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
A 1950s-set drama centered on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual (Lancaster Dodd) known as "the Master" whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter (Freddie Quell) who becomes his right-hand man. After returning from the Second World War, having witnessed many horrors, Dodd creates a faith-based organization in an attempt to provide meaning to his life. He becomes known as "The Master". Freddie, his right-hand man, a former drifter, drifts through a series of PTSD-driven breakdowns. Finally he stumbles upon a cult which engages in exercises to clear the emotions. He becomes deeply involved with them, and begins to question both the belief system and The Master as the organization grows and gains a fervent following.
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…
The first 45 minutes is stunning, disorienting and utterly compelling. Classic P. T. Anderson. However, the second half loses all focus and interest for me. The behaviors of both Dodd and Quell seem lacking coherence and ultimately the themes of the film fall flat as my interest in their narratives fades.
This film just continues to grow on me on every watch. This feels like the film that PTA has built towards since his last magnum opus, Magnolia. Now, I don't want to gush like a fanboy over Paul Thomas Anderson, but damn if not his methods are so fuckin' rad!
The Master isn't so much about the story as it is about the three central characters, Freddie, Lancaster and Peggy. All of whom all have their own agendas, their own masters and their own follower.
Especially in the case Lancaster->Freddie where it is never precisely clear whom is the master and whom is the follower.
This film presents the idea of being a man, not a man as the gender…
I'm most glad that Paul Thomas Anderson is a nice enough filmmaker to keep his end credits to a total time of under 3 minutes like wow that never happens
Man joins cult to solve his issues with intimacy.
I still have no idea what to think of this movie. Rewatching it without taking it seriously, like I did with There Will Be Blood, will probably help. Planning on doing so.
"The Master" is not the worst film of the year. But it is the most disappointing. The acting is all solid and I would even be fine with someone winning an acting Oscar. There are also moments of greatness. The scene where Hoffman goes through his auditing process with Phoenix is one of the best scenes of any film all year. If only the rest of the film could have been near that high level.
As it is, it is a whole bunch of fury, signifying very little. Critics who love it say what it is about is irrelevant (cuz they don't know either). And I agree. A film is not about what it is about but how it is…
“If you figure a way to live without serving a master, any master,then let the rest of us know, will you? For you’d be the first in the history of the world.”
Freddie Quell is a wanderer, going to and fro across the face of the earth; he’s a “dirty animal”, a “scoundrel” and a “silly boy”, as his would-be master, Lancaster Dodd, labels him. Drinking, brawling, full of lies and lasciviousness is Freddie Quell searching for his way back into the world after the war. He finds someone who seems to have what he wants, a wife and family and, most importantly, a Cause.
Paul Thomas Anderson, director of 2007’s There Will Be Blood, continues his run…
I feel like I missed something, but there were a number of plot threads that just seemed to go nowhere and time skips that didn't make a lot of sense. Maybe I'm just dumb. Great acting, though!
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
- Under the Skin
- Tropical Malady
- Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
- Inland Empire
Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).