Three films by Paul Thomas Anderson, Richard Kelly, and Darren Aronofsky came out within a few years of each other, all satirizing the self-help guru. Motivational tapes that you could order by mail were prevalent in TV advertising at the time, and these three films by angry, young men all attacked the phoniness of the gurus’ approach, and how unsuspecting people seemed to fall for their tactics.
The false prophets in Anderson, Kelly, and Aronofsky’s films are ironic characters who represent toxic masculinity, consumerism, and greed. They are slick, smooth talkers that win followers, but not everyone is fooled. But if some people did benefit from such help, what’s the harm? Do yourself a favor, and learn more about Paul Thomas Anderson, Richard Kelly, and Darren Aronofsky. And as always, watch Fandor’s newest videos like Color Me “Bava,” The Distinct Charm of Ewan McGregor, and How Christopher Nolan Ends a Movie.