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SLFS Staff Picks: Anderson and Anderson

Since the early 1990’s, there have been few directors who have crafted more iconic films with iconic casts than Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson (no relation). Throughout the last 25 years, each director has utilized his unique style of visual storytelling, as well as an incredible amount of acting talent to deliver some of the more impressive and acclaimed works of cinematic art out there.

Salt Lake Film Society is proud to be curating a whole month of films to showcase their artistic contributions to the Salt Lake City community! So whether you are a fan of P.T’s deeply flawed characters and suspenseful long takes, or Wes’s unique visual style and sense of humorous storytelling, come down to the Broadway and relive these all-time classics on the big screen! To get you in the mood , here are some SLFS Staff favorites from both Andersons:

Anderson and Anderson SLFS Staff Picks

THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (2001) – Jesse Sindelar, Development Manager

    • “Before I watched THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS for the first time, the friend who recommended it to me told me that the whole film culminated in one single line near the end. After being entranced by the stacked cast, every one of which brought their A-game, and following this horribly dysfunctional family to a surprisingly optimistic ending, I finally discovered what my friend had meant. In one of the last scenes, Ben Stiller’s recently widowed character finally forgives his dad, played by the perfect bastard, Gene Hackman and opens up to him with a simple “I’ve had a rough year Dad”. Not only does it exemplify the emotional growth of the whole family, but I think everyone can deeply relate to that line to some extent.”

A still of Gene Hackman and Ben Stiller from the Wes Anderson film Royal Tenenbaums


P.T. ANDERSON Tori Baker, President/CEO

    • “A cinefile simply cannot pick! THERE WILL BE BLOOD is a tour de force that will likely land though cinematic history much in the way CITIZEN KANE has. BOOGIE NIGHTS is so unique and original and “of the moment;” MAGNOLIA packs a punch for anyone who has experienced death intimately, or love absently. Eat that frog or drink that milkshake, either way, thank you PT for the brilliance.”

MAGNOLIA (1999) – Marcie Collett, Associate Director of Development

A still of Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the P.T. Anderson film Magnolia

    • MAGNOLIA is my third favorite movie of all time – right after EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE and BARTON FINK. It is epic, mundane, magical, ridiculous, hilarious, heart-breaking, ecstatic, mysterious, and utterly nonsensical. It is unbearably long as the intertwining, desperate characters unravel until that biblical moment. I fell in love with Philip Seymour Hoffman in 1999 after watching him in this. He is the knight who tends to the mythic, dying Fisher King – Jason Robards who was himself dying in his last role, and he compassionately leads an extraordinary cast who have gone on to star in multiple P.T. Anderson roles.

RUSHMORE (1998) – Rachel Getts, Associate Director of Digital Content

    • RUSHMORE is a coming of age story that incorporates quirk, angst, art, and the Kinks. This sophomore film represents a less stylized Wes Anderson, with an emotional depth that elevates its love-triangle premise. Bop your head to the soundtrack and remember the pain of discovering that you don’t know everything that you thought you did.  It happens to some of us at 15, and to some of us a bit later.  But you can get back up and start anew. ” 

PUNCH DRUNK LOVE (2002) – Stephen Simmons, Associate Director of Production

    • “When I was a wee kid, I was a projectionist, and every-time we built up our 35mm prints, we would have to screen the film, checking to see if the print was damaged or out of order on the reels. One night, we received cans of PUNCH DRUNK LOVE for an advanced screening. It was 2am in the morning as we screened the print. This dramedy was so unexpected, original and awkward. I never laughed so hard in an empty theater. Adam Sandler’s performance alone was worthy of an Oscar nomination. The use of red, white, and blue visuals/colors was hypnotic and carried the anxiety of the plot. When the film ended, it was 4:30 am. I went right up to the projection booth and started it up again. Didn’t leave the theater until the sun came up. That’s how much I love this film.”  

A still of Ben Stiller and Emily Watson in the PT Anderson film PUNCH LOVE DRUNK


Indie Movie Theaters in Salt Lake City – SLFS

We hope you enjoyed our staff selections (and nostalgia trip), and we hope you get to enjoy a bit of reminiscing yourself with our Anderson and Anderson film series! Click here to see the upcoming schedule of Anderson and Anderson films for this April.

Anderson and Anderson in April 2023

Join us at SLFS in April 2023 for a retrospective series featuring the films of P.T. Anderson and Wes Anderson every weekend on Friday and Saturday starting March 31st.

Paul Thomas Anderson (known as P.T.) grew up in the San Fernando Valley in the ’70s and 80’s. At an early age, he decided that directing was all he wanted to do and started making short films with his friends. As a senior in high school he wrote, produced, and directed a 30 minute short film “The Dirk Diggler Story”. (This became the basis for his film Boogie Nights.) While at the Sundance Feature Film program he developed the film “Sydney” which became the acclaimed film Hard Eight. After struggles with his distributor, he took his own version of “Sydney” to Cannes where it screened in the Un Certain Regard section. Eventually “Sydney” was released as Hard Eight in 1996, of which film critic Roger Ebert wrote “Movies like Hard Eight remind me of what original, compelling characters the movies can sometimes give us.”

Wes Anderson was born in Houston, Texas in 1969. Also at a young age he was driven to become a filmmaker making silent films with his brothers and friends. Later working as a projectionist at the University of Texas at Austin he met writer/actor Owen Wilson who he collaborated with in his early films such as Bottle Rocket. His signature post-modern style and subversion of main-stream storytelling stands out amidst commercial filmmaking today. Big star-studded casts, fast paced humor, and a nostalgia mark his films which are never quite what you expected.

These popular directors, who happen to share a last name, represent a new wave of stylistic directing that always surprises. Their way of telling stories is unique in a world of short attention spans and easy endings.

Showtimes may vary. Tickets will be on sale at

Mar 31: The Fantastic Mr. Fox

April 1: Boogie Nights

April 7: Punch Drunk Love

April 8: The Grand Budapest Hotel

April 14: Hard Eight

April 15: Bottle Rocket

April 21: There Will Be Blood

April 22: The Royal Tenenbaums

April 28: Magnolia

April 29: Rushmore

Schedule for Anderson and Anderson in April 2023 with a scene from Punch Drunk Love.