It’s a good time for anyone who has wanted to see the shroud of mystery lifted from some film directors. The Wachowskis, once pegged as incredibly reclusive, are doing interviews left and right. And Paul Thomas Anderson, not quite such an enigma, but not known for being outgoing in the media, has recently done multiple TV interviews to promote The Master.
Last night Anderson was on The Daily Show, and today he hit CBS This Morning to discuss his new film. The Daily Show interview is a lot of fun, because it’s easy to see that Jon Stewart is excited to have Anderson as a guest. Over at CBS, however, the writer/director discussed the inspiration of Scientology on The Master, which might be a subject many are eager to hear PTA discuss. He also gets into the film’s reception and some other issues that are a bit deeper than what Stewart gets to. Both interviews are recommended, and can be found below. Read More »
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After seeing Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master, I was happy to realize that much of the footage seen in clips released before the film hit theaters was not in the final film.
And while The Master has been in theaters for almost two weeks, The Weinstein Company, along with Anderson, has released a new long trailer that combines some of that previously released clip footage with other shots that didn’t make the movie. Some shots are different visions of scenes that are in the film; others are totally new.
That should be enough for anyone interested in continued discussion about the film to devote four and a half minutes to the trailer below. Read More »
I have nothing but respect for Armond White, but to say his opinions are unpopular is like saying the Sun will rise. It’s a foregone conclusion, and two of his most recent posts fit that bill and then some. In one post, he argues that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is better than Raiders of the Lost Ark and in another he says Paul W.S. Anderson is a better filmmaker than both Martin Scorsese and Paul Thomas Anderson, comparing Resident Evil: Retribution and The Master. (That one is a few weeks old but we hadn’t written about it yet.)
The scary thing is, White is such a talented, smart writer and has such confidence in his outlandish arguments you almost want to believe them. Can he convince you? Read some excerts and link to the full articles after the jump. Read More »
An image recurs throughout The Master: a ship’s wake, white and blue water churning as the camera — really the mind’s eye of the dissolute Freddie Quell — stares not exactly into the past, but into the creation of the past. He fixates at the roil and the churn, staring at nothing rather than directly examine the choices and impulses that created him.
Freddie is an animal; or a sensualist, to be more generous. He does what he feels like doing, and what he feels is visible in every line of his face, and every glint of his wary, shaded eyes. He likes to drink, and he likes to fuck, and he likes to pretend that none of it really matters, and that his impulses have never cost him anything. As Freddie, Joaquin Phoenix channels every bit of his own individual oddness and intensity to create a character that is whole, and unique. Phoenix is an incandescent screen presence.
The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson‘s sixth feature film, is a portrait of Freddie as one half of a whole. It is not a conventional narrative. Such as it is, the plot is barely more than an outline. Designed with sublime attention to detail by regular David Lynch and Terrence Malick collaborator Jack Fisk; scored with nervy yet sweeping themes by Jonny Greenwood; and photographed with exquisite tenderness by Mihai Malaimare Jr., The Master is the rare modern film that feels like the product of old studio craftsmanship.
In moments, Anderson’s new work can be maddening, dull, even vacuous. But subsequent moments can be quietly provocative as the film tries to understand friendships, and relationships that trade in power, and even the nature of faith. The tentative plot is a boon. Free of responsibilities to any standard story structure, Anderson’s characters can circle and dance around one another without concerns about resolving dangling threads. The Master is mesmerizing, and beautiful. Read More »
Press Play created an interesting 8-minute video essay on The Symmetry of ‘There Will Be Blood‘. The essay takes a look at how director Paul Thomas Anderson has used symmetry throughout his career, but most specifically how it is used in There Will Be Blood to explore “visual rhyme and balance”. Watch the essay now embedded after the jump.
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The word “comforting” comes to mind when you realize a new Paul Thomas Anderson movie can set box office records. His latest film, The Master, opened this past weekend in five theaters and grossed $736,311 for a per-screen average of $147,262. That’s the highest per-screen average ever for a live-action film with a traditional release. (More on that below.) To put it in a little perspective, when The Avengers shattered the all-time opening weekend record in May grossing over $207 million, it was on over 4,300 screens for an average of $47,698. The Master tripled that.
After the jump, read more about this record. Read More »
The Master opens in limited release on Friday, but one of the most anticipated aspects of the film — Jonny Greenwood‘s score — can now be enjoyed in full. While I can’t say that everyone should obsessively listen to this score before seeing the film, as the music plays a very special part in the development of the film’s progression, just as you’d expect.
But if you just have to sample the full score now, the music service Spotify is able to accommodate you. In addition, the entire score for Dredd, composed by Paul Leonard-Morgan (Limitless) can be heard for free. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
The Alamo Drafthouse Ritz location in downtown Austin, TX — the same house that is showing a series of films in 70mm all this month — is hosting a benefit screening of Paul Thomas Anderson‘s new film The Master in 70mm. The show is this coming Monday, September 10, at 7:30. To promote the screening, PTA released a clip to the Drafthouse featuring a new, strangely comic scene from the movie.
This clip is just as good as the other materials we’ve seen from the movie, and a bit more vulgar. It shows Joaquin Phoenix‘s character, Freddie Quell, taking a Navy psych evaluation during which he has to evaluate a series of inkblots. He sees pretty much the same thing in every one, which tells us a bit about Freddie’s worldview. Read More »