From Still Smokin': An Interview with Paul Thomas Anderson by David Ehrlich:
Save for perhaps Punch-Drunk Love, which exists in the sweet synesthesia of its own dimension, each of Anderson’s films is a time capsule, a period piece, or both. With each successive feature, it grows ever more tempting to re-arrange his features by the chronology of their stories and look at his body of work as an alternate history of 20th century America. Anderson may not see much value in such an exercise (“Fuck. I mean, that would be cool, I guess. That would be wild!”), but his films nevertheless evince an uncanny ability to recreate the past so that it feels ineffably present.
I'm going to do that one day.