Boogie Nights (1997)

(On VHS, June 2000) Note to director Paul T. Anderson: You frickin’ show-off. Okay, so you can write and direct a pretty good film about the porn industry in the late seventies/early eighties. Sure, you can coax exceptional performances from your actors. Great, so you can move the camera like a god and make us say “Damn, we’ve found a new auteur!” But next time you do a film, why don’t you remember that brevity is… wit? Why don’t you take another pass at that script, and remove those little scenes that leads nowhere and do nothing? Why don’t you tell your actors to stop playing to the camera? Why don’t you hire a good editor, one who could tighten your self-indulgences to something approaching narrative unity? Do that, and we’ll love you. Otherwise, you’ll get worse and worse, and Magnolia isn’t a step in the right direction. Even geniuses directors need some good direction.

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