poisoning me. So, that kernel of an idea, I had in my mind when I started working on writing something.” Set in the rarefied world of London’s 1950’s couture houses, Daniel Day-Lewis is Reynolds Woodcock, a brilliant, fastidious middle-aged self-involved dress designer who is slowly becoming out of step with what is “chic.” Partnered by his acerbic sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) in the “House of Woodcock,” he (and she) casts aside yet another pretty young thing he’s become bored with (“I’ll give her the October dress,” Cyril ameliorates peremptorily) before adopting a new young muse, the clumsy waitress Alma (Vicky Krieps) he takes a shine to at a country hotel. But Alma (European, nationality unaddressed) has steel beneath her bumbling, seemingly subservient exterior. Reynolds and she embark on a toxic love affair that will rock the staid House of Woodcock. “What happens when your mother hasn’t let your feet touch the ground, or is convinced the sun shines only for you? When you have this halo that means as long as you’re creating, you’re allowed to behave as inappropriately as you want to? There’s nothing worse than kids acting like the worst kind of adults and adults acting like the worst kind of kids. That’s not a good look for anybody,” Anderson told Catherine Shoard for The Guardian.
The obsessive nature of the Reynolds character naturally lent itself to dressmaking, although that wasn’t locked down originally. Anderson found himself drawn to the 1950s fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga for inspiration. It’s not quite War of the Roses with dresses, but in its black comedy there’s a definite hint of two people who can’t quit each other. Anderson first became aware of Krieps, from Luxembourg, in a German film called The Chambermaid Lynn. He told Rolling Stone, “she has one of those faces that turns in about 45 directions at once. What I mean is, you look at her one way and she could not look more awkward; then she turns slightly and, suddenly, she looks stunningly beautiful. Then you see her from a third angle and it’s like: ‘Does she love me or is she going to poison me?’ [Laughs] You could believe she’d be serving tea in some shitty hotel on the coast and then could come sweeping downstairs in a gown.”
Krieps met Day-Lewis for the first time in character, in the scene where they first meet and the “hungry boy” wolfishly reels off what seems like the entire breakfast order. Her blush seems genuine, but she is aware enough (and hungry enough herself) to slip him her name on a note. The look between them in that unrehearsed scene, she told Kate Kellaway for The Guardian, was “anticipation, a ghost in the room. Their love, like all real love affairs, begins as recognition. They see each other.” Krieps saw their relationship not as a duel, but a duet. “The power levels are different in Alma and Reynolds. Paul left this very open. Many relationships can become difficult and it can be hard to find a way back. Alma finds a dangerous way (with the poison mushrooms). Sometimes, if you look at older couples who have been together for years, they have the strangest ways of staying together—they play games, often sexual.”
There’s a sense the younger Alma has experienced things during the war the much older, cosseted Reynolds did not. “Alma has seen people die,” says Krieps. “She has seen what it means to lose your home and country. She comes from cold, windy Germany and is transported into a warm world in London, wrapped in silk and light. People who live through the war cannot think about themselves. They cannot ask: ‘Am I weak?’ ‘Am I strong?’ They just have to get up and be brave.” Leading to a mordantly funny exchange after an unwelcome surprise dinner for two from Alma, with Reynolds rudely asking “Are you a special agent sent here to ruin my evening and possibly my entire life?” Although one may think the protagonist of the piece is Reynolds, Anderson frames the film’s point of view through Alma, via fireside close-ups as candlelight confession to the young doctor that treats him after Alma’s kinky “ministrations,” the hungry boy by the film’s end a willing accomplice (“Kiss me my girl, before I’m sick.”). Shelly Farmer for RogerEbert.com saw a similarity between the Alma and Reynolds relationship with that of Jane Eyre and Rochester. “In narratives like Jane Eyre and Phantom Thread, men are tamed and softened, and the ability to provide care, which is so often women’s unasked—for burden (even today), becomes a lever of power that creates a new equilibrium in the relationship, both emotional and sexual… In Phantom Thread, however, Anderson queers the happy ending by imbuing the couple’s dynamic with an edge of psycho-sexual violence, engaged in willingly by both participants.”
Filming largely took place in a Georgian townhouse in London’s Fitzroy Square, the combined atmosphere of home and atelier all-consuming and immersive. House of Woodcock’s senior seamstresses Nana and Biddy were played by Susan Clark and Joan Brown, a former dressmaking teacher and ladies seamstress, initially brought on as technical advisers. Incidentally, check out the work of @FPCroissant, who does beautiful three-dimensional water color floor plans of movie homes, including that of Reynolds Woodcock. Her work on the Phantom Thread house includes a cross section with significant scenes and settings, such as “Breakfast. As if Alma rode a horse across the room.” There was a sense for actors and crew that they were indeed back in time. Krieps felt that, “Making the film felt endless—Paul had the same impression. I felt as if I were on a boat so far from land, I didn’t know how I would get back.” For Alma, and perhaps Reynolds, drawn into her spell, there is the German feeling of sehnsucht—“the longing for something you once had combined with a yearning for something as yet unknown.” Ghosts haunt them both—his mother, her troubled youth. Reynolds sews a lock of his mother’s hair, she who taught him his trade, into the lining of his jacket, and secret messages in dresses—a detail inspired by the stories of Alexander McQueen doing so when he worked on Savile Row.
Production Designer Mark Tildesley “thought a great deal about the inherent drama of the spaces inside both the House of Woodcock and the clothing it produced—in stark contrast to Owlpen (Reynold’s country retreat), which is dark and cluttered, a haunted world. Owlpen is a family home he’s inherited, a place of dreams and memories.” Set Decorator Véronique Melery collaborated closely with Day-Lewis on the choice of Reynolds’ furnishings and accoutrements. “He had clear ideas about what kind of paintings would exist in his world, what kind of flowers he would have around, what book he would be reading. It is forcing a set decorator to go far into the psyche of a character, and with Daniel, you talk literally with the character. It’s fascinating and challenging work. You need to know every single detail about every piece you dress on set, and be prepared to evaluate your choices with an actor who is inhabiting the character in a very intense manner… The drawing pads that Reynolds is using everywhere were made in different sizes, using old green moleskin for the covers, with his monogram in embossed gold. The paper itself has a soft quality, ideal for drawing. We did visit a London second hand shop selling high quality fountain pens to find and choose his main one… in his company. This was primordial.”
Costume designer Mark Bridges had to design period gowns that reflected Reynold’s staid, dark palette. “How do you make a spring collection for a designer who’s kind of dark [for] the period?” Bridges told Film Maker Magazine. “It’s not happy, joyous, flirty outfits. We had a floral print, but it was a black background floral print. The suit with the cape and the feathered hat, that is based on [British designer Charles] Creed, so it’s leather. You make choices along the way that indicate the designer’s taste, and you try to stay in character. There’s a little yellow and grey suit with the hat that you see him trying on Alma. It’s very chic and very fitted, but it’s not that happy. It’s not a cheery spring creation, where everyone is going to go, ‘Oh, spring has sprung.’ So we were definitely designing in character. Early on, we set out [to answer], ‘What is the house of Woodcock?’ It’s deep rich colors, it’s lace, it’s not terribly ostentatious, it’s more about textures and rich colors.” Anderson & Sheppard of Savile Row made all of Day-Lewis’ suits, in a weighty, period-accurate fabric. He was glad of the heavy cloth during the three months of townhouse shoot with no central heating. He was also probably glad of the very long pink socks Reynold’s wears, at his suggestion of English eccentric affectation. He also felt his character would wear bow ties.
Lesley Manville’s Cyril is a fabulously, cuttingly polite creature, immaculately turned out, with a put down that would stop an uppity tradesman in his tracks. She’s more than a match for her brother’s tetchiness, warning him not to turn his “cloud” on her, or let Alma “wait around” for his attention—“Don’t pick a fight with me, you won’t come out alive. I’ll go right through and you’ll end up on the floor. Understood?” She then calmly resumes drinking her morning tea, barely flicking her eyes sideways at him until he slurps his own in a kind of salute, another skirmish in a long-running campaign of love and hate with his “Old so and so.” Cyril wears greys that photograph as black, the perfect counterpoint for Manville’s pale skin, pearls and coiffed hair. Bridges recalled that, “We were informed by the women who were, essentially, the saleswomen at Balenciaga, and you see it all the way through any reference to that period: they would wear navy and pearls, very simple, and allow the fashions to stand out, and I think that’s what we did with Lesley. Of course, she has impeccable tailoring, she is representing the house.” When Gina McKee’s Countess Henrietta Harding says that Woodcock’s dresses give her courage, she’s quoting Cristóbal Balenciaga client Bunny Mellon. But it’s courage of the old guard, perhaps, as Mark Bridges muses. “He [Woodcock] learned his trade from his mother, in the early part of the 20th century. But it’s the 1950s now and he’s still using those materials and techniques from the turn of the century and it’s about to become a brand new world of fashion with Dior and Saint Laurent and [Balenciaga’s] sack. It is just about to leave him behind.”
Radiohead guitarist and film composer Jonny Greenwood collaborated for the fifth time with Anderson on Phantom Thread‘s sumptuous score. He told Variety, “I was interested in the kinds of jazz records from the ’50s that toyed with incorporating big string sections—Ben Webster made some good ones—and focus on what the strings were doing rather than the jazz musicians themselves. As well, I looked at what classical music was most popular amongst that generation. For Reynolds, I decided if he ever listened to music, it’d be loads of Glenn Gould. Lots of slightly obsessive, minimal baroque music. I couldn’t imagine him listening to much jazz. So as well as the grandly romantic music for the story, there could be more formal music for him. Those were the two contrasting strands. It was very enjoyable writing the baroque stuff—I love that kind of music, it’s so satisfying—and it’s one of the few things I learnt to do at school. As well, Paul often referred to vampire stories—there’s certainly an element of that to the tale—the village girl lured to the big house, so some of the cues are a little darker.” For a hint of Alma’s mysterious European past intruding into Reynold’s ordered existence, he incorporated the cimbalom—“It plays a version of the baroque theme that recurs in the film a few times.”
Finally, film blog Writing About Film has some interesting observations about how the blocking of scenes in Reynolds’ home, “visually emphasized verticality and compressed the frame horizontally. It felt like an Academy ratio film… within a widescreen frame, by choosing an appropriate location and using it in conjunction with the camera to make the frame feel tall and narrow.” And, “It’s in the general setting, a townhouse in London with narrow corridors, tight staircases and high ceilings—you rarely see ceilings in Phantom Thread at all, the walls stretching all the way to the top of the frame giving a feeling of limitless height. There’s an interesting balance of tone achieved, too—with walls everywhere, the Woodcock residence is kind of a prison, but not an inescapable one, as there’s always the possibility of movement upwards.”
Few scenes emphasize this claustrophobic yet intimate feeling as well as the slow track into the bathroom through the door ajar, the outside hall and it in darkness, squaring the frame. Centered, Reynolds in pajamas and a soothing rug on the toilet, enamel sick bowl clutched to him, newspapers spread on the floor, and a kneeling Alma tenderly placing a kiss on his fevered cheek. A kind of inversion of The Searchers, two outsiders finding each other. Let’s go home, Alma.
Tim Pelan was born in 1968, the year of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (possibly his favorite film), ‘Planet of the Apes,’ ‘The Night of the Living Dead’ and ‘Barbarella.’ That also made him the perfect age for when ‘Star Wars’ came out. Some would say this explains a lot. Read more »
“I told him a little bit about the story I was cooking up and we agreed I would share the writing with him as it went along. Because it also required investigating this world, this couture. We did researching together. He would be researching and I would be researching, but I would be writing. I’d write every couple of weeks, every 15, 20 or 30 pages and share things with him because I don’t speak ‘English,’ I speak American. So, he helped me with that as it went along. It was a real collaboration. Obviously, everyone wants to work with Daniel and I got nudged to the front of the line.” —Paul Thomas Anderson
Screenwriter must-read: Paul Thomas Anderson’s screenplay for Phantom Thread [PDF]. (NOTE: For educational and research purposes only). The DVD/Blu-ray of the film is available at Amazon and other online retailers. Phantom Thread is currently available on 4K Ultra High Definition Blu Ray via Universal. Absolutely our highest recommendation.
Paul Thomas Anderson talked to AFI Conservatory Fellows about writing the film.
Paul Thomas Anderson talks love, fashion, obsession and his leading man’s retirement. Interview by David Fear. This article was originally published in the Rolling Stone, December 19, 2017.
You’ve said that the conception for this really started when you were sick one day in bed—how did you go from that to a romance between a fashion designer and his model?
[Laughs] I think that’s a long leap between a lot of stones!
Walk us through this.
So yes, I was sick and my wife [actress Maya Rudolph] was taking care of me. And my imagination just took over at some point, where I had this thought: “Oh, she is looking at me with such care and tenderness… wouldn’t it suit her to keep me sick in this state?” I don’t know a lot about that disorder, Munchausen [symdrome] by proxy—that’s too hot for me to handle. But that moment was enough to… it gave me an idea that such a thing could be served up with some spark of mischievousness and humor that might, in a larger picture, lend itself to what it means to be in a long-term relationship, you know. And the balance of power that can happen in that. Not just in a creative relationship either—how men and women interact isn’t exclusive to an artist and his muse or shit like that.
It’s not just “Pygmalion bites back.”
Right, yeah! And in a movie way… I love Hitchcock’s Rebecca so much, but I watch it and about halfway through, I always find myself wishing that Joan Fontaine would just say, “Right, I have had enough of your shit. I think I have had more than my fair share of your bullshit, so let me just get the fuck out of here.” [Laughs] And yet poor Joan has to keep putting up with it. The question becomes: Why is she staying with this guy? Because she loves him and they are connected in some profound way. That idea intrigued me. There’s an exchange in Phantom Thread that I keep going back to, where Reynolds says to Alma, “Is it because you think I don’t need you?” She says, “Yes.” He replies, “I don’t.” And you want to say, of course you don’t need her, you dummy, but that is besides the point. You have missed the point entirely.
So chicken-and-egg–wise, were you just looking for an idea because you and Daniel Day-Lewis were going to work on something, or was this more like: “I have this thing now, and you know who might be a good fit…”?
I’d certainly always wanted to work with Daniel again. But there was no rush to collaborate again, necessarily; it was always, hopefully a good idea will come and then will do it if we’re both available. Then suddenly, it was like, I have no good ideas here and I’d better concentrate and dream up something, because the clock feels like it’s ticking. Since Blood, I’d done two movies and he’d done two movies. The timing seemed right. “I’m not doing anything, you’re not doing anything, let’s make this happen!”
That’s how it works with you two?
I’m sort of the cheerleader with these kind of things. I know him well enough to know that he’d just kind of tinker away doing whatever he was doing unless I start cracking the whip. I had to be the instigator, which is good—I like that role, like really sitting down and saying “Right this is how we are going to do it.” I had that premise, a lot of vaguely formed ideas, bits and pieces of dialogue and was trying to find a voice for a character that was kind of a bit shapeless. I just sort of poured my heart out and opened my notebooks to him. Like, here is where this is. I don’t know what shape it can take. [Laughs] And then begins the process.
How has watching Daniel’s process affected your creative process? Or has it affected it at all?
I mean, I suppose there are two sets to my process. Normally, the writing is done alone. But then to go and be a director, I am, thankfully, at the mercy of a collaboration. I follow the lead of an actor usually. In other words, you want to rehearse? Then let’s rehearse. You have no interest in rehearsing? Then we are not going to do that. I have no will to impose on them; I only want to kind of keep propping up what they need. And what Daniel’s process needs is actually kind of very similar to mine. It’s a long incubation period that’s usually accompanied by a lot of daydreaming, loads of reading and a lot of trying things on for size. Between those three things, you can fill up a year pretty easily.
How closely involved was he in the writing of Phantom Thread?
Elaborate, if you could.
I mean, the shaping of the story was predominately mine, but in terms of the dialogue… there are massive amounts of lines that are all him. Or I would write a first pass on something that was very kind of nuts-and-bolts, then he would write all these fantastic flourishes that could really only come from Reynolds’ tongue. He was very helpful with my tin ear for British dialogue. You know when you’re kind of telling a story to somebody, you’re actually test audience-ing on them. If I am telling you a story, I can see you are tense, or I can see your attention was wandering or you’re glazing over, or…
You can see they’re leaning in.
Exactly, so there was a lot of that with us. I’d talk to him about story ideas and I’d see his interest, or lack of it. If he was quiet, that was a bad review [laughs]. “Anything? Anything, Daniel?!? No? You know what, just don’t say anything. Let me stop you right there, I am just going to go back to the drawing board on this.”
At one of the film’s early screenings, he mentioned during a Q&A that the fashion-world aspects were almost secondary to everything else—that the movie could have been set in another arena entirely. So why did you choose that particular world to set this story in?
I think that the fashion world is inherently incredibly cinematic, you know. It means you’re going to have great costumes. [Pause] I think, from my point of view, the intricacies and intimacies of that work is fascinating, because I knew nothing about it. Doing things like taking measurements, which is very commonplace and boring for someone immersed in that world, I was enamored up of it in the way that a child would be enamored of something. So it became very cinematic to me, that way that someone would design a dress. It was like a Frankenstein’s-monster scene to me. I mean, I have no romanticism when it comes to something like, say, writing—the idea of putting someone at a typewriter just seemed dull. So, we couldn’t make him a writer. The same goes with painting, as it’s really difficult to portray that moment of inspiration so it feels cinematic. You know [mimes staring at canvas], “Ah HA!” [Makes single, tiny brush stroke] It gets very old very quickly, and while a handful of people have done it pretty well, I just thought, No. But everyone wears clothes. I thought, that would work. And then I just dove in deep. Normally, when I throw myself into research for a film for several years, I amass all this stuff and then the film is over and, you know, done. My interest is gone. Now, I still check out Vogue online and see what people are up to. I still love it.
How did you find Vicky Krieps?
She was in this German film I’d seen called The Chambermaid—she has one of those faces that turns in about 45 directions at once. What I mean is, you look at her one way and she could not look more awkward; then she turns slightly and, suddenly, she looks stunningly beautiful. Then you her from a third angle and it’s like: “Does she love me or is she going to poison me?” [Laughs] You could believe she’d be serving tea in some shitty hotel on the coast and then could come sweeping downstairs in a gown. Plus her audition was great, and… I mean, look. We saw some really great actresses who, frankly, were quite beautiful and had them read for the part, but there was never someone who could tell the story of the film through their face the way she could. You know, “I love you and you are too dumb to see how much I love you and what I got to give you and I am not going anywhere until I make you realize it.” Vicky could give you that in a single look.
Let’s talk about the relationship between Cyril and Reynolds—how different was it on the page versus what we see onscreen?
You know what you can’t write? Just how comfortable those two are are sitting together in silence. You can give them dialogue that indicates just how close and co-dependent they are. But I think if you just filmed Daniel and Lesley, you would get a feeling of intimacy between them, just because of their natural comfort with each other. What we did—in hindsight very intelligently, I might add—was to get Lesley on board like nine months before. We sort of saw the horizon line and knew that, this is an actress that’s booked up. We want her to do this. We better ask her now. The side benefit of that was that she had time to think about it, to get to talking about it with Daniel so they could cook up whatever delicious long, sordid history they can cook up. And with them, no way that doesn’t come to the table. She is one of the greatest actors I have ever worked with. I mean, just a fucking joy to watch. I had a front row seat and would be on-set, wide-eyed, everyday thinking, “Is she fucking putting me on? Is she really this good?” What’s that Bad Santa line? [Goes into angry Billy Bob Thornton voice] “Goddamit, are you fucking with me?” [Laughs] There was a lot of that.
It’d be a shame if the movie was eclipsed by the fact that Daniel announced he was retiring while you were still shooting the movie. What went through your head when he told you?
Um… [achingly long pause] I remember feeling very nervous that he was serious. I have been telling myself for many months now, “Let’s just push off thinking about this until later.” You know, “There is work to be done now.” And now I have to… [sighs]. I guess what that translates into is that deep down, I’m not really going to let him get away with it—if I can help it. I like to think he is, perhaps… I would like to hope that he just needs a break. But I don’t know. It sure doesn’t seem like it right now, which is a big drag for all of us.
He’s talked about it before. There’s a part of you that thinks, “Let him do what he wants, hasn’t he given us enough?”
But the answer to that is, no! No, it’s never fucking enough! [Laughs]
You’ve both mentioned experiencing a huge sense of sadness while you were making it…
He said that, I didn’t.
He said it. Do you think that contributed to his decision?
I don’t want to speak for him, but it’s a funny thing that you can ultimately have a film that is, I think, quite light on its feet and kind of absurd in ways—and the process of making it would be melancholy. Because there were many melancholy days. I think the accumulation of scenes where Reynolds had to be difficult and was hard on this woman who loved him, after a period of time was… I’ll put it to you this way: When you go to work five days in a row and you’re pressing your thumb down on Alma’s neck, it’s going to take a toll.
You dedicated the movie to Jonathan Demme, who passed away last April. What did his films mean to you?
Oh man, that’s a whole other interview. How long have you got? He was the first filmmaker who made me feel it was within reach. What I mean by that is: He didn’t, he didn’t over shazam it, but he put some spit on it too. So it’s cinematic but it’s grounded as well. I mean, Something Wild was just a gigantic turning point for me when I saw it: how loose you could be with the rulebook. You know, having people look into the camera, having three different songs play at one time, simply ending your film on Sister Carol looking into the lens and nodding and wagging her finger. I mean, that’s fucking amazing to me. One other thing that I really like about his work is, everybody had a story in the frame. There was no bullshit background; no one was an accident. Look out the window right now. [Points to a passerby talking on his phone] That man right there walking by with his phone—Jonathan would have somebody playing that out. It was never somebody just walking right past. He cared about everybody.
He’s one of the great humanist filmmakers. He was like our Jean Renoir.
Yeah! Yeah, completely. Only Richard Linklater comes close to that. Even Jonathan’s darkest movies are hopeful. I take inspiration from that.
Would you say Phantom Thread is hopeful?
I think so. [Pause] I would say it’s more hopeful than The War of the Roses (1989).
That’s your barometer?!?
That’s my barometer for most films. Go watch it again. It’s a great gold standard for fucked-up relationship movies.
Paul Thomas Anderson discusses his new film, Phantom Thread, with fellow Director Rian Johnson.
Sir Alan Parker sits down to talk to director Paul Thomas Anderson about his new film.
Phantom Thread discussion with writer/director/producer Paul Thomas Anderson, editor Dylan Tichenor, costume designer Mark Bridges, and actor Vicky Krieps on December 10, 2017 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
Paul Thomas Anderson talks his career, comedy, and Phantom Thread in 100-minute conversation.
MASTERCLASS WITH PTA’S CINEMATOGRAPHY TEAM
In a 2.5-hour masterclass courtesy of Lux Lighting, First AC Erik Brown, Gaffer Jonny Franklin, and Lighting Cameraman Mike Bauman gathered to have an in-depth discussion of lighting the film, featuring a wealth of behind-the-scene video and images (pulled from a pool of over 11,000 stills Bauman took on set to judge exposure) detailing the production process. —Jordan Raup, The Film Stage
Paul Thomas Anderson received the inaugural ‘Jonathan Demme Award’ at the 2018 Texas Film Awards. Here is a conversation between Paul Thomas Anderson and Richard Linklater from the evening, focusing on the impact that Jonathan Demme had on film.
DYLAN TICHENOR, ACE
Editing a Daniel Day-Lewis performance is like editing a Reynolds Woodcock performance. Almost every bit—and there are a lot of takes and footage and he tries stuff but he’s pretty consistent—you’re with Reynolds Woodcock. It’s a matter of picking and choosing the moments, but they’re all pretty real. It’s sort of like let’s keep within these lines and that’s the character. Sometimes Daniel is painting a little outside, but he’s always Reynolds, morning through night. It’s a different experience in a way. I’ve worked with a lot of great actors, I’ve been fortunate in that way, and nobody has such a method as Daniel does. —Dylan Tichenor
Dylan Tichenor, ACE, began working on films as an assistant to Geraldine Peroni (an American film editor) in the 1990’s. When Peroni passed away in 2004, Tichenor stepped to finish her work on Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain. Tichenor was first credited with Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights, for which he was nominated for a Satellite Award. Tichenor was nominated for two Oscars; one for his work on Anderson’s 2007 film There Will Be Blood and one for co-editing Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty with William Goldenberg, ACE. Some of Dylan’s other work includes Magnolia, The Royal Tenenbaums, Unbreakable, The Town, Doubt, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Whip It, American Made and Phantom Thread.
Rebecca, The Passionate Friends, Rear Window and Phantom Thread, by Nelson Carvajal.
He was a director who wasn’t just making movie after movie after movie. It was a movie, five insane weirdo little side projects, followed later by a movie. The way he conducted his work was not a straight line at all. He zigzagged all over the place. —Paul Thomas Anderson on Jonathan Demme
Here are several photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread. Photographed by Michael Bauman, Laurie Sparham & Mark Tillie © Focus Features/Universal Studios, Annapurna Pictures, Perfect World Pictures, JoAnne Sellar Productions, Ghoulardi Film Company. Intended for editorial use only. All material for educational and noncommercial purposes only.
We’re running out of money and patience with being underfunded. If you find Cinephilia & Beyond useful and inspiring, please consider making a small donation. Your generosity preserves film knowledge for future generations. To donate, please visit our donation page, or donate directly below:
Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in[newsletter]