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Paul Thomas Anderson and 11 more great living American directors

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Homegrown filmmakers are bringing high-caliber works to the big screenBy Glenn KennySpecial to MSN MoviesLast fall saw the opening of "The Master," the latest film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, whose prior feature, 2005's "There Will Be Blood," staggered its viewers with visions of emotional and physical violence set against a backdrop of early 20th-century American enterprise . . . and oil. A quintessentially American vision (and featuring an Oscar-winning performance of white-hot power from Daniel Day-Lewis), it solidified the now 42-year-old-filmmaker's position as one of the finest directors working in the United States, despite the fact that it was only his fourth feature."The Master," which Anderson shot on 70mm film, is a similarly stunning achievement. An intimate vision rendered on a broad canvas, it is a movie that is as immediately gripping as it is difficult. Its treatment of human rage, and of belief as a way of handling or tamping down that rage, is remarkable and troubling. At the same time, it tells an engrossing story with incredibly memorable characters. The movie courts controversy, to be sure, but to our minds it represents the very finest in what American movies are offering today. So consider Anderson as the great American director leading into this gallery, and once you're finished, see why maybe some of your favorites did not make the list.Bing: 'The Master' | Paul Thomas AndersonFor more movie news, follow MSN Movies on Facebook and Twitter. (Paul Thomas Anderson & Joaquin Phoenix on the set of 'The Master'/The Weinstein Company)
© The Weinstein Company
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