Phantom Thread reminded me of my own stories. Somewhat unlikeable characters who fall in love and ruin one another in new ways, mostly with one-on-one conversations? That’s where I’m a Viking.
Phantom Thread is probably going to be a lot better on the second or third viewing. I wonder if my books are like that. You finish them the first time and you’re like “what?” And then maybe on the next go around you find the bits that work for you and it’s a little better. Or put more simply, the more I think about Phantom Thread, the more I like it. I hope people think about my work like that.
Comparing a production like Phantom Thread, with a cabal of seasoned professionals doing very good work, to my own self published and little-read work is super egotistical, sure, but it actually isn’t all that often I watch or read something that reminds me of my work. Phantom Thread is kind of like if my books were better.
I wonder if they love their movie. I mean, that might be something I should be asking of my own work? Do I love my finished work? I don’t know. I have my favourites. I poured so much into Skypunch and I know it’s a failed book but I still look at some scenes and think it’s my best thing. Kate in No Chinook is my favourite creation. I wanted more of her and that’s how Skypunch happened. Tess and Bret in Record Year, I’m still in love with them. But for the most part, I just see where things could be better. I’m hard on myself. Phantom Thread proposes that probably everybody is.
But at least I take my girl out on New Years.