slashfilmcast550

In this bonus episode, Dave, Devindra, and Adam try to review one of the year’s most challenging and rewarding(?) films. Tasha Robinson joins us from AV Club.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993.
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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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

After what feels like years of speculation and waiting, it is exciting that Paul Thomas Anderson‘s latest film, The Master, opens in only a few weeks. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix in a widely praised performance as an ex-Navy man who falls under the spell of the “master” of the title, played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Here’s the last trailer for The Master before that imminent opening, and it features a good amount of new footage. If nothing else, this will give you a great idea of the visual splendor on display — and the film has been on the receiving end of great notes for its look, especially when seen in 70mm — and also of the force of the performances within. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

A new Paul Thomas Anderson film is an event, and his latest, The Master, is already the subject of intense scrutiny even before the film opens. That opening date is September 14 in some cities, September 21 in others, but screenings have taken place in Santa Monica, Chicago, and New York. The film will also play festivals in Venice and Toronto before opening for regular engagements.

The lore of the film is already thick, thanks in part to the early reports that the movie deals with Scientology, as Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s title character is a man who creates a sort of cult following based on the strength of his own philosophy. But the movie has a lot more to it than that, or so early screening reactions lead us to understand, and Anderson seems uncomfortable with calling it a film about Scientology.

Anderson has offered few public comments about the film so far, but Newsweek’s David Ansen talked to the director, and learned quite a few interesting things, such as that scenes originally written for There Will Be Blood ended up in the script for The Master. [Update: A new clip from the film has arrived, and that is embedded below, along with info for a San Francisco screening tomorrow night.] Read More »