Watch Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights prototype, The Dirk Diggler Story

Paul Thomas Anderson's new film Licorice Pizza is currently in the middle of its theatrical release and enjoying strong approval from critics and audiences. Anderson has been batting close to a thousand his entire career, so the film's positive reception is not surprising. I'm not the biggest fan of Magnolia, and even I have to acknowledge that it's a competently made film. Moreover, it's a confident follow-up to his smash hit Boogie Nights that helped Anderson retain an element of creative unpredictability. Paul Thomas Anderson has played the Hollywood game to perfection since he walked in the door. However, his talents as a filmmaker stretch further back than his debut film Hard Eight.

In the video linked above, we get to watch Anderson's first attempt at the Boogie Nights concept with his amateur film The Dirk Diggler Story. The short film explores Diggler's life and fame through the lens of tragedy in a mockumentary style that, while shoddy in certain areas, shows the promise of Anderson's later cinematic efforts. If you've got thirty minutes to kill, give it a once over.