The Master

The Master ★★★★

Anyone ever heard of this movie 'the master'

edit: Anyway, to actually provide some content: there's been some brouhaha in certain circles about the amount of close-ups in this movie, especially in relation to the hype over the 70mm format. The argument goes, as far as I can tell, that these close-up dominated scenes are visually dull in a way that renders the 70mm - associated with 2001 and Lawrence of Arabia - superfluous, and the choice to shoot in 70mm nothing more than a sad sort of format fetishism. This is true to a certain extent - there are some of the perhaps-more-70mm-friendly landscape scenes, but they're far less important than the close-up dominated dialogue scenes, and the close-ups themselves aren't especially compositionally perfect or formally transcendent as, say, Von Sternberg's are, but this is also somewhat missing the point. The detail that 70mm packs into all of these close-ups turns every brow wrinkle, every jaw muscle spam into a war that works to underline or counteract the dialogue spoken. This requires an extraordinary trust in your actors, of course, but luckily the strength of the acting seems to be one of the few things most people can agree on.

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