Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 >
Topic Options
#598869 - 06/22/12 10:03 AM pt anderson's "the master"
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
I thought this one had been scrapped but I guess it got made and is in post-production. Should be released pretty close to his buddy QT's Django Unchained.

Here's the very odd teaser trailer.



K

Top
#598870 - 06/22/12 10:09 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
There's another with Phillip Seymour Hoffman over at IMDB.

K

Top
#598887 - 06/22/12 05:39 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
Very odd? I thought it set up the mystery and tension of the film pretty well.

Top
#598895 - 06/22/12 10:00 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Looks good.
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#598931 - 06/24/12 04:18 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
GalaxyZento Offline
Junior member

Registered: 05/02/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Monroe, Louisiana
Interesting, not sure if I'm sold on seeing it or not though.
_________________________
Check out the universe of Galaxy Zento on Facebook, DeviantArt, Cafepress, Twitter, and Blogspot

Top
#598939 - 06/25/12 12:03 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: GalaxyZento]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
I've only seen of his stuff Boogie Nights, Magnolia and There Will Be Blood, all of which I hated.

Meanwhile... Jodorowsky, Lucky McKee and Duncan Jones (whose father is motherfucking David Bowie) can't even get funding for their projects.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#598941 - 06/25/12 03:49 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Source Code had reasonable box office, I'm surprised Jones is having trouble, if that's true. It wasn't that great, though. I'd still like to see Moon sometime.

I'm sure I've said it before but to me PT Anderson is one of those directors who keeps getting better and learning from his mistakes. He's become one of my very favorites, but it took a while.

His first film, Hard Eight -- which I didn't see until after TWBB -- is actually a super impressive little debut, possibly my favorite Anderson film after TWBB, and I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't checked it out. Phillip Baker Hall is the first of many truly amazing PT Anderson main characters, and the movie actually shows a great deal more restraint and subtlety than the films that would shortly follow. Really good stuff.

I thought Boogie Nights overrated but I admired its ambition and originality. Magnolia was ridiculous and ruined by its pretentious self-indulgence and shameless melodrama -- but Anderson's unique cast of characters and his command of the mosaic storytelling technique were extremely impressive. The Altman influence is clear but Anderson's style was more propulsive and thought-provoking, with more unique overlaps in the editing and narrative, and better use of sound.

Punch-Drunk Love played a tighter, more focused game, bringing a lot of the unique voice and dark style of Magnolia and Boogie Nights while trimming away a lot of the fat. It was also the first Anderson film to feature a truly brilliant soundtrack. The soundtrack for TWBB has been lauded (and rightly so) but PDL's plinky little electronic score with its nods to Popeye was something I found really enjoyable and original. Its emphasis on the psychology of the protagonist reminded me of Polanski's movie Repulsion.

Finally TWBB brought back the scope and ambition of BN and M in a more historical context, but to me it was also evidence of a lot of lessons learned. While still melodramatic and over-the-top in its way, it didn't suffer from the embarrassing, hypersentimental excesses of BN and M, and everything was brought into clean focus by Lewis's performance and the beautiful cinematography and sound. It also showed his increasing level of mastery over the fluid, self-overlapping narrative style seen in BN and M (fitting Arvo Part should be on the soundtrack, who strove for a similar effect in his music); the scenes rarely stop and start the way one expects, the framing is looser, with one eye always trained on the cumulative effect being created. If ever there was a movie that moves like a piece of music, it's TWBB. I found the movie's sum effect extraordinarily powerful, both intellectually and emotionally. I remember being so stunned and overwhelmed after the first viewing, like my brain could only half-process what I'd just experienced. I have friends who had more critical reactions -- and there are definitely a few qualms I have with the movie -- but TWBB is just fundamentally my Cup of Tea, I guess.

As to The Master, I can't wait to see what Anderson's up to this time around. Clearly the actors here are making an effort to bring their "A" game and go for something different. Just on the basis of the teaser I already feel pretty intrigued by Freddie Quell.

K

Top
#598942 - 06/25/12 04:42 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Jimbo Offline
Member

Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 2751
Loc: New Zealand/Canada
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
I've only seen of his stuff Boogie Nights, Magnolia and There Will Be Blood, all of which I hated.




Why didn't you like There Will Be Blood? I didn't like it either, just curious if it's for the same reasons as you.
_________________________
Walla Walla Bing Bang.

Top
#598956 - 06/25/12 04:27 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Jimbo]
granfalloon Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 721
Loc: Toronto, Canada
It is coming out in October.

It is a thinly veiled account of the early years of Scientology with The Master as L.Ron Hubbard, the Master's wife Mary Sue as Hubbard's wife Mary Sue and the Phoenix as nobody but a story telling device, just like Danny DeVito was in Hoffa.

A rough cut was screened for Tom Cruise who was said to have not been happy about it.

I have no idea how it will come out, in terms of a quality movie or in terms of a criticism of the cult of Scientology.

How would "Nixon" have been if it was called, "The President" and been about a fictitious president who looked like Nixon with a mustache. How would "Hoffa" have been had it been about a fictitious labour leader who looked like Jimmy Hoffa but with a mustache.

Also, most people don't know much about Scientology except that it is the church of Travolta and Cruise. Many if not most people have an over all bad impression of it. I say this because I read a survey. In Canada it is not a religion but a para-religion. In France it is not a religion but a sect. In both those countries it has been criminally convicted. Scientology is only a religion in the US because of a decision made in the tax office by a man named Fred Goldberg, who was under tremendous pressure when he made it. This Hollywood look at Scientology could support it or suggest that it is a transparent fraud to all but a few.

Strangely, the big story on it becoming a religion was in The York Times, written by old fanzine publishers Doug Fratz, now Douglas Fratz.

There has been at least one other Scientology film, Steve Martin's Bowfinger, which gets it pretty close. South Park did a bang on attack of it. The Simpson's skirted around it.

In comics there has been an E-Man issue with the Psychobabbler, an issue of Wasteland where Del Close writes about playing tennis with L.Ron Hubbard in the '50's, an issue of Fantastic Four where they encounter Xemu and the 5th dimension but most of all there is Donald Duck who wears a sailor suit and works his butt off while a rich old man pays him $.30 per hour. I hear there is a DC robot who acts like a Scientogist as well. I also hear that Howie Chaykin tried to sell a story with a Scientology subplot which was nixed. I stress, that is a rumour.

Anyway, the organization has a reputation, well-deserved, for being litigious. People are scared into silence. Let's see if that changes anything in the movie.

Also, the cult doesn't seem to be doing too well. With the rise of the internet the word is out and it seems to be hard to get new members. When I was a kid they claimed repeatedly, and in print, to have 15 million members and to be the fastest growing church in the world. Recently they have claimed as many as ten million followers. People who are in the know say that they have about 40,000 members throughout the world. This film may be the final nail in the coffin, though I wouldn't bet the mortgage money on that.

I would be that if Tom Cruise stood up and said, "I made a big mistake. L.Ron Hubbard was a fraud. There is no science in Scientology," it would shatter like a piece of glass.

I hope the film is bigger than Gone with the Wind.
_________________________
Jeez, granfalloon, that longer post above might be one of the most thoughtful, best written things I've ever read on Comicon.
--Lawson

Top
#598962 - 06/25/12 07:42 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: granfalloon]
Ted Kilvington Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/99
Posts: 1080
Loc: Mason, MI, USA
granfalloon, I think the Howie Chaykin Scientology subplot to which you refer was a storyline in DC's late '80s Shadow series, wherein he fights the members of a cult invented by a 1940s science fiction writer. The story was written Andy Helfer and illustrated by Bill Sienkiewicz (issues 1-6) and Joe Orlando (Annual 1, the prologue).

_________________________
Ted J. Kilvington, Jr.

*****

"I still have that comic, only now it's in liquid form!"

Top
#598965 - 06/25/12 08:06 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Ted Kilvington]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
Chaykin and Helfer's Shadow runs are some of the greatest comics ever.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#598966 - 06/25/12 08:13 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Jimbo]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
Originally Posted By: Jimbo
Why didn't you like There Will Be Blood?

Structurally, there was a lot of extraneous material that didn't contribute to the theme, making the extended run time unnecessary. Paul Dano (Liam Neeson's cloned offspring) in two unrelated roles, for absolutely no reason. Unsubtle acting, awkward ending.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#598969 - 06/25/12 09:28 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Ted Kilvington]
granfalloon Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 721
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Thanks for the information, Ted. I was completely unaware of that. I haven't read it but (like everyone else) I am a Sienkiewicz fan and I am sure that I would enjoy it. It has to be inspired by Hubbard. I'll have to add that to my very short list of Scientology inspired comic stories.

I suspect, though, that the Chaykin story came later. Here is why-- In 1991, Time Magazine did a cover story on Scientology called, "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power". Scientology sued Time for 1/2 billion dollars. I believe the suit was thrown out of court. At any rate, Time won. However, they spent 10 million dollars fighting it.

Thereafter Time pussyfooted around Scientology. Examples-- once they mentioned Scientology and noted that their courses can cost hundreds of dollars. Now, their courses and therapies can run into hundreds of thousands and some have even spent a million but Time played it down. At the end of the century, Time had an internet pole for things like "athlete of the century" and "entertainer of the century". One of "fraud of the century" and L.Ron had the lead by a mile. Time just took the pole down. They plainly did not want to get into Scientology's bad books again.

Now, Time and DC are both owned by parent company Time Warner. The story goes, and we would need Chaykin here to confirm or deny it, that his series was proposed after the 1991 lawsuit. DC got cold feet.
_________________________
Jeez, granfalloon, that longer post above might be one of the most thoughtful, best written things I've ever read on Comicon.
--Lawson

Top
#598971 - 06/26/12 05:58 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: granfalloon]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Quote:
Paul Dano (Liam Neeson's cloned offspring) in two unrelated roles, for absolutely no reason.


This is something I was sure I was going to see more of a reason for on repeat viewings. Even Plainview himself seems confused by the similarity when he first meets Eli in the film. I thought maybe Paul was Eli all along, and that it was either intentional on Eli's part or that maybe Eli had a split personality or *something* like that, but, nothing like that seems to be the case. I'm sure there is *some* kind of rationale behind this dual-casting, but I've never been able to get the bottom of it, and I've never discerned anything within the movie that renders it anything more than needlessly confusing. It reminds me a little of Faulkner calling both the brother and the baby (girl!) "Quentin" in The Sound and the Fury. Difficult enough trying to comprehend that book w/o using the same character name twice.

K

Top
#598972 - 06/26/12 06:01 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
I was surprised this is still around but this is the website that first got me interested in Scientology. If you delve into the links a bit, it's like an episode of Twin Peaks.

http://www.lisamcpherson.org/

K

Top
#598981 - 06/26/12 11:45 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
There's also the enjoyable New Yorker article on Paul Haggis leaving the Church.
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#598982 - 06/26/12 11:53 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
If I remember correctly, Anderson decided at the last minute to give both roles to Dano. Originally, the brother was going to be a different actor.

I think the film is pretty weak outside of Plainview, probably Anderson's weakest effort ... at least, narratively speaking. You kind of use the film up after one viewing. (But Allen is daft thinking McKee and Jones are anywhere close to Anderson's level of filmmaking. Neither has made a film that's as good as Hard Eight. Jodorowsky ain't much of a writer, but his visuals are pretty incredible.)
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#598984 - 06/26/12 12:20 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
Allen is daft thinking McKee and Jones are anywhere close to Anderson's level of filmmaking.

Give either of them some money and watch. Mark Pellington is another one. P.J. Pesce, another.


Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
Neither has made a film that's as good as Hard Eight.

I'll have to watch that. Hope it's not another Robert Altman, uh, "homage," though.


Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
Jodorowsky ain't much of a writer

Read his comics. He's a great writer. His movies were more about relating his personal relationship with the universe in an allegorical fashion, rather than telling a straight narrative.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#598986 - 06/26/12 01:17 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
"Read his comics."

I have. They're terrible. (You might enjoy this discussion.)

"Give either of them some money and watch."

I'm betting that THE WOMAN had just as big a budget as HARD EIGHT. Now, I like McKee, but come on ... Even if you reduce them to the script level, Anderson is just so much more advanced. The latter is just one of those guys who came out fully formed. Trying to reduce him to a Altman clone or a Scorsese clone, when his stories are really quite different, whereas someone like Jones does competent spins on some well-trodden scifi conventions, is pretty silly.
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#598988 - 06/26/12 01:37 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
Now, I like McKee, but come on ... Even if you reduce them to the script level, Anderson is just so much more advanced.

You say advanced, I say muddled. And anyway, I'm not talking about the script. I'm talking about the direction, the way the images are composed and move on the screen. McKee and Jones have style, Anderson has expensive lenses.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#598991 - 06/26/12 02:00 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
I think the film is pretty weak outside of Plainview, probably Anderson's weakest effort ... at least, narratively speaking. You kind of use the film up after one viewing. (But Allen is daft thinking McKee and Jones are anywhere close to Anderson's level of filmmaking. Neither has made a film that's as good as Hard Eight. Jodorowsky ain't much of a writer, but his visuals are pretty incredible.)


If you say so -- I've watched TWBB five or six times, and would happily see it further. Can't say the same for anything else Anderson's done. On a purely narrative level, it's on the minimal side I suppose, but better executed than the others. Save maybe Hard Eight, but that's even more narratively minimal, no? And on a meta-narrative level, I'd say TWBB has the most going on of any of Anderson's films, save maybe Boogie Nights. Boogie Nights had a lot to say, but it was all such a jumble, and there wasn't a character that came anywhere near being as fascinating as Plainview. To be honest, I forget what even happens in Boogie Nights. I should see it again I suppose. I know I did really like the film's coordinated movement from 60s free-love through gateway of the 70s into 80s cynicism/objectification/capitalism. That aspect was well done.

I do want to see some Jodorowsky. I know him but somehow I've never made time for him.

As for Anderson being an Altman clone, that's the criticism I'd expect of someone who takes the "he's just a rip-off artist!" view of Tarantino.

I'm surprised Allen's ragging on Anderson's visuals though. Did you see the same Punch-Drunk Love and There Will Be Blood that I did? They may be among the most visually gorgeous movies I've ever seen, and the quality of the imagery goes way beyond the lenses used.

I haven't see The Woman. I think it's on Netflix though? Maybe I'll watch that tonight.

I think the last movie I watched was Hobo With a Shotgun, which was better than I thought it would be. I especially liked The Plague.

K

Top
#598993 - 06/26/12 02:29 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
Originally Posted By: madget
Boogie Nights had a lot to say, but it was all such a jumble, and there wasn't a character that came anywhere near being as fascinating as Plainview.

BN was just variations on a "the porno industry is pretty fucked up" theme. TWBB was just variations on a "this guy is amoral and greedy" theme.


Originally Posted By: madget
I do want to see some Jodorowsky.

I finally completed my Jodo viewing experience recently with a bad rip of a VHS copy of Tusk (THANK YOU, PIRATEBAY). He does better when he's not trying to tell a linear story. The mechanical elements of getting a character from Point A to Point B in Santa Sangre, for example, distracts from the visuals.


Originally Posted By: madget
As for Anderson being an Altman clone, that's the criticism I'd expect of someone who takes the "he's just a rip-off artist!" view of Tarantino.[quote]
If Tarantino could just rip off other directors, that might be okay. It's his drawing attention to his ripping off other directors that makes it so insufferable.


[quote=madget]the quality of the imagery goes way beyond the lenses used.

Landscapes are beautiful, I'll give you that. If that's your thing, you'll love El Topo. Even the landscapes in Rob Roy didn't suck, and that was one of the suckiest movies that ever sucked.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#598994 - 06/26/12 05:53 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Quote:
BN was just variations on a "the porno industry is pretty fucked up" theme. TWBB was just variations on a "this guy is amoral and greedy" theme.


Balderdash.

Quote:
Landscapes are beautiful, I'll give you that. If that's your thing, you'll love El Topo. Even the landscapes in Rob Roy didn't suck, and that was one of the suckiest movies that ever sucked.


Heh ... I kinda liked Rob Roy. Kinda. It wasn't really very good, but it was weird. I remember being pretty amused by it.

Re: Anderson's visuals, It's more than the landscapes. It's the framing, the decision-making that goes into what to show, how to show it, when to show it. Subtleties like the use of pink/blue lens flares and bokeh throughout PDL, or the demonic aestheticization of all the oil and fire in TWBB. The shot of the frail fake-brother hanging his head down, body in shadow, emphasizing his lack of reality just as Plainview is beginning to see through his story. Anderson is a very visual director, really, one of those guys where every single shot is thought out and full of purpose -- more so in PDL and TWBB than in the preceding films, which is probably a part of the reason I like them more. If I cared enough I could probably pull a dozen screen captures from each movie and explain in detail why each one was a brilliant shot.

K



Top
#598995 - 06/26/12 06:37 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Jimbo Offline
Member

Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 2751
Loc: New Zealand/Canada
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Originally Posted By: Jimbo
Why didn't you like There Will Be Blood?

Structurally, there was a lot of extraneous material that didn't contribute to the theme, making the extended run time unnecessary. Paul Dano (Liam Neeson's cloned offspring) in two unrelated roles, for absolutely no reason. Unsubtle acting, awkward ending.



Hey, that is pretty much the same reason! You put it in fancier terms than I do, but the spirit is the same.
_________________________
Walla Walla Bing Bang.

Top
#598999 - 06/27/12 12:30 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Originally Posted By: madget
Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
I think the film is pretty weak outside of Plainview, probably Anderson's weakest effort ... at least, narratively speaking. You kind of use the film up after one viewing. (But Allen is daft thinking McKee and Jones are anywhere close to Anderson's level of filmmaking. Neither has made a film that's as good as Hard Eight. Jodorowsky ain't much of a writer, but his visuals are pretty incredible.)


If you say so -- I've watched TWBB five or six times, and would happily see it further. Can't say the same for anything else Anderson's done. On a purely narrative level, it's on the minimal side I suppose, but better executed than the others. Save maybe Hard Eight, but that's even more narratively minimal, no? And on a meta-narrative level, I'd say TWBB has the most going on of any of Anderson's films, save maybe Boogie Nights. Boogie Nights had a lot to say, but it was all such a jumble, and there wasn't a character that came anywhere near being as fascinating as Plainview. To be honest, I forget what even happens in Boogie Nights. I should see it again I suppose. I know I did really like the film's coordinated movement from 60s free-love through gateway of the 70s into 80s cynicism/objectification/capitalism. That aspect was well done.


I've considered editing together Plainview with Gangs of New York's Bill the Butcher, since no else can compete with Daniel Day-Lewis. Brando had a lot stronger character actors to play with back in his day.

Anyway, Anderson's movies surprise me over time, because I tend to reverse my judgments on them. Boogie Nights seems to me far superior to Magnolia and TWBB now, but I was initially blown away by the latter two. Although, Punch-Drunk Love I loved when I first saw it, and it now seems to me one of the true masterpieces of the last 20 years. It simply is the best romantic comedy in I don't know how many years. Only Up in the Air is even comparable.
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#599000 - 06/27/12 12:45 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
Now, I like McKee, but come on ... Even if you reduce them to the script level, Anderson is just so much more advanced.

You say advanced, I say muddled. And anyway, I'm not talking about the script. I'm talking about the direction, the way the images are composed and move on the screen. McKee and Jones have style, Anderson has expensive lenses.


I'm going to put aside how awful McKee's taste in music is (think emo), but, really, Allen, anyone should be able to see a major skill deferential in this final scene from The Woman:



and this tense moment from Boogie Nights:



McKee looks like an amateur.

As for Jones, his camera work and editing are functional at best:



Not sure about The Woman, but the budget for BN was 15 million, and SC's was 32! (According to Wikipedia's respective pages for those films.) So much for that theory.
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#599005 - 06/27/12 12:42 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Quote:
I've considered editing together Plainview with Gangs of New York's Bill the Butcher, since no else can compete with Daniel Day-Lewis. Brando had a lot stronger character actors to play with back in his day.


Bill the Butcher was the one thing I liked about Gangs of New York.

I don't think I've seen anything Brando's done, honestly. Well, other than The Godfather.

Quote:
Anyway, Anderson's movies surprise me over time, because I tend to reverse my judgments on them. Boogie Nights seems to me far superior to Magnolia and TWBB now, but I was initially blown away by the latter two. Although, Punch-Drunk Love I loved when I first saw it, and it now seems to me one of the true masterpieces of the last 20 years. It simply is the best romantic comedy in I don't know how many years. Only Up in the Air is even comparable.


Strange. Boogie Nights and Magnolia, aggressive and ambitious as they are, are both extremely sappy movies when all's said and done. I think I'm going to watch them again now though, or at least before The Master comes out; it's been quite a while. What I think may be interesting going back through Anderson's portfolio to date, at this point, is the ongoing theme of substitute families, substitute father figures, orphans. Only PDL omits this theme, although Barry's family is certainly very dysfunctional. I find TWBB's iteration of the theme the most interesting and resonant. While I'd concede it's cryptic and less "explained" than relationships in BN and M, I find the relationship between Plainview and his "son" extremely interesting. It's very sad and thought-provoking. The deafness of the child resonates on a number of levels, and though one could make an argument for it as a metaphor, it avoids being a cheap, easy one.

I agree PDL's great, but Watson's character, while not a stereotype, is too much of a cipher as the love interest. While it's easy enough to understand Barry's desire for her, her reciprocal desire for Barry lacks context and makes little sense. I get that it's Barry's story and I suppose one could argue it doesn't matter, but it holds back the cumulative intended effect of the movie for me. This said, PDL has many merits. The sequence where Barry calls the sex line and the resultant story thread is particularly brilliant, and despite very limited screen time, Hoffman's mattress salesman is a wonderful creation and performance. And each time I see PDL (maybe three times now?) I seem to find a couple new little nuances to appreciate. Probably Anderson's tightest film.

K

Top
#599006 - 06/27/12 04:50 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
I'm going to put aside how awful McKee's taste in music is (think emo)

I agree.


Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
final scene from The Woman:

One of the cheesiest scenes McKee ever shot. Nice pick.


Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
and this tense moment from Boogie Nights:

I'd forgotten the Kubrick rips. Again, Anderson just backs out about 25-50% too much and lets the wide lens do all the work.

Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
McKee looks like an amateur.

When you select his lamest gore scene as an example, sure.


Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
the budget for BN was 15 million, and SC's was 32! (According to Wikipedia's respective pages for those films.) So much for that theory.

1997 Clinton economy dollars versus 2011 post-BushJr dollars. Special effects. Down-and-out stars looking for a comeback (Reynolds, Wahlberg) and personal friends (Reilly, Macy) versus some of the top movie stars working today (Gyllenhaal, Farmiga).
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#599011 - 06/28/12 12:15 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Quote:
1997 Clinton economy dollars versus 2011 post-BushJr dollars. Special effects. Down-and-out stars looking for a comeback (Reynolds, Wahlberg) and personal friends (Reilly, Macy) versus some of the top movie stars working today (Gyllenhaal, Farmiga).


Or another way of putting it is that you don't to like to admit that you were wrong. There Will Be Blood's budget was 25 millions. Keep trying, Allen.

Also, feel free to pick your own scene, rather than the supposedly tense climax of McKee's latest movie. Hell, try to find an equally shitty scene in one of Anderson's films on YouTube. Or try to find anything as accomplished as the Master trailer above. Go ahead. If McKee is such a master at camera work, it shouldn't be that hard to find examples. (At his best, he reminds me of Raimi's work.)

It takes so much more control to create real tension within a wide angle than the typical closeup and sound effect coming from off screen. No director could accomplish that by just letting the lens take over. What a load of nonsense. There's a reason why so many shitty horror films use rapid editing and closeups, and don't elicit any comparisons to Kubrick.
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#599013 - 06/28/12 01:55 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
There Will Be Blood's budget was 25 millions.

And? Special effects? Big stars? Also, still pre-economic crash.


Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
Also, feel free to pick your own scene, rather than the supposedly tense climax of McKee's latest movie.

Anything in May prior to the guy with the coathangers in his hair showing up. Anything from The Woods prior to the CGI kicking in (although the walking out of the estate at the end was pretty effective). The stair scene from Sick Girl. Some nice low-key stuff in Red.


Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
Hell, try to find an equally shitty scene in one of Anderson's films on YouTube.

You already posted one.


Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
If McKee is such a master at camera work, it shouldn't be that hard to find examples.

Again, I'm talking about direction, not camera work. That is a different job entirely.


Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
There's a reason why so many shitty horror films use rapid editing and closeups

I was thinking more of Baz Luhrmann as the polar opposite, but yeah.


Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
and don't elicit any comparisons to Kubrick.

Tracking in a symmetrical shot is what I was referring to. Kubrick created paintings on celluloid, which some people criticize him for. Anderson uses wide shots to keep from having to make decisions.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#599015 - 06/28/12 04:58 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
The problem with TWBB is that it completely flattens around the Plainview character. No one else in the film is of particular interest, or is very well developed. His rival, the preacher, doesn't amount to much, is easily beaten and revealed to be a fraud, which leaves little drama in a dramatic film. It's like Giant with all but one character reduced, I guess. And that's a huge weakness. It feels like a 5 hour film reduced to 2.

I agree about Watson's character in PDL.
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#599018 - 06/28/12 09:26 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Like the rest of the land flattening around the oil derricks? This is OK with me, but I think I embraced the film more once I let go of the idea of the preacher as an equal/antagonist. I mean look at his lame, $5,000, one-story churchhouse, in the shadow of Plainview's towering, phallic derricks. If Anderson intended for them to be equally weighted, he did fail in that; and the preacher is in many ways the film's weakest element, perhaps because we expect more of him with the way it's set up. But of course Plainview (capitalism) wins -- history has already spoken on that dramatic conflict. Why pretend the preacher stood a chance to begin with? Plainview was destined to win handily; the opening twenty minutes and the conclusion make this clear enough. To me the more interesting drama is Plainview vs. himself. His complex relationship with his son -- and the complete absence of other substantial human connections throughout the film -- is the movie's center of gravity. "You're a bastard in a basket!" is the film's dramatic climax (not to mention just one of so many exquisitely memorable bits from Anderson's amazing script); the rest is an amusing, tap-dancing, milkshake-slurping denouement. God Lewis is great in that, in his over-the-top way -- I'm just remembering the incredible look on his face after he beats the preacher dead. It's so incredibly weird, so clearly something no other actor would think to do, yet so utterly in character. Inimitable genius.

To me, it's overall a more psychological picture than the others, but also heavily laden with innumerable broader themes and echoes. I agree Plainview IS the movie, but the way the movie compounds its myriad themes into one personal portrait is astounding. And for its running time the movie is very tight and carefully structured if you examine it scene by scene.

I disagree that Plainview's the only interesting character. Although not much time is spent on them, I find myself fascinated by of course the son, by Hamilton Fletcher -- I love that character, always looming at Plainview's right hand -- by the majority of Plainview's competitors in the oil market, certainly by the fake brother, even by Mary ... even really minor characters like the property guy (the guy Plainview says "why don't I own this?" to) -- they're all so incredibly well cast and given such perfect little nuances, that say so much more about them than their scant screen time would seemingly make possible. Hamilton Fletcher has maybe three or four lines of dialogue in the whole film, all of them fairly banal on paper, but look at that movie again and observe how much Anderson wrings out of those banal lines of dialogue, how much you intuitively learn about the character and his relationship to the surrounding characters in their delivery.

Oh, btw, did you see the DVD or Blu-Ray with the extra features on it? Unlike Tarantino Anderson isn't one to prattle on about his own movie or include a lot of behind-the-scenes material, but there's a wonderful montage of imagery from the early oil days that inspired Anderson, set to the music of Arvo Part from the film. It seemed like fluff at a glance, but it's actually really compelling -- just that series of images backed by that music says so much if you let yourself settle into it; it stokes the imagination and adds to the experience of having seen the film. I wish I could better articulate the how and why of the movie's power for me, but it's hard to pinpoint in words. It just resonates more deeply, despite its arguable flaws. It's more apocalyptic, reminding me a bit of McCarthy's books; captures more of the story of humanity's trajectory itself, than the other movies, which are all just well-done stories.

K

Top
#599019 - 06/28/12 09:39 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Er -- Fletcher Hamilton, not Hamilton Fletcher.

K

Top
#599020 - 06/28/12 09:43 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Everyone's entitled to their own taste, and I wouldn't expect to convince Allen of Anderson's talents if he just doesn't like the guy's work, but let's take a look at the brilliant direction and acting in this final scene once more.



K

Top
#599023 - 06/28/12 12:06 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Ted Kilvington Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/99
Posts: 1080
Loc: Mason, MI, USA
So was "There Will Be Blood" a sequel to "Gangs of New York"? Because Day-Lewis' character and performance did not change an iota between the two films.
_________________________
Ted J. Kilvington, Jr.

*****

"I still have that comic, only now it's in liquid form!"

Top
#599024 - 06/28/12 12:23 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Ted Kilvington]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Plainview reminded me of Bill at first too, but despite both being mustachioed villain types, they're actually pretty different if you go back and compare. Different tenor to their voices, different accent, different inflections, different facial expression tendencies.



K

Top
#599033 - 06/29/12 02:11 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
"You already posted one."

So you think that drug-buying scene from BN is no better than the ending of The Woman? They display an equal level of craft and artistry? If you can't grant the obvious difference there, then there ain't much point in trying to argue the relative merits of the filmmakers involved. It would be like arguing Toth versus McFarlane with a 90s Image fan.

"And? Special effects? Big stars? Also, still pre-economic crash."

What's your argument here: that McKee and Jones come up short in comparison to Anderson, because the latter had a bigger budget (even though it's not true*)? Or that neither McKee nor Jones is on Anderson's level because the former's budget wouldn't allow him the cameras he wanted (where did you get this info)? That is, a large budget is why Michael Bay makes the best looking films in the business. Or is it that the budget didn't have anything to do with your evaluation of quality, because you actually prefer the look of McKee's and Jones' films to Anderson's (in which case, even had it been true, your point about their budgets was irrelevant)?

Also, Anderson's films have just as big a stars (perhaps you've heard of Tom Cruise? Daniel Day-Lewis?) as either Jones' or McKee's (who were the big stars of the latter's films?), and they can require just as much, if not more, production design and special effects.


*e.g., the dollar didn't buy twice in 97's America what it buys now
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#599060 - 06/29/12 11:33 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
It would be like arguing Toth versus McFarlane with a 90s Image fan.

Please tell me you're not going to resort to Joe's misladen analogies.


Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
What's your argument here: that McKee and Jones come up short in comparison to Anderson, because the latter had a bigger budget (even though it's not true*)?

Source Code was not Jones' project. He was a hired gun, much like Raimi on For Love of the Game. Your point is moot.


Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
Or that neither McKee nor Jones is on Anderson's level because the former's budget wouldn't allow him the cameras he wanted (where did you get this info)?

The point is that Jones specifically can't get funding for his pet project, Hush. Jodorowsky has famously had difficulty finding funding for several projects. McKee has had control wrested from him on at least one project, The Woods.


Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
Also, Anderson's films have just as big a stars (perhaps you've heard of Tom Cruise? Daniel Day-Lewis?)

The point was that stars' salaries likely ate up a larger chunk of Source Code's budget than did on Boogie Nights or TWBB.

I wouldn't call Day-Lewis a big star. He only did four movies in the 00's. Then I recently overheard some people talking about the upcoming Abraham Lincoln movie and they referred to him as "the guy from Last of the Mohicans." Even after all the Academy handjobs TWBB got, he's still best known for a role he played in 1992.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#599062 - 06/30/12 01:18 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
I could point out that Day-Lewis was getting an estimated 15 milliion for his last film role, which ain't bad for a nobody, but you're not particularly interested in any facts and I'm sufficiently tired of your nonsense.
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#599064 - 06/30/12 05:42 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
Which role was that? Interesting someone who works so little would get paid so much.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#599080 - 07/01/12 12:35 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
In what world is Day-Lewis not considered a big star? Almost every movie he's been in since '89 has been up for or won a variety of awards, many of the nominations coming from his own contribution. And even humoring your sample of "some people I overheard," a lot of people are best known for a character they played a while back.

Not saying he has the level of saturation of a Nicholson or De Niro, but he's pretty much a household name. To be perfectly honest I think more people know Daniel Day-Lewis than they do Jake Gyllenhall. The latter being one of those guys that people would probably have to really think about who exactly he is, and maybe confuse him with two or three other younger actors.

K

Top
#599083 - 07/01/12 03:51 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
Maybe so. But the fact remains, DDL only did four movies in the 00's. Harold and Kumar worked more than that.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#599090 - 07/01/12 04:05 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
But that has nothing to do with whether or not he's a big star. He doesn't seem the type to take just any old project that's pitched to him.

K

Top
#599159 - 07/04/12 01:07 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Yeah, he has a reputation for being the most selective star out there. (Unfortunately, although he's always great, his choice of movies isn't.)
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#599701 - 07/20/12 08:27 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
The movie poster. I really like this.



K


Top
#599712 - 07/20/12 11:37 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
Thats almost as boring as Anderson's movies.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#599725 - 07/20/12 01:44 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Subtle yes, boring no! For as minimal as it is, it is suggestive of many interesting things. Naval ship. Wine bottle. Liquor glass. Placard or invitation. Submerged consciousness; the water so perfectly foggy/dirty, without drawing immediate, obvious attention to itself as such. The choice of lighting and color, subtly evoking just the right sort of geographic climate. The text evoking the proper time period. Details like the beads on the right evoke a sense of heat, while the odd, offset composition and largeness of text contribute to a feeling of claustrophobia. I'd like to shake the designer's hand; it's high quality work, and paired with the trailer it's particularly good. They compliment one another nicely. If the marketing is any indication this will be another Anderson film with a thoughtful, crisp, and best of all, unique aesthetic.

K

Top
#599749 - 07/21/12 07:21 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Full trailer.



K


Edited by madget (07/21/12 07:22 PM)

Top
#599755 - 07/21/12 10:32 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
Now that I have heard that this movie is about the start of Scientology, it seems a lot less interesting to me. But it still looks pretty good.

Top
#599783 - 07/23/12 06:20 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
granfalloon Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 721
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I have been reading about it on the Village Voice website.

It seems that the Master takes a lot of what happened in the earlier years, perhaps the first twenty or so, and collapse it into a few years. As one would expect, they do the same thing with the major characters. The "master" is short for the "master of ceremonies". This is parallel to the current cult leader, David Miscavige, being known as the "chairman" for the "chairman of the board". This is all from a script reading by Tony Ortega, editor of the Village Voice. What might be as interesting as the movie is the side show.

Do you remember "Bowfinger" with Steve Martin? Scientology acted as though they were talking about some other cult. Here, they can't.

Seymour Hoffman even looks like L.Ron Hubbard. On the one hand there is the ever possible lawsuit. Launching them is part of their holy scripture. On the other hand, it is high time for those people we call Hollywood insiders to tell the world that they are not part of an SF cult, that gives people very little in exchange for all the money they can ever hope to acquire. A few academy awards will help do this. A standing ovation for those who had the courage to make the movie would go along way too.

Then there are the inevitable picketers, counter-picketers, letters to the editor, internet discussions like this one, disconnections (which is Scienospeak for I'm not talking to mommy anymore), fundraisers, threatening phone calls and silly press conferences.

The press ripped Battlefield Earth apart twelve years ago. I hear that it was a horrible film but the press seemed almost gleeful in attacking it. Again, I had to wonder if they were getting back for all the lawsuits and threatened lawsuits. Does the Tom/Katie split seem to be getting more press than it warrants? (This is not a rhetorical question; I don't know.) It seems to be giving the press a chance to take a shot at the much weakened cult. Let's see if the Master movie does the same thing.

The "Church" of Scientology (the para-religion of Scientology in my country) has gone through a lot of rebellion in the last few years, and the rebellion continues to accelerate. Just today, for instance, the president's son who just died at age 27,was found to have had methadone at his bedside. This, with a group that claims to have the cure for drug addiction. The film may put the last nail in the coffin. This would be a terrible thing for those who thinks that it is only hope in saving mankind and giving immortality to each individual. In is great news for those who consider it a money-grubbing cult that controls its followers by emotional coercion.

If it does go under, my only regret is that in the years to come nobody will understand the villain, Psychobabbler from an old E-Man comic. Sorry First comics. Sorry Marty Pasko.
_________________________
Jeez, granfalloon, that longer post above might be one of the most thoughtful, best written things I've ever read on Comicon.
--Lawson

Top
#600960 - 09/22/12 12:30 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: granfalloon]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Well, I saw THE MASTER tonight, and for better or worse, depending on your expectations, it is definitively not about the beginnings of Scientology, any more than (indeed, decidedly less than) THERE WILL BE BLOOD was about the beginnings of the oil industry.

Not unlike THERE WILL BE BLOOD, it's a fairly cryptic movie about the relationship between an orphan and a surrogate father-figure (and all the easy allegories that come with that) -- just with a hell of an intriguing and uniquely American backdrop. And like TWBB it culminates in the two of them sitting across a desk from one another, the latter dismissing (or implying potential dismissal of, in TM) the former. And not unlike TWBB it features some compelling, memorable performances.

However, THE MASTER lacks any easily identifiable arc, momentum, or tangible narrative payoff, and will bore anyone expecting accessible drama to tears. I'm pretty sure there were at least a few walk-outs in my viewing. THE MASTER is loaded with sophisticated ideas and smart direction, but admittedly, I'm not sure what exactly it does with them, if anything: Anderson's aim here seems to be unadulterated meditative portraiture, a still photograph rather than an organic narrative. On this first viewing, it strikes me as Anderson's least likable film to date (which for the never-crowd-pleasing Anderson, is saying something). It is intriguing; challenging, but also sluggish and overly ponderous. Brilliant characters, situations, and dynamics are established quite expertly, but it is hard to feel a great deal of satisfaction in what is done with them. The potential tension feels strangely, stubbornly squandered, as if on purpose; but I'm not sure what it is squandered in service to, quite.

In short, I found the film interesting but difficult to enjoy, particularly after the halfway mark or so, by which time it has sort of set in that the film isn't building towards much of anything that you haven't already seen by that point. It's repetitive nature may be intentional; certainly it is intentional that almost nothing said by any of the characters at any time, makes particular sense. It's all sound and fury, and THE MASTER is as difficult in some ways as the book of the same name, but I suspect has less to really offer.

This said, I don't entirely trust my initial reaction to Anderson's movies. I do like the two lead characters a great deal, and I'll need to let my brain chew on the whole thing a bit more before my opinion of the whole endeavor fully touches down, or possibly see it again. But for those who find Anderson to be a tedious filmmaker, well: THE MASTER won't be winning over any new fans. It stubbornly -- maybe too stubbornly -- eschews the provision of any tangible narrative satisfactions, and makes THERE WILL BE BLOOD look like a genuine crowd-pleaser by comparison. Also, contrary to the kinder reviews and my own expectations based on PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE and THERE WILL BE BLOOD, I found the score to be a little lacking, here. I love that Anderson's (or Greenwood's, rather) scores tend to eschew typical emotional queues while still communicating something meaningful about the content onscreen; but in THE MASTER, the score felt kind of arbitrarily applied; like the movie itself, it felt unsure of what -- if anything -- it was trying to communicate. Maybe that's all part of the point, given the story's context, but it may be too shallow a point to justify the movie's sometimes interminable-seeming scenes.

I'm leafing through reviews now, and while I don't agree with it point for point, this review here does a pretty good job capturing the mixed feelings and vague frustrations that my initial viewing left me with:

http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/the-master/6501

Love to hear others' thoughts if anyone else sees it.

K

Top
#600970 - 09/22/12 01:00 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
As a side-note, I notice that a lot of key moments from the trailers are not actually in the film. The confrontation in the jail cells is not the same as what's shown in the trailer, and Freddie's questioning by the army officer isn't the same as what's shown in the teaser.

K

Top
#600974 - 09/23/12 01:38 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
I'm short on time, but:

It's too bad most people won't see this in 70MM, wowee!! It would show everyone the difference between digitally aping film and the possibilities of the real thing. The colors are so beautiful in this film.

As for the story, it does borrow heavily from Scientology, but sort of takes all the most ludicrous stuff as first principles, which makes The Cause even sillier sounding in the film. Also, Dodd is portrayed as a bit too much of an obvious authoritarian cult leader in the film with his outbursts ("pigfuck"). I felt like the cult stuff was a little too forced. The Marley Maybelle whatever flick was much more subtle in depicting the reprogramming of an individual, but that film didn't look anywhere near as amazing as this one.

Much like There Will Be Blood, the world outside of the principle actor (maybe actors including Hoffman) was largely flat. There were a lot of dropped plot points (the daughter's pass at Freddie, for example). It was really choppy and didn't much go anywhere, largely random scenes from a much larger, untold story.

I can't imagine my wanting to revisit this one again and again on blu ray, but I'll certainly go to see it on the big screen once more just for one of the best examples of film's last stand.

Got to go ...
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#600977 - 09/23/12 04:31 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
granfalloon Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 721
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I haven't seen it. The first three shows were sold out by the time I got to the theatre. But, I have also heard that it is not truly about Scientology. There are many parallels that point towards it, however.

By the way, Bowfinger IS about Scientology, and a million laughs.

When Philip Seymour Hoffman was cast, Scientology watchers said, "Great, he looks just like Hubbard," then they put a mustache on him, I suppose, to create plausible deniability.

Some of his dialogue is paraphrased closely from Hubbard's "sacred scripture". In the movie the wife is named Mary Sue, just like Hubbard's third wife was.

Cruise was really pissed at an advance showing.

There were rumours about Scientology formally protesting the movie; in fact I don't know what happened with the protests.

But, if the movie doesn't have enough Scientology in it, there is always this month's Vanity Fair which has a cover story on it (over which Scientology has already threatened lawsuit).

In the US, Scientology is actually a religion because of a decision made my a man named Fred Goldberg, in the tax office. In my country, it is called a parareligion, in France it is a sect, in Germany it is a shady business, in Britain it is not a religion, in Greece it is a philosophy, in Mexico it is a business and in Australia it is a religion which is causing the government to reevaluate it's charitable allowances to all religions. But in my mind it is a nut cult.

Watch Bowfinger for a funny look. They call the cult MINDHEAD.

And beware of equivocation. It is not like the other religions. In my country it is the only criminally convicted religious organization since the nation became Canada, in 1867. It also holds the national record for penalty paid in a liable suit. I could to on and on and will on request. But for a better explanation check out XENU.NET.

Top
#600979 - 09/24/12 12:47 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Originally Posted By: Charles Reece

It's too bad most people won't see this in 70MM, wowee!!


Indeed. I was searching and searching for a way to see this in 70MM, but alas, Michigan screwed me. You were smart, moving out to LA. I think THE MASTER'S visuals, all said and done, are half the pleasure. I feel wronged, sans the 70mm experience. Particularly given the sadly weak script. However, a re-viewing of Hard Eight & PDL cleansed the PT Anderson palette.

K

Top
#600980 - 09/24/12 02:59 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Yeah, so awesome is the viewing experience that it might even cause Allen to retract all those ridiculous claims about Lucky McKee's superiority ... but probably not. You can always fly out for the weekend if you want.

I'm sort of thinking of the film as a battle between the American ideal of a self-made man versus the reality, but who knows if that'll lead much of anywhere.
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#600992 - 09/24/12 04:26 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
Remember that you invoked me.



I said nothing of McKee's "superiority," only that McKee (and several other directors) utilize their limited resources more inventively than Anderson (and several other directors) use their bloated Oscar-bait budgets. When a guy goes from being a grip to making multi-million dollar movies, by age 26, there's obviously some shenanigans going on.

I have no intention of spending money any time soon to see another P.T. Anderson snoozefest (as I probably already own all the DVDs of the movies he rips off), but all the previews I've seen — as well as your orgasming over the film stock — reinforce what I said previously about his reliance on expensive equipment. Anderson is probably the best example (although Steven Soderbergh also springs to mind) of this new crop of jerkoffs who know all about lenses but not the first thing about storytelling.



Viewing a picture bigger doesn't make it better.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#601001 - 09/24/12 12:27 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Well, a bigger sized projection is possible, but it's more about the higher resolution. If you think the beauty of Vertigo or Lawrence of Arabia or 2001 is simply the film stock, I can't much help you there. All are worth seeing in 35mm, but you're really missing out if you haven't seen them in 70.
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#601002 - 09/24/12 12:47 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
I doubt it.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#601009 - 09/24/12 04:09 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
More I think about it the less I see this as another iteration of the orphan/surrogate-father motif and lean more towards my friend's assessment right after seeing it: that it's basically a buddy flick. Thinking back over it, there's really nothing remotely submissive about Freddie, or overtly dominant about Dodd; they just like each other. Freddie isn't particularly interested in The Cause itself; it's just this thing his buddy does. Freddie is protective of Dodd, and Dodd fascinated by Freddie's compulsive freedom. Dodd plays games and seems the more trapped of the two, really. He's more at home in a cage, civilized in his jail cell, while Freddie rages. The motorcycle scene, is a game to Dodd; go a point, return, enjoy the thrill of it; Freddie just rides off without fixed destination. They're an interesting pair and the relationship between them is interesting. But I'm still feeling strongly that whatever we might extract from it, it's a relationship that just wasn't sufficiently served by the script, and too cryptic for cryptic's sake. Is it you that said it was like a collection of random scenes from a story that we're never actually told? That seems about right to me. And I agree MMMM is a more thoughtful peek into similar subject matter, although MMMM is pretty cryptic and cagey too; either movie would disappoint someone purely interested in the mechanics of cultism itself. As piece of art The Master is more interesting to me than MMMM, but MMMM is probably more successful at meeting its own goals.

As for film stock, I'm a sucker for technical fidelity, and frequently disappointed by theaters these days, with their crappy digital projection. I'm sure the 70mm experience was vastly superior to what I saw.

As for Allen, yeah, like I say -- this isn't a movie to win over any new converts. It was an interesting movie, and it's conceivable that it might grow on me, but it's a difficult one to really recommend to anyone but hardcore Anderson fans. Still haven't seen any McKee.

K

Top
#601020 - 09/25/12 12:29 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Sadly, they're celebrating Lawrence of Arabia's anniversary with a brand new 4K DCP version.

I buy the buddy movie reading. "Master" in the title is certainly about more than what people call Dodd.

I also agree with you about MMMM vs TM. I do think that the former is a more subtle look into cultish control, though.
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#601021 - 09/25/12 12:37 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
You know, Allen, that you're going to see this film just to come here and tell us what kind of shit it is, so you might as well get it over with.
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#601026 - 09/26/12 12:37 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
???

I'm not going to see this movie.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#601031 - 09/26/12 12:42 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
ok.
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#601068 - 09/29/12 01:48 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Freddie's a sociopath and Dodd a narcissist. Neither of them know how to relate to those around them as more than cardboard cutouts, but in different ways. Their shared emotional emptiness (if slightly variant iterations thereof) is likely a big part of what draws them to one another.

If only the relationship had been served by a slightly more engrossing script.

K

Top
#601076 - 09/29/12 04:05 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
Letterman went off tonight about Phoenix not appearing on his show to promote The Master, when Letterman had [unwittingly] played a pivotal role in his "two year skit" (as Letterman put it). Played as humorous, but it still felt like there was something to it.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#601082 - 09/29/12 02:37 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Yeah, the problem is that everyone else is just a cardboard cutout: the wife is a cuckolding shrew, the financier is just a gullible dupe, the son is a cowardly layabout, the son-in-law a sycophant, etc.. All are one-note prompts for the two leads.
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#601086 - 09/29/12 09:49 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Quote:
All are one-note prompts for the two leads.


The guy I saw it with argued this was clearly by-design & entirely acceptible because that is how the two leads see the world around them. I don't know if I quite buy that, but then, the film does open and close with an image of Freddie being intimate with a T&A sand sculpture.

K

Top
#601089 - 09/30/12 07:32 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
If it's by design, it's a faulty design ... and the 2nd flick in a row for Anderson to use it. Basically, that reading would have us and Anderson agreeing with Freddie's view of the world, which is kind of a dumb effect, I should think.
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#601208 - 10/08/12 12:47 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
I pretty much agree with this.
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

Top
#601231 - 10/08/12 06:11 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
As oddly unsatisfying as the film was, I'll want to see it again and let my brain chew on it a little more. I enjoyed it less than any other PT Anderson picture, probably, but I do keep thinking about it. It's that deliberative quality it has. No matter how odd or flat the movie is, it all feels so pointedly by design. Like there are a few riddles tucked in there that you want to go back to and unravel. Or not. Anderson's cartoonish, pointless-seeming characters and cult quirks make me question how effectively he's meditating on anything deeper, or something that I've yet to put together.

I don't know how I feel about that review. Maybe I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about the movie. It just didn't seem to me at all about dominion and submission in any tangible way, though the author might've been onto something in his closing thoughts. Like so many things in the film thematically, submission/domination seems peripheral; but, to what? The movie's just plain odd. Maybe it's just badly done, but in a high-level kinda way. I don't know. I certainly agree with the reviewer that it had very few easily accessible cues, and that after about the halfway point, a kind of tedium sets in, as you realize the movie is not going to amp your serotonin levels anymore than it already has by that point, but will almost certainly continue taking directions that frustrate the desire for cohesion. A lot of scenes/shots -- especially in the second half -- feel interminably long, for obscure reasons. Like Freddie and Dodd going into the desert to retrieve his buried manuscript or whatever? We just watch them walk out to the location for what feels like five minutes, then back again. Nothing is said that I recall. Nothing transpires. The only point seems to be that they are doing this together. But there's no context; scenes before and after leave the amount of time elapsed unclear.

I've seen other movies with a minimal or peripheral narrative, in which long, unhurried, undramatic takes are employed in a more effective way. Meek's Cutoff, or The Headless Woman. Maybe Dogtooth. They're challenging movies, but I got them, I was digging it. Content was still being transmitted during the silences, something was being established or said on one level or another, and the overall unification of style was building into an intriguing cumulative emotional and intellectual effect. The Master by contrast feels too episodic to fit into that mold, quite. And the episodes seem so randomly chosen.

Anyway, I rewatched BOOGIE NIGHTS, which held up pretty well. It's characters are sort of cartoonish and not very interesting to me, which holds the movie back, but it's still a good movie and a rich display of Anderson's talent. Loved that drug deal scene referenced earlier in the thread. Loved the firecrackers! Such a great, comically surreal detail, that adds so much to the scene.

K

Top
#601233 - 10/08/12 06:17 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
I go back and rewatch the full trailer for The Master, and I feel like, "this is the movie I wanted." I feel like the trailer conveys almost everything important about the movie itself, if maybe a little skewed towards Freddie's side, but with actual emotional resonance.

K

Top
#601258 - 10/10/12 10:07 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
granfalloon Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 721
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I saw it a couple of hours ago and didn't really know what to make of it. P.T.Anderson is claiming that he used L.Ron Hubbard as a template for Lancaster Dodd but that the movie is not about Scientology. That is nonsense. It is plainly about Scientology. All the drills, books and therapies are no farther away from Scientology then a mustached Philip Seymour Hoffman is from L.Ron Hubbard. I got caught up watching the comparisons. Mind you, the acting, particularly by Joachim Pheonix, the cinemetography and the naked women, even the heavy one at the end, were all worth looking at. But the sort of guy who likes car chases, explosions and fruit carts tipping over is definitely not going to like this film.

I will make a wild prediction though. It will win an academy award for something. When it does the entire audience at the Academy Awards show will get on its feet and cheer. Take away Tom Cruise, Kirstie Alley, John Travolta and a few dozen others and what you have left is thousands of working film makers who think the cult of Xenu is bonkers. They are ashamed that it is seen as the Hollywood religion. This film respects the people who have been caught up in the cult, treating the Dodd character as a charlatan. As a public service, if not as a vehicle to sell popcorn, the film does well.
_________________________
Jeez, granfalloon, that longer post above might be one of the most thoughtful, best written things I've ever read on Comicon.
--Lawson

Top
#601259 - 10/11/12 11:28 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: granfalloon]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
Anderson is on the Daily Show right now. His basic summation of his filmmaking is that he doesn't know what he's doing. And I agree.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#601260 - 10/12/12 07:59 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
Here's Steve Bissette's brief reflections on THE MASTER:

http://srbissette.com/?p=16058&cpage=1#comment-7884

What especially caught my eye was his note at the end:

"The ideal next Anderson movie: another American family tale, that of William Moulton Marston‘s extended family, the invention of the lie detector, and the creation of Wonder Woman… well, that’s my two-cents, if I were ever asked (which I’m not)."

Which led me to comment:

"Cool idea about a William Moulton Marston movie. Maybe that would be the only real way to do a Wonder Woman movie, since the challenge of filming one seems to be beyond any filmmaker today. How do you make a modern movie about such a weird, context-dependent fantasy figure? Well, maybe if you make it explicit that she is a fantasy, and focus on the fantasist and his context, then it would all make sense.

By the way, maybe this is as good a time as any for me to nominate my pick for an actress to portray that fantasy character: Bollywood star Katrina Kaif! Look her up on YouTube, I think she would fill the role pretty well in many ways, not just physically, but with her presence and personality too."

Top
#601281 - 10/19/12 10:06 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
granfalloon Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 721
Loc: Toronto, Canada
If you are like me, and just can't get enough of Scientology, there is another movie out called, "We are Legion" and it is getting even better reviews than The Master. It is about Anonymous, and spends time going into their assault on the Church of Xenu. I can't wait until it comes to my town.
_________________________
Jeez, granfalloon, that longer post above might be one of the most thoughtful, best written things I've ever read on Comicon.
--Lawson

Top
#601372 - 11/04/12 09:20 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: granfalloon]
granfalloon Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 721
Loc: Toronto, Canada
"Men Who Stare at Goats," was also not inspired by Scientology. It was not about Ingo Swann, Pat Price (Scientologists) and Uri Geller who worked with two Ph.D.'s (Targ and Puthoff-- one a Scientologist) to convince the military and the CIA that they were having out of body experiences.

Higher ups took away their funding because the people involved were being stupid and ridiculous.

The problem with that movie is they took away many of the facts (as did The Master), I must assume, to avoid lawsuit. Anyway, Price is dead, Geller was discredited by Johnny Carson who was a better scientist than Targ and Puthoff together. Geller is now reserving his nonsense for Spainish television. Swann may be visiting Jupiter, as he used to claim to be, for all I know. The American military are exploring other, more sensible ways of defending America.

The movie sucked. The Master is Gone with the Wind, next to it.

Bowfinger, about Mindhead, not Scientology, is a really good film though. Eddie Murphy does not play Tom Cruise no matter how much he seems to.
_________________________
Jeez, granfalloon, that longer post above might be one of the most thoughtful, best written things I've ever read on Comicon.
--Lawson

Top
Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 >


Moderator:  Rick Veitch, Steve Conley