Men jumping off a boat. Freddie with a gun. Even at a healthy two hours plus, Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master was noticeably missing some distinctive shots from its earlier trailers. We can now confirm they’ll be on the DVD, edited together in about a 20 minute pastiche of the entire film, echoing its themes through deleted and extended takes.

The filmmaker was on hand to present a pair of films that heavily influenced his latest work as part of An Evening With Paul Thomas Anderson, presented by Film Independent at LACMA. The evening began with screenings of two John Huston documentaries filmed during World War II, San Pietro and Let There Be Light, the latter of which is a direct influence of the beginning of The Master (and a must see for fans). Anderson then talked about Huston’s work and those two films, followed by the footage.

After the jump, we have a detailed rundown of the footage including how it relates to the movie in theaters. Read More »

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People tend to put filmmakers and film fans into strict categories; someone might be a comedy guy, a drama person, a horror fan or a superhero admirer. For example, no one would expect a filmmaker like Lars Von Trier to be a huge fanboy for Disney movies. He probably isn’t of course, but it’s just an extreme, hypothetical example of how we tend to presume peoples tastes.

Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson makes difficult movies. Some more so than others, but he’s never played to the audience with simple, happy endings or huge action set pieces. Raw emotion, language and tense situations are constantly on display and these are things many people don’t want when they go to the movies. Those people want Christopher Nolan films. Huge action, sweeping spectacle, but with just enough thematic resonance to feel like they’re more than some run of the mill action movie. On the surface, one would think these two filmmakers occupy opposite sides of the spectrum.

That might be the case, but while promoting his latest film, The Master, Anderson was revealed that he’s a huge fan of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. Read his quotes after the jump. Read More »

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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 »

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