Monday, January 07, 2008


It was the early double-0s, Paul Thomas Anderson was in London, living the ex-pat life, feeling a bit homesick when he saw a hefty little volume beckoning from the shelves of a bookstore.

"There were these huge red letters with exclamation marks, saying OIL!, you couldn't miss it from a mile away amid a million other books," recalls the director, who bought the book -- Upton Sinclair's 1926 novel -- read it, and a few years later turned it into the astounding There Will Be Blood. Starring the astounding Daniel Day-Lewis.

"`What the hell is that? That looks good.' And this was six or seven years ago and I dare say everybody was kind of curious what the hell oil was exactly. What is this stuff? Why do we like it so much?'

"You know, when you’re home the only thing you want to do is get out of there, and then when you’re thousands of miles from home all you want to do is be back home. So to pick up a book and be reading about my backyard, was really warming. But to be reading a story that took place in the 20s and saying `Jeez, this all seems so familiar, the insanity that people had over this black, goopy stuff. You think, we’ve come a long way haven’t we?"


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