Philip Seymour Hoffman is down in Atlanta right now, filming the second Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire, and probably also enjoying some of the afterglow of The Master having a record-setting weekend. And now we’ve got more good news for Hoffman fans, as he is prepping to make his second directorial effort, based on the 2011 script Ezekiel Moss.

Called a “Depression-era ghost story,” the film hit the 2011 Black List of popular unproduced screenplays, and was penned by Keith Bunin. Producer Cathy Schulman of Mandalay Pictures calls the project a “captivating and gothic exploration of faith and the supernatural.” Read More »

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Not to make things confusing, but there are two similarly titled films which feature sets of powerful actors in music-related stories. One is Quartet (the current title, at least), which happens to be Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut. And then there is A Late Quartet, which premieres tonight in Toronto, and is from director Yaron Zilberman with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Christopher Walken, and Imogen Poots starring.

Walken plays a musician diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, who structures a performance as his farewell bow. It’s lovely to see Walken turning in a moderated, even restrained performance, and in general the work of the actors looks like it should be enough to draw anyone in. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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 »

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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They should retitle it “casting fire,” am I right? The Francis Lawrence-directed sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire just got some serious Oscar clout as Philip Seymour Hoffman has accepted the role of Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee, a role for which he was previously rumored. He joins the stellar returning cast, along with new addition Jena Malone, for the film which starts shooting this fall. Read more about the role and the film after the jump. Read More »

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