Paul Thomas Anderson did another early screening of his new film The Master in 70mm last night at Chicago’s Music Box Theater, to follow on the Santa Monica showing that took place a couple weeks ago. Just about the only people who seem to be unhappy about that are officials at film festivals, as praise for various aspects of the film is pouring in via Twitter and a few reviews. (The Venice film gave The Master a slot in competition, but the showing will now hardly count as a world premiere.)

It would be wrong to suggest that the praise for Anderson’s latest film is uniform. The film follows a drifter (Joaquin Phoenix) as he comes into the orbit of the magnetic title character Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Dodd’s wife (Amy Adams), who have organzied a coterie of followers around Dodd’s philosophical approach to life. The film’s performers are universally acclaimed so far, as is the visual presentation, specifically as seen in 70mm. Some seem to be seeking a new film to lead the charge in the battle between film and digital, and have found it in The Master. But the movie is also called a bit aimless (which isn’t necessarily a point of complaint) and referred to as one that takes a lot of processing time.

See some of the reactions below. Read More »

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We got our first teaser clip from Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master in May, followed by a second in June, and then the full-length trailer in July. In other words, we’ve been getting video about once a month all summer. Which means, yes, it’s time for one more now that we’ve hit mid-August.

If you’ve been following the marketing so far, you’ll have some idea of what to expect from the new clip. Jonny Greenwood‘s score once again pops up to set the uneasy tone, and stars Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams continue to convince us that they’ll be nominated for some little gold statues before this is all over.

But just because it’s not terribly surprising doesn’t mean it’s not breathtaking. Hit the jump to watch the video — which, by the way, promotes a 70mm screening scheduled for tonight in Chicago. Details on that after the jump, too.

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The best news this weekend was that Paul Thomas Anderson did a sneak screening of his new film The Master on Friday night after a showing of The Shining in Santa Monica, and that attendees were very impressed by the director’s work. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the title character, a self-made religious/cult leader in the vein of Scientology’s L. Ron Hubbard; Amy Adams plays his wife, who has power behind the scenes; and Joaquin Phoenix is the alcoholic ex-Navy drifter who comes into their orbit.

The actors all received excessive praise for their work from those who saw the film this weekend, and we’re looking forward to hearing more about it at the Venice and Toronto festivals, before the film begins to hit US theaters on September 14.

Before any of that takes place, however, you can look forward to the film by decyphering the film’s new one-sheet. The image has the look of a mild kaleidoscope, or perhaps and insectoid eye. Check it out in full below. Read More »

Here’s why you should go out to the movies on a Friday evening: last night at the Aero, in Santa Monica, audiences who turned up to see The Shining were told that Kubrick’s movie would be followed by a surprise double-feature. That second film was Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master, and it was projected in 70mm.

What a cool move on Anderson’s part — not a test screening, but just a low-key surprise for people who were in the right place at the right time. (This is a bit like his choice to premiere There Will Be Blood at Fantastic Fest, when that festival was a lot smaller.) Opinions are starting to filter out about the movie, and while they’re largely from people we don’t know — so we don’t know their taste in film in general — there are some comments that you’ll probably want to read. Read More »

‘The Master’ Theatrical Trailer

The first teasers for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master were just that — teasers. They offered tantalizing glimpses of the two main leads, religious leader Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his acolyte Freddie Sutton (Joaquin Phoenix), but little more than that. And as fantastic as they were, it was only a matter of time before the studio released a more conventional trailer for theatrical release.

Fortunately for us, the first full-length trailer offers a better idea of the plot and general set-up without sacrificing too much of the unsettling moodiness that made the first teasers so striking. Plus, it offers much better looks at some of the other talents that fill out the cast, including Amy Adams as Dodd’s wife and Jesse Plemons as his son. Check it out after the jump.

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That There Will Be Blood helmer Paul Thomas Anderson is back with a new feature after five long years is exciting enough. Toss in the fact that his latest reunites him with frequent collaborator Philip Seymour Hoffman, and it’s no wonder The Master is one of our most highly anticipated movies of the year.

The first teaser was a beautifully crafted, deeply unsettling clip centered on a Navy man named Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix), and the second offers us a much better look at the titular Master himself, religious leader Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman). Not surprisingly, it already appears to be one hell of a performance. Amy Adams, who plays Lancaster’s wife, makes a brief showing as well. Watch it after the jump.

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We’ve already got the villainess (Angelina Jolie), the young princess (Elle Fanning), her father (Sharlto Copley), and the three fairies (Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville, and Juno Temple), and now, at long last, we have the prince. Young Aussie actor Brenton Thwaites has just boarded Robert Stromberg‘s Maleficent, a Sleeping Beauty retelling seen from the perspective of its big bad.

Thwaites is almost totally unknown in the U.S., though he’s a little more famous in his native country. He first broke out with a starring role in the Australian drama series SLiDE, and has since done a stint on the long-running soap Home and Away. (As have the likes of Guy Pearce, Heath Ledger, Naomi Watts, and Chris Hemsworth before him.) He’ll next appear in the Lifetime Channel’s Blue Lagoon: The Awakening, but I’m betting that the Maleficent casting means this kid will be attracting some much higher-caliber projects soon. [Deadline]

After the jump, Olivia Wilde teams up with Spike Jonze.

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A week after getting our first glimpse of Philip Seymour Hoffman as religious leader Lancaster Dodd in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master, we now have a first teaser to go with it. We don’t get to see much more of Hoffman here, but what we do get is a nice long look at Joaquin Phoenix’s Freddie, a charismatic young drifter who becomes Hoffman’s second in command. Watch it after the jump.

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