Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
Every Man Needs a Sub Dig Guide
An agitated Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future - until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader.
It doesn't happen often that all elements of what comprises film reach such a high level as with The Master. It brushes with perfection on so many an occasion which left me in complete awe for everyone involved in making this, but mainly because of the three main offenders; Phoenix, Hoffman and Anderson.
Paul Thomas Anderson is unmistakably a unique, powerful and resounding voice in cinema. Whenever he creates, something happens among lovers of film. Whenever he speaks through this wonderful medium I just have to listen. And while not all of his tales are equally impressive, they are always unique in style, content and themes. I find it amazing that a director who has received so much acclaim…
Paul Thomas Anderson is The Master. He is a filmmaker with grand visions, a director whose loyal followers pour over every word and dissect every scene and a writer who explores the failings and extremes of Man. Above all he is a hopelessly inquisitive man always striving forward and never burdened by contemporary fashion. And just like Lancaster Dodd, the charismatic false prophet at the centre of this film, his latest work is his most challenging, dense, contradictory and elusive to date.
Each new Anderson film is accompanied by unrealistic expectation. It would not be hyperbole to suggest he is one of the last truly great American filmmakers still at the peak of their creative powers. Yet with such a…
I'm not sure at this point that I can actually separate the circumstances under which I saw this film with the film itself.
When I got to the theatre, I wasn't expecting to see The Master. I had bought tickets to see Baraka in 70mm; I knew that there was a sneak peek going on that day, but I had assumed it was happening later, after Baraka. It wasn't until I picked up my tickets and the ticket lady asked if I was excited or bummed out, that I found out that I was about to get to see The Master.
Sitting in the audience, I wondered, how crazy would it be if PTA were there?
IT WAS REALLY FUCKING…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Freddie is a bad dog. He keeps running away from home. He stumbles on a new master who loves him very much and tries to teach him to behave. Freddie loves his new master very much too, and tries to learn new tricks for him. Unfortunately, the call of the wild proves too much for Freddie and he runs away again. After a time, he returns to the master he loves so much only to find that his master has made the very difficult realization that Freddie will never be happy on a leash. And so Freddie's master has to let Freddie go. Freddie is sad to leave, but realizes that he can survive in the wild. Freddie is loose, Freddie is happy, Freddie is his own master now.
I find it hard to step back and take a critical look at The Master (or any of Paul Thomas Anderson's films, for that matter). Sometimes, films (or albums, or novels) just resonate with you, and you become emotionally attached to them. Sometimes you latch onto them so tightly that it takes years for the joy of the experience to fade and you can appropriately and fairly judge them. Your mind hears other people's criticisms and works to defend them, however tangential, frivolous, and contradictory those defenses might be. That feeling has not yet faded for Magnolia, so I think I've got a few more years of The Master-worship in me.
The most common complaint…
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this is PT Anderson's best film yet. Yes, I think it's even better than There Will Be Blood. It's his most challenging, dense, and assured work to date. It forces you to look inwards in order to connect on an intellectual and emotional level, but it also challenges you to contemplate the entirety of human nature and what drives us. Just like PT Anderson's other films, it's extremely rich thematically, exploring control, power, regret, loneliness, action, belief, and truth. It's dense, but it's rewarding.
To say this film is stunning is a gross understatement. The richness of the picture is something that probably has to be seen on the…
This is without a doubt one of the most well crafted films ever made, and also one of my absolute favorites. I finally got the chance to see it on a big screen again for the second time, and on 70mm no less. Needless to say, it was a very meaningful viewing experience. One thing I noticed on this rewatch was just how fantastic the editing is. The processing scene is obviously a standout due to the performances, cinematography, etc. But the editing is why it works so well. The cuts to and from Freddy's failed romance, and to the water, are perfectly timed and paced. It's a joy to watch.
Seen in 70mm at the Museum of the Moving Image.
To see it this way is to see it anew.
seen in 70mm...
It is a masterpiece, but what is it? Incredibly elusive and impossible to pin down. The film expresses these questions and ideas of power, ideology, and what it means to be human, but never seeks to answer them or directly comment on them. The film is not a narrative, but a parable. The plot is dreamlike and far from the linear causality of most American cinema. Instead all we seem to have are images which may or may not be real, which may or may not complete each other, but always elicit sense of curiosity and contemplation. At the heart of the film are two men, Phoenix and Hoffman, who are able to give two of the most intense performances…
Joaquin Phoenix is riveting, credibly and frighteningly inhabiting a sickening, deeply disturbed, and dangerous character you'd cross the street or duck through a doorway to avoid, but still giving us glimpses of vulnerability; sometimes obviously feigned, sometimes, perhaps, real.
The movie overall doesn't live up to the performance, but there's still a lot that's worthwhile.
"We are on an adventure that risks the dark."
Still awesome after 5 viewings later, especially since this time around it's on a big screen and 35mm. Magisterial and exquisite. 5/5
This movie rips my heart apart and makes me feel more deeply than any film has before. There is nothing better!
See it Big! 70mm
The "if you blink we start over" and the "pig fuck" scenes are two of the greatest movie scenes I have ever witnessed in my life.
on film at the nwfc with christof.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).