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Smack! New supercut explores the sound effects of Paul Thomas Anderson films

Jacob T. Swinney has previously explored the sound effects of Quentin Tarantino and the visual aesthetic of Sofia Coppola. Now he’s turned his eye—or ear—to one of their contemporaries, Paul Thomas Anderson, in a four part series that opens with just the sound effects and Foley work of Anderson’s films. There’s some recurring motifs (particularly the same gun shot noise, the harsh slap, and the sound of snorting of various substances noises), but by and large it’s an interesting way of approaching Anderson’s films and the unique way he’s able to build his immersive worlds.

Anderson’s oeuvre has always been marked by its impressive visual palate, but also an excellent audio component in either the soundtrack or the impressionistic scores created by the likes of Jon Brion and Johnny Greenwood. These effects which, in some eyes, are a lesser aspect of his soundscape still produce a sensory overload and reveal how much the incredibly gifted and impeccably precise filmmaker uses something like the snapping of a key to jar audiences awake and even signify something happening with the character or within the scene. It’s a short video but an interesting collection of the many ways that Anderson is able to use these sounds to further his stories and truly considers all aspects of the audio-visual experience when crafting his films.


Hearing Paul Thomas Anderson from Jacob T. Swinney on Vimeo.


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