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#599015 - 06/28/12 04:58 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
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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.
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#599018 - 06/28/12 09:26 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
madget Offline
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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

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#599019 - 06/28/12 09:39 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Er -- Fletcher Hamilton, not Hamilton Fletcher.

K

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

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#599023 - 06/28/12 12:06 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: madget]
Ted Kilvington Offline
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Registered: 05/10/99
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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.
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#599024 - 06/28/12 12:23 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Ted Kilvington]
madget Offline
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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

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#599033 - 06/29/12 02:11 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Charles Reece Offline
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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
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#599060 - 06/29/12 11:33 PM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
Allen Montgomery Offline
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7091
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.
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#599062 - 06/30/12 01:18 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Charles Reece Offline
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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.
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#599064 - 06/30/12 05:42 AM Re: pt anderson's "the master" [Re: Charles Reece]
Allen Montgomery Offline
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7091
Which role was that? Interesting someone who works so little would get paid so much.
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"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."
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