XIXAX Film Forum

The Director's Chair => Paul Thomas Anderson => Topic started by: polkablues on August 18, 2012, 01:41:45 AM

Title: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: polkablues on August 18, 2012, 01:41:45 AM
This is a thread in which people who have seen The Master in its entirety are free to talk about it with impunity.  Where spoilers can run rampant and anyone who ventures in prematurely only has himself to blame. 

So discuss, lucky ones, and know that until the rest of us huddled masses have the opportunity to watch the film, we'll be just outside, cursing your names under our collective breath.


THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: InTylerWeTrust on August 18, 2012, 02:09:07 AM
This thread is a Bad idea....





P.S: I probably won't be able to resist and before I watch the movie, I'll come here and spoil the whole fucking film for myself.......  Can't wait.  :yabbse-thumbup:
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: InTylerWeTrust on August 18, 2012, 01:24:31 PM
***** CAUTION:   SPOILERS AHEAD.....   BUT SOME "GOOD NEWS" ALSO *****


Someone (Anoymous) that watched the movie, commented (at CigsandRevines) this:


"By the way, I had the pleasure of being at the screening as well and the shot of two people jumping off a boat is not in the movie. That entire scene of Freddie and the army counselor guy from the first teaser is not in the movie. The shot of Freddie with his arm on a dresser and pointing a gun is not in the movie. The shot of Freddie hanging himself over the side of a boat above the water is not in the movie. The shot of Freddie walking around a corner and along the brick wall is not in the movie. The shot of Freddie waiting in a ditch and chasing a passing vehicle is not in the movie. Plus for a lot of the scenes that ARE in the movie, they used a lot of alternate takes for the trailers. So the experience of seeing the movie can actually be FRESH."



^ That's probably the best news I've heard... Now I know that no matter how many times I've seen and dissected the trailer. I will be watching something entirely new.  :) 

On the other hand, it's a shame. Because some of those shots and scenes looked really magnificent.


*********** END OF SPOILERS
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: KJ on August 18, 2012, 02:05:32 PM
Let me tell you what you did wrong, Tyler.

***** CAUTION:   SPOILERS AHEAD.....   BUT SOME "GOOD NEWS" ALSO *****


Someone (Anoymous) that watched the movie, commented (at CigsandRevines) this:


"By the way, I had the pleasure of being at the screening as well and the shot of two people jumping off a boat is not in the movie. That entire scene of Freddie and the army counselor guy from the first teaser is not in the movie. The shot of Freddie with his arm on a dresser and pointing a gun is not in the movie. The shot of Freddie hanging himself over the side of a boat above the water is not in the movie. The shot of Freddie walking around a corner and along the brick wall is not in the movie. The shot of Freddie waiting in a ditch and chasing a passing vehicle is not in the movie. Plus for a lot of the scenes that ARE in the movie, they used a lot of alternate takes for the trailers. So the experience of seeing the movie can actually be FRESH."[/i

It's good so far and you made a really good work with the red text and all. I mean, now there's no chance that we will miss that there is spoiler in the post. NOW, here is the part where you fucked it all up:


*********** END OF SPOILERS

You see, now we think that the spoilers is over. But the thing is, it isn't. Let's just read the next part again:

^ That's probably the best news I've heard... Now I know that no matter how many times I've seen and dissected the trailer. I will be watching something entirely new.  :) 

On the other hand, it's a shame. Because some of those shots and scenes looked really magnificent.

I don't know about the rest of the board but my knowledge in mathematics is pretty good and believe it or not but I can put 1 and 1 together.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: 72teeth on August 18, 2012, 02:50:10 PM







***** CAUTION:   SPOILERS AHEAD.....





i dunno how i feel about this...

i was really REALLY looking forward to seeing a lot of that on the big screen... especially all of it.



But hey, better this than the other way around, right?






*********** END OF SPOILERS
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: InTylerWeTrust on August 18, 2012, 02:59:32 PM
***** CAUTION:   SPOILERS AHEAD.....






Yeah... In all honesty, I am dissapointed about that. I was really looking forward to seeing that interview scene from the first teaser, and those shots on top of the ship were absolutely gorgeous.

But PTA knows what he's doing and I trust him completely....  Now I'm excited to see what the fuck IS IN the movie. Because for all we know, all the footage and stills they've shown is just leftovers from the Final Cut. Sept. 21 can't come fast enough.




*********** END OF SPOILERS
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Fernando on August 18, 2012, 03:43:57 PM
love the thread's title.

so....until I see the film I bid this thread adieu
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: InTylerWeTrust on August 19, 2012, 04:51:17 PM
I'm posting this here because there's a couple spoilers in there... Amy talks about working with Anderson.



Amy Adams Spiritual Revival...
By Tom Shone (VULTURE)


Amy Adams usually views her own movies through a scrim of self-criticism, but at a recent screening of her new film, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, she watched with eerie detachment. “I was like, I don’t even know what I did in the film or what I didn’t do, or what I need to do, I have no clue.” Near the end, during a scene between her character, the wife of a cult leader, and Joaquin Phoenix’s drifter, “I just sobbed uncontrollably,” she says. “It really broke my heart. Oh God, I’m going to cry again if I think about it.”

We’re having lunch at the Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue, where Adams’s Cobb salad sits largely untouched. Suddenly, she tears up right in front of me. “I don’t know why it got to me, I’m not a crier,” she insists, collecting herself. “I’m always, ‘Oh, that’s so drama school.’ No. I’m not that kind of person.” When I ask what it was about the scene, she says it was Phoenix’s character, “so solitary, so seeking, so lost. I’d probably need to talk to a therapist to find out why that resonates with me so deeply.”

The Master is another of Anderson’s bad-nerve symphonies, its crisp 70-mm. compositions punctuated by bursts of psychic feedback, freak-out, and assorted Andersonian voodoo. Like his 2007 Oscar winner There Will Be Blood, it’s essentially a psychodrama played out between two men, an alcoholic veteran (Phoenix) who falls under the spell of L. Ron ­Hubbard–esque Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the leader of a new religion flourishing in the shadow of the Second World War. Adams plays his devoted wife, a Lady Macbeth–like amanuensis whose blue eyes boil with fury at unbelievers. “I do not want to run into her in a dark alleyway,” says Adams. “Give me [my character] Charlene from The Fighter any day, we can have a beer, talk about it, we’ll have fun. This woman scares the shit out of me. Excuse my language.”

Ever since it was announced that Anderson was making a film seemingly based, at least in part, on the founding of Scientology, the project has been cloaked in secrecy. “You’re the first person I’ve talked to about it,” says Adams, as if expecting a lightning bolt to strike. Anderson’s working methods were new to her. Even for scenes in which she was not scheduled to appear, she was instructed to show up, just to make her presence felt. “It was exhausting, but I love the effect,” she says. “She’s almost blurry.” Often, she had no idea whether the camera was on her, as during one scene in which Hoffman leads his followers in naked sing-along around a piano; Adams had to sit as demurely as possible, nude except for a pregnant-belly prosthetic.

“It was one of the most surreal evenings of my life, and I’ve had some pretty surreal evenings, up there with giving birth,” she says. “I was in a surreal place, because my daughter still wasn’t sleeping through the night and we were shooting nights. I felt like I was a little on edge, I was a little cuckoo, so I just sort of brought it.” For another scene in which Phoenix is ruthlessly “processed,” Anderson handed her a page of Victorian pornography and told her to read it straight to camera. “I’m like, Wait, is Paul trying to break [me] down? Is he doing this to me?”

It all sounds a little, well, cultlike, with the secretive Anderson imposing his will upon a cast and crew systematically discombobulated by working methods designed to keep them subtly off-balance throughout. “I won’t go that far,” she says. “But I do kind of worship Paul. He’s magnificent.” There’s a lot of the true believer in Adams, with her big blue eyes and bushy-tailed manner. That she was once a greeter at the Gap makes perfect sense. Her best performances—the motor-mouthed Ashley in Junebug (2005), the princess in Enchanted (2007)—have mined the comedy and pathos of the pathologically optimistic: sweet Pollyannas hoisting their beliefs aloft against a rising tide of reality.

“I do seem to be attracted to that,” she says. “Maybe I’m a disappointed optimist.” The fourth of seven children, she was raised a Mormon until the age of 12, when her parents separated and left the church, her father eventually moving to Arizona, Amy and her mother to Atlanta. “I’m always careful,” she says, “because I still have relatives I care very much about who are involved, but I definitely did see growing up a lot of women that were meant to be quiet and pleasant, and if you had something mean to say it’s probably best to keep a journal.”

If her early work came lit up with the infectious inner glow of the onetime believer, her more recent roles—in 2008’s Doubt, and The Master—have flipped that faith on its back like a beetle. Under the right directors—David O. Russell on The Fighter, Anderson on The Master—Adams has revealed real steel in those baby blues. “Amy is very private,” says Robert Lorenz, the director of this fall’s Trouble With the Curve, of one scene in which Adams lets Clint Eastwood have it in a diner for being an absentee dad. “I asked her during filming, which of her roles was the closest to the real Amy, and she said, ‘This one.’  She was definitely addressing some aspect of her personal life in the role.” Eastwood’s words to the director after the scene was finished: “You got the right girl.”

Since having a daughter herself—2-year-old Aviana, with her actor-fiancé Darren Le Gallo—Adams has been much more aware of “how protective I am with my feelings. God, even telling you, I can feel this tightening in my chest.” She puts a hand to the base of her neck. “I think playing vulnerable, joyful characters was sort of a shield for me. You know, if I showed enough of who I was, maybe people wouldn’t look for anything else. I promised myself I wouldn’t go forward in my life and not be as honest as possible.”
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: InTylerWeTrust on August 19, 2012, 06:39:40 PM
Beautiful review... Not that spoilerful, but posting it here just in case.



"THE MASTER"
By Christopher Hall (Mixtape Magazine)



I was really nervous last night. I didn’t know what to expect. Standing outside that theater door, that deep white floor of the Museum of the Moving Image below my feet, I looked around at a collected lot of film taste makers—filmmakers, actors, studio management—each one of them drawn to the magnetism of the moment.

Everyone was talking. They were talking about a film, and a director, that had been appearing, and disappearing just as quickly, across the country. The mystique of the film, and its rollout, transforming this motion picture into something far grander then just 137 minutes of celluloid.

The crowd sat hushed. Engaging in quiet whispers, waiting for the curtain to part. In walked Paul Thomas Anderson, who when asked if he wanted to say anything before the film started, responded –“Just roll it.”


It’s impossible to review this film within moments, or hours, perhaps even days. This film needs to be lived with, analyzed, argued about. So this isn’t a review. It’s just a feeling.

It’s not about scientology. It’s about religion, but it’s not. It’s about lost souls. It’s about the people we try to find common ground with. It’s about traveling half way around the world because we’re scared, because we’re searching for something, because we want to find someone to believe in us. It’s about family. Insanity. Alcoholism. Brutality. Anger. Trust. Belief. It’s vivid and tangible and unflinching.

It’s gorgeous. A complete symphony of visuals—the 70mm making the argument for destroying every digital camera in the world. The eye-popping blues of the ocean. The pale marble of the department store. The rich shadows of a dark office before one takes the stage. The magic potions of Freddie Sutton strong enough for you to smell through the screen. The acting impeccable. The score driven and unsettling.


Leaving the theater I felt punch drunk, completely enchanted with what I had just watched. I thought about that great thing that had happened, that perfect moment of racking focus to a boat, or that first session, or the jail cell juxtaposition of absolute calm and absolute mania. All of these memories flooding back to me. I don’t know if it’s Anderson’s best film, I won’t know that for a while. I do know that it was thrilling to watch a filmmaker throwing himself completely into the deep end and in turn producing something incredible. This film needs to be seen. It needs to be experienced. The startling blue ocean in the wake of that ship needs to pass through your retinas, imprint in your brain and live there for a while. And make sure you see it in 70mm.

The Master, written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, will be released September 14th.

Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: polkablues on August 19, 2012, 06:45:59 PM
The Amy Adams article was great.  One of the aspects of PTA's art that often seems to go unaddressed is how he manages to pull career-defining performances out of every actor he gets his hands on.  He's clearly turning into Kubrick more and more with each passing film.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: HeywoodRFloyd on August 19, 2012, 08:02:03 PM
I agree Polkablues, that Amy Adams article is fantastic, and also the first of many interviews with the cast, cannot wait to hear what more they have to say. He is definitely turning into our generation's Kubrick with each passing film, demanding a complete devotion for the film. My god Paul is so inspiring, I want to hear more stories of his methodology in direction.  :)
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: HeywoodRFloyd on August 19, 2012, 08:13:21 PM
It’s about traveling half way around the world because we’re scared, because we’re searching for something, because we want to find someone to believe in us.
That sounds a little like Antonioni's The Passenger, looks like it's a bit more than just a visual reference.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: InTylerWeTrust on August 21, 2012, 08:40:26 PM
It’s about traveling half way around the world because we’re scared, because we’re searching for something, because we want to find someone to believe in us.
That sounds a little like Antonioni's The Passenger, looks like it's a bit more than just a visual reference.

Yes... And now that I think about it, it also sounds like Sofia Coppola's "Lost in translation". Two films that we know for a fact have inspired PTA.

I guess, above all of these similarities and comparisons, what intrigues me the most is that every review talks about this film being "different, unlike anything we've ever seen before, expect the unexpected, etc" and I believe that I will think the same thing when I watch it.

For some weird reason, now I understand what Pubrick was telling me about how "references don't matter that much", which is why I've cool it with the references (though I did find a few more  :yabbse-grin:). I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I was wrong by trying to pin the film down or water it down in some sort of ignorant way (maybe in a futile attempt at understanding pta's filmmaking genius) with the references. I see now that above all, this movie and PTA stand on their own... and there are no comparisons that can take that away.... and I don't know why, but I just felt like saying that.

Sorry for the pointless venting, guys.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: MacGuffin on August 22, 2012, 01:37:10 PM
So the San Francisco screening happened, right?

No one wants to comment?
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: 72teeth on August 22, 2012, 02:12:22 PM
The Master somehow turned into the BEGINNING of my night.. oy vey im to' up..

 but i will say:

The Man himself is a dad. Haggard as hell, unshaven in boardshorts and a blooming blue hoodie. daughter in arms, he breezes past a crowd in awe, making a b-line for the bathroom.

But i got him on the way back, with a 'thank you, very much.' and with a firm handshake and eye contact, he says back, "Thank YOU. Hope you like it."

and i did, i loved it, and if you love pt, you will too..
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Pozer on August 22, 2012, 02:19:31 PM
So the San Francisco screening happened, right?

No one wants to comment?

LoL no reactions on the film from early SF screening should have been on RK's list.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Cloudy on August 22, 2012, 03:26:38 PM
The film just washed over me like a "hazy fever dream" as somebody else put it. It was angry, it was drunk, it was dark, it was hilarious (HILARIOUS), it was brutal, it was dreamy/hazy, it was beautiful, it was endearing, it was a concoction of feelings...it's a film that needs to be viewed so many times. It is EASILY PTA's most DENSE work to date. EASILY. This one is for the analysts, for the intuitionist...the scenes are so thick. Some of the greatest sequences ever put on film. THIS IS A FUCKING EXPERIENCE.

...and to top it all off, I got to meet PTA!

EDIT: This might be unoriginal, but as I was watching. This felt like PTA's A Clockwork Orange. I'm really excited for all of the analysis this film's going to get. THERE'S SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: ono on August 22, 2012, 04:15:52 PM
So I'm wondering... who's going to be the first to actually say something meaningful about the film itself?  Because everyone who's seen it so far seems to be talking around it, dumfounded, waiting for others to chime in.  It seems like everyone is just too shellshocked thus far.  Maybe that's the point.

Congrats, teeth, on meeting the man.  A nice, endearing description.  Don't wash that hand.  Cloud - your description has me excited though it glosses over content.  It's just heralding the way for other people to do the dirty work when our appetites are already whetted!
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Cloudy on August 22, 2012, 04:44:06 PM
Ono, since it's a surprise screening and I couldn't watch it again the next day(showing), I'm saving any real meaningful conversation about the film for after I really get acquainted. For now, it's all just feelings, deeply rooted feelings. Watching the film for the first time leaves no room for analysis in my opinion. He created a piece that you need to just submit to on first viewing.

I think everyone is/will be in the same boat.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Pubrick on August 22, 2012, 05:57:26 PM
I think cloud's review was perfect.

What kind of content do you want? Point by point plot synopsis? Reactions like cloud's are exactly what people should be saying right now, at least til the film is released and everyone can chime in on "why did Freddie suck his own dick for five minutes"..

Until then getting a glimpse of people's emotional reaction still says plenty about the film for me. But then if you came here for hardcore spoilers I can see how you'd be disappointed.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Cloudy on August 22, 2012, 07:05:52 PM
Here's a SPOILER:

Recently read that PTA placed the last shot of the film purely based off "instinct" in the editing room. You can tell that this film was the greatest film he's made in the editing department - akin to Terrence Malick films. But, the fact that the last shot of the film was found in the editing room later in the process makes me wonder if it has any significant meaning to him/the film as a whole. To me it does, but the fact that it wasn't thought out in advance just makes me wonder. I have this weird bizarre feeling that the film is not as much of a puzzle as it seems to be. Usually PTA's films are never like that. They are very straight forward, and the themes/characters are what bring all of the meaning to his films.

The film was such a puzzle and lucid dream combined that the contrast makes one wonder whether the journey to figure out the puzzle is worth it, or whether the film is just meant to be felt purely emotionally/thematically.

EDIT: As you can tell, I'm a fucking confused first-time viewer.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: 72teeth on August 22, 2012, 08:23:14 PM
all the trailers have had a weight about them that seems so important, but in actuality, it just pt adding his own gravitas to his baby

the whole Scientology thing got way blown out of proportion... it's not a statement.. it's definitely revealing, but nothing above anything you can't find with a little research..


i doubt Paul was being "naive" when he attached Scientology to the first whispers of this movie.. he knew it the buzz it would create
And how genius, all this bizarre history that's so sworn to secrecy that all of Hollywood is afraid to even mention it..  All this fresh fruit just there ripe for the pickn's, so he picked it! and ate it! Snooze you lose everybody else, you shoulda jumped on that shit because it's fucking interesting! 

but then again, Eyes Wide shut had nothing to do with the illuminati the first time i saw it...

this is pt's loveletter to the lonely man portraits of the 70's, wrapped up in something everybody is interested in..


and this is a classic PTA-PSH showcase! He throws in all our favorite PSH/PTA bells and whistles! Ham! Silly faces! Lancaster Dodd is a total theatre kid. he's great and such a diverse character.. you love him because he means well.

But it's Joaquin at bat, and he fuckin kills it. what a feral animal, even physically speaking. he transforms.





Oh my god... the blues.
and greens.

and blacks.

it's beautiful.


and i think "The Line" for this one will be:

"Are you unpredictable?"



Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: matt35mm on August 22, 2012, 10:15:40 PM
I have actual things to say about the film other than descriptions of how it felt to see it... but I'm not really sure what the point of this thread is right now. Are we really meant to get into the nitty gritty of it even though only 4 or 5 of us have seen it? It's clear that most people reading the thread haven't seen the film, and I don't want to spoil it or talk around the stuff I'm wanting to talk about.

I will say that I don't think one needs more than one viewing to start figuring anything out about it. It's all there, right in front of you, clear as day. You'll know what you've seen and you'll know what it means but it will take a little while to figure out how you feel about all of that. In the meantime, you'll be thrilled with the profoundly good filmmaking. The man knoooows where the camera needs to be, and when (editing). It's stripped down, simplified, distilled. It's his least flashy film. The actors and the words have nowhere to hide.

I can say more when I know that people will know what I'm talking about.

Oh, and the score is so fucking good.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: ono on August 22, 2012, 10:19:00 PM
Quote from: polkablues
Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Go, go, GO!
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: polkablues on August 22, 2012, 10:21:11 PM
This thread is specifically for people who have seen the film to discuss it with people who have seen the film.  Everyone else (me, for example) is viewing it at their own risk.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Cloudy on August 22, 2012, 11:37:21 PM
Quote
and this is a classic PTA-PSH showcase! He throws in all our favorite PSH/PTA bells and whistles! Ham! Silly faces! Lancaster Dodd is a total theatre kid. he's great and such a diverse character.. you love him because he means well.

But it's Joaquin at bat, and he fuckin kills it. what a feral animal, even physically speaking. he transforms.

Thank you. Well put. "FERAL" is the word. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yb-OhedMKc4
Very representative.


Quote
I will say that I don't think one needs more than one viewing to start figuring anything out about it. It's all there, right in front of you, clear as day. You'll know what you've seen and you'll know what it means but it will take a little while to figure out how you feel about all of that. In the meantime, you'll be thrilled with the profoundly good filmmaking. The man knoooows where the camera needs to be, and when (editing). It's stripped down, simplified, distilled. It's his least flashy film. The actors and the words have nowhere to hide.

That's what I was getting at too, I feel like it's all there in front of us, clear as day (definitely bad word choice). But the thing is, in the first viewing--for me at least--it took me to places where my attempts to explain it in words just fail terribly.

I had a similar experience with The Tree of Life.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: brockly on August 23, 2012, 12:36:44 AM
Lancaster Dodd is a total theatre kid. he's great and such a diverse character.. you love him because he means well.

i really shouldn't be in this thread, but this caught me off guard. i'm kind of shocked at the idea that PTA has written him a likable character, or especially a character who "means well". not really looking for an explanation, and i already tossed out the presumption of an L. Ron depiction long ago, but i can now definitely say that i have no idea what to expect from this movie.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Cloudy on September 01, 2012, 08:02:26 PM
The production design of the last scene of TWBB was inspired by 'A Clockwork Orange' (PTA said it in an ASC article). I'm wondering how many of you guys feel that the design of the final scene (not the last shot) of The Master was inspired by 2OO1? That whole room exuded 2OO1 to me. It was shot/composed/blocked so hypnotically. The lighting behind Master is what really set off that idea to me...There's so much to say about that last fucking scene...can't wait for more viewings...!
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: RegularKarate on September 10, 2012, 11:10:57 PM
I will say that I don't think one needs more than one viewing to start figuring anything out about it. It's all there, right in front of you, clear as day. You'll know what you've seen and you'll know what it means but it will take a little while to figure out how you feel about all of that. In the meantime, you'll be thrilled with the profoundly good filmmaking. The man knoooows where the camera needs to be, and when (editing). It's stripped down, simplified, distilled. It's his least flashy film. The actors and the words have nowhere to hide.

Hmmm... I think I need to see it again though. I think with a movie like this, you get theories in your head and you have to see it again to filter it through your new theories to see if they fit.

Here are some questions that contain spoilers and may or may not have been plainly answered in the film:

1. How did Lancaster Dodd reach Freddie at the movie theater? Was this scene in Freddie's head or do they have a real connection to one another that the phone just represents?

2. What was Peggy upset at Lancaster about when she jerked him off into the sink?  It seemed like this was a reaction to Freddie's tryst with Lancaster's "Daughter".

3. Are Lancaster and Freddie part of the same person? In a way, I feel like that's an obvious yes, but how much?

4. What was the deal with the unpublished manuscripts? Was this an act of faith? a test?

And I just realized what I assume was an obvious parallel between Freddie making a concoction that he completely improvises each time yet people seem to drink it and enjoy it and come back for more and The Cause.

So, more than a couple of us have seen it now. Let's start talking.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Pedro on September 10, 2012, 11:21:12 PM
Spoiler Warning in Spoiler Thread

I'm not ready to answer your other questions yet, but
2. What was Peggy upset at Lancaster about when she jerked him off into the sink?  It seemed like this was a reaction to Freddie's tryst with Lancaster's "Daughter".

Drinking.  I believe the words were "you have to give up the hooch".  This is in line with the next scene where she tells Freddie to stop boozing or leave the house. 
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: RegularKarate on September 10, 2012, 11:34:15 PM
Spoiler Warning in Spoiler Thread

I'm not ready to answer your other questions yet, but
2. What was Peggy upset at Lancaster about when she jerked him off into the sink?  It seemed like this was a reaction to Freddie's tryst with Lancaster's "Daughter".

Drinking.  I believe the words were "you have to give up the hooch".  This is in line with the next scene where she tells Freddie to stop boozing or leave the house.

Yes, but before that, she said that she doesn't care what he does (pretty sure she was implying sexually) with other people as long as she doesn't find out and others don't, but that whatever he had done that night (there was no scene with him drinking that night) was not okay. I think she was saying he needed to give up the hooch so he wouldn't do whatever it was that she was mad about.... man, that makes very little sense as I type it out, but still... I get the feeling he did something "Naughty" sexually and she was mad and wanted him to stop drinking so he wouldn't do it any more.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: RegularKarate on September 11, 2012, 01:14:22 PM
I came back here to say how Kubrickian that fucking movie theater scene was. It might as well have been Grady that brought him that phone.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Cloudy on September 11, 2012, 08:39:22 PM
For people who have seen the film:

An in-depth, fresh review with great analysis:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/movies/2012/09/paul-thomas-anderson-the-master.html


A review stating the film's flaws through thorough analysis(while still stating that it's PTA's best film :?: ):

http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/the-master/6501
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: wiped_out on September 12, 2012, 03:54:41 PM
OMG SPOILERS

I saw the master yesterday at the movie palace on w 54. I saw luis guzman
Pta was in austin but amy adams and harvey weinstein were in the building as well as the girl who played doris.


The movie itself was like the poster advertised a 3 way battle. We get to see pta delve into the surreal here. J.P kicks a toliet and it explodes. jp and psh give exhilarating performances.
Favorite scene: the end starting at the bar

Sadly not in the movie the whole burlesque/cousin "i've been licking pussy all summer"/treasure in Harlem. Also my favorite line from the script "there are secrets in alchool this is booze"
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on September 12, 2012, 04:17:46 PM
Yikes! ... wiped_out, please post ALL SPOILERS IN THIS SPOILER THREAD I HAVE MOVED YOU TO NOW.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: md on September 12, 2012, 04:37:35 PM
Baraka seemed like a huge influence on the grandeur and mood of the piece. The first scene of The Master is a complete homage to it. Like Baraka, the music is loud and disruptive and then cuts out and disappears until you completely miss it.

Freddie and Dodd were similar to Lenny and George Of Mice and Men.  Dodd is Freddie's protector of himself in a way. Also, the Scientology factor cannot be expressed enough, specifically the David Miscavige bulldog quality of Freddie, with Dodd being his master just like L Ron.   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9irH7ruetdo

There is defintitely love; Dodd expresses it thoroughly when Freddie is getting arrested by saying 'don't hurt him' ect ect. Its revealing and I think the first time we know for certain that there is love. Someone else said it...you really love Dodd for the scoundrel he is. 

When they wrestle welcome after jail,  it felt like Tommy Boy with Chris Farley and David Spade.  The camaraderie and guy jokes...its all there.  And the sense of love both fraternal and paternal between the two men are the most enduring parts of the movie.

The introduction of Quell into the family is quick and very forced upon, and it creates for some very fish out of water moments that walk the same line but talk a different game than PTA's older films. The whole time I felt that Freddie was a lot like Eddie Adams in that here's a kid with a gift (makes great liquor) and needs a place to live. 

The shot when Dodd is racing the motorcycle and the family all walk out of the car is a great image of maybe 'dad on vacation' where all the kids watch their dad make a fool of himself.   Its so well framed and balanced, speaking on the equality they find for Freddie in the family. 

Freddie is either a bull in a china shop or a queer on the wall in most scenes.  Its new territory by nature because of the time period and backdrop...homework was done and PTA scored an A.

Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Gittes on September 13, 2012, 06:45:42 PM
I have a question concerning the dissonance between the trailers and the finished film (I haven't seen the latter). Can anyone who has actually watched the film confirm whether or not these scenes from the trailer are included?

1. Phoenix yelling, "Just tell me something that's true!" in the jail cell.
2. Hoffman's line, "I am a writer, a doctor, a nuclear physicist, a theoretical philosopher, but above all, I am a man. A hopelessly inquisitive man, just like you."

Are both of those in the final film?

Thanks for anyone who can help me out with this!
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: matt35mm on September 13, 2012, 07:44:03 PM
Yes.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Gittes on September 13, 2012, 08:59:42 PM
Yes.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: modage on September 13, 2012, 09:52:02 PM
Yes.

SPOILERS
1. isn't.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: matt35mm on September 13, 2012, 09:54:01 PM
Really? I guess it all gets jumbled in my head since I've seen the trailer a bunch...
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Gittes on September 14, 2012, 09:22:38 AM
Yes.

SPOILERS
1. isn't.

So, just to be absolutely clear, Phoenix's "Just tell me something that's true!" isn't included, but the "hopelessly inquisitive" remark is?
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: modage on September 14, 2012, 10:16:22 AM
Correct.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: RegularKarate on September 14, 2012, 10:17:43 AM
yes
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Gittes on September 14, 2012, 12:18:07 PM
Thanks very much!
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: JG on September 14, 2012, 11:22:05 PM
i saw it for a second time today, and i think its really great - it feels like there's lots of threads you can follow in trying to read the film, and it will be fun to read interpretations (the film's ambiguities beg for them) - but the one thing i really can't figure out is the scene where Freddie and Master go to the desert and dig up his life's work?
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Cloudy on September 15, 2012, 01:19:18 AM
A bunch of people have had to see it by now...how did you guys like it?! Would love to hear some reactions/reviews/analysis.

JG: I was wondering the same exact thing. How was your second viewing compared to the first?
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: modage on September 15, 2012, 10:27:42 AM
For me the first viewing I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. But having been through that same experience with "There Will Be Blood" where it was SO different than what I expected I knew to wait for another viewing or to before I fully weighed in. Having seen it three times now, it really does get better with each viewing. Now I completely completely love it.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Cloudy on September 15, 2012, 11:20:40 AM
That makes me so happy. I feel like I'm in the same boat. Impatiently waiting for the 21st to see it in Oakland 70mm over and over again until I really figure out how I feel about it. Since it's taking so long to see it again, my thoughts are just getting the best of me. The fact that you compare it to your TWBB multi-viewing experience is unbelievable. Yesssssss.  :yabbse-thumbup:
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: samsong on September 15, 2012, 03:06:17 PM
mod did you find that the last half hour or so (starting with the rather random motorcycles-in-desert scene) became more lucid with repeat viewings or did you go with it?  it's where the bulk of my issues with the film are and i can't decide if it's enigmatic with mysteries to glean or just thin and anticlimactic in the worst way.  also i agree with the others, the bit of them going out into the desert to retrieve the manuscript was bizarre as well.  i've read a defense of it as yet another one of dodd's showman tricks but there's nothing to support that in the film... i don't think, anyway.

i also have a rather strange idea about the film after freddie visits doris's house.  my memory of the exact details and sequence of images may not be great so this could be entirely ill-informed, but i'll give it a go anyway.  in the movie theater, i don't have a doubt in my mind at this point that the phone call is a figment of his imagination.  he even refers to it as a dream when he goes to see dodd.  that he even goes to see dodd is bizarre because, if the phone call is a dream, how can that information about england be reliable?  how the hell does he get out there?  you could fill in that hole as it being a well-known fact that dodd's set up shop in england since once he gets there it's revealed to be a rather affluent enterprise, but there is again nothing to support that in the film as far as i remember.  the last gathering of the cause showed his influence to be modest, and waning at that (dern calling him out on a change in language and his resulting freak out, the guy from new york saying the book was crap, rejections while handing out fliers)

 i'm wondering then if everything post doris's house is supposed to be a reflection of freddie's headspace?  aside from the sheer oddity of how it all plays out in the film (including the usher with the telephone), it struck me as bizarre that dodd's son, now seeming to have fully embraced the cause, is the first to welcome him.  up until then he was reluctant and skeptical, and i believe the last thing we see him do is try to turn his father in to the police when they come by the house.  perhaps this is a signifier that the whole reunion is part of a dream?  thinking about it now though, lancaster and peggy aren't exactly thrilled or sure of the prodigal son's return, but i wonder if that has to do with freddie's self actualization (peggy storming off saying he doesn't want to be helped, a reflection of freddie's actual state of mind.  whether he's beyond help and insane, or the process is a fallacy, he no longer wants to be helped, at least by them), and that the scene essentially ends with the master absolving him gives closure to freddie's struggle against himself.  he's free to be the animal he is.  that the master's last gesture is to serenade him recalls the first processing scene where freddie's gateway into opening up is remembering doris singing to him.  i would totally buy that hearing about doris's life without him is a form of catharsis for him, and the first thing he does when he emancipates himself from the master is goes to a bar and finally gets laid.  it's a dubious triumph but it, for me, is like the end of raging bull.  he's come to terms with himself.

again, i'm fully aware of how strange this reading probably is, but as the film exists in my memory it's really the only way i can make sense of the last half hour.  it also makes the ending and the last shot more poignant to me, too.  i don't know.  all i can say is i'm dying to see it again, which i haven't been able to say about a movie in some time.

having said all of this, the movie's pretty infallible from the first frame up until that exhaustive processing sequence in the house and i sat there, wide eyed and mesmerized.  the shot of freddie jerking off into the ocean while everyone else is going about their business is one of the best in the entire movie, and absolutely hilarious.  the department store stuff i found to be especially pleasurable.  the image of the ocean churning behind the ship will haunt me forever.

Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Pozer on September 15, 2012, 03:36:37 PM
mixedupmorejumpythaniwasbeforemusclespasmsfornoreasonshavingviolentepisodeslingeringatbusstationsperhapspasthelporinsaneiamaneverlastingspirit


pt is our greatest, we know this, we know we are of great fortune to have this foreign spirit, this great whimsical mind of his that clumsily unspools out into his works, complicatedly, with no second-guessing to instincts, such greatness from a primitive soul who happens to be an American moviemaker, the greatest of our fortunes being that he gets it done, gets these pictures made, and yes, restores an art-form long since forgotten from time's past, carries the kubrickfire so to speak.

we know this yet i speak it because with each of his fresh works i am reminded that we should only be counting our lucky stars to have ONE of these kind of dudes in this day in age.

(http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f11/mattyc7/TheMasterattheDome2640x480.jpg)
not a bad imprisonment for viewing this beast; The Arclight Dome out in LaLa Land

with the master he has presented to us these brilliant puzzle pieces, pretty pieces he has, and i want that initial teaser poster more than ever for a label cannot better summarize this film and i need it in my home, in my office, as an image of inspiration to allow my own stuff to float out to sea, intoxicating and pimplefaced, this masterwork.

there is no falsehoods from those who have said about this film being an impossible one to see coming or digest accurately after one sitting, the synopsis, the teasers, they are no longer relevant. if you are a drinking man i highly recommend you get a bit sloshed afterwards to allow this thing to swim around in your boozing mind, toss about your wavering head, your incertain brain where these pieces will come collected, and though pieces they will remain, it isnt an unproductive way to think about them, one by one, these mad impressions.

psh is back in our favorite playground, and he's off the chain, the larger of the talk might be about joquin doing so, but the hoff really went streaking with this one, completely raw, balls deep performance. joaquin is as satisfying in a pta joint as ddl, he is off the map. physically alone, he has destroyed all male performances for years to come. freddie quell as classic a character as plainview and barry egan and with no offense to johnny b, jonny g pushes these characters forward with a sorcery that cannot be touched.

i'm clearly smoking a hyper bowl here, there's much more to say about this, about its mysterious behaviors, for now i'm just plain inspired by the thing, cant wait for the subsequents.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: JG on September 15, 2012, 05:02:31 PM
spoilers about last act of the film

I think the bulk of the film takes place over the course of 1950 - Dodd mentions the year when he is processing Freddie on the boat.  I'm pretty sure the final scene in Lynn, MA (where I grew up!) takes place in 1952 or 1953 - the first time we meet Doris is post-war, so we can assume its 1945 or later, right? She is 16 then. Her mother tells Freddie she is 23 when he visits.  Thus, I assume there is a large gap of time between when Freddie rides off in the desert and the final act of the film.  I would guess that by the time Freddie winds up in England, enough time has passed that The Cause has found its niche and is somewhat successful overseas?

I don't feel the need to connect the dots as to how Freddie wound up in England. Obviously, the film embraces a dream logic to a certain extent, and doesn't feel the need to explain it - the ambiguities between dreams/imagination vs. reality run through the film - especially in the movie theater - but I trust that Freddie, wanderer at heart, could somehow catch a boat to Europe and get to England.

So I read the final scene literally. Freddie wants some kind of closure, perhaps reconciliation (he offers to take photos and rejoin the group at first). It seems to me that he shows up hoping that Dodd will be able to shed light on how they once knew each other, as if this will explain everything for him - and perhaps the audience. Dodd, realizing in the moment that this is only way he can keep Freddie, makes a story up on the spot. Dodd's answer feels unsatisfying and anti-climactic, but in a way that feels heartbreaking and true.


Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: samsong on September 15, 2012, 05:43:59 PM
i guess how he gets there isn't as much of a hang up, though over the course of the film it's an easier pill to swallow that we find him going from department store to cabbage patch, to wandering a dock alone.  from that point on he travels exclusively with the dodds.  seeing him go from moping about to england is quite the leap but i'll roll with it.  as for dream logic, i didn't get the sense that the film really had much of that going for it, at least not until an apparition literary shows up on screen.  i'd categorize it more as being elliptical... but the last thing i want to do is argue about semantics (again).  also i probably wasn't following the passage of time throughout the film as acutely.

as for the final meeting between freddie and master, the way the scene actually plays out in full does make it seem like it's a literal event and not part of some projection.  and it did strike me as a powerful exchange but i think it lost me to the confusing lack of detail to get him to that point.  what leads up to it is so bizarre, and upon first viewing not necessarily in a good way.  hopefully it won't derail my viewing the second time around, or i'll be able to articulate my thoughts on the matter with a better informed perspective. 
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: modage on September 15, 2012, 06:10:34 PM
Quick note about the theatre scene: if you notice the editing the guy comes to bring him the phone and wakes him up, he takes the phone call and then it cuts to him asleep again. so IS IT A DREAM? funny that the same debate went on about the end of TWBB too.

Someone I saw the movie with last night was like "but why would he invite him out to England just to turn him away like that?? It doesn't make any SENSE." And I was kinda like, "you just watched THAT movie and THAT was your takeaway?" Like, of all the things to get hung up on, I'm not sure this is a movie where I'd be necessarily challenging the motivations of every scene. It makes emotional sense, I have no idea how much of it to take at face value.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: md on September 16, 2012, 12:06:54 AM
Isn't Freddie sleeping/watching a Casper the friendly ghost movie?  Could of sworn I heard Casper in the background which might explain the ghost theory that PTA referenced about PSH.  Where ever Freddie goes Dodd finds him.  Its not that hard to believe though.  Scientologists stalking people? hmmmm
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: modage on September 16, 2012, 02:03:55 AM
Yeah it's a Casper cartoon.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: samsong on September 16, 2012, 04:58:39 AM
i don't recall there being a cut in the background audio of casper when he has the supposed dream.  also when they do meet, freddie refers back to something that was said on the telephone by saying, "in my dream, you said..."

it's a huge movie sure but the climax is kind of a tough place to skate through to get to the pivotal moment.  it making emotional sense doesn't justify this jarring a lack of detail.  their final interaction is great but its poignancy was diminished for me by how jarring and confusing that theater scene was--it broke the trance the film so beautifully lulls you into.  if it simply didn't exist i certainly don't think it would be a lesser film.  if anything this is stuff i'll be paying more attention to when i see it again. 

no one's got any idea about the desert manuscript?  or even the motorcyle scene?

also mod i'm curious as to what it is you loved about it.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: 72teeth on September 16, 2012, 06:42:11 AM
what about when he's so tiny on the bench

it looks like a fuckin pete-jack shot...

was that time travel? i cant do the math, how old is he supposed to be in that scene?


i could also very accept the fact that Joaquin is that good a fuckin actor to shrink himself... he already transforms into such a boney scoundrel
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: wiped_out on September 16, 2012, 11:09:37 AM
I felt like Amy Adams was jealous of  Laura Dern's character. That scene in the bathroom with her giving a hand job to PSH, was like a warning. Also when Laura is speaking at her home you can see this seething anger on Amys face there is a shot of it...

I felt like the girl in the sand was Doris but thats me
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: matt35mm on September 16, 2012, 11:56:15 AM
http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/the-reel-breakdown/jennifer-neala-page-comes-top-her-sex-scene-170308947.html

A strangely long and detailed article about the woman in the sex scene at the end. There's nothing important here, but hey, it's another article about THE MASTER and gives a little behind-the-scenes insight.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: md on September 16, 2012, 01:32:36 PM
That's just her publicist at work.  But that last scene is remarkable in that Freddie is flipping the processing sessions into how to get pussy sessions.  I don't know why people think they ending changed dramatically. Was it not the original ending from the early leaked script?  I remember reading it and thinking it was kind of romantic and sad just like any good love story should be. 
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Pozer on September 17, 2012, 02:30:23 PM
no one's got any idea about the desert manuscript?  or even the motorcyle scene?

he believed he buried treasure from past lives to find in other lives. perhaps he was thinking the manuscript was best kept buried in case it was to be discovered in another life???

the motorcycle piece was just another excersise for freddie to move forward done with some good ol pt humor.

these are just a couple pennies from my bank.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: modage on September 17, 2012, 04:18:20 PM
I had a different read on the desert scene. We already know Dodd has been up writing all night with Freddie so if that's book 2 that he's been working on, what the hell is he digging up? What's interesting is in the following scene, you see him addressing the crowd in Phoenix AZ and Freddie's eyes are on him intently but when Dodd mentions the secret is laughter (which seems like something he came up with when Freddie farted, and said it's good to laugh) you can see Freddie kinda break his gaze and look off to the side, like he's realizing something. Perhaps that the buried manuscript doesn't contain all this wisdom because Dodd is making this shit up as he goes along. But ironically when ol' Kevin J. O'Conner calls Dodd's new book out for being a piece of shit, Freddie freaks out on him. It's like he WANTS to believe in something and even if he has his doubts, he still doesn't want to hear them expressed by someone else, especially not someone with a face as punchable as O'Conner's.

One of the things that's hardest to track in the film is at what points Freddie seems to be "a believer" and when he's disillusioned with The Cause cause he seems to bounce back and forth a few times without there ever being clear motivations as to why.

Believe in the script the England stuff is supposed to be a few years later, so can we assume he rides off on his motorcycle and goes more or less directly to Doris's place in Massachusetts? Or do we think that that takes place year(s) later too. Cause even though it's not explicit in the film, pretty sure that the England stuff is a few years later. Mary Sue isn't preggers anymore and how creepy is it that Val, always the skeptic, is now seemingly rolling with the program.

I'm also now 90% sure that the phone call is a dream but the last sequences in England are not. It seems like they're treating him like this because he has just shown up out of the blue because he dreamed this phone call. The only thing that would point towards this not being the case is: how did he know Dodd was in England in the first place then? And when he tells Dodd he dreamed that he knew where they first met Dodd doesn't argue with him and seems to go along with it making up some BS about Prussian forces.

But holy shit you guys. Joaquin. In This Movie. ESPECIALLY in the last sequences where he's even thinner and just looks hollowed out, fragile, a shell. A broken man. It's so fucking sad.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Ghostboy on September 17, 2012, 05:04:57 PM
I went back and read the script after my second viewing of the movie. It's fairly close to the finished film, moreso than I remembered.

A few things in that draft that maybe sorta kinda shed light on some questions:

They talk about how he's already written Book 2, but everyone who read it died or went insane. So he's been trying to rewrite it in a way that people can understand. What they go to dig up (in the script it's buried under Dodd's house and the government is trying to find it) is presumably the original incindiary text.

The movie theater scene is noted as a dream sequence (and also specifies the Casper cartoon). There are other dream sequences on the page, including one during the speech in Phoenix where Freddie cuts Master's head off.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: JG on September 17, 2012, 05:49:18 PM
my girlfriend did the same. while i think its definitely interesting to read the script after the fact (i was glad i forgot things that ended up in the film) i'm not sure what it says about the film. pt's obfuscating certain elements and plot points that could have been made clearer - sometimes its feels purposeful, and part of creating a distinct narrative voice, but at other points it seems like its just trying to be under three hours.

does the "manuscript" scene skate by on its atmosphere alone? there's a moment that feels important toward the end of the scene when hoffman takes a moment to pause and consider his surroundings, but beyond that i'm hard pressed to figure out why its there. if they are going to cut out everything else that has to do the manuscript, then why is that the scene that remains?

its really a small criticism overall, but part of me wishes the movie just let itself be three hours or longer. in a lot of ways it feels like a mid-20th century american novel, both in its structure and in its hyper-masculinity. but the philip roth and pynchon it seems to be invoking are marked by a total freedom - they can go anywhere at any moment, and they often do. after its first hour, the master loses its shaggy charm.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: modage on September 17, 2012, 08:57:31 PM
I thought Hoffman taking a moment to adjust to his surroundings was just more of his bullshit showmanship like he expected someone to pop out of the wilderness to try to steal it. All part of the act.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Drenk on September 18, 2012, 01:46:25 PM
I didn't see The Master, but I read the script. And I wanted to know if the last scene from the script (the one with the woman) was in the movie. I thought it was a fucking good ending, and I don't want to wait for it if it's not in the movie.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: modage on September 18, 2012, 02:27:59 PM
Yep.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: ©brad on September 19, 2012, 11:23:32 AM
The man has taken his biggest leap forward yet with this one. I keep imaging Tarantino watching this thinking "fuuuuuuuuck." PTA is simply operating at a different level than his peers. In fact his actual peers are all dead. I asked Mod on instant message right before I saw it something like "what am I in for? Is it what we expect?" He said hell no and he was definitely right. I think this is his most successful film by far.

The film just washed over me like a "hazy fever dream" as somebody else put it. It was angry, it was drunk, it was dark, it was hilarious (HILARIOUS), it was brutal, it was dreamy/hazy, it was beautiful, it was endearing, it was a concoction of feelings...it's a film that needs to be viewed so many times. It is EASILY PTA's most DENSE work to date. EASILY. This one is for the analysts, for the intuitionist...the scenes are so thick. Some of the greatest sequences ever put on film. THIS IS A FUCKING EXPERIENCE.

This really sums it up best. The entire theater I was in stumbled out of this in some hypnotic stupor almost drooling. Forgive the clunky and obvious metaphor but finishing this movie really feels like awaking from a dream and trying to piece it together. I kept asking my friends "that happened right?" We all seemed to remember different scenes that stood out. Samsong you make some good points but I wasn't really bothered with the "how" of the 3rd act. I think "why" is the more pertinent question, which for me you nailed here:

thinking about it now though, lancaster and peggy aren't exactly thrilled or sure of the prodigal son's return, but i wonder if that has to do with freddie's self actualization (peggy storming off saying he doesn't want to be helped, a reflection of freddie's actual state of mind.  whether he's beyond help and insane, or the process is a fallacy, he no longer wants to be helped, at least by them), and that the scene essentially ends with the master absolving him gives closure to freddie's struggle against himself.  he's free to be the animal he is.  that the master's last gesture is to serenade him recalls the first processing scene where freddie's gateway into opening up is remembering doris singing to him.  i would totally buy that hearing about doris's life without him is a form of catharsis for him, and the first thing he does when he emancipates himself from the master is goes to a bar and finally gets laid.  it's a dubious triumph but it, for me, is like the end of raging bull.  he's come to terms with himself.


I think we're all struggling to sustain conversation because this movie really is hard to define, and we're not used to that. It mimics the paralyzing feeling you get after Kubrick or Von Trier, and like them it demands repeat viewings.

And now for some randoms:

- Good god how about Freddie and that wall/window sequence! I can't wait to see this again just for that.
- I understand why Phoenix is getting more attention as he has the showy performance but I think PSH is the standout here. I kept thinking of how JB always marvels at how he's able to create unique human beings with each character he plays. He brings just the right charisma and showmanship paired with some car salesman sleaze that is so perfect. I think it's his best performance yet.
- I felt like this borrowed more from Boogie Nights than CWBB. A loner in need of family.
- The score was much more subdued than in CWBB. Not a criticism, just surprised me.
- I genuinely have no idea what or where the motorcycle scene came from. Any theories?

And I just realized what I assume was an obvious parallel between Freddie making a concoction that he completely improvises each time yet people seem to drink it and enjoy it and come back for more and The Cause.

I love this!
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Ulivija on September 20, 2012, 12:48:06 AM
A question for folks who've seen the film: is The Master dedicated to someone in the closing credits? Punch-Drunk Love was dedicated to Ted Demme, There Will Be Blood to Robert Altman. Thanks!
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: RegularKarate on September 20, 2012, 10:32:50 AM
A question for folks who've seen the film: is The Master dedicated to someone in the closing credits? Punch-Drunk Love was dedicated to Ted Demme, There Will Be Blood to Robert Altman. Thanks!

I feel like it was dedicated to his lady and kids and some other people, but I can't remember.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Ulivija on September 20, 2012, 05:45:42 PM
I feel like it was dedicated to his lady and kids and some other people, but I can't remember.
[/quote]

Thanks a lot for the reply. Boogie Nights and Magnolia were dedicated to PTA's father, so it's cool that he's dedicating movies to his family again. I can't wait to see The Master!
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: modage on September 20, 2012, 06:20:54 PM
THANK YOU MAYA, UNCLE PAUL, JOJO, AMANDA, GORDY, ROMAN, FRANCESCA & PEARL
WELCOME TO THIS LIFE
LUCILLE ANDERSON, JACK ANDERSON, OLIVIA SOMNER, REAGAN LASKO, HARRY COLMAN STEWART & EVELYN WALSH
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Ulivija on September 21, 2012, 12:03:39 PM
What terrible coincidence that PTA's former girlfriend gets arrested at the same time as The Master is opening in the US:

http://music.yahoo.com/news/fiona-apple-arrested-hashish-west-texas-180118912.html

Fiona Apple was inspiration for Magnolia, maybe she was also inspiration for Freddie? At the end of the article below, they say PTA might have gotten the idea for "Slow Boat to China" from Fiona?

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2012/09/19/the_master_and_scientology_just_how_much_of_lancaster_dodd_comes_from_l_ron_hubbard_.html
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Ulivija on September 21, 2012, 01:42:55 PM
Dana Stevens reconsiders The Master:

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/movies/2012/09/paul_thomas_anderson_s_the_master_reviewed_again_.html
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Tictacbk on September 21, 2012, 10:03:18 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/ZFYiD.jpg)
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Pozer on September 21, 2012, 11:12:43 PM
Dana Stevens reconsiders The Master:

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/movies/2012/09/paul_thomas_anderson_s_the_master_reviewed_again_.html

calling that ebert will reconsider it as well. these critics were smacked in the face with this film they didn't know what to do. this chick and ol eebs should have taken my advice and tossed back a few after their first viewing and scribbled down their reviews with a clumsy hand.

god i need to get to this beast again this weekend
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: classical gas on September 22, 2012, 12:15:59 AM
I don't know if this has been brought up, but I saw some similarities to the end of TWBB with Plainview telling adult HW that he had used him and he no longer needed him, and with Dodd pretty much telling Freddie that he never wanted to see him again (in England).  Because Dodd, it seems, had simply used Freddie because he knew that he could, with Freddie being an unstable drifter who drank and he could show everyone how devoted this guy was to him.  But I think he wanted to use him also to almost psychoanalyze him and see what worked on certain people in order to get them to believe what he wanted them to believe.  He did tell Freddie near the beginning that he would be his apprentice and 'guinea pig', because Freddie was the type of person Dodd was after.  And apparently whatever he gathered from his time with Freddie worked out because he was successful at the end.  But he no longer needed Freddie, if he were going to betray him and go off on his own, just as Plainview thought HW had betrayed him by going into business himself.  So I thought this was showing two men (Plainview and Dodd) at the very beginnings of success, using these two people (HW and Freddie) and then basically throwing them out of their lives when they had both achieved their success.  I probably could have explained that better, but I just got back a couple of hours ago from seeing the film.

And if the movie theater and the phone call were a dream, then why did Dodd seem so pleased (and not surprised) that Freddie had brought him those Kool cigarettes?
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: polkablues on September 22, 2012, 12:46:15 AM
PSH's delivery of "If you leave, I never want to see you again. Or... you could stay...?" was the moment that made me decide he deserves the Oscar over Joaquin. Of all the things you can say about this movie, preeminent is that it brought film acting to another level. Fifty years from now, there will be entire acting classes devoted to JP and PSH's performances in this film.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Reelist on September 22, 2012, 10:24:20 AM
you are right about it causing enlightenment Pubrick

oh no, it's starting again. P didn't say that about this film ( but in his heart he knows its true ), he made a joke that 'The Tree of Life' would do that. And based on how this film affected me upon leaving the theater, and still now, I have deduced that is what it will cause. But maybe that's just because PTA is my Messiah and I've been to the promised land. It's also convenient that the sentence has the words CAUSE, MASS ( as in Master ) and a reference to spiritual liberation in it.


you guys have some great things to say about this film, why am I surprised? Gonna be camping out in this thread for awhile.



This is really obvious, but I thought for awhile about the significance of the name 'Dodd' and last night I realized it was right in front of my face all along.

DODD-DAD



Quell (definition) - to suppress; put an end to; extinguish





Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: malkovich on September 22, 2012, 11:19:24 AM
This might be a little rambling, but I haven't been able to stop thinking about this all night. As I reread it, some of it kind of interpolates a lot of what you guys have been saying.

I think Dodd's line in the jail cell when he tells Freddie that he's the only one who likes him is really interesting, especially in Freddie's addled denial of it. Dodd is right, in a way, because Freddie is a character who is incapable of fitting into anything. He fucks up every job he gets, and even in the Navy the only way he was really able to relate to the other men was in wanting to get drunk and laid, very base, animal instincts. But Freddie doesn't buy that, thinking fuck this guy and his made up shit, as Freddie has it in his delusional, dysfunctional head that Doris is home waiting for him. His girl. The one he talks about marrying. They're the only two people he feels a real connection to throughout the film. That's important.

But I think the scene in the movie theater is the MOST important part of the film. It definitely lends itself to the dream logic of the film, implying a connection to Dodd. There are several surreal (drunken?) touches throughout the film, like the naked musical number and Amy Adams' eyes turning black. Maybe the idea of him dreaming the phone call put off some viewers (?) but I don't see how people could think it wasn't a dream. It even cuts to him still asleep in the chair afterwards, and it's arguably the film's most meaningful and profoundly sad moment. Think about it: the last The Cause sees of Freddie is him speeding away on a motorcycle ditching them in the middle of the desert. He's proven to be consistently unreliable and unpredictable and, to everyone else but Dodd, detrimental to the group. As far as the members of The Cause are concerned, it's good riddance. No one likes him but Dodd. So who's the first person Freddie tries to see? Doris, the other person who likes him! Loves him, even! Who's been waiting for him to come back to her! Of course, only to realize that it's been seven years since he told her he'd come back, and she's understandably moved on. And now he has no one.

Except Dodd. And we find Freddie alone, asleep in a movie theater, watching a Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoon. How serendipitous is it that he magically gets a call from his Master, inviting him to come back, as he knows how to cure Freddie now, and he remembers where they met, and to bring a pack of the cigarettes they bonded over following the initial, intense processing. He needs him to bring him some Kools. Even without the cutting to him still asleep afterwards, it's clear that this isn't actually happening. Freddie himself is surprised that he "found" him. These are all the things Freddie wants to hear Dodd say to him. He so badly wants a reason to go back to his Master. And the last thing heard in that scene is the cartoon, as a character says something very close to, if not exactly, "Remember, Casper, a captain never leaves his ship!" Cut to the haunting image of the blue water once again as Freddie heads overseas. I missed the impact of it at the time, but the more I thought about it, it was devastating.

The time skip here works differently than it does in TWBB, even though in a way they are very similar. Look at Freddie's trip to England from the point of view of The Cause: here's this incredibly mixed up, volatile figure from what seems to their distant past, as enough time has past for Peggy to have her baby and for The Cause to have become rather successful, this unstable alcoholic whose relationship with them didn't really end all that peacefully. He shows up out of the blue (literally) looking sick and unhealthy and awful. Who knows what his motives are? Who knows what he's going to do? They have to welcome him, lest his intentions be of a more violent nature. Val welcomes him with open arms. Lancaster accepts what to him is simply a nice gesture in the cigarettes, whereas Freddie believes he's fulfilled a specific request. Peggy is cold to him, of course, because she sees no use for him. To her, he made up his mind by leaving. Like she says, it isn't fashion. He clearly doesn't want to get better. Fuck him. She leaves. Then it's just them two.

It really is a movie about a Man and his Dog. Back in the desert, PSH tells him to pick a point and go as fast as he can towards it, like an owner taking off the leash and telling his troubled mutt to get. There's no pleasure in Freddie's face as he rides away, unlike Dodd who was having a blast. As he speeds up, Dodd acknowledges it and follows it by saying "Good boy." Note, he never tells him to come back. I think he was hoping Freddie would leave for good, which goes back to, what I think is, the definitive line in the film at the end when he asks Freddie to let them know of "the day you can live without serving a Master." Freddie just wants reconciliation, and Lancaster recognizes how unhealthy and utterly futile it is. But at the same time, Dodd's "Or... you could stay...?" shows that his need is almost as desperate, if not as desperate, as Freddie's. The push and pull dynamic of this relationship is complex and hard to fully comprehend, but the emotion behind it is raw and you can most certainly feel it, which is an astonishing feat on PTA's part. What is it all ultimately saying? I'm still not sure. It's a very dichotomous film, and I think it's much more coherent than people are giving it credit for. You just have to submit to it on its terms and not your own. It definitely seems to be making a point about everyone being in servitude towards something, whether it's a partner or a vice. But it doesn't really condemn it. The last shot is mystifying in itself. I don't know, exactly. I definitely want to see it again, as the subtext of the scenes proves to be crucial, and its disjointed narrative can make it hard to recall the exact progression of events. And this is just all from a storytelling standpoint. The filmmaking and acting is immaculate. The film as a whole is just mind blowing and deeply affecting, even if you aren't totally sure of why it's affecting you. There's no way any other film will top it this year.

edit: some grammatical/clarity errors.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: socketlevel on September 22, 2012, 03:30:32 PM
BTW: I laughed when he says he is a nuclear physicist. no you ain't. that is high science. makes his character funny

And that was so L. Ron Hubbard as well, he would just create degrees and service records that pretty much mirrored all his failures in life. As a kind of denial, yet astounding charisma would often fill in the cracks.

On this note I really liked the scene when Laura Dern comes up to him and asks for explanation on why he changed  the wording for the processing. on one side you see Dern's character is a nagging religious bottom liner, like oh so many fanboys/girls of whatever subject it might be. yet on the other hand you can see she is really conflicted with this change in their religion and doesn't like the idea of revision, because she has built so much of her own understanding, contentment, and happiness on the principles. it's almost like Jesus is shaking the proverbial table underneath the house of cards that is her faith/sanity.

on the other hand Hoffman is great as well, just utterly annoyed. you get a sense that he must get this a lot. he seems tired of providing the answers, especially when someone nitpicks on every "i" and "t".

but what this scene really does more than anything, once you get past the humour of both of their irritations, is show how she's totally right on calling him on his shit. L. Ron Hubbard was quoted two months before dyanetics and his self help movement became a religion as saying that "real money is in religion." he said this as a response to an interviewer asking him if he made a lot of money off of his science fiction novels and self help books. it's clear that hubbard saying this is referring to the tax breaks that his self help material received the moment that it became a religion.

to me this scene is that moment, Dern is asking him "why is it now imagine? when it used to be recall. it implies that the past lives aren't concrete." Dodd does a bad job toting the party line telling her that the new phraseology is to help unlock the mind faster than previously. but yet she persists that it changes the meaning entirely. he knows she's right, and attacks her for it. I like how the film showed these moments when people wake up out of the brainwash, much like the older rich woman earlier in the film.

I'm quite sure the true reason why dodd changed the phraseology is because it would reach a wider group of people. words like "imagine" are much more palletable than "recall." 'Past life' is a big stretch when you're looking for parishioners, and ultimately their capital. when you change words like this, to make it safer and bizarrely more esoteric, its all to escape strange specifics. Specifics that keep you from growing as a religion and thus hinder profitability. but you risk one issue that might cause blowback. every once and a while you'll get someone that really knows the material and grill you on the truth, so you just got to scream at them to put them back in place.

brilliant scene. among many.

maybe a tragic part of the film, is that Dodd does help people, his techniques work, but they work too well.

well said, and why it's the most beautiful and dangerous thing. some people just want focus in their lives, and maybe the focus means more to them than free will.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Cloudy on September 22, 2012, 07:49:51 PM
Building off of MrBurger/Socket's concept of Master's practices working on people initially and later being tainted, I think we should look at the motif of the three distinct shots of the (fucking beautiful) treading water as a lens to further investigate this:

The first shot of the wake is still, no tilt up. (FIRST SHOT OF FILM, before Master)
The second shot of the wake tilts up all the way to the horizon and stays there. (AFTER FIRST PROCESSING WITH FREDDIE, on Alethia)
The third shot begins to tilt up and then gets cut off before reaching the horizon. (AFTER PROCESSING WITH FREDDIE after prison sequence/window to wall--roughly in that general sequence of the film I believe)

This motif is placed specifically at these particular moments of the film. I'm wondering what this actually has to do with Master's trajectory throughout film. If Master's untainted practice works initially, this motif would make sense for Freddie's freedom. Master relatively sets Freddie free for a point of time in the film, after that first intense processing sequence with no blinking. Freddie feels loved, even though he outbursts, he feels free--temporarily coming to terms with his emotions. Then once Freddie somewhat goes off the leash too far--"FUCK YOU, FUCK YOU!", "I'M THE ONLY ONE WHO LIKES YOU!", "FUCK YOU!"--Master stagnates his growth for the sake of not losing him; almost creating an addiction, the aim of any "successful" business. This particular part of the film--the third act--Freddie is attempted to be "quelled".

This is just an idea, but I definitely think those three different shots of the wake should definitely be put under the magnifying glass.

It kind of reminds me of the motif in TWBB where Daniel is digging for silver/burying Henry where the repeated overture is played.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Kellen on September 22, 2012, 08:57:37 PM
OK guys I just got back home from the Alamo Drafthouse in Kansas City;  I didn't think our local theater where I was living (3 hours away) would get the flick (it did).  It was my first experience at a Alamo theater and holy shit it was awesome. When we walked in the theater and took our seats they were showing a documentary we had no idea what it was at first and then we realized it was footage off Hubbard.  I believe it was this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQEbmYf6zsQ



The film is still fresh in my mind and I'm not really sure what I want to type right now so I'll probably just read through this thread and come back.  First impression though is I think this might be my second favorite PTA film possibly could jump ahead of CMBB with some more viewings.  I do want to ask what was your guys theater crowd like? The reason I ask because I found parts of the film to be pretty funny and was laughing quite a bit (which I wasn't expecting) but the other moviegoers were dead silent especially during the PIGFUCK line.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: The Ultimate Badass on September 22, 2012, 11:16:42 PM
During the final scene between Freddy and Lancaster set inside Dodd's office at his school in England, there is a small statue on Dodd's desk of a sailor behind a ship's wheel. I thought it looked a very much like the Man at the Wheel Cenotaph in Gloucester, MA -- a fishing village not far from Freddy'd hometown of Lynn, MA. It's a memorial dedicated to all those lost at sea:
(http://i.imgur.com/uSSai.jpg)

Is this the same statue? I'll have to look more carefully when I see it again to be sure. If so this may be clear evidence that PTA actually has embedded some hidden Kubrickian subtext, as many suspect.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Reelist on September 23, 2012, 12:39:54 AM
does anyone know wtf Freddie says after Peggy sue disses him and then bounces?
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: polkablues on September 23, 2012, 01:04:29 AM
If I remember right, it was something along the lines of, "She's softened up."
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Kellen on September 23, 2012, 10:58:26 AM
I forgot to ask when I was on yesterday but did it explain why Freddie was with the 16 year old girl Doris?  I missed part of that scene because I went to the bathroom.


Also, When id it became cool to call every single movie that is released "pretentious"..
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Brando on September 23, 2012, 11:21:36 AM

I saw The Master last night. I had to drive an hour and half for a 10:30 showing.  I didn't get home until after 2 am last night. It's similar to how I saw CMBB.  I didn't think CMBB was playing anywhere near me but just did a random search at the last moment and found out there was a midnight showing about 40 minutes away.  I didn't get home until after 3 am for that one.

I didn't have the same reactions to the films though. The Master didn't work for me.  I didn't like it. There were some great things about the film but didn't think it worked as a whole. It was a very beautiful film to watch. The cinematography was fantastic. Interested to see the Elswit vs Malaimare debate. The reoccurring image of the wake was really powerful. I went in completely fascinated with Joaquin Phoenix's performance from what I saw in the trailers. While both give great performances, I left the film thinking Phillip Seymour Hoffman gave the more solid performance. There were some unbelievable scenes. The best of any PTA film.  I was memorized and couldn't blink during the don't blink or we start over scene.  The final scene between Freddie and Dodd was great. The movie would get really good followed by a fantastic scene but then I felt it would recede.

In the end, it felt lacking in a lot of ways. I agree a lot with the Ebert review. I'm hoping if I give it some time and revisit the film again in the future it'll click for me cause I want to love this film. It sucks when you're excited for a film that doesn't turn out how you hoped or you're the only one that doesn't see the greatness of a film that everyone else sees.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Brando on September 23, 2012, 11:43:51 AM
I forgot to ask when I was on yesterday but did it explain why Freddie was with the 16 year old girl Doris?  I missed part of that scene because I went to the bathroom.


If I recall it correctly, they didn't mention how the two got together. Freddie didn't know who old she was and was shocked by how young she was. I got the impression the two hooked up in one of Freddie's drunken binges right before he left for war or she was just some girl from the neighborhood Freddie knew casually.





Also, When id it became cool to call every single movie that is released "pretentious"..

After my second viewing of Tree of Life, I left the theater and there were three teenagers standing right outside the door. Two boys with a girl. The girl was literally laughing uncontrollably.  So much so she was bent over holding her side.  It didnt  come across as she was doing this for dramatic effect but seemed to be an honest reaction to the film she just saw when she said, "That was the most pretentious shit I've ever seen." And she was right.  Tree of Life is one of the most pretentious self involved films ever but I still think it's one of the best films I've seen in a very long time. Sorry, but wanted to share that story.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on September 24, 2012, 01:03:26 AM
Starting now, for every plot hole complaint that appears this thread, I will euthanize a kitten. Samsong and Tictacbk, that means you. (I'm including Tictacbk preemptively.) The Master is like swiss cheese, and that's part of its beauty. It has gaps everywhere: gaps in time, gaps in space, gaps in logic. The rug-pulling that the trailers do is an obvious extension of that.

Anyway, if people really need to know how Freddie got to England and found Dodd... there were ways to England in the 1950s, and The Cause wouldn't have been difficult to look up.

I love the way Freddie fights. It's so bizarre and comical, like he's messing with people and shuffling them around. Instead of throwing punches, he sort of pulls and wrestles and tangles with them clumsily. Like he just wants to play. As for the scenes where Freddie beats people up in defense of The Cause, I think he's just being tribal. It's his family/tribe they're insulting, and he reacts like a primate.

What's really fascinating right now is all the business concerning things that didn't happen or might not have happened, i.e. the "imagine" vs. "recall" question. This must be one of our big opportunities for interpretation. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that during Freddie's first processing, it was clear that at least some of the flashbacks to scenes with Doris had NOT actually happened, that half-remembered or complete fantasy bits were materializing in his mind. That's my position until a repeated viewing or until someone can convince me otherwise. Those fragments reminded me so much of Inland Empire's "reliving" scenes.

@ Brando & Kellen - Beyond what I've said above, I really doubt they "hooked up in one of Freddie's drunken binges," because the film (or I suppose Freddie's memory) purposefully describes Doris outside of that world; instead she is sort of encased in this gauzy adolescent memory place, before things went wrong.

Also, I'm not sure there's anything in the film to suggest Freddie had quite so many "problems" before the war. In fact it's surprising that PTSD has not yet come up in this thread, because that really popped out for me. It's even the thing that frames the entire movie in the full-length trailer: "There will be people on the outside who will not understand the condition you men have." Most of Freddie's "drifterness" involves his ineptitude at readjusting to civilian life, as each job ends in conflict and combustion. That and his seeming lack of mission are endemic of veterans with PTSD. Which, by the way, seems like a very special thing for Dodd to have in his gallery of curable ailments.

After the film, I was tempted to conclude that this is simply Freddie's nature, that "processing" can't cure his animalness, etc. But it seems that The Cause is correct, in a way; Freddie has a real ailment (PTSD) and can probably benefit from treatment. The Cause helped him a bit, at least temporarily, but I think regular therapy would have done at least as well. Which is a fairly major indictment of The Cause.

But as indictments of cults go, it wasn't as harsh as most of us expected. There's obviously something else going on. It's not a bleak picture of brainwashing and servitude; that's been done before. Instead, we get a view of a cult in its foreboding infancy. They're still refining their ideas. They are somewhat undisciplined and inconsistent. But we see all the makings of a cult, from Dodd's creepy nickname to Peggy's paranoid vigilance concerning outsiders, which begins to spread. So I actually do think it was sufficiently ominous. I also loved how I was so charmed by Dodd during the movie, and then it starts to sink in: oh, right, maybe he is a charlatan, and I guess I'm really not sure he believes everything he's saying.

I totally agree about PSH outperforming JP. I loved them both, but PSH has layers upon layers, and, as cbrad mentioned, this is yet again by some miraculous defiance of physics unlike anything he's ever done before. I can't do justice to either performance, so I'll just stop trying to describe them.

One of my favorite parts of the movie, for whatever reason, was the scene where Peggy is off on one of her composed rants while Dodd is typing away. It felt like one of the coked-out scenes from Boogie Nights. The camera movements were even similar.

It's striking how sparse the exposition is. For example, all we needed from Jesse Plemons was one line of dialogue and a few conservatively-distributed mopey looks.

Peggy also gets a lot done with relatively little screen time. I absolutely loved that character, and Amy Adams's performance. I know it will get richer with each subsequent viewing, as will the subtle but crazy sexual and power dynamic between the three characters.

In fact, "subtle but crazy" is a pretty good way to describe this film.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: socketlevel on September 24, 2012, 01:56:49 AM
Not sure if it's been posted before but check this out:

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/07/scientology_the_master_script.php

The only thing i missed was the mention of squirrels, that was previously in the script, and somehow didn't make it into the film. The "split saber" scene was great because of the OT3 connections. I'm going to see this film again, i feel like i've forgotten so many great moments already.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: samsong on September 24, 2012, 03:24:24 AM
but what about the manuscript?

really though, "knotty" seems to be the word of choice when describing this movie and i found it to be beguilingly so.  it's brilliantly elliptical  and it achieves that because there's nothing to question leading up to when they go to arizona.  the film goes along on its own terms and i'm a pig in shit to be watching it.  it really is kind of immaculate.  lean, economic storytelling that is genuinely effective.  this ends when they go to get the manuscript, and my feeling was that the exclusion of expository details for a lot of what occurs from that point on is a bit overambitious, even feeling rushed/truncated.  the gaps in plot points stopped contributing to the poetry of the movie and caused me to wonder what the fuck was going on.

at this point i think my main gripe is that dream sequence in the theater.  it struck me then and now as being jarring, unnecessary, even regressive.  wish fulfillment and a reflection of his loneliness and longing to belong are fair arguments for its existence but it's so brief and seemingly mundane that it doesn't really illicit any of those thoughts without it just being an act of good faith towards pta.  then there's what dodd says to him in the phone call.  it's pertinent information to setting up the next scene.  but it's a dream.  what other conclusion can you draw from that than that frankie learned that dodd and the cause were in england in a dream, acted on what he learned in said dream, and happened to be right?  it's a dumb, lazy misstep to me.  it all would be fine if there was a moment where we see frankie learning about the cause's whereabouts from a reliable source.

no one's really addressed the specific scenes i brought up as cause to my lukewarmness towards the third act without giving it the "it just works/feels right" pass.  mod, you said something about your incredulousness towards someone you saw it with as to how that person could leave that movie hung up on a plot point.  but i think it's indicative of how the film goes from being engagingly mysterious to plain old confusing.

anyway, seeing it again tomorrow.  we'll see how that goes.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Ravi on September 24, 2012, 03:37:12 AM
Random thoughts after a second viewing:

-Freddie and Lancaster are both at home on a boat out to see. Ironically they're more adrift on land. Freddie causes trouble, and Lancaster can't write because he's constantly defending himself from attacks (basic questioning of his "philosophy.")

The desert scenes are a stark contrast to the boat/water scenes. It could be about Freddie and Lancaster trying to expand outside their comfort zones. They're grappling with the idea of being on land by speeding across it, as if they're trying to subjugate it or show that it doesn't scare them.

-Everything Lancaster says is subtly or overtly self-aggrandizing. Even on his daughter's wedding day his big speech was more to draw attention to himself. The wedding is just a celebration for The Cause.

-Freddie and Lancaster are two sides of the same coin. Both are concerned with themselves, though in different ways. Freddie is looking for a place to be a part of, and he's battling with his urges to get high, fight, and get off, just to feel some extreme feeling. Lancaster is working to build a bigger movement around his cult of followers, who worship him. He can't handle it when John More pointedly questions his ideas, and when Laura Dern points out that his use of "imagine" vs. "recall" is a major change, he snaps at her. Both can be charismatic when they need to be, and can lose their tempers. Their similarity is why they connect, but also why their relationship is tumultuous. Who wouldn't have issues when looking into the mirror? Freddie even has a moment of leadership when he gets Clark to come with him to attack John More.

-When movies tell you everything about the plot and characters and neatly wrap it up in the end, it often feels like this characters only exist for the time that we're seeing. But the "Swiss cheese" nature of the film, as Jeremy Blackman put it, gives the sense that these characters live outside of what we're shown in the movie. The end of the film is simply the end of what we see of the characters. We don't need everything explained and justified to us.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on September 24, 2012, 11:38:41 AM
When movies tell you everything about the plot and characters and neatly wrap it up in the end, it often feels like this characters only exist for the time that we're seeing. But the "Swiss cheese" nature of the film, as Jeremy Blackman put it, gives the sense that these characters live outside of what we're shown in the movie. The end of the film is simply the end of what we see of the characters. We don't need everything explained and justified to us.

I love this point of view. We can think of it like the opposite of an ultra-serialized TV show like Breaking Bad, which shows us everything, traps us in its world, and is so powerful for it, but at the same time lacks mystery, does not demand a workload of interpretation in the same way, and doesn't set its hook in your brain or get under your skin in the same way. The Master really got under my skin, because it embraces the limitations of film. I think PTA tried doing that with CMBB (which worked in its way), but he does it here more effectively. And it's exactly what you're talking about.

The way it leaves those gaps sort of reminds me of Full Metal Jacket, but I guess that's a more extreme and less subtle example.

Samsong - the first kitten has been executed.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on September 24, 2012, 12:24:11 PM
A really strange parallel just occurred to me: Dodd serenading Freddie with "I'd Like to Get You on a Slow Boat to China" & Freddie's "Gone to China" message from one of the trailers.

On the surface it seems like Freddie should be writing that message on some bulletin board in the Master's school as he leaves at the end. But that's not the case — he's dressed in a sailor suit and is obviously younger. Which on its own makes absolutely no sense. It only makes sense as a figurative (and almost Lynchian) connection to Dodd's serenade. Sort of an answer to it... like he's gone to China by himself, not on a slow boat, and not with Dodd.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Tictacbk on September 24, 2012, 04:47:01 PM
I will not responsible for any Kitten Deaths (not in this thread anyways).

I hate swiss cheese, but boy do I like this film. 

I like when a film (or tv show for that matter) embraces gaps in time.  When you have a writer like PTA who writes his characters so well, you are given a set of tools, so to speak, to understand the character and he actions and the road he's going down.  A gap in time/space forces you to consider everything you know about who the character is, where he was, and where he is now and apply all those tools the writer gave you.  In the end I think you end up with a much better understanding of the character because you've sort of put yourself in his/her place mentally.  I think that has something to do with why The Master, like it or not, really sticks with you.

One of the reasons I'm sometimes so harsh on Breaking Bad (which I'm assuming is why JB threatened kittens lives in this thread), is because it never allows this process to take place.  There are no gaps to fill in.  We have been with Walt every single step of the way in his process of Breaking Bad.  Pretty much every single minute of it.  It doesn't have the gaps (I refuse to call them holes), and that weight of time passing that really allows characters to develop, and viewers to understand them.  Its interesting though, because when I think about it, I do understand the characters in Breaking Bad. I know Walt like he's my Dad. I just have trouble buying some of what happens to him because it has happened in such a short amount of time, and I'm acutely aware of that because there are so rarely those gaps in time.  But that, perhaps, is a post for another thread.

I'm off to see The Master again.  I have more to say about it that doesn't have to do with gaps, but I'm holding off until a second viewing.  But really, who cares how he figured out Dodd was in England?  Does it matter how Eli found Daniel at the end of CMBB?
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: samsong on September 24, 2012, 05:15:26 PM
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MANUSCRIPT?!
AND THE DREAM?!
THE MOTORCYCLES?!?!

doing my part to control animal overpopulation.  to add to this, i too will start murdering baby sloths by scoring the skin on their heads and peeling them like a banana and leaving them to bleed out for every time someone refers to peggy as mary sue or whatever the fuck her name was in the script.

i'd like to clarify here that it isn't a lack of a neatly packaged ending that is bothering me, it's that a lot just didn't make much sense to me in the third act.  how we get to the climax was unsatisfying to me, and not for lack of compelling rising action or, i don't know, awesome shit.  my first viewing left me with the feeling that the last scene between dodd and frankie hadn't quite been earned.  i liked the way the film ended but much of its potency was usurped by what i'm now starting to believe is shoddy storytelling. 

i'd like to give due credit however to the scene where freddie goes back to doris's house.  it's genius.  also the shot of the model in the department store set to get thee behind me satan is as swoon worthy as anything pt has done.  full ophuls mode there.

as far as getting the sense of characters transcending the scope of the film goes, no one has or will ever do that better than cassavetes, and this is certainly not on that level guys.  (just picking a fight at this point.)

Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Neil on September 24, 2012, 06:03:52 PM
So, here's my incoherent thoughts on my first viewing.  Wow. What a cinematic treat.  The movie is so god damned organic in its approach that I experienced things with lights and sound that have never hit me before while watching a film in a theater.  This doesn't mean conventional though.  I believe it's organic in a completely different way than say, the Tree of Life, which I would also use that word for.

what i mean by this is, TOL used this idea of taking bare bones situations and using them to explore deep concepts organically, yet it wants to shut out any light that surrealism is trying to shine through. the most surreal shit in TOL comes from the formation of the universe. Nearly Every moment in the film (TOL), i knew what Malick was trying to do or what emotional aspect of youth and father son relationships he was trying to portray.  He did so in a minimalist way(not aesthetically speaking) and also the way he used certain sequences despite the context never really being explained and how it related to Penn and the world he lives in now, which is radically different than the one he and his father grew up in.

Moving on from tree of life, I believe the master is organic in that it takes its time and lets time and events within a time span play out but it isn't doing it for the sake of any other reason, than the appreciation PTA has for his environment and the characters.  This is to say that he's saying a lot and taking his time to do it, which is how life is in a lot of cases.

The reason that I feel the organic nature of the film plays out so well is that he embraces the surrealism and absurdity of life, unlike TOL, and intermingles chaos with the natural order of things.  That's why the surreal aspects of the film are so rich because their not aggrandizing. they just occur and it's just as weird as the earthly things that freddy or dodd or any of the characters live through.

This film is about beasts, and how our instincts are mans original master.  Not only this, but it's about how we've fought those instincts so hard for so long that we've created a dichotomy between the savage beast and the civilized rational man, and also how putting the civilized rational man up on a pedestal makes that your master, which is what dodd showcases with his outbursts.

Look at how Quell's posture is throughout the film.  He's hunched over like an early primate. While Dodd's posture is always looking down on freddy standing tall on his mountain of reason and spirit, perched high.  When we're introduced to Dodd, he looks like royalty.

I've been racking my brain about what the significance is of showing the back of the boat in three separate shots and I agree they need put under a microscope.

One huge question that really confused me in the film is, What do you think the significance is of showing all the soldiers heading in a single file line, while freddy is passed out next to the sand lady.  They're all heading somewhere.  Does Freddy miss the boat?  What is happening there?



Now to dive into some of the other interesting things concerning this film.

Freddy is asleep a lot in this picture, so I believe this obscures our perception many times over.  When Peggy talks to him and tells him to quit boozing, (which she says the word boozing too many times in this IMO).  He's just woken up when he meets Dod for the first time and wow, coincidentally a red head is there when he wakes and takes him to meet dodd, ON A SHIP no less, what a coincidence since he's a navy man.  he's asleep on the ship quite a few times. I don't need to go any further in this, and the last thing I want to address before going to see it a 2nd time tonight is this.

Does the master say, "oh you remembered the kools," or what does he say?  does he directly reference that he asked him to get them, or are they just bonding over the fact that they've shared kools in the past.

Lastly, i'd like to know about the last interaction between dodd, peggy and Freddy.  Now, Peggy does most of the talking here and I want to know, do you find this odd?  I thought it was odd for her character or out of the norm because Dodd hardly says a word and she just lays into freddy.  I want to draw some parallel with her and doris (both red heads). Keep in mind this talk comes after Freddy finds out Doris has moved on etc. 

On to my question:  Since PTSD is a factor in this film, or at least psychologically troubled individuals are, where are we going to really draw the line for what is real and what isn't?  I know it's been discussed but what i'm getting at is we really can't trust freddy's perspective based on his perspective being skewed by the tragic events in his past and his psychological state.  when he walks in to dodd's room and the white window is blown out behind him, the first thing I thought is 'this isn't real,' and the 2nd thing i thought was that since Freddy and Peggy had such a head butting past, wouldn't freddies projected manifestation present peggy in the light she's portrayed in at the end? 

That's why I'm asking if you all thought that scene with her and freddy towards the end correlates with the rest of her behavior from the past?

Can't wait to refine some of this stuff after a 2nd viewing and as I read over back over this I realized that I had so many more thoughts brewing that i wasn't able to get out just yet.

I really hope this adds to the great discussion you people have created so far
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: ©brad on September 24, 2012, 06:41:16 PM
samsong I'm interested to hear your thoughts after another viewing. I don't have any good answers at the moment. I do think it's a perfectly valid argument to say plot holes exist. There's a fine line between being swiss cheese storytelling and being obtuse or outright confusing. It merits further discussion after we all see it more (sorry JB. Euthanize another kitten if you must).

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MANUSCRIPT?!
AND THE DREAM?!
THE MOTORCYCLES?!?!

I haven't heard a convincing analysis of any of these things, particularly the manuscript and motorcycles.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on September 24, 2012, 07:35:51 PM
Oh, the gaps and mysteries definitely merit discussion. I didn't mean to discourage that. I just don't think they should be used against the film, to describe those parts as "shoddy storytelling" or "dumb" or "lazy" (samsong's words). I think we should take a moment to figure things out before we jump to those conclusions.

But yes, we should discuss them. I'll chime in when I've thought about it more.

Keep in mind I'm coming from this as a fan of David Lynch and especially Inland Empire, which doesn't even qualify as swiss cheese. (It's more like someone was shredding 5 different types of cheeses and spilled them all over the floor.) I love it when things get weird, when these scenes that require contemplation get under your skin and won't go away.



Also, I wanted to post these 2 bits of audio goodness...

Slate's Spoiler Special - The Master (http://xixax.com/jb/SpoilerSpecial-TheMaster.mp3)
Their episode on The Master. You can also get this from iTunes. Dana Stevens hosts this podcast, by the way. (29 min)

Discussion of The Master from Slate's Culture Gabfest (http://xixax.com/jb/SlateCultureGabfest-TheMaster.mp3)
I extracted their segment on The Master from the full podcast. Also includes Dana Stevens, but this was recorded before the Spoiler Special. (11 min)
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Brando on September 24, 2012, 08:18:40 PM
I had a long drive home after work which I spent chain smoking and thinking about this film.  This time is usually occupied by listening to the Breaking Bad Podcast(I'm not going to comment on the previous BB comment and turn this page into yet another BB discussion) or some other podcast. I'm probably going to mention things that were obvious to everyone that enjoyed the film but I'm trying to work through it and understand my problems with the film.

It was completely different than what I expected. While watching it, the lack of any comment or reference to the state of things in the US after WWII which would cause a religion like this catch on was one of the few things I felt lacking.  Looking back on it I now realize it wasn't about that at all so I was expecting an entirely different film.  I'm trying to look at it for what it is.


I don't think I agree with the reviews that said it's a story between a Shepherd and his sheep.  I would agree more that these guys are two sides of the same coin. If that is true and Dodd is the christ figure, then that would make Freddie the antichrist. 


I read Dana Stevens review after she saw it for a second and third time. I really do need to see it again but disagree with her comment about the nude dancing scene.  I too found the scene jarring on my one and only time seeing it but don't think it's about Peggy's insecurity.  Thinking about it in a new light after my dirve, I think it's more likely her realization that Freddie is nothing but an animal driven by his sexual desires. In a scene where everyone is connected in this spiritual celebration, Freddie is only seeing it in it's most animistic or anti Cause way.  With everything we've seen him do, one could imagine him with an erection in the corner imagining this scene.  It doesn't have to be that graphic but I think it's her realizing what he is and the danger he is to Dodd keeping on the righteous path.  She also said Peggy's hand job was Peggy asserting her sexual dominance over Dodd.  If my reading of the dancing scene is correct, then I think Peggy is appealing to Dodd's animalistic desires, which Dodd shares with Freddie, with the handjob to get him back on to the path of the Cause.  She see's Freddie's influence so she does what Freddie does and appeal to his animal side to influence him back to the path.

In my first post, I referred to Ebert's review and how I agreed a lot with it. In the review Ebert said he didn't understand what the motorcycle scene was about. Well if these guys are two sides of the same coin, then it would make since how they drove off in different directions. Or better it shows how Dodd can stray from the path and indulge his animalistic side but can always return.  Freddie on the other hand is on his own path fueled completely by his desires and it might intersect with yours for a moment but he is an unstoppable force and will never change course.  You will always have to go chasing after him after he leaves you high in and dry in a desert.

I thought it was strange when Dodd said if they met in a future life they would be enemies. It makes since now, if after my second viewing my little analysis while driving holds up. Dodd said himself if they can't help him then it is the Cause that had failed. So Freddie being around is a walking, talking, farting example of how the Cause is a failure.  Also it can go further if Dodd is the Christ symbol.  Freddie is a much purer example of the animal side than Dodd could be ever be as The Master.  Freddie's yang is pure black compared to Dodd's ying of off white or grey. 

Maybe I'm the only one but I never felt Freddie bought in entirely to the Cause.  I think his commitment was to Dodd and not to the religion although he tried commit to the Cause.  All those physical confrontations were to protect Dodd and not the Cause. Peggy's commitment is as much to the Cause as it is to Dodd. I think Dodd realizes after the book release that Freddie has much more influence on him than he will ever have on Freddie.  Another poster mentioned how it seemed Dodd came up with the Laughing part of the Cause after Freddie's interview. That's probably true and Dodd also changed the words recall to imagine.  It's possible Freddie influenced that part as well.  So Freddie has had a huge influence on the Cause.  Dodd is confronted by his most loyal follower Dern's Character.  He lashes out at her at the same time Freddie attacks the guy outside.  The book Heart of Darkness and the film Apocalypse Now are about how enlightened men go out to tame and enlighten the savages but it is the enlightened men who end up transformed by the savages and they end up digressing to a more animal state. This is what happens to Dodd.  He thinks he can save this man but it ends up he who has been changed.


I don't know when i'll get to see it again but will be much sooner than I originally planned after my long drive.  I read the majority of the posts after I got home from my first viewing and that was after 2 am so I might have forgotten but surprised no one mentioned the running joke of everyone commenting on how they see the likeness between Dodd and his son.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: matt35mm on September 24, 2012, 08:36:20 PM
Strange. I've seen it twice now and the dream sequence has never bothered me or been a source of confusion. To me, it elevated the film by allowing for the possibility of the supernatural. In my mind, it's clear that it IS a dream, and also clear that Dodd and Freddie were both connected in that dream. The dream was true.

This has less to do with Dodd's ideas in The Cause, and it doesn't legitimize his teachings, but his bond with Freddie, and even the notion that they had met in a previous life, aren't as easily shrugged off. I see it as a movie that takes this idea of fate and love beyond the graspable world seriously, even if what much of Dodd says is untrue.

The final scene between Dodd and Freddie is, in my mind, totally honest. When Dodd is recalling their working together for the Pigeon Post in a previous lifetime, he believes it to be true. When he says that if they meet in the next life, they will be sworn enemies, he believes it totally. He's not peddling bullshit in that moment.

When Dodd describes that in their previous life, they sent out forty-something balloons with messages and only two didn't reach their destination, and repeats, "... Two." it conjured up a beautiful poetic image of Freddie and Dodd as two wandering balloons that will never find their proper place. This is just before he says that if Freddie leaves that he doesn't ever want to see him again. Or he can stay.

I have to say that I don't think that the writing is lazy in the theater scene, because the lazy version of that scene would be obvious. It's easy enough to think of a way that Dodd could have actually gotten ahold of Freddie in a literal way. It's better that they find each other in a dream. Movies don't need to subscribe to the same metaphysics as the world outside of movies. When they first meet and Dodd says, "You seem so familiar to me..." this movie is OPEN to the idea that there is something that connects these two people beyond just two dudes who meet and are now loyal to each other. The movie is open to the idea to that the loyalty existed before they met (in this life). It doesn't mean that Dodd is right about much, but he might be right about them.

Another thing is I REALLY noticed in the second viewing how their relationship is exactly that of a master and his dog, but with the true deep love of that sort of relationship. This movie is not just a love story--it's a love story between a man and a dog. Freddie is not just "an animal." He is a dog. It's not just that Dodd treats Freddie like a dog. Freddie IS a dog.

Regarding the manuscript in the desert, the sequence in the film plays like this: Peggy announces the convention in Phoenix and says that this is where they will present Book Two. Then Dodd and Freddie dig up the manuscript. Then we see the book being printed. In my mind, it makes sense that the paranoid Dodd wouldn't keep all the pages of his book on his person that someone could steal and sell or that a "spy" could reach. He's probably been writing it over the course of many years, periodically storing some of it in the desert so that no one but him could ever access the full book. Freddie is the only one he trusts to come with him to dig it up.

Anyway, this movie resonated with me a lot more on second viewing. I knew I liked it when I first saw it, but just letting myself get into the rhythms of the film and not be thrown off by the parts the didn't match my expectations allowed me to sink further into the film. It is such a sweet picture, and not strange, after the first viewing. Not strange. Familiar. It worked better that way.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: socketlevel on September 25, 2012, 12:05:46 AM
http://twitchfilm.com/2012/09/jason-gorbers-cineruminations-70mm-4k-and-the-master-split-personality.html

Really fascinating and in-depth article on the process of shooting on 65mm/35mm and the process of printing to 70mm, with comparisons between the 70mm projection and 4K projection. Good stuff!

No spoilers.

This quote is from the non-spoiler page, i almost responded there, but these days you never know what someone will consider a spoiler so to avoid rage i brought it here.

I think the article is wrong, hamlet wasn't the last film shot on it, major sections of the new world and a few from tree of life were as well.

either way, i want to say I'm happy with the 1:85 decision. I'm far less impressed with 2.35-2.4:1 than I used to be. I think Steadicam looks best when you make the aspect ratio narrower, the floating effect seems less penetrating and more painterly. One could say the boxier the frame, the more it appears to float. looking back on the 4:3 open matt super 35 stuff that directors did to avoid pan and scan during the tube television era was pretty great. the most obvious example being the shining, and the last great one i can think of was van sant's Elephant. the Elephant DVD has both the widescreen and the open matt; the common mistake being you'll see more with the widescreen, which is not the case. well worth the bars on the side.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: DocSportello on September 25, 2012, 12:43:07 AM
I've seen it twice now as well and there is much that I agree upon with many of you. It's such a difficult task tackling this discussion simply due to the fact there is so much to discuss. Loving the lengthy posts.

The first thing that I wanted to talk about was something that Mod touched upon a while back about Master's mention of "laughter" during his Phoenix speech. The first time I saw the film I caught the exchange of a glance between Freddie and Dodd but it wasn't until the second viewing that the moment stood out for me.

To me it was Dodd's way of telling Freddie what he truly meant to him. Sure, he had always been open about his affection towards him, ("you're the bravest boy I've ever met", etc.) but he had never preached it. He had never made it about Freddie. I think this moment holds more significance than we're catching onto. Yes, it's a reiteration of his point that laughter is important when processing, but it's more than that. It's also just a reference to Freddie's sweet, contagious laugh. That childish giggle that we see so much of in the movie when they're drinking, playing like boys. That is what Dodd has come to enjoy most. He's telling Freddy in this moment that Freddy himself has become his passion and his reason for continuing what he's doing.

I think this is part of what leads Freddy to get upset and leave in the desert. He can't handle it being about him. Up until then he was ok with the possibility of it all being made up as they went, as long as he had something to follow and it wasn't up to him to keep the ship on course. I think this could also explain why he loses his temper and hits the man for saying that Book 2 sucks. The man was also insulting Freddy at the time.

I will say before I continue that after the first go I did find the third act to be a tough one. But man, it's all magic to me now.

I found it interesting when someone mentioned how Kubrick-esque the theater scene seemed. ( a scene I have no problem with, and enjoy rather immensely). For me it was the naked sing along that reminded me most of Kubrick. It brought back feelings from EWS for obvious reasons but I could also see Alex from Clockwork imagining those girls frolicking about. So cool.

I'd like to hear what some of you thought about the conclusion of the extended processing sequence and why Master decides to end the application where he does. I believe it is when Freddy says something along the lines of "I can reach through the glass, I can touch the other house, I can touch the flowers...". What is it about these thoughts that lead him to stop Freddy? Why does he think the fact that Freddy believes he can do these things is a step forward for him?

Also, what is with the dragon analogy during his wedding speech? I didn't get that part at all.

The scene after the New York debacle when Dodd is typing and Peggy is tweaking is awesome. Totally agree with JB with the Boogie feel. Also, the drag that Master takes off his cigarette while he's typing is the longest, deepest from an individual to ever be committed to film. I'm sure of it. Look for it next time.

So much more but I'm fuckin tired.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: ono on September 25, 2012, 01:01:18 AM
Also, what is with the dragon analogy during his wedding speech? I didn't get that part at all.
I've seen it once, and will be seeing it again tomorrow.  May as well comment a little briefly before I go more in depth with what will probably be a different interpretation than most people here.

First look, there are two key scenes important to understanding The Master.  Doc: When Freddie first joins the Dodds for dinner, Lancaster gives a speech about taming a dragon, doing with it what you will, then getting it to play dead.  That, in essence, is what Dodd does with Freddie.  Incidentally, Freddie at the end of the film was supposed to be covered in tattoos.  He was not.  Now then, the stereotypical tattoo image most people go to first is that of a dragon.  PTA included descriptions here of the tattoos, but did not include the dragon imagery, nor was the dragon monologue included.  So that's mere speculation expanding upon the Freddie as dragon motif.

Finally, Lancaster intimates to Freddie that if he ever finds a way to live life without a Master, do come and tell him.  Lancaster doesn't believe it's possible.  The film is about vice, about the crutches people use to get by after something has happened.  Most people have had this trauma, and so most people are buyers to those who would sell.  Freddie is both.  There's the postulate.  I'll confirm tomorrow night.

Earlier in the thread, someone said the set design was inspired by ACO.  It was nice for that to be confirmed for me because after all that had transpired I couldn't help but think that that was exactly what as going on.  "Freddie was cured alright."  The protagonist having sex with the naked woman on top in profile, the only difference this time real instead of imagined, in private.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: DocSportello on September 25, 2012, 01:13:46 AM
Quote
"Freddie was cured alright."  The protagonist having sex with the naked woman on top in profile, the only difference this time real instead of imagined, in private.

Fuck yes that's totally another one. 


Also, I just wanted to say... "Freddie: Sailor of the seas - You pay no rent, you go where you please". That's the line for me>

It might not be the exact way he said it but that little rhyme was amazing. That whole final exchange is deeply heartbreaking to me. It leaves me hollow. When Freddie has to wipe his eyes when he's singing to him. Holyfuckingshit this movie was worth the wait.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: socketlevel on September 25, 2012, 01:29:22 AM

Also, what is with the dragon analogy during his wedding speech? I didn't get that part at all.


I think that's kind of the point, as I believe Freddie doesn't fully get it either. I think this scene shows how Dodd is a little wacky and/or kind of a nerdy dude who spent a lot of his life fantasizing. I think a man who comes up with this kind of nonsense doctrine is: one part lord of the rings nerd; one part buck rogers fan; one part substance abuser; one part mentally ill; and four parts charismatic individual.

Freddie is very much as confounded as you were watching it, yet the vigor of the speech is what seduces him. Dodd hints at mystical elements while spending the majority of his time loosely tying it into promoting positive energy. It's a poor metaphor that grounds itself with self help principles. This is classic evangelical rhetoric, yet only differs in the fact that it's cliched science fantasy as opposed to biblical.

This scene also hints at where the religion is headed, after the movie takes place. Dodd is starting to lose his grasp on reality. OT3 for LRH was his massive departure in form, but he probably first started having thoughts about xenu before he released that historical expansion to the religion.

As stated before Freddie is caught between a rock and a hard place. On one side he's utterly enamored with Dodd and wants focus in his life, yet on the other he finds a lot of it hard to swallow. A more direct speech by Dodd would lean too far in the hard to swallow category, for not only Freddie but everyone in attendance. Slow indoctrination is the key, and so is kissing issues rather than attacking them head on. This is much like how for many years people in Scientology didn't know about OT3 walking in off the street. They would have clearly turned away as fast as they came in. first you have to help them in their own lives because it always goes down better with a bit of sugar. I'm not even sure Dodd is conscious of doing any of this, he might just have an inherent knack for it rather than control over his charisma.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: samsong on September 25, 2012, 08:17:55 AM
Oh, the gaps and mysteries definitely merit discussion. I didn't mean to discourage that. I just don't think they should be used against the film, to describe those parts as "shoddy storytelling" or "dumb" or "lazy" (samsong's words). I think we should take a moment to figure things out before we jump to those conclusions.

i used those words to describe very specific moments in the film, not as generalized platitudes about the gaps and mysteries that exist throughout the film.  in fact i think i've acknowledged more than once the elusive nature of the film and that it, for the most part, is a good thing.  i still stand by those statements regarding those specific scenes and feel like i backed them up with a decent amount of reason.  they certainly aren't hasty conclusions that came as a lack of thought.

i've seen it a second time and, sure enough, i love the film.  the reservations remain the same but i guess i don't mind them as much, and i felt the emotional impact of the film tenfold and feel like its ideas were more lucid. 

the manuscript scene, i really can't tell you anything about and i really don't think anyone can.  it's certainly... cool?  it honestly wasn't that bothersome when i saw it the first time around but it was brought it by someone and thinking in thinking about it, it did seem quite random.  it's an easier pill to swallow the second time around, especially since it does keep in line with dodd's bizarre persona -- i buy that he would bury his work in a remote area until it was ready to be unveiled.  there was a reading though of it being an act of showmanship/peddling of horseshit, and i find that to be pretty farfetched.  that he would go that far just to try to get into freddie's head is absurd to me.  but also what i found compelling the first time and even more so this second viewing is how vague that aspect of dodd is, in that the film refuses to judge dodd or the cause.  films don't exist in a vacuum and the parallels to scientology are unmistakable but i don't think we're supposed to let that inform our impressions of the characters in the film.  dodd, as he exists in the film, is a charismatic leader of a belief system of his own creation, sure, but it's never made clear in the film that he's knowingly in it for monetary gain.  if he's a snake oil salesman he's one that believes in the oil as well.  i really admire how pta managed to truly use (an analog for) scientology as a texture of the period instead of resorting to an indictment of an easy target.  kent jones spends a lot of time detailing the history of schools of thought, religions and cults that mark america's past and the way its infiltrated its culture.  to view dodd, as the film does, as part of that lineage and as a man trying to make sense of the world he lives in instead of a con man/creator of a cult is as herculean a humanist effort as oliver stone achieved with nixon.  that alone makes this movie more than worthwhile.

also dodd's affection for freddie and their bond is something i became more acutely attune with this time around.  while it's interesting to view their relationship as master and dog, the thing is, they're both men.  there's a moment during that first processing scene, where freddie starts to recall and sing the song that doris sang to him, when dodd's face emits such compassion and love that it really does capture and convey that feeling of when we make those kinds of connections in our own lives.  it's entirely ineffable and intoxicating, and the film does a lovely job of evading any easy answers regarding that.  it just feels true.  thought it a little on the nose when dodd would say things like "good boy" and "you're an animal" but i think that's more in keeping with dodd's character and the way he talks versus pta saying anything overt about that relationship.  to me it isn't analogous to anything except that inexplicable sensation of when you make a real connection to another human being.

the motorcycle scene does still strike me as random.  as far as i can, tell its intentions are to allow for homages to melvin and howard and lawrence of arabia (70mm!!!) and make for a picturesque way of having freddie run away.  perhaps the randomness is the point, though.  the outing doesn't seem to be an exercise but rather really just a reprieve for the family -- father takes the kids out to play.  and as inexplicable as frankie and dodd's connection is, so is their parting.  i do love that moment when elizabeth cheers for freddie and clark shoots her a look. 

as for the movie theater dream, the phone call was far more effective as i was no longer caught up in the strangeness of it and really paid attention to what was being communicated.  if the first line of that conversation "i miss you" only damn near broke my heart, the way freddie reacts to that utterance, the gentle, desperate hope in his voice when he asks "how did you find me?" absolutely decimated it.  dodd's words in that dreamed phone call is the loving beckoning of the prodigal son's father (more on this later) and such a beautiful visualization of freddie's dire need for companionship, that his subconscious has resorted to wish fulfillment.  i'll say now that it's a brilliant scene.  to a certain extent.

i still wish there was something to show us that freddie knew they were in england before the dream so that his knowledge of their whereabouts doesn't just come to him out of nowhere, something to show us that his subconscious is being informed by reliable information.  nothing about that kind of prescience rings true to me, nothing before this suggests that freddie is prone to premonitions, and i don't think it's something you can tie into dodd's comment to freddie earlier in the film when he says something about how familiar freddie is.  that's a line/moment that does have truth to it.  how many times have we heard/felt that in our actual lives?  then tell me how often you've gone on to dream about that person after they've become estranged and you learn about their exact location, and it happens to be correct.  that scene certainly says a lot about their bond but it's a moment that's entirely freddie's.  it's not like dodd was simultaneously having a dream where he was saying those lines to freddie.  it's purely a fabrication of freddie's subconscious.  that being the case, that he learns that they're in england in the dream and that he suddenly ends up there and that there is in fact a school in the name of the cause is still a lazy narrative device.  THERE IS NOTHING IN THE FILM TO SUGGEST OTHERWISE.  any interpretation of it is speculative.  maybe that's the point, for people to make of it what they will, and i don't see it as anything but a convenience.  i will say the emotional weight of that scene does carry it through the second time around but i still consider it a rather glaring flaw.

another one of the many things that struck me as odd about freddie arrival in england is val's appearance.  i didn't really know what to make of it the first time around but seeing it again rendered it as one of the saddest details in the third act.  he approaches in a long shot with soft focus, and as he nears, freddie's hopes dissolve as quickly as he comes into focus.  the prodigal son has already returned.  there isn't room for freddie.  it cements the irreconcilability of dodd and freddie's relationship before they even see each other.  when they do speak, it's as sad and as painful as the end of a relationship gets.  they seem to anticipate each other's words, making futile attempts to convince one another that there's more for them.  dodd's song then becomes a death knell/tribute to their relationship that very deliberately recalls doris's song to freddie earlier in the film.

it never occurred to me that the shot of freddie and the english girl fucking was reminiscent of the last shot of a clockwork orange, and i think that's fucking awesome so thanks to whoever pointed that out.  the ending, i always thought was great but it was so much more powerful this second viewing. 

one question about a minor detail.  when freddie asks peggy about elizabeth, she says, "dfc."  (dcf?)  what the shit does that mean?
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: md on September 25, 2012, 09:29:23 AM
Somewhere in the world Jeremy Renner is facepalming his rich ass. 
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: malkovich on September 25, 2012, 10:18:25 AM
It's hard for me to even fathom this movie without Joaquin, much less with Jeremy Renner as Freddie.

Also, i love and agree with the idea that the gaps suggest that the characters live outside of the film. The deleted scenes from the trailers/teasers suggest this too. A complaint I've heard/read often is that the film was basically two good actors trying to make the most of a weak script. That bothers me. Do you think it's just because people aren't as "in the know" (i guess?) as others and know that the structure of the film was largely, if not entirely constructed in the editing room? With the amount of footage scrapped, PTA could've added more of a plot if he wanted to. It's weird to me that people aren't seeing this as a conscious decision and more of a "this is all we got *shrug*, sorry" type thing instead. I dunno. Honestly, the amount of criticism being leveled at the film by moviegoers confuses me. None of it seems particularly valid. For people that disliked or even hated it, the reasons given were always that either

A) they expected it to be more about Scientology
B) it was "boring" or "pointless"

or

C) (everyone's favorite) "pretentious garbage"

At least I can sort of understand the idea of someone disliking certain scenes because it didn't really make sense to them (the manuscripts, the motorcycles, the movie theater) but the rest just seems to be people resisting the film through and through, y'know?
 
Quote
dodd's words in that dreamed phone call is the loving beckoning of the prodigal son's father (more on this later) and such a beautiful visualization of freddie's dire need for companionship, that his subconscious has resorted to wish fulfillment.

That's what I'm saying, man! Ugh. Heartbreaking.


Quote
one question about a minor detail.  when freddie asks peggy about elizabeth, she says, "dfc."  (dcf?)  what the shit does that mean?

Does she? Doris' mother says something similar about Doris when Freddie visits her following the motorcycle scene. I tried to look it up when I got home but nothing came up that would connect, really.

I'm seeing it again tomorrow. I'm excited, having all of this subtext in the back of my mind now.

edit: posting from my phone fucked things up a bit. fixed now.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: modage on September 25, 2012, 10:19:09 AM
Vulture offers up 5 Theories on What It's 'About'
http://www.vulture.com/2012/09/what-is-the-master-really-about-five-readings.html
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Cloudy on September 25, 2012, 11:08:55 AM
A great pick-up from the film:

"Some films have subtle overtones; 'The Master' is a cacophony of slight glimpses and echoes that requires time to process. At every turn, you’re first forced to question and reconsider how the surface action links to the broader strokes. The more I worked over the story, the more I recognized the elements of a tragedy. By the end of the film, we realize that Freddie is a man drowning in regret. When he hops on the motorcycle, and is given the keys to his freedom, he finally follows Peggy’s advice and imagines something in front of him -- a goal with which he can move forward. But by the time he arrives at the house of his old sweetheart, in hopes of forging that reunion he has long thought about, Freddie realizes that he’s far too late. It took too long. She’s gone." -Time
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Reelist on September 25, 2012, 11:10:40 AM
Quote
one question about a minor detail.  when freddie asks peggy about elizabeth, she says, "dfc."  (dcf?)  what the shit does that mean?

you misheard it. She actually said 'DTF'
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: matt35mm on September 25, 2012, 12:13:55 PM
Regarding the dragon speech, it's led into this way:

"Marriage, previous to The Cause, was awful. (laughter from the crowd) Let me put it like this: there's a dragon, I have a lasso, I whip it up and drag it to the ground. I wrestle with it. Now it's on a leash. It stays on command. Next we're going to teach it to roll over and play dead."

At first I thought it had meant that The Cause allows us to tame the dark emotions and animal nature within ourselves, and we can control it. But on second viewing, he seems to be trying to describe marriage. I can't say I really understand it, if that is the case. The way he leads into it suggests that marriage previous to The Cause is like a dragon, and that The Cause has been able to tame and shape something about marriage. Though nothing in the movie really indicates that marriage in The Cause is so different from marriage outside of The Cause.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Reelist on September 25, 2012, 12:47:55 PM
For me it was the naked sing along that reminded me most of Kubrick. It brought back feelings from EWS for obvious reasons but I could also see Alex from Clockwork imagining those girls frolicking about. So cool.

best use of an old naked lady since 'The Shining'
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Neil on September 25, 2012, 01:04:06 PM
So after a second viewing and reading this thread here are a couple thoughts that may pepper into what some of the rest of you have been saying.

*Verbal Vomit Begins*

I'll start with the dragon speech.  Here's my best guess with regards to the film. We're programmed against monogamy with relation to our animal instincts.  We claim that reason can dig us out of that hole, REASON IS THE LASSO THAT WRANGLES THAT BEAST IN AND ALLOWS ONE TO NOT ACT ON YOUR URGES AND INSTINCTS.

 I don't think the fully explains the speech, but i think there's a lot to be said with regards to that, because dodd obviously struggles with this too, this is may have something to do with the questionable jerking off in the sink business and also that maybe his marriage was terrible before he made enough money to control his surroundings and thus problems. Once you harbor those you can focus on being civilized, it's tougher with strife and naysayers.  Success has given Dodd the opportunity to stay fucked up, away from criticism and surrounded by people who look to him as a messiah of sorts. 

With regards to Freddie beating up people for The Cause, and what this means;  Well I tend to draw a parallel to the fact that he killed a bunch of "Japs" for the United states.  I really don't see a difference in the two.  This is showing what Freddy knows and tells a lot about his character.  That he is a simple man or a, "silly animal," which is the line spoken after Freddy lets one rip in what is supposed to be a serious situation.

I'm not sure I find a need to discern what kind of animal Freddy can be interpreted as.  There are plenty of species in the Animal Kingdom that can come to have the traits of a dog, my point is we've "civilized" many different species and built relationships based on loyalty, camaraderie etc all the same.  Freddy simply put, is not a civilized human being. Through Dodd's perspective this means that, he's not maximizing his potential as such, and this is part of Dodd's why Dodd values Freddie as a subject or experiment.  More importantly, Freddy is a psychologically damaged man, and Dodd is certainly aware of the post war, nuclear age, that he describes to John Moore. I mentioned this in my first post in this thread, I believe this is an important part of the film, although you're not constantly reminded of it, we need to embrace that he is psychologically unstable and this guides him through his journey, which can be shown when he goes and brags to the master about beating up john Moore, He's looking for confirmation about doing the right things in life, for the community that's taken him in,  Again, he probably would've celebrated for his action in a militaristic context, that's why he's confused.  Oh, and the master refers to him as an animal then too.  I don't think this is too on the nose, or hitting you on the head.  It's a statement of fact.  We are animals, and sometimes we don't like to be reminded of it.

I do like what samsong brought to the table with this idea of Dodd being genuine.  I don't see much sleaze or authenticity in Dodd and that's one facet of the film I find outstanding in its execution, yet PTA presents it so effortlessly.  The honest and objective(ish) portrayal of a cult leader.  Sure he's four parts charismatic etc, but Dodd has an understanding about the human condition and what we're prone to do, for better or for worse.

I believe that with Dodd's speech at the end saying, "when you've found out how to live without a master; any master, be sure to let US know, for you would be the first person in history to achieve this..." or something along those lines;  This is the point of the film to me in a lot of ways, because Dodd is actually right about The Cause to an extent. The longest lasting religions adhere to Darwin's theory of evolution when it comes time to parish or prosper. Specifically in the cases such as Calvinism and Catholicism we see that over time they adapted their teachings to wider (poorer) audiences even if there were some contradictory changes made.

Dodd at least has figured out that people latch on to things, and this does include colonial attitudes, or civilized modes of being.  We're all at the mercy of some kind of approach that was impinged upon us. The Cause is just like anything, with enough faith (or ignorance), you can let something rule you, and if it promotes positive living, then geez, it very well may be a good thing despite it being based on nothing sensible.  We do this, all the time.  What are our Masters?  What is our Cause. Literally and metaphorically with regards to the film.  The use of "cause" here is just brilliant.

The things that rule Freddy's are so simple that Dodd actually has a special project on his hands.  Almost like he gets to start out with a man still in the state of nature.  Freddy's obsesses over sexual desires and the film is spent balancing his masculine actions with tears linked to moments of self actualization and times where he is actually opening himself up to be vulnerable (from what i understand the 50's was a time when people were more reserved in their actions).  Earlier while being interrogated by an officer about a crying fit, he tries to defend his actions, justify what had happened, rather than opening up to the authority figure, but in the processing sequences we catch glimpses of a different character.

I find the film to be very hetero-centric, and when the back drop is the 1950's, you contrast the normative behaviors of that time and how shunning Freddy's behaviors would be under the spotlight of that era and then you really start to see the dilemma of man; that the Hopelessly inquisitive is primal at it's core and this rage can surface due to the hopelessness sometimes ("PIG FUCK," PSH yelling at Dern-ski).

Think about how frowned upon our introduction to freddy would be to those rich women that Dodd is looking to get funding from. First, He talks about lighting on fire and stabbing his balls with an ice pick (THIS IS OUR INTRODUCTION TO THIS MAN (ROFL) to get rid of crabs and then he fucks a sand woman, masturbates then passes out next to her.  SO much to be said about this, yet it really speaks for itself a great deal.


AS FOR THE MOTORCYCLE SCENE - Dodd says, "we're playing a game, it's called pick a point."  Freddy Picks his point.  He listens to Dodd. Freddy's point is Doris.  It is pretty bizarre, and stylistically/aesthetically gorgeous, but is it really any more random than making Freddy pick two points and have him go to it and describe it? Freddy wants to get the maters approval, so maybe he's taking the "game" much more serious that The Master intended.

Geographically speaking, Where is Freddie cutting the cabbage, because isn't it some place in china?  this may explain the, "gone to china," section and also why Dodd sings it.  If I'm not mistaken, there is an outfit difference between when Freddy runs away from the oriental men because the alleged poisoning, and when he gets on Dodd's boat.    I'd like this confirmed, but I payed close attention to his clothing on my second viewing and there's a lot to be questioned especially with regards to Naval sequences, and just the linear progression of the film by watching his outfits.  There are these spaces and gaps along with references to Freddy traveling all over, not to mention he's a seaman etc.  DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.


That's all my nonsense for today folks.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Tictacbk on September 25, 2012, 02:11:37 PM
Geographically speaking, Where is Freddie cutting the cabbage, because isn't it some place in china?  this may explain the, "gone to china," section and also why Dodd sings it. 

I'm pretty sure this took place somewhere in central/northern California and the other workers were just immigrants from various other places.   I think the time gap between when he runs away from the farm and when he gets on Dodd's yacht is relatively small.   Part of the reason he hops on the boat is to escape (physically and mentally) that he may have killed that old farmer.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: md on September 25, 2012, 02:51:59 PM
A really strange parallel just occurred to me: Dodd serenading Freddie with "I'd Like to Get You on a Slow Boat to China" & Freddie's "Gone to China" message from one of the trailers.

On the surface it seems like Freddie should be writing that message on some bulletin board in the Master's school as he leaves at the end. But that's not the case — he's dressed in a sailor suit and is obviously younger. Which on its own makes absolutely no sense. It only makes sense as a figurative (and almost Lynchian) connection to Dodd's serenade. Sort of an answer to it... like he's gone to China by himself, not on a slow boat, and not with Dodd.

(http://i49.tinypic.com/334lzd2.png)

The 'Gone to China' scene happens in the beginning of the movie, according to the original scrip that was leaked years ago.  He sneaks out of the infirmary, writes the notes, and we cut to a scene of him as a photographer in a department store. 

Also,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HteJ3MoDQNA

Clearly PTA was inspired by this intriguing character for the Master.  :yabbse-grin:
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Neil on September 25, 2012, 03:28:16 PM
Geographically speaking, Where is Freddie cutting the cabbage, because isn't it some place in china?  this may explain the, "gone to china," section and also why Dodd sings it. 

I'm pretty sure this took place somewhere in central/northern California and the other workers were just immigrants from various other places.   I think the time gap between when he runs away from the farm and when he gets on Dodd's yacht is relatively small.   Part of the reason he hops on the boat is to escape (physically and mentally) that he may have killed that old farmer.

He does mention the geographic location during the first processing scene, but JP's delivery is too quick for me to pick up on it, i'll have to look for it when I go again.  Either way, he does not run away with that jacket on, which he has on when he gets on the boat.  Obviously he could have stolen it.  Hmm.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: md on September 25, 2012, 04:13:46 PM
i think thats a cardigan...
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on September 25, 2012, 05:02:43 PM
Very interesting. Although it's suddenly less mysterious and mystical.

Still, don't you think there's some kind of figurative or thematic connection between the "gone to China" note and Master singing to him "I want to take you on a slow boat to China"? Doesn't seem like a stretch.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: coke on September 25, 2012, 07:28:08 PM
Yo neil  he says his location was Salinas,California also that's why there immigrants working there i believe there Filipino cause that's how America does it.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Neil on September 26, 2012, 12:37:54 AM
Yo neil  he says his location was Salinas,California also that's why there immigrants working there i believe there Filipino cause that's how America does it.

I knew i was expressing my ignorance by not having a fucking clue. Period.

Thanks man.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: md on September 26, 2012, 02:55:33 AM
Did anyone else see Peggy's eye change to black during the exercise with Freddie?  Its during the montage when Freddie is being heavily processed and is forced to touch each wall.  Its filmed in such a unique way.  We see The Master initiating the processing in wide shots, then suddenly we're in Freddie's POV, until finally we are Freddie, inside his head reliving flashbacks of love and wartime.  The effect works similarly to a mirror for the audiences subconscious...if they allow it too.  That might be the reason why so many audiences are angry; they doubt the authenticity of film, the process.  We are being processed ourselves. 

The motto of the Sea Org is "We Come Back".  Its the belief that once they sign their billion year contract, it signifies eternal vigilance.  The doubles and reoccurring motif is strong throughout.  Peggy and Doris bear a striking resemblance to each other and ultimately leave Freddie.  The man getting his picture taken at the department store coincidentally looks just like PSH. Maybe it is why PSH feels they have met.  The singing both Doris and PSH have has the similar effect.  Its of love; lingering slow love.

One of the first shots and last shot of the pic are of Freddie sleeping, dreaming.  He changes, but instead of 90%, its closer to 2% like PTA discusses in an early Creative Screenwriting interview.  The second to last scene when he reenacts the processing technique to the woman is so beautifully tender and true.  Like you using the same pick up line twice, but in this case, he's just stealing it from the Master. 
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: md on September 26, 2012, 08:26:17 AM
Dr Strangelove might be better suited for its War Room like architecture , but its Kubrickian nonetheless.  Outside of maybe a inverted monolith like shape behind master, what makes you draw comparisons to 2001?
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: socketlevel on September 26, 2012, 02:04:55 PM
  He changes, but instead of 90%, its closer to 2% like PTA discusses in an early Creative Screenwriting interview.

can you link this interview?
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: ©brad on September 26, 2012, 03:09:15 PM
Who Is The Master’s Master Masturbator? (http://www.vulture.com/2012/09/who-is-the-masters-master-masturbator.html)
NYMAG

It's okay. Don't feel dirty because you clicked on that headline. This is as serious as an awkward Philadelphia bathroom hand job. That scene in Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, in which Amy Adams's Peggy Dodd shows her husband (Philip Seymour Hoffman’s title character) who precisely is in charge of their relationship, is one of the film's more … memorable? (Is memorable the right word?) Arriving about an hour after an opening moment in which Joaquin Phoenix climaxes into the ocean, the Adams/Hoffman pas de deux made us remember that these three actors have all been forced to deal with the act on screen before. So which of the film's leads has been involved in the most memorable masturbation (or masturbation-adjacent) moments? We investigate.

Joaquin Phoenix

1. To Die For
Phoenix plays a young dude who is manipulated by a hot local TV news personality into killing her husband.

Moment
While watching a weather report, Phoenix's character falls into a reverie where he imagines the weather girl (played by Nicole Kidman) speaking directly and dirtily to him. Solo time ensues.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being most pleasurable, this is a ...
10. He's a guy fantasizing about an attractive person on TV. Isn't this the essence of youthful male masturbation?

2. Parenthood
Phoenix plays an adolescent who likes to hang out with a paper bag. Or rather, the porn that is hidden inside the paper bag.

Moment
We obviously never see anything, but it is a plot point that gets dragged out for a bit and results in an awkward-funny scene between Keanu Reeves and Dianne Wiest in which he utters the line, "A few months ago, Garry got his first boner. Do you know what that is?"

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being most pleasurable, this is a ...
5. Teenage guilt. It's a buzzkill.

3. The Master
Phoenix plays the alcoholic, war-tortured disciple of a fifties-America cult leader.

Moment
Early on, after faux-humping and finger-banging a woman made of sand while his fellow sailors stare on in amusement and then discomfort, Phoenix vigorously empties himself into the incredibly blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. World War II has ended!

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being most pleasurable, this is a ...
Zero. We have trouble believing that this character actually takes pleasure in anything, so gnarled in body and spirit does he appear to be.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

1. Happiness
In this ironically titled film (lord is it depressing), Hoffman plays a sad, sweaty, unfortunate-looking man who likes to make obscene phone calls.

Moment
Hoffman's character calls up one of the female main characters and proceeds to ask her dirty uncomfortable questions while erotically massaging his junk. In one of the film's most shocking shots (literally), he ejaculates on the wall and then uses the substance to secure a postcard to the spot.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being most pleasurable, this is a ...
3. It doesn't seem as if he feels bad about any of this, but it's hard to believe there's not a deep self-loathing undergirding his sexytime phone calls.

2. The Master
Hoffman plays the title character, the head of a nascent cult in postwar America.

Moment
He's on the receiving end of Amy Adams's ministrations. Hoffman grunts and moans and, oh, it's just very uncomfortable to watch.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being most pleasurable, this is a ...
2. It did the job, but dude just got served by his wife.

Amy Adams

1. Junebug
Adams notched her breakout role (and first Academy Award nomination) in this 2005 indie film about a North Carolina prodigal son who brings his sophisticated British wife home with him to meet the family. Adams plays the sweet, overly talkative and very pregnant wife of the main character's reticent, angry brother.

Moment
In an attempt to feel a sense of connection to her distant, silent husband, Adams's character sadly touches herself to a picture of the two of them in happier times.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being most pleasurable, this is a ...
2. So sad. So. Sad.

2. Cruel Intentions 2
A direct to video prequel to the 1999 high-school-set remake of Dangerous Liaisons, the film stars Adams in the role originally played by Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Moment
Sitting in Central Park (while drinking tea and being shadowed by a butler, naturally), Adams's character instructs a young charge on how to ride a horse. "Push up and down in the saddle … Now we need to add the back and forth motion … Up and down, back and forth, faster, faster … Now this time I really want you to grind into the saddle." The student falls off satisfied and Adams stands with a naughty grin on her face, having essentially used the horse as a proxy.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being most pleasurable, this is a ...
9. Everyone involved seems to have come out on the other side a happy camper. Except for the butler maybe?

3. The Master
As the wife to nascent cult leader Lancaster Dodd, Adams's character is one of those behind-the-scenes spouses that have more power than is initially apparent.

Moment
Adams jerks off her husband into a bathroom sink while ordering him to keep his philandering under wraps and to lay off the powerful moonshine produced by his protégé/guinea pig. Her disdainful hand wiping at scene's end is possibly the year's most masterful towel-related piece of acting.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being most pleasurable, this is a ...
3. Again, that wiping of the soiled upper hand.

So, who is The Master's master masturbator?
Amy Adams! While Hoffman delivers the most uncomfortable moment and Phoenix the most vigorous, Adams wins in terms of both number and variety.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on September 26, 2012, 05:36:34 PM
The doubles and reoccurring motif is strong throughout.  Peggy and Doris bear a striking resemblance to each other and ultimately leave Freddie.  The man getting his picture taken at the department store coincidentally looks just like PSH.

While we're on the topic, the department store model and Master's daughter look very similar.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: socketlevel on September 26, 2012, 06:09:09 PM
So i just watched it for a 2nd time last night and being able to put all the religion stuff aside, I sank my teeth into the relationships, basking in the father/son therapist/patient relationship between these two men. Some of the little choice made by the actors really blew me away this time around, and while i noticed them the first time, I was really able to see the film in a new light. This was a beautiful tragic love story. Both of these men felt like two halves of the same soul.

Obviously the processing scene is not only the best scene in the film, I'm tempted to argue that everything which comes between the lemonade turpentine hooch bookends is the greatest sequence PTA has put to celluloid.  When i initially read this scene I loved it, as it stood out as the most powerful and intriguing part to read; I had to put the script down for a second and think before I could move on. With that said, it does appear different than the final film. For example, the first time he asks Freddie if he's ever had sex with someone in his family, in the script he says no - showing more of the affect the no blinking part had. It amazes me that PTA improved upon what I had read, adding further layers, and not just the hypnosis sequence. In general it more so came across like Dodd probing at Freddie with malice, deliberately brainwashing him in the script whereas in the film it was much more out of compassion. I should note that I believe a big part of this reaction is also what i brought to the table with my studies and personality, but i got a general sense that the audience would have reacted to it with more hatred for Dodd without seeing hoffman's performance.

Seeing the completed film it's apparent that both men have so much love for each other. Just look to Freddie's answer when Dodd asks "were you sent here to infiltrate me, by an agent of this world or another." (paraphrase), he holds his "no" in a way that has so much pleading compassion, he wants Dodd to believe him more than anything in the world. likewise later in the scene Dodd mirrors this love. After the hypnosis, Dodd waits a few seconds before he wakes Freddie up, once again we see so much love in his eyes for what he considers a brave beautiful man with a lost soul. he desperately wants to help Freddie.

I also really love the shot of Freddie returning to the house after spending a longer time in the jail cell. PTA used an extreme long lens, my guess it must have been like 400mm. In a very painterly way they frolic on the front lawn, apologizing for their outbursts.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: md on September 27, 2012, 12:01:27 AM
  He changes, but instead of 90%, its closer to 2% like PTA discusses in an early Creative Screenwriting interview.

can you link this interview?

http://cigsandredvines.blogspot.com/2000/01/interview-creative-screenwriting.html

Reread this interview nice and good and see if this man has changed one bit. 
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Reelist on September 28, 2012, 05:27:25 AM
The production design of the last scene of TWBB was inspired by 'A Clockwork Orange' (PTA said it in an ASC article). I'm wondering how many of you guys feel that the design of the final scene (not the last shot) of The Master was inspired by 2OO1? That whole room exuded 2OO1 to me. It was shot/composed/blocked so hypnotically. The lighting behind Master is what really set off that idea to me...There's so much to say about that last fucking scene...can't wait for more viewings...!


Clood is talking about how the window behind Master in the second to last scene pretty much exactly resembles the floor in the last scene of 2001:


(http://www.collativelearning.com/PICS%20FOR%20WEBSITE/stills%202/2001_a_space_odyssey_movie_image__3_.jpg)
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: md on September 28, 2012, 07:59:51 AM
Nice this for raining on my parade  :)
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Brando on September 28, 2012, 11:01:49 AM
Listened to the Filmspotting podcast on my way to work this morning. One thing that was mentioned that I didn't catch on to or haven't seen mentioned as I casually scroll through Master summaries while at work, was that Freddie may have been impotent. He is  completely obsessed with sex but never actually has any. As mentioned in the podcast he falls asleep at the dinner, He has an innocent relationship with a young girl and turns away the advances of Dodd's daughter. It's not until the end of the film he actually has sex. So maybe the Cause helped Freddie or as much as Freddie wanted to be helped.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Reelist on September 28, 2012, 02:04:52 PM
The Filmspotting (http://filmspotting.net/reviews/926-415-the-master-top-5-charismatic-leaders.html) review
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on September 28, 2012, 02:31:51 PM
I wonder if this is obvious, but I'll throw it out there anyway since there have been so many questions about the motorcycle scene.

The point of the scene is that Freddie is willing to take things further than the Master. The point he picks is at first a mountain (if I remember correctly), but then Master sort of recalibrates him toward a closer landmark, which was a bush or something.

Freddie also drives the motorcycle faster, which Master admires. Faster and farther.

Correct my details if possible... I'd like to have a more precise account of this.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: socketlevel on September 28, 2012, 04:16:48 PM
Listened to the Filmspotting podcast on my way to work this morning. One thing that was mentioned that I didn't catch on to or haven't seen mentioned as I casually scroll through Master summaries while at work, was that Freddie may have been impotent. He is  completely obsessed with sex but never actually has any. As mentioned in the podcast he falls asleep at the dinner, He has an innocent relationship with a young girl and turns away the advances of Dodd's daughter. It's not until the end of the film he actually has sex. So maybe the Cause helped Freddie or as much as Freddie wanted to be helped.

ya i was actually thinking about that a lot and had a conversation with a friend last night about this very issue. in the script he doesn't turn away her advances, they have sex behind all of their backs. I bet it was probably even filmed. It's much better this way for all the reasons you just said.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Cloudy on September 28, 2012, 05:01:12 PM
Every interview with PTA gives me less of a reason to dissect this thing. He seems as confused as the rest of us. Which is kind of interesting in a way, because it's almost as if he edited the film from Freddie's point of view completely. When he was in the editing phase of TWBB he and Dylan Tichenor would drink vodka and eat steak just to edit in Plainview's state of mind.

“You know, I got into Raoul Walsh a lot. His style, which is a very straight forward nuts-and-bolts director. I mean that as a high compliment, just the directness of his stories. I read his biography and his biography is just as nuts and bolts as his directing. It’s pretty great.”

Funny that he says that, because he literally just made one of the most ambiguously elliptical films of all time. Weird.

About his confusion:
“I’m not trying to be arty or elusive or anything. Where we come from in the editing room can sometimes be intellectual, but more often it’s pretty instinctual. More often, if you looked under the hood, you’d see how amazingly disorganized and confused we all were."

About the three shots of the water:
“Ha, ha! Those water shots are just nice. Sometimes you do things that you think are a good idea. Other times, you just hope that some feeling hits you when you’re putting the film together. You have to follow that."
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: polkablues on September 28, 2012, 05:48:47 PM
I saw the movie for the second time yesterday (4k digital projection, which was a little digitally, but still amazing, and less shaky than the poorly-calibrated 70mm projector where I first saw it), and I have thoughts!

I feel like not enough has been made of Freddie's longing for Doris.  The second time around, it became clear to me that this is the through-line that all of Freddie's actions revolve around.  He doesn't go back for her because he's too fucked up from the war, and when he meets the Master and starts learning about The Cause, he believes it to be what will put him on the path to straightening himself out enough to finally go to her.  He responds well to the initial round of processing, and obviously feels enough of a connection to Dodd (though, it should be pointed out, not nearly to the extent that Dodd feels a connection to him) that he commits himself to the process as much as his addict brain will allow him.  But he's not in it "for a billion years"; he's in it to get right, to cure himself to the point that he's worthy of his true love.

When Peggie wakes him up in Philadelphia and tells him to stop drinking, she tells him to "put something in the future for yourself.  It's yours, when you're ready to go get it."  That something is Doris.  But he's not ready yet, as evidenced by the fact that he's still drinking in the next scene after telling Peggie he would stop.  In fact, he's growing uncertain that The Cause will ever get him to that point, with Val's "He's making all this up as he goes along" the fuel on a fire that's already smoldering inside him.  But the Master says the right things to him in jail, enough to convince him to recommit himself to his improvement, and amazingly, it seems to work.  The "to the window, to the wall" (aw, skeet skeet) sequence essentially tears him down enough to rebuild, and by the time they go to Phoenix, he seems much more centered, more content.  His faith has been restored.

But then a catalyst.  When Kevin J. O'Connor, a fellow acolyte in good standing, trashes the Master's work, Freddie lashes out, this time not out of a sense of loyalty, like when he beat up John Moore, but because O'Connor affirmed something Freddie didn't want to admit to himself that he knew was true.  There was nothing more The Cause could do for him.  If he stayed, he would be stuck in the same cycle of progression and regression in perpetuity.  He would never truly be ready to go get what he's put in the future for himself, but it's that realization, that he will never bring himself to his 'initial state of perfect," that frees him.  So when he straddles the motorcycle and the Master tells him to pick a point, he picks one.  Doris.  He's as ready as he's ever going to get, and it doesn't even occur to him to look back.

But, of course, he's too late.  His reaction, though, his calm acceptance and seemingly genuine concern for her happiness, would have been unimaginable from the character we met at the beginning of the film.  Whether it can be linked to The Cause's methods or merely to his own will to change, he became the person he was hoping to become.  When he goes to England to see the Master again, it's out of affection, out of "what people in your profession call nostalgia," not out of a desire to rejoin them.  What utility the Cause held for Freddie had already been exhausted, and his specific goal turned out to be an unattainable one, but the final scene shows us that he got the next best thing out of it, not the ability to be with Doris, but the ability to be with someone, which is what he really wanted all along, as the final shot, the beautiful ellipsis with which the film trails off, reminds us.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: The Ultimate Badass on September 29, 2012, 03:55:26 AM
I'm still mulling this one over, so I'm waiting until I arrive at a conclusion to post my full thoughts on the film. This will likely require another viewing, but I'd like to address some of polkablues points.

I think your analysis is pretty good, polka. I agree that Doris is really the key to understanding Freddy. However, I don't think he chooses not to return to her after the war because "he's too fucked up from the war". She writes him during the war, stating that she is moving on. This is what fucks him up. This is the initial trauma, and it's so strong that it renders him incapable of coping with both subsequent traumas as well as the previous ones, namely the war and his family.

I also think you're on to something when you write about the reaction of Freddy to Kevin J. O'Connors criticism of the Master's work. But I think this scene is part of a bigger underlying pattern in the movie. Whenever the Cause is questioned in the movie, that criticism is always ultimately met with raw, emotional rage by Freddy or, more importantly, the Master himself (I'll return to this later). This is a manifestation of cognitive dissonance. They both know the criticism is true and that it cannot be countered with reason. The only defense left is dumb, animal rage.

I think you're totally right about the motorcycle scene. But, again, I disagree with your analysis about Freddy's return to the Master in England. I don't think it's out of affection or "nostalgia", but a genuine last ditch hope that the Cause offers some cure for his deep emotional and psychological wounds, and primarily, something that will truly fill the void left by Doris. He's begun to face it, but he's still looking for an easy way out.

In England,  Freddy is initially receptive to the Master, even after being berated by his wife (it is here he finally glimpses the true nature of the Cause). When he and the Master are finally alone, Freddy asks him if he can really cure mental illness and where they first met. When the Master starts going on about meeting in former lives as Prussians during some old European war, Freddy detects the falsehood and  it is AT THIS POINT that Freddy's faith in the Master is completely snuffed out and he sees him now as a man -- a man as lost as he was. As the Master goes on and on, and his bullshit turns to desperate yearning you can see that Freddy's idolization turn to pity.

But the film is called The Master, not The Freddy, and I think the movie is really about the Master himself. He is not, as many have put forth, a charismatic master manipulator. He's a self-conscious fraud. Even his children ultimately desert him. He's a man as tortured as Freddy, but he's been anesthetized by the Cause. He's infatuated by Freddy because Freddy is pained with real pain and the Master yearns to feel something real. He is drowning is self-delusion, guided by others, just as much a cog in the machine of the Cause as any new member. The jerk-off  intervention scene with his wife isn't about Freddy at all, but about the Master. He's drinking Freddy's hooch, drifting away into Freddy's pain, touching his own dormant pain, and relapsing into his true self. He's trying to find an escape through Freddy, but the Cause (his wife) yanks him back, literally.

Those great processing scenes between Freddy and the Master are not about curing Freddy at all, but about the Master curing himself. In his reaching into into Freddy, he's really reaching for something real and raw, something he hasn't been able to feel in a long time.

During the speech at his daughter's wedding he talks about marriage being unbearable before the Cause. He then talks about lassoing the dragon and putting him on a leash. His next step is teaching the dragon to play tricks. Well, the dragon is reality. And I think if this movie is a criticism of Scientology, this is it. Scientology is heavily critical of the field of psychiatry and their, what Scientologists see as, predilection toward medicating. Instead, Scientologists seek to cure people's psychological afflictions with their own mumbo jumbo, something very similar to the Cause's. At it's essence, this mumbo jumbo is self delusion. Their lassoing of the dragon is an attempt at deluding one's self into believing unpleasant realities aren't real, but mere reflections of past lives, etc. The Master says that before the Cause, marriage was unbearable, but now the things that made it unbearable are suppressed, ignored, imagined away. But at the end, they're still there. And they're on a leash. A leash is a connection to you, not a barrier. What happens when you put an animal that wants to devour you on a leash? A lot of running?

Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on September 29, 2012, 02:43:07 PM
Polka, I think you're absolutely correct. I think I (and perhaps others) resisted honing in on that because it's the most conventional part of the movie, thus potentially disappointing. We don't really want it to be about a childhood sweetheart. We would rather focus on the weirdness. Dana Stevens said the Doris scenes "seemed more conventional and less illuminating with each viewing," and I wonder if that's true.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: samsong on September 29, 2012, 03:20:06 PM
i found the stuff with doris (which would include the scene where she's so devastatingly absent) to be all the more poignant on the second viewing precisely because it became more of a focus than the first time around.  one of my favorite bits is when they talk through the screen.  pickpocket is a movie i thought about a lot during both viewings and while not necessarily the key to understanding the film, i found it to be a resonant reference that facilitated connecting with the movie. 
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Cloudy on September 29, 2012, 03:52:39 PM
To Polka and Badass,

I really enjoyed/agree with many of your perceptions of the film. I have to ask though: Do you really think Freddie has the perception and hindsight to see through The Master/The Cause like that? I ask because there is this boyish/animalistic aura around Freddie that almost makes it seem impossible for him to really read that far into things. His character is so confused and lost that I can barely believe for him to be thinking this far into it.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: polkablues on September 29, 2012, 04:26:28 PM
To Polka and Badass,

I really enjoyed/agree with many of your perceptions of the film. I have to ask though: Do you really think Freddie has the perception and hindsight to see through The Master/The Cause like that? I ask because there is this boyish/animalistic aura around Freddie that almost makes it seem impossible for him to really read that far into things. His character is so confused and lost that I can barely believe for him to be thinking this far into it.

I don't see it as a matter of Freddie intellectualizing any of it; he's all id, he acts on an instinctual level all throughout the movie.  But being that primal, that impulsive, he's strongly influenced by whatever new stimulus comes his way.  He first learns about The Cause, he's intrigued.  He does processing with Dodd, he's sold.  Val raises doubts in his mind, he does a complete 180, then Dodd calms him down in jail, and he spins right back around.  He's not a Master of his own destiny, he's a sailboat without a rudder, at the mercy of whatever wind blows the hardest.

But underneath all that, there's an engine waiting to be kickstarted, which is his regret over not going back to Doris.  Though he doesn't realize it on an intellectual level, from the moment he starts learning about The Cause, he's using it as the method of getting himself to the point where that's possible, and he has a moment of realization in Phoenix (though still not fully consciously; taking off on the motorcycle was a purely instinctive move) that he's at that point, and there's nothing more The Cause can do for him.  Yes, he began the story confused and lost, and while it's not PTA's style to write a character arc in which he has a complete turnaround, he's at least less confused and lost by this point.  Again, I'll point to the scene with Doris' mother.  The way he processes the situation and accepts it, he has changed tremendously to get to that point.  He's an animal who found his humanity, or a boy who finally grew up.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on September 29, 2012, 04:33:30 PM
E: Ugh. Awkward page bump. Just go to the next page.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on September 29, 2012, 04:42:17 PM
I think Freddie's goal, even if it's not a fully conscious goal, is to get to that Doris-ready state. Doris herself is not necessarily the goal. Right?

Would it be too bold to say Freddie is more interested in self-improvement than any other character?

What say you, polka?

Also, I'm really liking this line of interpretation. The movie being about self-improvement at its core would bring it nicely back to Scientology (surprisingly?), with an original twist.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: polkablues on September 29, 2012, 04:43:20 PM
I think Freddie's goal, even if it's not a fully conscious goal, is to get to that Doris-ready state. Doris herself is not necessarily the goal. Right?

I'm not sure there's a fundamental difference there.  The self-improvement is initially the means to an end.  It's not until after he discovers that he missed the boat with Doris that it becomes clear his self-improvement was the end itself.

Would it be too bold to say Freddie is more interested in self-improvement than any other character?

I think this is entirely the case.  Like he says during the window/wall sequence, "I could leave any time I wanted.  But I choose to stay."  Everybody else involved in The Cause seems more into being part of the cool new club, but Freddie actually wants the results.


Also, I'm really liking this line of interpretation. The movie being about self-improvement at its core would bring it nicely back to Scientology (surprisingly?), with an original twist.

I agree, but we should also keep in mind that we're essentially dissecting one hemisphere of the movie right now.  What the movie is saying about this sort of guided self-improvement, and by association Scientology, is very different depending on whether you're looking at it from Freddie's angle or from Lancaster Dodd's.  I think Freddie's story is a very hopeful one, and Dodd's is quite the opposite.  Bleak, even.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on September 29, 2012, 04:58:29 PM
I'm not sure there's a fundamental difference there.  The self-improvement is initially the means to an end.  It's not until after he discovers that he missed the boat with Doris that it becomes clear his self-improvement was the end itself.

Right, but Freddie not realizing that at first doesn't make it less true. It's always been about using Doris as the excuse/stand-in.

I think this does bring us closer to Scientology, the self-improvement religion, but in a somewhat cutting way — no one within the Cause was as passionate about authentic self-improvement and self-actualization. You could even say that Freddie was more successful. Yes he's still drinking at the end, but his starting point was so low that the degree of change must have been larger than any of the subtle shades of phoney enlightenment happening with the rest of the crew. Freddie made an apparently sober decision to board that boat — he had the determination... it's like all he needed was a little structure.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on September 29, 2012, 05:01:01 PM
Actually, "structure" is too simplistic. This is where the Master/Freddie love story comes in.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: squints on September 29, 2012, 07:27:36 PM
COITUS / DOUCHE
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: polkablues on September 29, 2012, 07:41:01 PM
COITUS / DOUCHE

I was going crazy trying to make out the word that came next; it started with "CO".
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Reelist on September 30, 2012, 04:30:20 AM
The Autercast (http://traffic.libsyn.com/auteurcast/themaster_.m4a) featuring our very own modage!!! :bravo:
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: modage on September 30, 2012, 08:09:41 AM
The Autercast (http://traffic.libsyn.com/auteurcast/themaster_.m4a) featuring our very own modage!!! :bravo:

90 minutes and it still only scratches the surface. I probably could've talked for another 90 minutes about the film getting into some of the specifics of scenes and things but oh well. Thanks to Rudie_O for having me on!

Please excuse the trailing off, "ummmm"-s, "you know"-s, and describing everything as great. I missed my podcast training class.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Cloudy on September 30, 2012, 11:49:11 PM
That was a great conversation to listen to Modage. It's pretty difficult and rare to have a quality conversation about this film with "normal people" like you said, so this was very refreshing. Your work is very appreciated!

On another note, isn't it getting sort of late for PTA's Charlie Rose appearance?
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 01, 2012, 02:35:56 AM
Please excuse the trailing off, "ummmm"-s, "you know"-s, and describing everything as great. I missed my podcast training class.

Don't be ridiculous, that was fantastic. You could have your own podcast. (Though hopefully it would be shorter than one hour and 40 minutes.)
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Reelist on October 01, 2012, 10:01:07 AM
Please excuse the trailing off, "ummmm"-s

Trust me, If I can forgive Rudie of the same thing ( he says "uhhh" A LOT ) you are certainly in the clear!!


Don't be ridiculous, that was fantastic. You could have your own podcast.

Yeah, it really was a great listen. I would be sad that the PTA series is over but there's still one more to come, talking about his body of work.



Looking forward to part 2 mod!  :yabbse-grin:  Was this your first go at it? Ever think of giving a cigs and redvines podcast a shot? No pressure.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: modage on October 01, 2012, 10:18:05 AM
Thanks guys! Appreciate the kindness. Yeah, it was my first ever go at it so I didn't know how it would come out until I started hearing it back. But it was fun and I would definitely do it again if the opportunity presented itself.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Kellen on October 01, 2012, 02:13:13 PM
On another note, isn't it getting sort of late for PTA's Charlie Rose appearance?


(http://i.imgur.com/Mr3Mj.png)


also good job on the podcast modage!
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: md on October 01, 2012, 05:49:59 PM
PTA must really be sheltering himself if C and R have to hit up CR.  The likelihood of an interview seems slim to none.  CTRL ALT DEL our lives.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: theyarelegion on October 02, 2012, 11:04:16 AM
sure, let me get the camcorder set up....WAT? i'll just download buy it. prediction: there will be few submissions.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: New Feeling on October 02, 2012, 11:46:12 AM
Gotta say that I was underwhelmed by the Master, even more than I was by There Will Be Blood.  I really, really, miss the old life-affirming PTA.  Used to consider myself fan #1 but two bleak and pretentious movies over ten years has got me pretty down on the guy. 
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Cloudy on October 02, 2012, 09:46:39 PM
Can any of you guys rank 'The Master' in PTA's filmography? I've been having a tough time with it whenever it comes up in conversation. It might just not be wise to rank it until time does its thing I guess.

Before The Master I was: 1. TWBB 2. PDL & Mag(tied) 3. Boogie 4.Sydney
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: socketlevel on October 02, 2012, 10:09:48 PM
Can any of you guys rank 'The Master' in PTA's filmography? I've been having a tough time with it whenever it comes up in conversation. It might just not be wise to rank it until time does its thing I guess.

Before The Master I was: 1. TWBB 2. PDL & Mag(tied) 3. Boogie 4.Sydney

Too soon.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 03, 2012, 10:59:10 AM
I'm comfortable saying Magnolia, TWBB, and PDL are better, but beyond that it's way too soon.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Reelist on October 03, 2012, 11:44:29 AM
I don't think it's fair to rank a movie before you bring it into your home on DVD to spend some real quality time with it.

The Master is my favorite movie right now, but I'm nowhere near putting it on any sort of list yet, need to get more familiar.

I thought 'The Departed' was the greatest movie of all time when I first saw it in theaters, and it loses that glow for me every time I've watched it since.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: socketlevel on October 03, 2012, 11:49:17 AM
Ya like I could give you a list of first impressions but that's not a great way to do it because I saw boogie nights in high school and at that time it kinda blew my mind. It's also interesting because in a way The Master is his most mature work, but then again the rougher more playful stuff from the past has that charm to it. Something we will never get back because he was a young guy making movies with a raging hard on. In my mind right now it ranks somewhere in the top three, the only films i know I like less are PDL and Hard Eight. Boogie, Magnolia and TWBB either lose or win by a narrow margin.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: ©brad on October 03, 2012, 01:36:04 PM
Like PTA said himself films are living, fluid things and your relationship with them will always evolve (or devolve) with time. I'm always surprised how high PDL is regarded. It's a lot of fun but not in the same league as CWBB or Magnolia. I do echo the notions that it's way too early for a proper Master ranking.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: picolas on October 03, 2012, 02:13:17 PM
i think the critical reaction to this movie has been very interesting.. many of its most outspoken supporters are saying you need to let the 'experience' wash over you or not try to deconstruct it or think about what's happening too much for this movie to work best etc… i'm not saying this is entirely wrong, but i don't believe that's how the movie is intended to be read. that actually sounds more like star trek to me. the master is super malickean in that it's asking the viewer to write their own subtext and actively engage with the imagery/concepts. there are fewer things i enjoy more in a movie than when i can't help but think about what's going on and talk to myself about it as it goes… this movie is loaded with both heavily experiential and intellectual sequences, often colliding into each other. there's an amazing meta-layer happening in the freddie/lancaster dynamic and how it relates to people interpreting cinema in general. freddie is the visceral. lancaster is the analytical. they are extremes. they are both just as crazy and brilliant and bullshit as the other. the beautiful thing about both men is how they are totally open to and in love with each other's strangeness. willing to look beyond their superficial differences. we're all trapped in our own mind-prisons to some degree… this is especially apparent when lancaster and freddie are in PRISON… the bars separate their individual ideas/attitudes/identities, and become clearest and most solid when they're fighting. i also feel like the law enforcement represents the established ideas of how film (or life in general) is interpreted.. we cage and violently defend our ideas about existence because they're the only things that hold our individual worlds together. i'm stunned by the number of people i run into who HATED the tree of life because they couldn't make sense of it, and saw it as an affront to how good storytelling works… i've only seen the master once as of now. i loved the first 3/4 and lost the thread a bit right after the hilarious motorcycle scene. the last quarter is making more sense to me now… i think going back and knowing the structure it'll become clearer. right now my reading is that ultimately freddie is better off because he's able to integrate the master into his personality and continue living in the moment/joyously, whereas lancaster is stuck in his lancastle… i will also say i immediately like the master more than blood.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: citizn on October 03, 2012, 06:05:53 PM
Just wanted to add a few thoughts to the discussion. Like many of you, I returned to see the film a second time. One theme that really stood out in my second viewing was the relationship of Freddie and Dodd as that of a man and his dog. Freddie represents the instinctual/animalistic side of humans, while Dodd represents the intellectual side. Remember Dodd says that man is not an animal and that we stand above the animal kingdom. Because we are intelligent creatures, I would say that we believe this claim and we strive to be better than mere animals. However, at our core, we are still like animals in many ways and Freddie represents this throughout the film (his posture, his sexual urges, his ferociousness, etc).

When viewed this way, it even presents an "answer" to the question that has been posed here about how Freddie managed to find Dodd in England if he dreamt the phone call. Well, when Freddie drove off on the motorcycle it was like a dog running away from home... embracing freedom. But dogs (and other animals) always seem to find their way home no matter how far they go. Granted it's a bit of a stretch since "home" in this case was actually someplace new, but still food for thought.

I wrote a lengthier review here:
http://letterboxd.com/citizn/film/the-master-2012-5/2/
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 03, 2012, 06:18:15 PM
I like to think of Freddie as more of a monkey than a dog. (Freddie literally walks like a monkey toward the end of the Window/Wall sequence.) Also I think someone mentioned PTA describing him as a monkey, but I could be misremembering.

I know what you're getting at with the "master and his dog" view, but I really see it as a complex human relationship.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Reelist on October 03, 2012, 08:39:14 PM
I think someone mentioned PTA describing him as a monkey, but I could be misremembering.

PTA showed Joaquin the monkey falling asleep in the beginning of Baraka and said "That's you." He nicknamed that monkey Bubbles ( cuz he's in water ) and called Guac that for the entire shoot!
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 04, 2012, 12:37:44 AM
I saw this again Tuesday night, and I have many thoughts and reconsiderations.

I want to start with this, cause it's my favorite new thing. I have a more precise interpretation of the nude singalong. It's essentially Peggy's scene (but not the way Dana Stevens proposed). At first she just docilely plays along, apparently happy, but then something snaps into focus — Freddie. She looks at him, and he appears to be getting something entirely different out of what's transpiring. Peggy senses this with frightening accuracy. And now it's like Freddie is gazing upon his bacchanalian creation, his hooch being the source of his creative power. Peggy suddenly views what's happening in a totally different light. It's becoming Freddie and Lancaster's harem. Peggy is both disturbed by the potential moral decay and threatened by Freddie's power.

So then, Peggy wakes him in the middle of the night to make sure she can catch him in a submissive position when she tells him those things.

Moving on...

It's all about the love story. Everything else is secondary. There's so much I didn't pick up on the first time. Master and Freddie exchange these loving gazes all throughout their relationship, especially during their courtship, and sometimes even across rooms.

The intensity of their love is almost jaw-dropping on the second viewing. Whenever they're doing something fun together, Freddie gets absolutely giddy. He usually starts giggling and smiling uncontrollably.

They completely fell in love during the first processing scene. People mention their post-coital smoke, but the affection in their intense gazes is even more remarkable, and sort of breathtaking.

In the Phoenix conference hall, after hearing the laughter line and getting that direct look from Master, Freddie paces in that empty room, distraught and heartbroken. He realizes that their love is not as pure as he thought. He doesn't necessarily blame Master for it, though; he mostly seems angry at himself for being naive.

I strongly believe his disillusionment here has nothing to do with his faith or lack of faith in The Cause or its process. That's beside the point.

The next scene, the motorcycle sequence, is their breakup scene. It's even immediately followed by a breakup song. So obvious now. Freddie can't bear to break up with him face-to-face, so he has to do it this way.

I think Freddie's attitude about The Cause's various therapies is more or less agnostic — it seems to work, so he doesn't think about it too much. What he actually cares about is hanging out with Master. The way Freddie sucks it up and willingly goes through the full therapy process is especially telling. He would do anything for him.

In fact, for someone who seems to resist so much, Freddie never actually resists those activities. Sure, he struggles within them, but he's always eager to impress Master.

Freddie is characterized as a mystical figure to a surprising degree. He literally tells Master, "In my dream, you said you remembered how we met." Master, not missing a beat, is all like "yes, that's right, let me tell you," as if communicating across vast distances via another person's dreams is perfectly normal. Perhaps more remarkable is that Freddie's worldview is sufficiently mystical that he believes his dream was 100% reliable, down to the Kools and everything.

Tying up some loose ends:

I know I called The Master swiss cheese, and that kind of stuck, but I don't know if I like that description anymore. It's tight. Everything makes perfect sense on the second viewing. I can't think of a single thing that confuses me. There are just a lot of subtleties.

One huge mistake of my first viewing was writing off much of Freddie's behavior as simple craziness, but it's not at all. There seems to be emotional intent behind everything he does. This really helped illuminate the love story.

I paid close attention this time during the Doris scenes. I'm totally convinced that the only one that could be real is the scene where he rips open the screen to kiss her. The other scenes with Doris are clearly Freddie reliving memories as his current self. (Pay close attention to what he says to Doris.) In one of the scenes, he even has his eyes closed, because he's actually back on the ship in his first processing session, conjuring this memory, perhaps embellishing, and writing his current self back into it.

The time jump is dramatic and sort of radical, but on the second viewing it feels surprisingly natural. It doesn't matter what happened there.

As for why Master pauses after unearthing his treasure, he seems to be just taking in the moment. I think it really is as simple as that. It's a quirky delight.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: polkablues on October 04, 2012, 01:01:46 AM
Great stuff.  I think you hit on something that I feel is really important about the film, which is that everything Freddie does is motivated.  What makes the film so great is that we can argue for days over what those motivations are.

As for this,
It's all about the love story. Everything else is secondary. There's so much I didn't pick up on the first time. Master and Freddie exchange these loving gazes all throughout their relationship, especially during their courtship, and sometimes even across rooms.

The intensity of their love is almost jaw-dropping on the second viewing. Whenever they're doing something fun together, Freddie gets absolutely giddy. He usually starts giggling and smiling uncontrollably.
I still can't help but feel like there was some degree of unrequitedness between the two of them, or at least that each had a very different sort of love for the other than vice versa.  While Dodd's love for Freddie is very strongly of the romantic variety (not implying homosexual inclinations in the slightest), Freddie's love for Dodd seems different than that.  The giddiness that you described struck me much more as a very young child to a parent, or (yet again) a dog to his master.  That sense of being completely attached to a person while only having the vaguest rudimentary understanding of what they're saying to you.  Dodd loved Freddie, but we need a different word to describe Freddie's feelings toward Dodd.  Piety, adulation, I don't know.

More than anything, this thread has helped me realize that while it probably won't end up my favorite PTA film, it's easily his most complex.  There's so much to this movie that's impossible to pick up on a single viewing.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 04, 2012, 01:20:46 AM
I still can't help but feel like there was some degree of unrequitedness between the two of them, or at least that each had a very different sort of love for the other than vice versa.  While Dodd's love for Freddie is very strongly of the romantic variety (not implying homosexual inclinations in the slightest), Freddie's love for Dodd seems different than that.  The giddiness that you described struck me much more as a very young child to a parent, or (yet again) a dog to his master.  That sense of being completely attached to a person while only having the vaguest rudimentary understanding of what they're saying to you.  Dodd loved Freddie, but we need a different word to describe Freddie's feelings toward Dodd.  Piety, adulation, I don't know.

Yeah I think you're right. It feels wrong to call it an owner/dog relationship, though, because they seem more equal than that. Maybe there isn't an apt comparison.

When Freddie started believing Master was using him, was that maybe a misinterpretation on his part?
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Cloudy on October 04, 2012, 02:26:16 AM
Really enjoyed your thoughts Jeremy and I pretty much agree for the most part. Like you said, the greatest part of this film is in the subtleties. It's so rich. There are so many moments within moments within moments, layered together so beautifully. Can't wait to see it again. Every time there's something new.

There's this cool little moment when Freddie's going window to wall, and Dodd moves him a bit so that he doesn't hit the chandelier, just one of those little subtle things.

Btw, I'd definitely recommend reading the script to anyone. It's really interesting because in the script there's a period where Freddie actually attempts to stop drinking after Peggy/Master tell him to. I agree that the film is not really like swiss cheese either, and when you read the script you'll find even more context/backstory.

More than anything, this thread has helped me realize that while it probably won't end up my favorite PTA film, it's easily his most complex.  There's so much to this movie that's impossible to pick up on a single viewing.

Definitely.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: polkablues on October 04, 2012, 02:37:50 AM
There's this cool little moment when Freddie's going window to wall, and Dodd moves him a bit so that he doesn't hit the chandelier, just one of those little subtle things.

I love the bit when Freddie slams into the corner of the table and Dodd tries to get the guy sitting next to it to move it out of the way.  When the guy finally realizes he's being talked to, he's only able to shift the table about an inch.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Sleepless on October 09, 2012, 04:36:57 PM
So I finally saw it.

I've left it a few days to percolate before coming in here and skimming through other people's thoughts. I'll try to be brief.

To me, this was much more a film about ideas/feelings than a conventional narrative. There is nothing wrong with that. The idea that really stayed with me was the dichotomy which exists between Freddy and Dodd. Freddy is physical, primal, base; whereas Dodd is philosophical, thoughtful, virtuous. I had flashbacks to religion classes in school talking about the struggle between "higher" and "lower" pleasures.

I'm glad other people have pointed out how the relationship between Dodd and Freddy is like the relationship between a man and his dog, because that's how I saw it too. Freddy doesn't just attack people in defense of his master, however, he does so because he has a compulsion to bend people to his physical will. By comparison, Dodd is compelled to bend people to his thinking. It's no accident that Freddy fights with that guy at the same time Dodd yells at Laura Dern's character. Likewise, Freddy affects people through his "physical" potions, whereas Dodd affects people by his "intangible" words.

I've only seen the film once, so I'm sure there is much more for me to be discovered. Clearly, Freddy's love for Doris of huge importance. She is his anchor. I felt no confusion about the motorcycle scene, or the ending (phone call in the theater onwards) - it all made sense to me. Maybe because of after my experience with CMBB (getting something completely unlike what I expected) I just went in open-minded and accepted The Master for whatever it happened to be.

There is clearly more to Amy Adam's character than I've yet considered. She is, after all, the other point on the triangle, and it's fair to say she has similar issues to those I've already described in Freddy and Dodd. Peggy actually has control over Dodd, but she is hampered from realizing her true ambitions by Freddy, whereas Freddy is hampered/benefits from Dodd...

Clearly, this is a film which demands more than one viewing, and one which certainly demands a great deal more thought. But I loved it. Thought it was wonderful. It had affected me emotionally, and these days that's all I really want from a movie. I personally have no desire to over-analyze it, but rather to look deeper and extract more meaning from it - at least, in terms of what it means to myself.
Title: Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
Post by: Reelist on October 10, 2012, 05:29:56 AM
http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/the-reel-breakdown/jennifer-neala-page-comes-top-her-sex-scene-170308947.html

A strangely long and detailed article about the woman in the sex scene at the end. There's nothing important here, but hey, it's another article about THE MASTER and gives a little behind-the-scenes insight.


Here's an audio interview with her

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muESkLPaQEg
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: modage on October 10, 2012, 12:57:05 PM
Cute.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_ipIHgBk2I
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Reelist on October 11, 2012, 03:05:16 AM
I love the bit when Freddie slams into the corner of the table and Dodd tries to get the guy sitting next to it to move it out of the way.  When the guy finally realizes he's being talked to, he's only able to shift the table about an inch.

So funny when Freddie touches the window and says something like " Out in a field, running around. " wish I could remember it verbatim.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: tpfkabi on October 13, 2012, 10:20:58 PM
I missed a good chunk of the wall & window scene because this extremely high pitch noise took over for probably 10 mins and about drove me insane. Like the time I saw a misframed Adaptation which revealed the boom mic, I wasn't sure if this was on purpose at first. Greenwood is known for dissonant music. Earlier in the film, the score and live music clashed. There was a group of elderly people in front of me, so I'm thinking it was a hearing aid. How the other two people with the person didn't make them aware, I don't know. Maybe their hearing wasn't great either? People got up, I thought to complain to staff, but no one ever came. The old people also liked to talk and one woman literally unwrapped some candy for 5 mins.
The man commented on how small Freddie was on the bench compared to Doris. But she really was very large or J is very small. Why would PT choose an actress so much bigger?
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 14, 2012, 12:24:51 AM
The man commented on how small Freddie was on the bench compared to Doris. But she really was very large or J is very small. Why would PT choose an actress so much bigger?

I think that was mostly his posture. But yeah, either way, the Doris casting could be a weakness of the film.

However, for me that contributed to the intended absurdity of the scene, it being an imagined moment or a distorted memory.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: polkablues on October 14, 2012, 01:03:50 AM
Plus, his uniform was enormous on him.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: matt35mm on October 14, 2012, 02:19:54 AM
Whoa whoa, first of all, it's not like Freddie knew Doris in person before he went to find her. She wrote him a letter and he came back to find her, and it's clear in the dialogue ("did you think I was older?") that she looks older than she actually is. The casting is perfect.

The only thing about Doris that might potentially be considered a flaw is that her singing style feels a bit too modern.

But I don't really consider it a flaw because it still moves me very much. I find everything about that sequence to be perfect.

I have to say that I really love this movie. I've seen it four times now and all my initial hesitations have faded away and I am completely in love with every moment of this movie. When it plays in front of me, it is the ocean and I am a fish.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Reelist on October 14, 2012, 09:29:55 AM
Whoa whoa, first of all, it's not like Freddie knew Doris in person before he went to find her. She wrote him a letter and he came back to find her,

Doesn't he tell one of the Navy Officers interviewing him that he was crying about the letter and it was from " A sister of a girl I used to know. " ?


I don't think there's anything wrong with the the girl who plays Doris. She's too young, that's the point.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: matt35mm on October 14, 2012, 10:34:40 AM
Is that what he says? He mumbles it, so I can never really tell for sure what he's saying sometimes.

But yeah, at first he thinks she's in college, then a senior in high school, then a junior in high school...
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: tpfkabi on October 15, 2012, 12:15:54 AM
Just read the leaked 124 pg. script.
It makes some of the scenes in question clear.
A line that explains an action didn't make the film.
Instead of a character saying something, he instead imagines it/we see it visually.
More on the Split Saber being worth something/secrecy/etc.

I'm being vague in case someone may want to leave it more up to interpretation.

Too big of a thread to go back through - was the 124 pg script the only one that leaked?
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: AntiDumbFrogQuestion on October 17, 2012, 02:44:55 PM
Looking back, I don't see Kubrick as much in PTAs latest fare as much as a bit of Werner Herzog.
PTA may take the infulence of an entire history of cinema with him when he makes a film, so there may not be a direct line between the similarities The Master, CWBB and Herzog's earlier works (maybe i'm just thinking of the Kinski stuff).

The films follow around a character on the cusp of sanity, violence bubbling up under the surface. There is no fear of keeping a single shot idle or getting a bit angry out of the blue. No fear of slowness. There's a very cold and dry sense to the universes that are created by the filmmakers. They play with our sense of stability yet form their own quiet resolutions.
I'm a bit sleep deprived so it's hard for me to describe what connections I see between the films. I just wonder if anybody else here could see where I'm coming from and made similar comparisons.

Overall, though, The Master is its own thing, and PTA has created another complex, challenging experience for us to dissect for years to come
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: wilder on October 18, 2012, 11:00:55 AM
Elvis Mitchell interviews Joaquin Phoenix for Vulture

When I show up 15 minutes early to meet Joaquin Phoenix for our interview, he is already there—and based on the cigarette butt in the ashtray, he's been waiting for me for a bit. The notoriously reticent Phoenix regards me with a chuckle: "Good luck with this conversation," he says, smiling.

Phoenix, 37, has made a triumphal return to the movies with his starring role in Paul Thomas Anderson's intimate epic, The Master, in which he plays the lost and yearning Freddie Quell, a World War II veteran trying to clear his head when he meets the charismatic Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), an author and academic whose oratorical gifts are so silken that he seems to even be hypnotizing himself. The Master trails Freddie in his search for meaning in postwar America. But while Phoenix himself can be an evasive talker, his intent does not appear to be slipperiness or obfuscation. He simply seems uninterested in pimping himself, and is more prone to dropping his awe of Hoffman or his nervousness about working with Anderson; if Phoenix ever writes a Master making-of diary, each entry will likely start with, "Today I'll probably be fired . . ."

Anderson made Phoenix's eager restlessness central to Freddie—and The Master as well. I can't think of another filmmaker whose work focuses almost entirely on anxiety. It may be something that he has in common with Phoenix, who took testing one's limits to a new level-high or low, depending on your feeling about it—with I'm Still Here (2010), his collaboration with director, best friend, and brother-in-law Casey Affleck. Despite the haze that he created around that film—in which he announced plans to give up acting for a career in hip-hop—Phoenix wants to be understood; and in its aftermath, he wants audiences to be surprised by his performances while they're still current. So even as Phoenix claimed that he had nothing to say (which was hardly the case), he was generous with his time and did something interview subjects rarely do: easily 20 percent of the conversation was his questioning me. He stayed long enough to be late—quite late—for another appointment, and even took a moment to chat up another lunch guest at the Sunset Tower Hotel when he excused himself from the table and bellowed, "You never call, you never write, you skipped my Bar Mitzvah," as he strode over to give a warm hello to Richard Lewis. After Phoenix exited, Lewis leaned in and said of his old friend, "He's a great actor—and a good man. He's been away too long." I had to agree.



ELVIS MITCHELL: What do you see in movies when you watch them that makes you think, This is a director who I want to work with? Or does that ever occur to you?

JOAQUIN PHOENIX: I actually like it when I'm not really familiar with the director's work.

MITCHELL: Really?

PHOENIX: Yeah. I remember doing a movie and the director gave me a DVD of one of his films to watch. We had this meeting, and I was like, "I like him. I want to work with him, so I don't want to watch the movie." I don't know . . . I was probably foolish.

MITCHELL: Do you want to be surprised when you work with someone? Is that what it is?

PHOENIX: [pauses] I don't know . . . I don't know why. Obviously, there are some people, like Ridley [Scott]—I'd seen Blade Runner [1982] and Alien [1979] growing up, so I knew those films before we did Gladiator [2000]. But I guess I just want to base my decision off my interaction with the person, kind of . . . [sighs]

MITCHELL: So it's not just a matter of working with somebody's résumé. You want to work with the person.

PHOENIX: Yeah. I mean, I guess the smart thing would be to do both, but maybe it's just laziness on my part. I don't know. I just don't want to have to sit through a movie. [Mitchell laughs] What the fuck? I don't know . . .

MITCHELL: Do you find it tough to connect with movies? Would you rather be making them than watching them? Is that what it is?

PHOENIX: Definitely . . . Well, imagine being, like, a magician, and then going to watch other magicians. Sometimes you watch crap magicians. Every once in a while you see a great one and you're like, "Oh, fuck. That's cool." But as a magician, you know everything that happens, and it just takes you out of the whole thing. So when you get a movie where you don't see any of those things, that's when it's awesome. You're just caught up in the moment. But with so many movies, it's not really enjoyable.

MITCHELL: Do you think it's because you started in the business so young and you got to see so much of this stuff happening and were aware of it at a really early age?

PHOENIX: Maybe. But it's weird because for as long as I've been making movies, I really don't know a lot of the technical side. I mean, I've actively and consciously tried to avoid learning that stuff. I just want to be open and receptive to what's happening in the moment, and I don't want to force anything. Dishonesty is so ugly on film. You just act, and it's so ugly, and I don't want to do that. I mean, everything that they teach you when you're a kid about acting is completely fucking wrong. They tell you to memorize your lines, follow your light, and hit your marks. Those are the three things that you shouldn't do. You should not learn your lines, you should not hit your mark, and you should never follow your light. Find your light—that's my opinion. Everyone else will tell me I'm wrong, but that's my opinion.

MITCHELL: When did you come to that conclusion? When did that happen for you?

PHOENIX: Really, before I'm Still Here. Obviously, I'm Still Here just made me really solidify what I felt about the kind of acting that I wanted to experience. I'd done a run of movies around Walk the Line [2005], and I just didn't want to do that kind of acting anymore.

MITCHELL: Are you looking for honesty?

PHOENIX: In terms of acting?

MITCHELL: Yeah.

PHOENIX: Because sexually, no, I'm not. [Mitchell laughs] But in terms of acting? Please lie to me . . . No, yeah, of course.

MITCHELL: Well, what you're saying seems to be that you reject all of these things that are telling you to go out and basically find a way to repeat the same thing over and over. So are you trying to find a way to make it different for yourself each time then?

PHOENIX: I don't know what would make it different each time. Each time is different, and you can't overthink things. That's another danger, to go, "Well, I've got to do something different . . ." Because I want to be true to what the thing is, and if that means that it's similar to something else that you might have seen me do, then that's fine, too. I don't give a fuck. I don't need to look different or do an accent. That's not what I'm after. I'm after . . . I don't know exactly what I'm after—it's just a feeling that I'm chasing and I don't know what it is. But I think the only way I really get it is by feeling that there's no real control and that there's a certain amount of danger. Otherwise, when I go through a scene over and over, I start going through dialogue, and then I start putting inflections on things and going, like, "Oh, what if I did this?" And it becomes fucking smarty pants thinking he's being clever by doing some shit. But I don't like that actor; I don't like that in myself. I can see that from years ago, like, "You're just making a face and trying to say that you're angry right now and you're shoving that across the fucking screen." It's embarrassing. So I just want to capture things that I haven't figured out, that I don't understand. That's what the process is. I told Paul in the beginning, "I'm not going to modulate at all. I'm not going to be adjusting things. I just have to find what I feel and you've got to tell me to pull way back or go forward or if it's too much. But I'm going to go in and do what I feel in the moment." Sometimes it's wrong. Sometimes you come into something with too much energy. I mean, look, I'm very fortunate because I've worked with these amazing directors that I'm able to do that with and really find the truth with, because that's what they're after as well. But if the director's not after it, then forget it. There aren't fucking good actors. It's all the director. It's so funny when people say it's good actors—and actors really believe it and shit. You're completely hostage to the director. So the director is the most important person to me. I work for them. My job is to help them fulfill their vision. But I like being an employee. I like making somebody happy—and if they're not, then I'm crushed.

MITCHELL: How much of it is making them happy and making yourself happy?

PHOENIX: I'm probably never going to be happy . . . Well, I'll tell you what, that's not true. Here's a guarantee: If I'm happy about something that I've done, then it's going to be very bad. That's a guarantee. Without fail, if I ever go onto a scene and say, "I've fucking got it," then it's the worst thing in the world. I think you're just looking for life. Obviously, there's a lot of money put into these movies, so everyone wants to figure out how much time they're going to spend on these things and everything is very controlled. The idea is like, "We want to know that this is the third act and this guy is making a speech in front of the jury and it's supposed to hit like this and that's nailing it, right?" But that's one of the things that I hate more than anything: nailing it. He nailed it. Well, that guy came in, he said, "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury," and . . . boom! He fucking nailed it. And part of me is impressed with that—one of my favorite actors can fucking nail it—but it's just something that I don't want to do. I can appreciate that ability in other people, but I don't want to be that actor. I don't want to nail it. I want to go into the courtroom and feel like I might lose the case. I want it to be scary—and it still is. I'm almost 38. I've been acting for 30 years. But I still get nauseous the day before and have weeks of incredible anxiety. They have to put fucking pads in my armpits because I sweat so much that it just drips down my wardrobe. For the first three weeks of shooting, I'm just sweating. It's pure anxiety, and I love it. [laughs]

MITCHELL: How important is it for you to really know the character and immerse yourself in the script before you start shooting, versus finding it as you're going?

PHOENIX: Oh, I think it's always finding it as you're going.

MITCHELL: Is that what it was like for The Master, too? You found it as you were going?

PHOENIX: Yeah. I mean, I would say that it probably takes me two to three weeks before I get anywhere near anything. If I'm going through the script and I feel like I'm starting to really discover that there's something, I move off of it. I want to move off of it before it gets locked in my brain because I have this horrible thing. You know, James Gray really pointed it out to me when we did The Yards [2000]: I will get into a rut in a certain way that I'll say a line to the point where you just have to shake the bitch up and find something else because there's no energy, no life to it. I'm now trying to say what, at one point, I had said with some feeling, but now I'm just trying to copy it. It doesn't have anything behind it. So I told Paul this—and I've told it to every director I've worked with recently: "I'm actively, consciously, going to do very bad things in an attempt to take any pressure off it and to say, ‘I don't know what it's going to be.' "

MITCHELL: As you were reading the script for The Master, did you find yourself surprised by it scene after scene after scene?

PHOENIX: I was just confused. [laughs] No, I was surprised. I mean, it was weird because it's really perfect that I ended up working on this movie at that particular time. You know, you start a movie out and you read the script and you're so nervous and you just want to please your director so badly. But the first time I sat down with Paul and Phil [Seymour Hoffman] and we went through a scene, I was convinced that they weren't going to hire me. I was convinced it was over. I was like, "I can't believe it." I got up at five o'clock in the morning and fucking studied through the processing scene on the boat because I knew we were going to rehearse that. I had to try and get it down. It literally felt like an audition. So we went in for the next rehearsal and I was like, "I'm basically auditioning today," because the day before I was pretty sure Phil was like, "This is not working," and Paul was going, "I know. I don't know what to do." No joke because, dude, for real, here's the thing: Phil is such a goddamn genius. So you're sitting there with this fucking genius, and he starts talking, and I'm like, "I can't follow this guy. I'm not saying anything after him!" He can read a fucking grocery list and you're just like, "Oh, so captivating . . ." It was incredible to be around him. So I was like, "Fuck, man. They ask me to do this movie, and we do rehearsal, and it's so bad and Paul is probably doubting it . . ." But, yeah, then we just went back and rehearsed again, and that day I think we talked a bit more and maybe he was like, "Okay, I'll give him a shot."

MITCHELL: Do you feel that part of your character in The Master, Freddie Quell, is that he's never really sure what's going on?

PHOENIX: Completely. When we were first started, I talked to Paul about Freddie's motivations for doing certain things, and Paul never had an answer for the character. So it was really frustrating in the beginning of the movie. There was nothing solid or consistent about Freddie. But I'm also a slow learner-real slow. So it takes me maybe halfway through the movie before I suddenly figure out one of the major plot points of the entire film. But it's like in the scene where homie starts talking about wrestling a dragon. As soon as I realized that I was the dragon, it was much easier. I mean, it's kind of like my dog. She loves me, right? We've got a great connection and I love her. She loves being at my house, and I guarantee that she'd be happier at my house than anywhere else. But if I open the fucking gate, she's gonna roll, and it's not because she has something against me. I don't think she even fully understands what it is, but there's just something inside of her that's wild. She might not even want to leave, but it just happens. So as soon as I kind of gave in to that thing, that that's where Freddie was . . . It's just impulse. It's not knowing what's going to happen next. It's not knowing why you did the last thing that you did. It seemed like every time we came to some conclusion about Freddie, it felt wrong. It was rather that there were all of these things going on, and he didn't understand what was pushing or pulling him or why. So as soon as I gave into that . . . I mean, that's why I was saying it was perfect for me at the time, because that was kind of the approach that I wanted to be taking in acting as well-to not know what it is and to give in to the moment. It's so rare to get a chance to do that because everything about movies is that we all know that we're heading to this point-that's where we have to get. Somebody has to cry at this thing on this line because somebody just died. But it just takes all the fucking joy and the beauty out of it. You're missing everything.

MITCHELL: It seems like the last few movies you've done—Two Lovers [2008], I'm Still Here, and now, The Master—are all about these guys who kind of don't know where they're going. Is that something that attracts you? Or is it just this period?

PHOENIX: I guess it might just be this period, but I don't know. I do like that just because, obviously, it's more exciting for me as an actor. I think that part of it is that you make so many movies and you start seeing how things are laid out and you just start to get bored, so you start looking for things that feel unknown and exciting. But I don't know if there's any end game. It's just something that I'm doing if I'm going to do it.

MITCHELL: Was working with Casey [Affleck] on I'm Still Here enjoyable and the whole experience making that movie?

PHOENIX: It was and it wasn't. I mean, we fought a lot. It was really hard working with someone who is that good of a friend. He's my best friend. I respect him. I think he's an amazing and talented actor and filmmaker. It was my dream since we were young to work with Casey. But it was very difficult because Casey was really intent on keeping it secret and I, of course, was a bit of a pussy at times, where I was like, "Well, I would like to tell my friend who has been calling me for a fucking month, ‘Don't worry. Everything is cool.' " So we had arguments about that. Initially, it was just basically supposed to be a bad, glorified Saturday Night Live skit. But Casey was really intent on me getting out there publicly and humiliating myself as much as possible. Casey loves uncomfortable humor, awkward humor. We wanted to capture that random moment of like, "Oh, god. Please. I'm not watching this." So he was really pushing. There were a couple things where I was like, "Nope. I'm not going to Vegas and getting on a stage. I'm not fucking doing it." [Mitchell laughs] And, you know, we did it and I was like, "Dude, I have to do these interviews and I'm keeping this shit going."

MITCHELL: Like the Letterman thing?

PHOENIX: Yeah, but I mean, I also did a bunch of fucking print stuff . . . I said the most horrible things about people. I was like, "I'm going to be dealing with this forever." Someone's gonna go, "You once said this," and I'll have to be like, "Well, what period was that from?" You know? But it was awesome because I never could have done it without Casey pushing me. I've been very fortunate in that I haven't gotten a lot of attention in that way before. A lot of other people probably experience more . . . But for me, it was an excessive amount of attention, and it was intense. I'd never gone online or looked at reviews or at what people have said about me ever doing any of that. But we started looking because we were then reacting to what was happening in the press. So to suddenly become aware of people talking about you . . . It just did my fucking head in, man. [laughs] It was like, "I do not want this fucking experience."

MITCHELL: Well, it also sounds like you like the idea of being this car that's going in reverse at 70 miles an hour—that you get some thrill out of that.

PHOENIX: It's amazing. I mean, we did shit where there are no other takes. There's a scene where it's me and then there's, like, 500 people in a club who don't know that it's a scene. We got a guy, Casey's friend, that we were planting in the audience, and I was just saying, "Be stage right because there's no way I'm able to see you"—because of the crowd and it's all dark and I'm up on stage, and I've got to have a fight with this guy. So the terror of getting up on the stage knowing that I've got to get to the song and then start having a fight and then jumping into the crowd and nobody knows . . . That was one of the most intense things I've ever done in my life. I was shaking. But it was an incredible feeling. The dude almost didn't get in, which I didn't know about. He had to fight his way up to the front. I think that I even started just yelling down to where he was supposed to be before he was in position. Diddy was also fucking genius.

MITCHELL: Did you let him know that it wasn't real?

PHOENIX: Yeah, he's the one we told from the beginning. What happened was that we went to Miami, actually, and we talked to him and told him the whole story—"You know, this isn't real, but we're doing this thing . . ." He was really bright because he was like, "Well, you should do songs and stuff for real and take it seriously." But he wasn't saying that I should really try and do it. He was like, "Just don't do stupid, mock things—really try to write a song." So we went to his house and it was just like, "Will you do this?" and he said, "Yeah, I've got to go to this party, then I'll go and meet you and we'll do a scene in the hotel." So I said, "Look, can we also just get you when you're leaving right now? We're just going to pretend that we're pulling up to your house and that you're leaving and that I missed the appointment, I missed the meeting." So we ran outside, got in our car and pulled up to his gate and called and said, "Hey, this is Joaquin Phoenix." And the voice goes, "Oh, he just left, actually." And then he pulled out and left. So he knew everything, but played it totally straight, and I thought he was fucking genius. There were a bunch of people—I thought that Sue [Patricola], my publicist, was awesome. Her face at Letterman . . .

MITCHELL: It's got to be tough to go back to doing a regular movie after doing something like that where you're basically inventing stuff on the fly.

PHOENIX: Yeah, but that's the idea—I think you can still do that on a regular movie. Even though things are mapped out more in a traditional film, you still can be searching every moment to try to find something, and keep some of the excitement and uncertainty.

MITCHELL: Had Paul seen I'm Still Here?

PHOENIX: Yeah. I think that's why I got the job.

MITCHELL: Is it really? Did you guys talk about it when you first met?

PHOENIX: Yeah.

MITCHELL: What was that conversation like? Do you remember?

PHOENIX: I don't really remember . . . Maybe it was just like, "Oh, well, this guy's obviously a moron. I'll cast him." Sort of just, "This fucking monkey will do anything. I'll just let that monkey sling shit at himself. That will be great." And that was essentially what I was. Near the end of the movie, he was just calling me Bubbles. [Mitchell laughs] It's just like, "Let's see what else I can get my pet monkey to do. Will the pet monkey set himself on fire?" [makes monkey noises]

MITCHELL: I can tell you one of the more tense moments of TV that I've ever seen was watching your follow-up Letterman appearance. Just watching you come out for that second appearance where you had to explain to him what was going on with the first . . .

PHOENIX: It was actually fine. It's funny because I can't ever really say all the different things that were involved, so I can't give you an accurate description of what I felt and why. There was a lot going on . . . I can't really talk about it, but I was just was so relieved that we were finally able to go and not lie. I don't like lying-I really don't. So I just felt so relieved to be able to talk about it.

MITCHELL: It always sounded weird to me when you said, "I don't like acting anymore." It seems from just watching you and listening to you talk about acting now, you love it, don't you?

PHOENIX: Yeah.

MITCHELL: What was that like for you to say to people, "I'm done with acting. I don't like it anymore"?

PHOENIX: Well, listen, there was some truth to that. There are certain aspects of acting that I don't like. I'm not a person who loves being on set. I mean, I know people that have their espresso machines in their trailers and they like being in there and they put pictures on walls. But I don't like it. I don't like sitting around. I don't like small talk and being around 60 people all day long. So there are many different pieces that are required as an actor that I find difficult. Press and things like that. So part of why we did the movie is because Casey and I would constantly say after every movie, "I'm quitting." And then of course, it became this running joke of like, "So what do you think you're going to do?" "Well, what skills do you have besides picking your fucking nose?" So that was always the joke. It was hilarious because it really was quiet when it was starting out. Casey was like, "We're going up to San Francisco and I'm doing this play. This might be a good time to announce your retirement because there will be press at this thing." And I was like, "I'm not going." We literally were not going to do it. But then there we are on the plane, and then we're at the thing, and there's the press line. So we walk toward the press line, and I'm like, "Should I do it?" and he's like, "You should do it right now." I was like, "Are you sure we should do it right now?" But then Casey walked right up to a camera and was like, "Hey!" and that was it. It was like, "Well, now we have to keep going." We really just painted ourselves into a corner. That was a really uncomfortable feeling for me though. I thought Casey and I had actually achieved ultimate success with I'm Still Here, if your definition of success is completely destroying your career-which was somewhat the intent. But doing that movie was one of the best things that I've done and that I'll ever do.

MITCHELL: Sounds like it was liberating for you.

PHOENIX: Unbelievably liberating. It's the best thing I've ever done in terms of helping me grow as an actor and having a deeper appreciation for acting. But for a while, it was bad. I was so worried. Casey and I were getting into big fights about it-really intense-and I was like, "Fuck, I've worked for years and this movie cost me money and I'm going to lose my house."

MITCHELL: The funniest thing in the world to me is the idea of a white guy in his thirties going, "Wait—I'm going to go into hip-hop."

PHOENIX: But it was also a guy who came from a time when hip-hop was rebel music, and it was intense and rock hard and its own thing. It's been so corrupted at this point, but he's talking about it like it's real compared to acting. He just thinks, I don't want to support that machine anymore so I'm gonna go do this other thing that is pure and raw. Because when I was a kid, hip-hop was pure and raw.

MITCHELL: Like, almost 30 years ago.

PHOENIX: I know, but that's still what I remember. I loved hip-hop—that's why I did it, because it's something I actually knew about. From, like, '88 to '94 was my time. Black Moon was a great band. Enta da Stage [1993], Nas's Illmatic [1994], and Wu-Tang Clan's Enter the Wu-Tang [1993] all came out within a year, and it was mind-blowing because I was so deep into it. I love hip-hop.

MITCHELL: When you were writing songs, was there a point of view you were trying to get across?

PHOENIX: It was just foolish. You know when people get so desperate to try to make a change in their life that everything is forced and they become really self-righteous? That's what it was. It was, "I got something to say!" But really, you've got nothing to say, and you think if you just keep saying stuff then it's gonna be profound at some point. Then it's the feeling of, "Wait, I'm wrong. It wasn't this other thing that I'm supposed to do. It wasn't the press, and it wasn't anyone making me do anything. I've just got nothing to offer." And then it's like, "Well, I guess if people are desperate enough to accept me in this one thing, I might as well stick with that." So that's what it was.

MITCHELL: That's why when I heard you say, "I don't like acting," I was like, "That can't be."

PHOENIX: It's funny because some people that I've worked with were more convinced because they were with me in the trailer when I was like, "I don't want to work anymore."

MITCHELL: I just thought it was more that you didn't want to be in the business anymore, not that you didn't want to act anymore.

PHOENIX: Well, the truth was that I didn't want to be in the business anymore, but I wanted to act, so I had to find a way to do that. It was like, "We want danger. We want destruction."

MITCHELL: But that's what hip-hop used to be. It was dangerous.

PHOENIX: Let me ask you a question. I was just with my mother and my stepfather to do this work with peaceful, nonconflict resolution. They work with a lot of kids, and I was just visiting with them, which fascinated me because this place they were working is this last-of-the-line school, like the one you go to right before you're in jail. These kids have already been kicked out of every school. So here I am in this class with these kids, and they say, "Talk about what your gifts are this year." And this one girl is like, "Two hands." She has two hands—she's a fighter. And this is a gift, right? But it's tough because on the way rolling over there I was bumping fucking Weezy—and I love hardcore rap—but I felt supremely guilty. I'm hanging out with this 13-year-old kid, and I'm thinking about me at 13. Is there enough rage and dissatisfaction in your life where it feels like you're never fucking heard and no one ever gives a fuck about you? I was angry when that was going on, and I was raised where I wasn't worried about whether I was going to be able to eat tomorrow. I wasn't worried about my safety—

MITCHELL: You're not worried if you're going to be arrested or stopped in the street for no reason.

PHOENIX: Yeah. So I don't experience any of that. I mean, dude, how can you work in film and still see the overt racism that exists in film and not just be furious all the time?

MITCHELL: You know what? As a black person, you see so much racism. Films are no different than the government, politics—it's everywhere. It's not exclusively film. It's infuriating to see it in film. But my being in film changes things.

PHOENIX: Yeah, but there's all of this horrible racism that white people don't even recognize. Did you see Jumping the Broom?

MITCHELL: I'm a black person. Of course I saw it.

PHOENIX: I feel like all white people have to see the film just because I've never seen a movie in which most of the white characters in the movie were just working. It was fucking great. It was almost comical. There was a scene during the wedding reception, and there are, like, eight white people just carrying stuff. The main white character with some dialogue was the ditzy, stupid assistant. I enjoyed it so much because you never see that. But that's something that I think white people don't notice. They don't notice that the fourth character is black and that's what it always is. It's always happening. It's just the assumption that, "Well, that's just a representation of life."

MITCHELL: But you know what's also underneath that? A lot of the time you see all this ambition from these black actors and it's just pouring off the screen. Because they don't often get a chance to work, and when they do, they don't usually get a chance to work with other black people. You can just see the pleasure of those actors. I went to see that movie with my sisters and you could see the crowd levitating. People wonder why black kids don't go to the movies. It's because, what's the point? If you don't see yourself, then why would you go?

PHOENIX: You know, I got this script a while ago for this thing. It was kind of like an action movie, and it definitely dealt with race in a big way. But then it didn't. Without getting into specifics . . .

MITCHELL: Did the film get made?

PHOENIX: Oh, it got made. But you could not believe that this thing actually got made, because it seemed like it was from the 1940s or something. It's got this black character in it who was literally always being saved by the white dude because he was, like, cowering in the corner. So I went in and met the director and producer and I said, "You guys realize that your only black character is this guy, and it's like the most clichéd thing we've seen in movies forever." And they were like, "What do you mean?" And I was like, "You mean you're not even aware of it?" They didn't even realize what they were doing. So I said, "Look, I'll give them a read if the black character doesn't get killed and is going to make it into the sequel. They have to put him in their sequel, the black character." So I spoke to the writer and was like, "Dude, be a hero. When this movie comes out in the summertime, give black kids a character they can see themselves in." But it just didn't occur to them, and I realized what a battle it is when people aren't even aware of what they're doing. I know what that battle is. I've done battles like that before, and you lose. So I didn't do the movie . . . They did keep the black character alive, though. He's in the sequel-at least, that's what I've heard.

MITCHELL: Was it a successful movie?

PHOENIX: I don't think it's come out yet. It's one of those big action movies.

MITCHELL: So what are you going to do when they put you on the awards circuit for The Master?

PHOENIX: You're out of your mind, dude. You're out of touch with what has happened.

MITCHELL: I think we've established that you're the one who's out of his mind. [Phoenix laughs] You don't think that's going to happen?

PHOENIX: I'm just saying that I think it's bullshit. I think it's total, utter bullshit, and I don't want to be a part of it. I don't believe in it. It's a carrot, but it's the worst-tasting carrot I've ever tasted in my whole life. I don't want this carrot. It's totally subjective. Pitting people against each other . . . It's the stupidest thing in the whole world. It was one of the most uncomfortable periods of my life when Walk the Line was going through all the awards stuff and all that. I never want to have that experience again. I don't know how to explain it—and it's not like I'm in this place where I think I'm just above it—but I just don't ever want to get comfortable with that part of things.

MITCHELL: You've got to have some cool stuff coming your way now, though.

PHOENIX: Yeah. I finished something this summer.

MITCHELL: Is that the thing you did in China?

PHOENIX: Yeah. Spike Jonze directed it. I've been incredibly fortunate—I just get to work with brilliant people. But it's funny because I was having this conversation with a friend . . . There was this period after I'm Still Here when I was getting a lot of big-money offers because they were crap things. I think a lot of people were like, "He's fucked. He's desperate." These offers were, like, a lot of money—maybe not for other actors, but definitely for me. But I don't want that power. I don't want $20-million power.

MITCHELL: But isn't that a way to get in there and change things—when you get that kind of money?

PHOENIX: Yeah, but you could also end up just being another motherfucker who gave up on their ideals. To get to that place where you're making those movies? I just don't know many people who have made it and kept their identity. I've never made $20 million. I'm scared. I don't know if you gave me The Ring if I could carry it and bring it to Ozamorph, or whatever you call it. I think I'd put it on and test it out—especially if somebody was like, "It'll be a crazy, wild time." I'll be like, "Yeah, I'll try this bitch on." I don't know if I could take it back off. I don't know that I'm strong enough. I'd like to think that I was strong enough . . . But I'm getting there.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Pubrick on October 18, 2012, 01:10:55 PM
How much of that interview is actually spoilerful?

I wanna read it cos a quote from it where he shits on the Oscars (and ensuing article on it from the playlist) made the front page of Reddit.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Neil on October 18, 2012, 01:27:23 PM
It's mildly spoilerful.  If you've kept strong at this point, keep waiting.

here's the full quote.  The setction in bold made me laugh out loud.

Elvis Mitchell interviews Joaquin Phoenix for Vulture

I'm just saying that I think it's bullshit. I think it's total, utter bullshit, and I don't want to be a part of it. I don't believe in it. It's a carrot, but it's the worst-tasting carrot I've ever tasted in my whole life. I don't want this carrot. It's totally subjective. Pitting people against each other . . . It's the stupidest thing in the whole world. It was one of the most uncomfortable periods of my life when Walk the Line was going through all the awards stuff and all that. I never want to have that experience again. I don't know how to explain it—and it's not like I'm in this place where I think I'm just above it—but I just don't ever want to get comfortable with that part of things.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: DocSportello on October 19, 2012, 02:36:14 PM
I have a question. Near the beginning of the window/wall sequence Freddie punches the wall. Upon first viewing it looked to me as if he had punched it so hard that he caused a wooden panel to fall off the wall. I even brought it up while leaving the theater with my girlfriend but she corrected me explaining that no panel had fallen, but rather he had only dented the wall, causing the light in the room to brightly reflect off the wall in such a way that it appeared as if the panel had fallen to reveal white paint where the panel once was. Does this make sense? It's difficult to explain but I'm sure you all know the moment I'm talking about.

Aaaaaanyway, the reason I bring it up is that after the second and third viewing I was convinced she was indeed correct and that it was just the light reflecting off the wall. That is until I was skimming through The Master trivia on IMDb the other day and noticed within the "goofs" category that they have this down as a continuity error, and that the panel had fallen, and was replaced in the following shots.

Can anyone confirm either one? I did wonder why PTA wouldn't keep the tile off, if in fact Freddie had punched it off. But I suppose it all depends on the order in which it all was shot.
 
I know this is a pretty small thing to be racking my brain over but I guess I don't like the idea of it being listed as an error if it isn't.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 19, 2012, 04:08:14 PM
Yeah, I noticed that both times I saw it. I'm fairly sure the wall was broken in some way.

I thought that sequence takes place over a period of days, so my interpretation was always that they repaired it (they being the actual characters in the house) during a gap of time.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: polkablues on October 19, 2012, 04:15:16 PM
That's it, I don't like the movie anymore.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Ghostboy on October 20, 2012, 07:37:54 PM
I definitely thought it was an error the first two times but the third time revealed it to be a trick of light.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: polkablues on October 21, 2012, 12:59:50 AM
I like it again. Tricks are fun.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: RegularKarate on October 24, 2012, 11:25:55 AM
To the windoooooow! To the wall!
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: polkablues on October 24, 2012, 11:32:35 AM
The "to the window, to the wall" (aw, skeet skeet) sequence

Beat you to it.  :yabbse-smiley:
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: RegularKarate on October 24, 2012, 11:44:30 AM
You ruined my danceparty
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Reelist on October 24, 2012, 04:14:55 PM
Best reason to punch a wall ever was at my uncle's house, he had a porn video stash on a shelf that was hidden behind this wood panel door, made to blend into the wall. You had to push it in a certain way to get it open. Fuckin' awesome, right? He was like batman. I never could figure it out, though. I'm probably better off for it to save myself from what I'd think of him after watching that stuff, though. lol
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: squints on October 24, 2012, 04:29:32 PM
what an odd contribution you just made there.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Pozer on October 24, 2012, 09:08:03 PM
behind the scenes


not sure if these prove to be a bit spoilery, feel free to move, theyre pretty great


http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.524572640905207.136060.131531983542610&type=1 (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.524572640905207.136060.131531983542610&type=1)
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Neil on October 24, 2012, 10:54:56 PM
A quote from the dean of my dept regarding the film, "the nudity was gratuitous, and it looked like a method acting contest between JP and PSH," that he,  "wasn't able to look passed." Then he said, "it's two hours I'll never get back."

I told him that his view only furthers the idea that, "he film works."It evoked something.

he wasn't buying it though.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: matt35mm on October 24, 2012, 11:34:58 PM
Well, as PTA would say, "I made a film that won Best Director and Best Actors at the Venice Film Festival, and will probably win a few Oscars. What did you ever do, dummy?" And then he'll grin, and the grin will turn to a grimace as the meaninglessness of these awards strikes him.

But then he'll light up a cigarette and put his feet up and watch the movie again and think, "Hey you know what this movie's FUCKING GREAT."
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Cloudy on October 25, 2012, 04:06:39 AM
The thing grows on you unexpectedly/suspiciously well. Which is weird, because I was EXPECTING the film to grow on me. It's just miraculous. My fourth viewing has been my best, and that's saying a lot because the previous viewings were treasures in themselves.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: DocSportello on October 25, 2012, 08:33:01 AM
^ It sure does grow. I've only seen it three times but the wait between the 3rd and inevitable 4th has been the lengthiest and at this point I basically walk around mumbling to myself about how bad I want to see The Master again. Listening to the soundtrack most days and hearing songs like "Sweetness of Freddie" and that girls voice on "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" evoke these feelings. This movie destroys me and I love the feeling.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Kellen on October 25, 2012, 03:07:19 PM
So most of my friends have watched the film and they really hated it.  One of them told me "The Master is a great film with great acting, but it has no point whatsoever and it's two hours he'll never get back."  Another said "it was blatant oscar bait" (I don't think of films like this one when people use that phrase.)  Keep in mind my friends for the most part are not film buffs or anything like that but I've also noticed that there are quite a few critics out there who really didn't like it either.  With how polarizing the film has been I was reminded of a post that Pubrick had made when the film was first officially announced:

it's time to start preparing for PTA's backlash/downfall. by this i mean the point in his career where he becomes too good for critics or the general public to understand what he's doing. he's actually been this way since he began but ppl somehow kept up with him. i think we're coming to the Barry Lyndon part of his career where everything he does onwards will be completely misunderstood, underrated, and looked over. Barry Lyndon was characterised as "kubrick's period piece" and that was all -- but it was THE MOST REALISTIC thing he has ever done, he illuminated a world lost to darkness, he reanimated corpses, he made statues come to life. everything afterwards was misunderstood and spoken of in the same "missing the point" kinda way.. the shining "that's just his horror film.. ooh scary" -- it was, as we all know, SO - MUCH - MORE than that.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: coke on October 25, 2012, 09:29:21 PM
Hey guys anyone got the full mihai jr article from american cinematographer that they can post up in the thread im cheap don't want to buy the subscription. Think its like 15 pages.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: modage on October 25, 2012, 09:55:26 PM
Hey guys anyone got the full mihai jr article from american cinematographer that they can post up in the thread im cheap don't want to buy the subscription. Think its like 15 pages.
http://www.sendspace.com/file/9i1zac
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: matt35mm on October 25, 2012, 10:44:18 PM
Thank you!
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: HeywoodRFloyd on October 26, 2012, 09:41:40 AM
I'm jumping straight to the last page on this thread as I, like most if you, want to discover the meaning of the film on my own (via several viewings) before delving into analysis here. I'm taking Kubrick's saying to heart, "The essence of dramatic form is to let an idea come over people without it being plainly stated. When you say something directly, it's simply not as potent as it is when you allow people to discover it for themselves."

So because of that, I don't know if someone might have already posted this.

The reason for my post is about the opening part of the processing scene, where Freddie is answering all of Lancaster's questions in a way that favors himself, but is not true to who he really is. When I was watching that scene, it reminded me of Salvador Dali on 'What's my line?'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXT2E9Ccc8A

What do you guys think? Am I trying to make a connection or is there a connection
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: polkablues on October 31, 2012, 11:39:43 PM
one question about a minor detail.  when freddie asks peggy about elizabeth, she says, "dfc."  (dcf?)  what the shit does that mean?

This has been bugging me, too.  Here's the best explanation/guess I've found online so far:

Quote
   
Quote
I thought DCF was in reference to Elizabeth? I took it to be a purposefully-unexplained "Cause-ism"/acronym like Scientologists frequently use (KSW - keep scientology working, etc.) to obscurantize their dogma. But I could be wrong

I thought it was a play on "RPF" which stands for "rehabilitation project force"

Quote
The Rehabilitation Project Force, or RPF, is a controversial program set up by the Church of Scientology Sea Organization, intended to rehabilitate members of the Sea Organization (not everyday parishioners) who have not lived up to the Church expectations or have violated certain policies. As part of this program, and in addition to the application of Scientology procedures, members do manual labor tasks around Sea Org bases. There have been some reports of overwork and mistreatment at RPF facilities,[1] and the program can take years to complete.

Makes sense, with Elizabeth's wild-child tendencies, that somewhere along the way she would have gotten herself in trouble to the extent that they needed to send her away for a while.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: modage on November 01, 2012, 07:32:07 AM
It's DCF. Someone on Twitter speculated it means Dept of Children & Families. Which makes sense to me.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: polkablues on November 01, 2012, 11:19:24 AM
How does that make sense, though? If that's what it means, in what sense is it an answer to his question?
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: modage on November 01, 2012, 12:04:25 PM
She's working in a Cause center for DCF?
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: polkablues on November 01, 2012, 12:13:56 PM
Except that Department of Children and Families is a governmental agency.  Moreover, it's not such a commonly used abbreviation that Peggy would use it rather than saying the full name, or that Freddie would just automatically know what she was talking about without further clarification.  It makes more sense to me that it's Cause-specific terminology that PTA left purposefully vague to the audience, but that the characters would be immediately familiar with.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: socketlevel on November 01, 2012, 01:09:15 PM
Exactly, Polka's got it spot on, and sorry but i don't understand why this is even in question.

One thing that's very clear about this film is that every single choice was made to not even remotely hold the hand of the audience. virtually no dialog is included simply to set up another scene or create a plot device. This is the beauty of the film, and basically anyone arguing that it's an inaccessible film is essentially saying they want more of the standard crafted guide throughout.

DFC is either good or bad, but it's something within the movement and the meaning doesn't really matter. Scientologists have a word for people like Freddie, they call them squirrels. Squirrels run around, acting one way one minute and another way the next. they're unpredictable, "this is something you believe in for a billion years, or not at all." In the draft I read there was a reference to the word squirrel, they're calling someone out on their flip flopping. but the beauty was they just used the word without the explanation.

just imagine you saw a film full of this:

Freddie
Where is Elizabeth?

Peggy
She's DFC.

Freddie
Oh shit, what's DFC again? I've been away for a while.

Peggy
Oh you silly, you really have haven't you. Well DFC stands for....

You get the point, right? PTA respected us enough to not do that, and moreover I'd argue it creates a great intrigue in the film. It's like a puzzle the audience investigates, and in turn, learns a lot about cults and terminology in the process. It's a jumping off point, rather than a neatly packaged narrative.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: modage on November 01, 2012, 01:14:20 PM
Maybe it means the same thing? I dunno. It's def DCF though.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: socketlevel on November 01, 2012, 01:22:39 PM
Maybe it means the same thing? I dunno. It's def DCF though.

ya it might mean squirrel, who knows. Seaorg is an interesting guess too, however I tend to think not because in the last scene of the film as Freddie is walking into Dodd's office you're essentially seeing the begginning of seaorg; which came after the school in England and implemented military style uniforms as opposed to school girl/boy attire. Freddie was gone during that growth (which hasn't even happened yet) so he wouldn't know what DCF would mean if it referred to an executive arm of "the cause."

my guess is it's punishment or some type of missionary work.

I can't find my original screenplay file to see if the DCF was used to replace squirrel. if so, question answered in my mind. I actually wouldn't be surprised if it was, to take it one step back from being a Scientology movie, as squirrel is a very cause-specific term by them.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Reelist on November 01, 2012, 03:30:17 PM
all of you couldn't be more wrong. Peggy is letting Freddie know that her daughter is:


(http://i3.squidoocdn.com/resize/squidoo_images/590/draft_lens13887671module123541201photo_1286133578DTF.png)
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: malkovich on November 01, 2012, 04:15:35 PM
PRECISELY

It's like the meaning of "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" went over everyone's head.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: AntiDumbFrogQuestion on November 01, 2012, 11:21:24 PM
If we had hand-holding dialogue all the way around, especially the acronyms for governing agencies, we wouldn't have things like "The Wire."
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: samsong on November 02, 2012, 04:13:43 AM
dcf is minute but it's one in a series of details that come up specifically in the third act that cause counterproductive questioning.  not holding the audience's hand and being outright confusing are two separate things.  the dcf line is alienating, and what drives me nuts about it is it's entirely unnecessary.  why not just have her give a straight fucking answer?  where else in the movie does she, or anyone else in the cause speak in abbreviations?  i've seen it a third time and my qualms with the third act were re-aggravated.  still think it's a piece of work and a very good film, but i think the flaws should be assessed as such instead of justifying them as PTA's deliberate artistic choices.  the flaws can be a virtue, sure, but what you guys are praising as audience defying genius are fairly fundamental mistakes.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: malkovich on November 02, 2012, 11:15:05 AM
Personally, it's not that I see it necessarily as audience defining genius as much as it doesn't bother me that I don't understand the context or details of everything that happens during the third act. I do think it's intentionally obfuscated, though. It's not as if the film STARTS being alienating at that point. Throughout the film we're thrown from scene to scene without any real explanation as to what's going on and why, so we're forced to interact more with the film as we have to project meaning or interpretation to make sense of it. I mean, that's what you do with every film you see, but you don't have to work for it. We see Freddie asking the store model when she has a break, and then we see him in the back preparing his signature concoction before meeting her. We can assume that it's now during her break or whatever. But the point is that throughout the film, there's no easy through line that strings it all together, and it gets vaguer and harder to easily make sense of as it goes along, but i don't think that's a 'flaw' that PTA just started getting sloppy in the editing room. Either way (I feel like this might have been brought up already, but I've been thinking about it a lot,) the viewer is implicated as Freddie the moment we see all those naked girls dancing in his fantasy, so why wouldn't the narrative extend that feeling? It's almost like the film is drunk in itself. All the confusing parts to the audience, jumping from scene to scene, the jail, the return, the desert, digging up the manuscripts, the motorcycle, the movie theater, london, are almost like we, or Freddie, blacked out. I think that the fact that there's a lot of playing with the depth of focus in the film aids this idea as well, things becoming blurry then clear than blurry again.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: socketlevel on November 02, 2012, 05:03:38 PM
It all makes sense to me.

In the third act, the self help movement is becoming more and more spiritual and in the process Dodd is starting to lose his grip on the original followers as he streamlines the beliefs in a effort to expand. inversely Freddie is questioning the validity of the movement, and being the type of man he is (of his time and with little-to-no self reflexive initiative) manifests this questioning as frustration and explosions of anger. just look to how he treats the guy who says "i think the book is garbage, it would have been better as a three page pamphlet handed out on the street." he totally agrees with him, but can't admit it to himself. so he attacks the man; classic psychological projection. Virtually the same scene with Dodd's son right before they were arrested (btw hubbard's son eventually left the church) Laura Dern also questions the master. The master is also being sued, the police and government are becoming aware of the movement, which ultimately leads him to leave America and form a school in England. the master is increasingly becoming more paranoid because the movement is getting high profile.

(this is all textbook Scientology, the only major thing at this time they didn't include was the fact that hubbard (Dodd) became a FBI informant, which basically kept the dogs off of him. Genius political play to furthering his expansion. Hubbard would report to Hoover about any communists in his ranks (even to the point of reporting his wife at the time). He started doing a lot of drugs, this was the beginning of the timothy Leary days (with guys like Aldous Huxley and a few beatnicks and celebrities who were creating an enlightenment era through LSD pre hippie movement) when drugs and spirituality and paranoia of big brother and communism all mixed into one dangerous pot. Hubbard totally lost control. I understand why this wasn't included, as it's another story altogether, but it's such an interesting time. It's when science and religion were trying to be processed as the same thing, induced by major psychotropic drugs. The film essentially uses moonshine to depict this same influence on the work being done at that time. It's truly amazing how Hubbard did what all other cult leaders couldn't, he transcended jim jones and others like him because he made it into the mainstream.)

but back to the film, getting the documents shows Dodd's strange sense of romanticism to "the unknown." think about the moment he stops right after they dig up the chest and says "one second." and looks to the sky like he heard something. it's twofold, he is becoming paranoid that people would follow them, but it also creates a sense of folklore to his writings. Freddie and the others get this strange brainwashing experience out of it, they are litterally unearthing their bible. which ironically ends up being a pile of shit doctrine, who everone seems to be questioning. you can see the moment Freddie realizes the whole thing might be a big joke, he sits listening to Dodd as he addresses his parishioners the moment before he reveals book 2. there is something on his face that just says, fuck this shit.

so just like the dragon speech, Dodd takes them out for a motorcycle ride, again with a vague intent for some kind of spiritual meaning behind an almost Americana bravado exercise. i also think in this moment he's just being a dad, doing something fun stuff with his kids. but still there is this "spiritual" message in the action that they must decode for themselves. "he's driving really fast. good boy." this is Freddie's chance to finally escape. he takes it, goes back home to find the happiness he left during the war. sadly when he gets there he's learned it's moved on and eventually Freddie feels lost again. what's worse, feeling lonely or following something you think might be total bullshit and having a family? so he goes back, out of weakness. The two men have the first real moment between themselves where ultimatums are spoken, and in the end Freddie chooses moving on at the risk of having no family. He hears the romanticism of Dodd's approach with him, they are two parts of the same soul, and in the next life they will be mortal enemies. He leaves, finally letting go, and in turn has hope to actually start a family of his own.

The only thing I'm not 100% sure on, from everything I just said, is the last bit. Who knows how fucked or not fucked Freddie is, but without question the moment at the end is infused with hope. maybe it's a twisted hope, but it's hope nonetheless.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Frederico Fellini on November 02, 2012, 07:59:37 PM
What I got from the ending is that it leaves us with this question:

"Is Freddie really free?"

Think about it. Freddy is essentially a slave to his "animal side", he thinks that by doing what he does he is being free. But actually, all the alcohol, all the sex and all the violence are in control of him. Those feelings and those urges are his MASTER.

The motorcycle scene is a metaphor for this. Dodd can be wild and have fun with it and go fast and enjoy it, because he knows he can always come back, he is in control of himself, he has Mastered his emotions. On the other hand, Freddie doesn't enjoy it at all! You can see in his face that he actually hates it. That wild side of him is like a monkey on his back that he has to carry, he tries to get rid of it but he can’t, it’s a part of him. Also as you can see, he is not in control of his emotions, he doesn’t even think of stopping or coming back , he simply keeps on going.

On another note,  I would love to know which parts do you guys believe are “Fantasy” and which parts are “real”?. I think it’s safe to say that the theater scene is an obvious fantasy/Dream. But I wonder, if Freddie had this dream of Lancaster calling him and him going to England and finding him (obviously projecting that he wants to go back to him, now that he doesn’t have Doris),  but if he wanted to come back, then why did he say NO to Dodd at the end?  Was it that Freddie was giving Dodd one last shot to convince him to come back and Dodd failed? And if so,  how exactly did Dodd fail?




P.S:

Aside from the obvious similarities between "The Master" and the novel "Masters of Atlantis" by Charles Portis (who also wrote "True Grit"), I noticed what could have been a direct reference to the book. I was wondering if anyone else who's familiar with the novel took this as a direct reference too.

"Masters of Atlantis" is about a young corporal who meets a strange man claiming to belong to a group called the "Gnomons", who've amassed secret knowledge over the centuries. The strange man is clearly full of ****, but the young man sees an opportunity and a sense of purpose and runs with it. The tone of the novel is a lot more lighthearted and humorous than "The Master", but there are similar themes going.


The part that made me think the film referenced the novel is when Freddie and Dodd are having their last talk. Freddie says he dreamed that Dodd finally remembered where they first met, in a previous lifetime. Dodd says he remembers, and claims they were both soldiers in France, working with a balloon corps.

The very first line in "MASTERS of Atlantis" is:

"Young Lamar Jimmerson went to France in 1917 with the American Expeditionary Forces, serving first with the Balloon Section, stumbling about in open fields holding one end of a long rope..."

In the book, the young man (Lamar) meets the leader of the "Gnomons" there in Paris. Does anyone think this has to be a reference or is it just an odd coincidence?


And also, is this PTA just referencing a novel... or is it that Dodd is so full of shit that he takes this "story" from a book in order to convince Freddie to come back? or is it both? So Many Questions.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Champion Souza on November 03, 2012, 10:37:11 AM

Dodd can be wild and have fun with it and go fast and enjoy it, because he knows he can always come back, he is in control of himself, he has Mastered his emotions.


PIG FUCK
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Pubrick on November 08, 2012, 11:49:37 PM
first viewing gut reaction:

it's ridiculous how much PTA loves making the same movie over and over again.

this was a variation/remix/refocusing of his most persistent themes and in the process was able to discover and blow up some new ones. i think he is weary of people noticing that he makes the same movie all the time, so he is intentionally guiding them along another direction in inteviews by giving a blatant super liminal clue that this movie is a love story.

this film made me revisit what is up with the father and son business. but it also made me focus on the subject of LOVE, which CMBB almost did away with completely. or so we think? the explanation from this film is going to come from a satisfying reason for why the master loves freddie and why freddie loves the master. the energy between them is almost the opposite of what PTA was trying to achieve with Dano and DDL in CMBB. the energy is the point of the movie.

Eli Sunday and Daniel Plainview were mortal enemies. but if we're to take the master's predictions at face value, that this would occur in the next life, this doesn't add up chronologically, in real life or in fictional world. we must think of it a different way, as an acknowledgement of a future return.. a constant return. CMBB and this are visions of the future. CMBB was even more futuristic than this film, it is the "END" that PTA constantly avoids. it is a vision of dark ambiguous majestic dream state, did he kill him didn't he dream it is this real is he there why is his butler not acknowledging him why is the title all of a sudden delivered upon in the last moments of the film why is plainview saying he's finished we don't see him though so is he thinking it are those his words or PTA's words.. the precedent for this was set early.. pta is ALWAYS talking to himself at the end of his films, his characters are either in the mirror, looking at the camera, using one voice to speak for two characters, etc. his cards have always been on the table, his first film even showed what's up his sleeve.

minor things like DCF are not really of any concern, the structure of the film, the visual games, that final encounter -- the master's OFFICE --  even that itself is more important and revealing than weird non-sequiturs. i loved the movie, obviously, because PTA has made the same movie yet again. and i always love the movie he remakes. that movie is his nature, it is the truth, it remains to be continually revealed as he revisits it again and again.. he's hypnotised by it, like the waves we see repeatedly (jeremy blake comes to mind in that recurring motif).. it is something that i will not ever get tired of watching.

after next viewings i will come back and fight samsong like a mortal enemy to the death.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: samsong on November 09, 2012, 05:39:07 AM
okay.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Ulivija on November 11, 2012, 11:48:36 AM
Does somebody know the title of the story that PTA mentions here:

I read a story about a guy who came back from the war and met this girl of his dreams and she turned out to be 15 or 16, I don't remember how old she was. And she was going to visit her family in Norway and all that stuff was in the story I read and that's where it comes from basically. Liked it, liked that feeling, getting it in there.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Drenk on November 11, 2012, 02:48:58 PM
Quote
PTA explains that there was a scene near the end of the film that he eventually cut out, which showed Quell retracing his steps to a park bench where he had once been happy. Quell lies down on the bench, trying to travel in time; to cast himself back to a golden moment before the war. Damn it, says Anderson. He should never have cut that scene.


Damn, Paul...WERE YOU DRUNK ?  :doh:
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: HeywoodRFloyd on November 12, 2012, 02:27:40 AM
I definitely thought it was an error the first two times but the third time revealed it to be a trick of light.

Are you sure? I noticed this the first time I watched it, the second time I saw it, I concentrated on the wall for the trick of light that you mentioned, I couldn't catch it.
The wall seems to have broken on his punch, then in the next scene it's perfectly fine

Maybe it wasn't a continuity error but rather a conscious decision, when Freddie punches the wall, he hates what he's doing, doesn't see how it would help, the wall breaks. Towards the end he finds an affection in the wall & window, he has broken out of his mold, and he has healed the wound on the wall, just as the exercise has healed Freddie. We see and feel many warped things from Freddie's mental perspective, this might be one of those moments.
Maybe I'm reaching.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Drenk on November 12, 2012, 10:12:45 AM
Dodd took the How To Fake Like You Are Nice And Caring Class, and then he created the Cause with his Sci-Fi inspiration. He's a charlatan, but he's also so...He looks like a child. He's not the Master, his wife is. He has charisma. He looks like he's nice and caring, yes. But he's not.
Then, he met Freddie and cared. When, arrested, he says, scared: "Freddie", it's almost heartbreaking.

Oh, the window to the wall sequence is just...Waw. Joaquin kills everything. The music is wonderful. The shots...Perfect. When Peggy asks to Freddie: "How are you?" and Freddie is so LOST, he says "I don't know" and you see that, really, he doesn't know...Fuck. Intense.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Frederico Fellini on November 28, 2012, 08:02:26 AM
I came across this clip this morning...

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/video/master-clip-your-ship-389493



^ It's pretty much the entire "What do you do?" scene... It's short but amazing.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Frederico Fellini on December 07, 2012, 12:16:44 PM
Someone already uploaded the clip to Youtube.. It's some shitty quality though. Still it looks amazing, can't wait to see what the Blu-ray's gonna look like.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiGAxj4obNY



"You're aberrated."
"No, I'm not"
"You know what that means?"
"..No."

 :laughing:
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Sleepless on December 14, 2012, 07:09:56 AM
Guardian names The Master best film of the year. Interview with JP (http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/dec/13/joaquin-phoenix-i-feel-like-santa-claus).
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Frederico Fellini on December 14, 2012, 09:47:48 AM
Is it true that Paul Thomas Anderson asked you to be in Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood?

Ah, who knows?

So, there's this quote from Baudelaire …

Who?

The French poet.

Oh yeah, the guy who invented the bicycle.

Oh, did he? I don't know.

I'm fucking with you.

OK! It's hard to know.

I'm sorry.




LOL That was a good interview, even though he didn't answer one fucking question. I like how he changed the subject when the interviewer started to talk about awards.
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: Frederico Fellini on December 23, 2012, 12:18:32 PM
SCENE FROM THE MASTER......... It's in ITALIAN though. But we all know what they're saying anyways.





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoTaBLkz9aQ




Fuck Dicaprio... Give Hoffman the Oscar for "Best supporting actor".

Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: AntiDumbFrogQuestion on December 23, 2012, 11:12:57 PM
hah I love the "Freddie Grunt" overdubs
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: matt35mm on December 28, 2012, 01:08:30 PM
This is neat:

The Cause Footpath (http://weinsteinco.uberflip.com/i/100252)
Title: Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Post by: ono on December 30, 2012, 06:10:52 PM
The comparisons to Kubrick (and 2001, no less) continue, as The Master is named best of 2012 by Sight and Sound.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-kaplan/beyond-category-2001-and-_b_2337733.html
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Frederico Fellini on January 02, 2013, 06:47:45 PM
PERSONAL COMMENTARY: This is quite an interesting article. After seeing "THE MASTER" for the first time, I had a very similar theory, that Freddie is a metaphor for the audience and the Master is a metaphor for PTA. I wrote it on IMDB and a lot of people didn't buy it. But if you look at the movie from that perspective, it makes a lot of fucking sense. Also, if anyone's got the balls and the talent to do something like that, breaking the 4th wall like that.. is PTA. The film is about CULTS, yes. About pop-CULTure, about fan-boyism, about an artist and his audience. Think about it. It adds a whole 'nother layer to the film. Can't wait for that fucking blu-ray to come out and analyze that shit.



THE MASTER: REMASTERED

By MATT SINGER


Near the midpoint of Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master," the title character faces the first serious test of his newly coined belief system. He's in New York City for a demonstration of his "processing" method; The Master, Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), asks a subject a series of questions designed to break down their mental defenses and reveal buried memories of the past, or perhaps even of past lives. As Dodd processes one woman at the party, a man skeptically watches in the corner, then hurls a series of insults and accusations. The skeptic all but calls Dodd a fraud; scoffs at his ideas, dismisses his evidence, and compares his followers to the members of a cult. In response, Dodd produces a counter example: a river with a bend in it. When we sail beyond the bend and look back, we can't see the origin of the river -- but that doesn't mean it's not still there.
The skeptic wants hard, evidential truth. The Master refuses to indulge him. So many people I've spoken to who've seen "The Master" want the same thing -- some grand explanation, some revelation of greater meaning -- but the film remains as cagey as Dodd. Sure, they say, the performances are great, and yes the 70mm cinematography is stunning. But what is it all about? What does it all mean? Why are the protagonists drawn to one another? Where's the truth?

In a sense, a flummoxed reaction to "The Master" is a correct one -- the film is very much about the way in which the search for answers in the universe leads to frustration rather than fulfillment. It follows a man who falls under the thrall of Lancaster Dodd, a mentally unbalanced World War II veteran named Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix). Lonely, drunk, and violent, Quell finds a welcoming community and a sense of purpose amongst Dodd's followers. But he never finds peace -- or any answers.

Those looking for similar enlightenment from "The Master" were barking up the wrong tree. Like the best of the film's posters, like the psychological exam Quell endures before his discharge from the Navy, "The Master" is one enormous Rorschach test: a near-abstract combination of images, ideas, and themes presented for individual interpretation. Is it a movie about the origins of Scientology? Or the shifting face of American masculinity in the 1940s and '50s? Could it be a sad character study? One enormous dream in the mind of a diseased brain? Or perhaps an unrequited homosexual love story? As the Naval psychologist says to Quell when he shows him the first inkblot, "there's no wrong answer." This is Anderson's cue to the audience: "The Master"'s meaning lies not in the film, but in each and every viewer.

The first time I saw "The Master," I was mostly consumed with Phoenix and Hoffman's remarkable performances and their attack dog/trainer relationship. Having watched it two more times in recent weeks, I've become enamored with a reading of the film that has less to do with Quell and Dodd, or even with Dodd's connection to L. Ron Hubbard and The Cause's to Scientology. Maybe because I've had so many conversations about "The Master" with slightly flustered or greatly disappointed viewers, I've begun to read it as a film about exactly that: how an artist grapples with a cynical, skeptical audience.

After all, The Master is more than a religious leader; he's also an author. In fact, when he introduces himself to Quell at their initial meeting, the first title he gives himself -- before he lists doctor, nuclear physicist, and theoretical philosopher -- is that of a writer. And I think it's as a writer -- and therefore as an artist -- that Anderson sees Dodd as a sympathetic (or possibly even tragic) figure.

A large portion of "The Master" is set on Dodd's borrowed yacht, as he and The Cause travel through the Panama Canal from San Francisco to New York. When Dodd isn't processing Quell or sampling some of his mysterious homemade liquor, he is writing an unnamed "Book Two" -- the long-awaited follow-up to his highly regarded first book, "The Cause." Dodd's wife, Peggy (Amy Adams), tells Quell that their meeting (and his peculiar homebrew) has inspired The Master. "When we're at home, on land," she tells Quell over breakfast, "there's too much pulling him in each direction."

Dodd's comfort on the open ocean is one of his strongest connections to Quell -- and it's important to note how much water imagery dominates the "The Master." The film opens with the sound and then the sight of an azure sea churning in the wake of a massive Naval ship (fortunately, there's no bend in the ocean). Back on land after the war, Quell also finds himself pulled in each direction -- he snaps at a customer while working as the photographer at a department store and accidentally poisons a man with his bathtub booze while harvesting cabbage. Lost and miserable, he finally finds a home with Dodd -- when he returns to the water by stowing away on his boat to New York City.

There are many more references, visually and sonically, to water in "The Master," which marks it as a significant departure from Anderson's last movie, "There Will Be Blood." In fact, the two films go together like oil and water -- literally; "Blood" was all about petroleum, and the way in which it transforms an enterprising young businessman into a tycoon. "The Master" is, in so many ways, the opposite story: an aimless drifter with absolutely no ambition, driven only by his basest urges. In "There Will Be Blood," Daniel Plainview's (Daniel Day-Lewis) greatest enemy is religion, in the form of a fiery preacher and land owner who repeatedly stymies his attempts to monopolize an oil-rich area of California. In "The Master," religion is Quell's only ally.

In other words; these are two very different films, a fact that's bothered many viewers -- "It's good, but not as good as 'There Will Be Blood,'" I've heard on countless occasions. Which brings us back to Dodd, working on his hotly anticipated follow-up to "The Cause." When it arrives -- in the form of "The Split Saber" -- it is received in much the same way "The Master" was received: as a disappointment in the context of the author's body of work.

We've already mentioned the scene at the party between Dodd and the skeptic. Later, after "The Split Saber" is released at a Cause convention in Phoenix, there are more negative reactions. A member of The Cause from New York City tells Quell he thinks the new book is garbage, with insights unworthy of even a pamplet, much less a full volume. Helen (Laura Dern), Dodd's patron in Philadelphia, claims to love it, but also takes issue with a small but significant change in Dodd's description of processing. When she brings the matter to his attention, he explodes at her. "WHAT DO YOU WANT?" he rages.

It's a profound question from an author to his audience, one I suspect Anderson has asked time and again as he's watched his own flock react tentatively to each new twist in his career -- following up the exuberant "Boogie Nights" with ambiguous, frog-plagued "Magnolia;" following up the ambitious "Magnolia" with the smaller "Punch-Drunk Love." With "The Master" it happened again. Imagine how that must make Anderson feel. Imagine how it makes Dodd feel.

So why, after all of his poor behavior, in spite of his closest advisors' warnings, does Dodd repeatedly accept Quell? This, I suspect, is the reason. Quell, for all his flaws, is the audience Dodd wants. He may not fully understand processing, The Cause, or "The Split Saber" -- but he accepts that Dodd understands it, and he trusts him. Except for one notable argument in a jail cell, he never questions his language, and he doesn't moan that the new book isn't as good as the old one. He likes whatever Dodd does. And when someone disagrees, he goes on the attack. Quell's loyal to The Master, not to The Cause; he values the artist over any specific work. For someone looking to start a religion -- or to continue a long and varied film career -- a fan who supports you with that kind of devotion must be a comfort and a reassurance.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: ono on January 02, 2013, 07:11:25 PM
PERSONAL COMMENTARY: This is quite an interesting article. After seeing "THE MASTER" for the first time, I had a very similar theory, that Freddie is a metaphor for the audience and the Master is a metaphor for PTA. I wrote it on IMDB and a lot of people didn't buy it. But if you look at the movie from that perspective, it makes a lot of fucking sense. Also, if anyone's got the balls and the talent to do something like that, breaking the 4th wall like that.. is PTA. The film is about CULTS, yes. About pop-CULTure, about fan-boyism, about an artist and his audience. Think about it. It adds a whole 'nother layer to the film. Can't wait for that fucking blu-ray to come out and analyze that shit.
OMG, bullshit.  There was another post I read elsewhere (not here) about how The Master is an antifilm.  Whatever the hell that means.  That it's supposed to be a bad film and that's why it's so good.  Whenever someone tries to put these meanings to a film it only shows how little they understand them.

We live in a new era.  Observe:

(http://i.imgur.com/MhUMo.jpg)

Good artists simply don't do that bullshit anymore.  PTA is way too sophisticated, and way too respectable a filmmaker to do that.  He has no conscious intentions, and it reeks of pretention for anyone to ascribe them to him.  He simply oozes art from all of his pores, and that's why, subconsciously, he tells the same story over and over again.  His canon is his story.  Your interpretations are a reflection of you, and that's fine.  But don't attribute them to him, because they're weak and they do the quality of his work so much injustice.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Drenk on January 02, 2013, 09:36:17 PM
Anderson is not meta at all. He doesn't write, thinking: "God, my character is the audience. Fuck. Come on, Paul. Write your thoughts in your head. Paul goes to the bathroom and then he masturbates. Fuck, Paul. My thoughts are a script ! My head is a movie theater. Great."

He's one of the few writers who doesn't think he's more clever than the characters or superior to them.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: matt35mm on January 02, 2013, 10:59:21 PM
 :?

Not that I think the article is all that mind-blowing, but it doesn't matter whether or not PTA intends to be meta, because "meta" simply refers to a way of reading/thinking about things. All things can be read in this way, because the meta-nature of things is a foundational reality in all things that exist. It's just a matter of the layers we want to work with in our thinking. Metaphysics is an attempt to understand the behind-the-scenes of physics, or at least a deconstruction of the modes of thinking that we use to understand physical laws. In this sense, it can be thought of as "beyond physics," in that it is thinking beyond physics itself, as a means to better understand or contextualize physics. But this can be done with our understanding of anything.

Films, in particular, are a very rich field to mine because all films exist simultaneously as the story it's telling (these are characters saying words and doing things), as a filmed documentation of actors saying words that were written, as a documentation of the day it was filmed and all the things that influenced it. The writing and pretty much all of the choices made in the direction of a film involve a mix of conscious intention and subconscious influences, because films are made by human beings.

If you're watching, say, Freddie and Lancaster during the processing scene, you're simultaneously watching Freddie and Lancaster, Phoenix and Hoffman on the day that they filmed that scene, you're hearing PTA's written words and you're seeing his directorial choices, you're seeing yourself seeing the scene, and how that scene enters your brain is affected by your mood, your attitude toward this film up until that point, and the ways that you understand everything. The 4th wall is always there, even if you don't break it (and all that really means is that you're choosing to ignore its presence). Even the best and most serious movies are really just a bunch of dorks playing pretend in front of a camera.

All of that, and more, can be used legitimately to generate new ideas to talk about. To map the content of a film to where a filmmaker is in his/her life is not a ridiculous thing, and lots of people do that all the time. It's just another way to generate meaning and the generation of meaning is how anything becomes interesting.

Yeah we can all laugh about Bela Tarr responding to the question "What does all that rain mean?" with "It means it's fucking raining!" To the filmmaker, it may just be because it was raining that day and he liked it, or maybe he didn't like it but had to shoot the scene anyway. But to the viewer, the rain is there and it affects the way the film is understood, and that's legit. If it wasn't legit, we couldn't really start to understand anything about a film until we learn of all the boring practical reasons of why a scene turned out the way it did. Was this scene handheld because it was planned that way, or was it because the sun was going down and they had 15 minutes to grab three shots? You'd have to find out before you could decide whether or not the handheld was meaningful for you as a viewer.

Filmmakers often don't know entirely why they're doing what they're doing; sometimes they're going with their gut, sometimes they're responding to the elements, sometimes they're ripping off a shot from another movie, sometimes it actually is the scene as they had imagined it, but a lot of times it's not, and so they had to figure it out in editing. Sometimes it just plays well, and no one knows why it plays well, but it just does.

All we can do is guess. Or, not bother guessing as to what the filmmaker's intentions were, because, as with all things, intention is but the tiniest of facets as to why things turn out the way they do.

PTA himself has pretty much responded to any ways of understanding the film with, "Yeah, sure, okay, that works," and he seems to be sincere in saying that.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: matt35mm on January 03, 2013, 11:43:44 AM
Oh, also, in regard to PTA and meta, I just remembered that this is the guy who wrote the line, "This is the scene of the movie where you help me out," and had a trailer where the main characters looked at the audience and introduced themselves: "I'm Jimmy Gator; I'm Claudia Wilson Gator; I'm Frank T. J. Mackey, etc." Also, the characters all stop and sing along to the voice that's been playing throughout the movie (Aimee Mann's).

The cleverness is more than backed up by emotional sincerity, which is a big part of why we luv that man.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Just Withnail on January 04, 2013, 02:31:29 AM
Yeah we can all laugh about Bela Tarr responding to the question "What does all that rain mean?" with "It means it's fucking raining!" To the filmmaker, it may just be because it was raining that day and he liked it, or maybe he didn't like it but had to shoot the scene anyway. But to the viewer, the rain is there and it affects the way the film is understood, and that's legit. If it wasn't legit, we couldn't really start to understand anything about a film until we learn of all the boring practical reasons of why a scene turned out the way it did. Was this scene handheld because it was planned that way, or was it because the sun was going down and they had 15 minutes to grab three shots? You'd have to find out before you could decide whether or not the handheld was meaningful for you as a viewer.

I think that's a one-sided take on that quote. I think the response has got as much to do with the guy asking the question wanting to know the director's meaning, as it has to do with finding meaning at all. Like you say:

Filmmakers often don't know entirely why they're doing what they're doing; sometimes they're going with their gut

I don't think Tarr is against people finding meaning in his films, or in the rain, but agains people wanting him to provide the answers.

It's like that interviewer questioning PTA about the water, and him responding "ah, those shot's are just nice", except Tarr is obviously much more snide. It's not necessarily an aversion to finding meaning in their films, but maybe against clear answers, and their answers. When given an interpretation PTA usually answers, like you say

"Yeah, sure, okay, that works,"

And there are obviously meta-aspects to all of his films. What is it Laura Dern's character is saying to the crowd when Dodd's daughter is touching Freddie's leg? Something about recreating the feel of a lost era, memories, quality of light, certain faces (or something). She seemed to be talking about exactly what the film is doing with the 50s.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Frederico Fellini on January 05, 2013, 01:08:24 AM
3 more Italian clips from the movie... Love re-watching these. Really wish they were english.



"Do you want to fuck?"  LOL


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6knQmOGMJgM



THE WEDDING:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E67HcNBuj-I



THE JAIL SCENE:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DkR0zlm8Vg



Man, that toilet got fucked up.

Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Just Withnail on January 05, 2013, 04:13:07 PM
recreating the feel of a lost era, memories, quality of light, certain faces (or something). She seemed to be talking about exactly what the film is doing with the 50s.

I just realized how silly this sounds. This is of course what every film ever does. But still, it sounds like she's talking about the film itself at that moment.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: modage on January 09, 2013, 12:43:35 PM
From Script To Screen: Your Guide To All The Deleted/Missing Scenes In 'The Master'
http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/from-script-to-screen-your-guide-to-all-the-deleted-missing-scenes-in-the-master-20130109

(http://25.media.tumblr.com/cd41c7f28cff14664940269c5dba13a6/tumblr_mg9ig5NTYc1qzp428o1_r1_500.jpg)

This took a long time to write. Please read/share/RT. And let me know of any glaring errors/omissions/probable typos!
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: velociraptor on January 10, 2013, 09:34:47 AM
From Script To Screen: Your Guide To All The Deleted/Missing Scenes In 'The Master'
http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/from-script-to-screen-your-guide-to-all-the-deleted-missing-scenes-in-the-master-20130109

(http://25.media.tumblr.com/cd41c7f28cff14664940269c5dba13a6/tumblr_mg9ig5NTYc1qzp428o1_r1_500.jpg)

This took a long time to write. Please read/share/RT. And let me know of any glaring errors/omissions/probable typos!
This was a fantastic read. I had no idea about the cut scene from the script involving the saber decapitating the Master- I love that.

By the way, the lack of nominations for cinematography, directing, writing, and editing at the Oscars sure is bizarre.. Snubbing on the directing/writing part is one thing, but to skip out on editing and cinematography for The Master is stunning to me.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Sleepless on January 10, 2013, 11:55:14 AM
Notebook (http://mubi.com/notebook/posts/notebooks-5th-writers-poll-fantasy-double-features-of-2012#duncan) (apparently the digital magazine associated with Mubi) asked contributors to pick a film from 2012 and pair it with an older movie for a "fantasy double bill."

Duncan Grey picked The Master...

(http://s3.amazonaws.com/auteurs_production/post_images/12905/master-lost-souls.jpg?1356055176)

NEW: The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, USA)
OLD: Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton, 1932)

WHY: It's odd the links that spring up in a year of cinephilia, because here, on the same cultural buffet table, we have two movies from the opposite ends of the respectability scale. The Master is a film that declares its aspirations from the mountaintop, while the chief attractions of Island of Lost Souls, a horrific gem of pre-Code Hollywood, are Bela Lugosi in an animal mask, Charles Laughton with a whip, and a slinky temptress listed in the opening credits only as "the Panther Woman." To go further, The Master marks the sixth film of Paul Thomas Anderson, who, whether you're with him or not, is undeniably one of the most ambitious, well-regarded, and auteur-ish auteurs of his generation. Lost Souls was directed by Erle C. Kenton, an obscure studio man who churned out about three films a year and who, outside of Lost Souls, is probably best known for a handful of esoteric Dracula, Frankenstein, and Abbott & Costello sequels in the 40s.

So it may seem strange that throughout the formal experiments and psychosexual struggles of The Master, I thought of a pre-Code horror movie I'd seen many months before. But the similarities are inescapable. After all, aren't both about portly, sinister, dubiously-accredited "doctors" who promise to purge the characters of their animal tendencies? Wouldn't Lancaster Dodd's insistence that "man is not an animal" sound at home coming from Laughton's Dr. Moreau? And so we can see two approaches to the same thematic territory: a battle between an untrustworthy ego and a raging id, with a pointed emphasis on sex. Taken together, they provide a comparison between "high-brow" and "low-brow" film (or "auteur" and "genre" cinema) that ultimately makes a compelling case study on how useless those labels can be. Of course, the two films arrive at different conclusions. In The Master, the id (a volatile Joaquin Phoenix) is sublimated and made fit for life among the civilized; in Lost Souls, which doesn't intellectualize its battle, the animal tendencies rebel with frightening, cathartic joy. So while The Master is one of my favorites of the year—a wondrously crafted film that I'll defend against its detractors—there's an argument to be made that a film like Island of Lost Souls, knowingly tawdry and scarcely longer than an episode of The Wire, is slier and more subversive.  Lessons of cinema.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Frederico Fellini on January 10, 2013, 06:43:31 PM
Fuck it. I have to say this... The more and more I think about the master being about AN ARTIST AND HIS AUDIENCE (PTA and his audience, to be more exact) The more sense it all makes. I've been thinking about this shit all day. I dont give a fuck if you like what I'm gonna say or not or whether you think it's right or wrong. I just gotta get it outta my chest.

Freddie represents the audience. Every aspect of the audience. From The "Joe popcorn" type to the "Cinematic snob/I'm better than thou" type.  He can't keep a job, he's sexually obsessed, he's aggressive, his life is empty, he would love to fuck something or somebody but it seems like everytime he tries, he fails. He falls asleep, etc. Probably can't even get it up. He is looking for SOMETHING or SOMEONE that will come and make sense of all this. He wants something to make his life worthwile. This could be a perfect description of the life of any basement-dwelling fanboy.

He works as a photographer, trying to make pictures. But uses the photo-chemicals to get drunk and fucks up his life even more.  Then he has that altercation with the fat dude with the mustache, the dude looks just like Hoffman, this is NOT a coincidence. Freddie (the fanboy) is trying to make his own pictures/movies but he fails, he “wants to get the lightning right”, but he fails. This failure fills him up with so much rage, he tries to choke the "hoffman looking" figure. This failure prompts him to starts looking for someone who IS making the things he wants to do… And that’s where THE MASTER comes into the picture.

Freddie asks THE MASTER,  "what do you do?" Well, Master tells him he’s a WRITER (PTA writes his own movies), a DOCTOR (his movies are like medicine to us. I personally can tell you they are MY medicine for sure! Magnolia!), a nuclear physicist (talking about the photochemical process of film?), a philosopher (PTA certainly is that, whether he strives for that or not. His movies make you think and ask yourself questions about your own life), But PTA ends it by telling the fanboy: “But at the end of the day, I’m a man, JUST LIKE YOU!”. Fanboy Freddie laughs, he loves that.

PTA chose this movie to do this because of the obvious parallels between a guy who is a writer and director of movies in Hollywood and a guy who writes his own books and preaches his own religion.  Everytime he puts a movie out he has to defend it and explain it, for what?  “This is where we’re at? To have to explain ourselves? For what? FOR WHAT WE DO, we have to grovel?” .

I think the best and most revealing line in the whole movie is:  “He’s making all this up as he goes along.. YOU DON’T SEE THAT?”. Notice how Val is almost looking into the Camera when he says that.

PTA/THE MASTER says to the audience: “If you leave here, I don’t ever wanna see you again”.. The funniest part about that line is that in one of my viewings, about 3 people walked out almost at that exact line, heh. It’s crazy now thinking back on it.  PTA is telling his audience, “if you walk out of this theater, I don’t want you as a fan”.   (Notice the lyrics that repeat from the “get thee behind me satan” song:  “STAY WHERE YOU ARE, IT’S TOO LATE…”).

The Master says he has unlocked the secret to all this.  What's Master's secret? Secret is LAUGHTER! Well, isn’t the master PTA’s funniest movie? It seems to me it is. It has a more comedic tone than anything else he's ever done, including boogie nights. This movie is a dark comedy through and through. You can tell just from the opening line. PTA is telling you that that’s the key to this movie. But FANBOY FREDDIE still doesn’t get it.

Freddie is a fanboy that attacks anybody who dares detract the master. Anybody said something about PTA?  Shit.. You’ve even seen it right here in xixax, how everyone always gets so defensive about him. It's not only PTA fans though. It's fans in general. This CULT that gets created around things or people. The movie is about a CULT alright.. About pop CULTture. All those fucking zombies.

FREDDIE AND THE MASTER IN THE JAIL CELL:

-   FAN: You lied to me PTA! You showed me stuff in the trailers that isn’t in this movie! You said the movie was about scientology and it’s not about that at all! What the fuck is this? You make all this stupid shit up!
-   PTA: FUCK YOU! I never promised you shit.. You made up your own expectations! I never told you the movie was about that! I never said what was in the trailers was gonna be in the movie!
-   FAN: Fuck you!
-   PTA: No, fuck you! Dude, I’m the only one that likes you. You cant keep a job, you cant fuck anyone. You’re a fucking mess. But I still like you, You’re my audience. Without YOU, I’m nothing.

And what does PTA/THE MASTER say about the detractors/people who don’t like this movie?
He says: “They’re necessary. For without negatives, we would be all positives. Therefore zero charge”. it’s fucking brilliant.

Another thing that suggests that Freddie is the audience:  Notice how Freddie laughs at literally EVERY joke in the movie. Whether the joke’s said by him or someone else. That’s one of the first things I noticed in my first viewing, is that it seemed like everytime I laughed, Freddie was laughing too. You could hear his laugh coming from the speakers, blending in with the laugh of the audience.
Not too mention Freddie is constantly seen as an audience member. Not only when the master is giving his speeches, but there’s a scene where he’s actually  SITTING IN A THEATER, looking at US. We never see the cinema screen he’s watching, he’s looking directly at US. Same with the shots of him looking at the master giving speeches, he's always facing directly at the Camera, almost like he’s a mirror of US as we watch the movie.

The story of the dragon is the key to all this.. "This is where we're at with it. I say "stay" dragon stays. I say "sit", dragon sits. Now I got him on a leash, and HE STAYS ON MY COMMAND. That's where we're at with now! It stays on my command". This story of the dragon, is not only a metaphor for FREDDIE and THE MASTER , but a metaphor for PTA and his audience. That's where his at with it now. We're staying on his command. It's too easy for him, that's why he's trynna take it to the next level by making a movie as complex and enigmatic as this, and having he movie break the 4th wall as brilliantly as this.

Some things From the script:

 MASTER:  (giving his speech about “the secret is laughter”)  “Funny enough, The source of all is… YOU

Which relates to when Amy Adams says earlier:  “He(PTA) has been WRITING all night, YOU seem to INSPIRE something in him.”  OF COURSE, because FREDDIE is THE AUDIENCE, and the movie is about PTA and his audience. So of course, WE are the source of his inspiration. Literally.

In one part of the script, a Girl sings:  “The APA and AMA will have to kiss our asses!”… AMA stands for AMERICAN MEDICINAL ASSOCIATION and APA stands for AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION… But this could also be PTA’s clever way of saying the “MPAA will have to kiss our asses!”.. MPAA is the Motion Picture Association of America. Those are the guys that rate movies.


I don’t got anything else, and I don’t really know how to express myself very well, so this comes off as very rough (English is my 3rd language). But you get the point of my theory. The movie is about PTA and the AUDIENCE. THE MASTER is PTA, FREDDIE is THE AUDIENCE. THE MASTER is PTA’S “2001”. The monolith was THE CINEMA SCREEN and Kubrick was commenting on the power it had.. PTA is breaking the 4th wall in that exact way. PTA is brilliantly making a commentary on US, as an audience. By DELIBERATELY writing The Master as an insubstantial, pretentious story for the purpose of COMMENTING ON insubstantial, pretentious stories and the way people respond to them!

But then again, I could be wrong. I don’t know.  I don’t care. I still stand by my theory though.

I love this movie. I love all the layers it has and all the meanings you can give to it. Even if you think I'm dead wrong. Gotta admit it makes for a pretty interesting conversation.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: ono on January 10, 2013, 07:19:30 PM
No.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: malkovich on January 10, 2013, 08:09:00 PM
Yeah, no.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Frederico Fellini on January 12, 2013, 08:02:25 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UcaMCzsqNs




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2zy7R-aiHg



Dubbing films should be against the law. Or at least get an actor who has a similar voice to the original actor. Otherwise all the characters end up sounding like cartoons and ultimately it terribly messes up the original actor's performance.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Neil on January 12, 2013, 04:49:31 PM
No.
your smugness just says so much.

I too hate it when people think freely about ambiguities within great works of art. It deserves a ripe and intellectually motivated, "no."

Thanks for your contribution toward someone sharing their ideas in an art forum.  We need more of YOU in the art community at large. Well, that and more cute little fox-news-esque diagrams, like the one you shit out earlier in this thread.

Feel free to p.m me the misspellings and grammatical errors found above, unless you enjoy being openly smug about grammar too.

 Because after all there's no way anyone can comprehend, or has ever comprehended any sentence that has a few misspellings or grammatical errors in them.

oh yeah, back on topic, what a great movie. i really like it.

EDIT: I changed an 'pr' to an 'or'

it's obvious derek would rather focus on grammar rather than content, thus integrating himself into the type of douche bag i described before my last sentence.  thanks.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Ulivija on January 12, 2013, 04:53:29 PM
Fuck it. I have to say this... The more and more I think about the master being about AN ARTIST AND HIS AUDIENCE (PTA and his audience, to be more exact) The more sense it all makes. I've been thinking about this shit all day. I dont give a fuck if you like what I'm gonna say or not or whether you think it's right or wrong. I just gotta get it outta my chest.

Freddie represents the audience. Every aspect of the audience. From The "Joe popcorn" type to the "Cinematic snob/I'm better than thou" type.  He can't keep a job, he's sexually obsessed, he's aggressive, his life is empty, he would love to fuck something or somebody but it seems like everytime he tries, he fails. He falls asleep, etc. Probably can't even get it up. He is looking for SOMETHING or SOMEONE that will come and make sense of all this. He wants something to make his life worthwile. This could be a perfect description of the life of any basement-dwelling fanboy.

He works as a photographer, trying to make pictures. But uses the photo-chemicals to get drunk and fucks up his life even more.  Then he has that altercation with the fat dude with the mustache, the dude looks just like Hoffman, this is NOT a coincidence. Freddie (the fanboy) is trying to make his own pictures/movies but he fails, he “wants to get the lightning right”, but he fails. This failure fills him up with so much rage, he tries to choke the "hoffman looking" figure. This failure prompts him to starts looking for someone who IS making the things he wants to do… And that’s where THE MASTER comes into the picture.

Freddie asks THE MASTER,  "what do you do?" Well, Master tells him he’s a WRITER (PTA writes his own movies), a DOCTOR (his movies are like medicine to us. I personally can tell you they are MY medicine for sure! Magnolia!), a nuclear physicist (talking about the photochemical process of film?), a philosopher (PTA certainly is that, whether he strives for that or not. His movies make you think and ask yourself questions about your own life), But PTA ends it by telling the fanboy: “But at the end of the day, I’m a man, JUST LIKE YOU!”. Fanboy Freddie laughs, he loves that.

PTA chose this movie to do this because of the obvious parallels between a guy who is a writer and director of movies in Hollywood and a guy who writes his own books and preaches his own religion.  Everytime he puts a movie out he has to defend it and explain it, for what?  “This is where we’re at? To have to explain ourselves? For what? FOR WHAT WE DO, we have to grovel?” .

I think the best and most revealing line in the whole movie is:  “He’s making all this up as he goes along.. YOU DON’T SEE THAT?”. Notice how Val is almost looking into the Camera when he says that.

PTA/THE MASTER says to the audience: “If you leave here, I don’t ever wanna see you again”.. The funniest part about that line is that in one of my viewings, about 3 people walked out almost at that exact line, heh. It’s crazy now thinking back on it.  PTA is telling his audience, “if you walk out of this theater, I don’t want you as a fan”.   (Notice the lyrics that repeat from the “get thee behind me satan” song:  “STAY WHERE YOU ARE, IT’S TOO LATE…”).

The Master says he has unlocked the secret to all this.  What's Master's secret? Secret is LAUGHTER! Well, isn’t the master PTA’s funniest movie? It seems to me it is. It has a more comedic tone than anything else he's ever done, including boogie nights. This movie is a dark comedy through and through. You can tell just from the opening line. PTA is telling you that that’s the key to this movie. But FANBOY FREDDIE still doesn’t get it.

Freddie is a fanboy that attacks anybody who dares detract the master. Anybody said something about PTA?  Shit.. You’ve even seen it right here in xixax, how everyone always gets so defensive about him. It's not only PTA fans though. It's fans in general. This CULT that gets created around things or people. The movie is about a CULT alright.. About pop CULTture. All those fucking zombies.

FREDDIE AND THE MASTER IN THE JAIL CELL:

-   FAN: You lied to me PTA! You showed me stuff in the trailers that isn’t in this movie! You said the movie was about scientology and it’s not about that at all! What the fuck is this? You make all this stupid shit up!
-   PTA: FUCK YOU! I never promised you shit.. You made up your own expectations! I never told you the movie was about that! I never said what was in the trailers was gonna be in the movie!
-   FAN: Fuck you!
-   PTA: No, fuck you! Dude, I’m the only one that likes you. You cant keep a job, you cant fuck anyone. You’re a fucking mess. But I still like you, You’re my audience. Without YOU, I’m nothing.

And what does PTA/THE MASTER say about the detractors/people who don’t like this movie?
He says: “They’re necessary. For without negatives, we would be all positives. Therefore zero charge”. it’s fucking brilliant.

Another thing that suggests that Freddie is the audience:  Notice how Freddie laughs at literally EVERY joke in the movie. Whether the joke’s said by him or someone else. That’s one of the first things I noticed in my first viewing, is that it seemed like everytime I laughed, Freddie was laughing too. You could hear his laugh coming from the speakers, blending in with the laugh of the audience.
Not too mention Freddie is constantly seen as an audience member. Not only when the master is giving his speeches, but there’s a scene where he’s actually  SITTING IN A THEATER, looking at US. We never see the cinema screen he’s watching, he’s looking directly at US. Same with the shots of him looking at the master giving speeches, he's always facing directly at the Camera, almost like he’s a mirror of US as we watch the movie.

The story of the dragon is the key to all this.. "This is where we're at with it. I say "stay" dragon stays. I say "sit", dragon sits. Now I got him on a leash, and HE STAYS ON MY COMMAND. That's where we're at with now! It stays on my command". This story of the dragon, is not only a metaphor for FREDDIE and THE MASTER , but a metaphor for PTA and his audience. That's where his at with it now. We're staying on his command. It's too easy for him, that's why he's trynna take it to the next level by making a movie as complex and enigmatic as this, and having he movie break the 4th wall as brilliantly as this.

Some things From the script:

 MASTER:  (giving his speech about “the secret is laughter”)  “Funny enough, The source of all is… YOU

Which relates to when Amy Adams says earlier:  “He(PTA) has been WRITING all night, YOU seem to INSPIRE something in him.”  OF COURSE, because FREDDIE is THE AUDIENCE, and the movie is about PTA and his audience. So of course, WE are the source of his inspiration. Literally.

In one part of the script, a Girl sings:  “The APA and AMA will have to kiss our asses!”… AMA stands for AMERICAN MEDICINAL ASSOCIATION and APA stands for AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION… But this could also be PTA’s clever way of saying the “MPAA will have to kiss our asses!”.. MPAA is the Motion Picture Association of America. Those are the guys that rate movies.


I don’t got anything else, and I don’t really know how to express myself very well, so this comes off as very rough (English is my 3rd language). But you get the point of my theory. The movie is about PTA and the AUDIENCE. THE MASTER is PTA, FREDDIE is THE AUDIENCE. THE MASTER is PTA’S “2001”. The monolith was THE CINEMA SCREEN and Kubrick was commenting on the power it had.. PTA is breaking the 4th wall in that exact way. PTA is brilliantly making a commentary on US, as an audience. By DELIBERATELY writing The Master as an insubstantial, pretentious story for the purpose of COMMENTING ON insubstantial, pretentious stories and the way people respond to them!

But then again, I could be wrong. I don’t know.  I don’t care. I still stand by my theory though.

I love this movie. I love all the layers it has and all the meanings you can give to it. Even if you think I'm dead wrong. Gotta admit it makes for a pretty interesting conversation.


This doesn't have to be THE interpretation, but it all makes sense. PTA is definitely as defensive as Amy Adams' character. I love how you used the lyrics of "Get Thee Behind Me Satan" to support your thesis, and that's eerie that people walked out of the movie theater when Dodd says: "If you leave here, I never want to see you again."

Another thing that supports your interpretation is when Dodd tells Freddie that he'd been working hard at writing the book, that he feels like he went under and that he's anxious to share his work. I can't remember the exact interview, but PTA said something similar about uploading the teaser trailers for THE MASTER and doing the initial sneak previews of THE MASTER (after THE SHINING and TAXI DRIVER), that he felt anxious to share THE MASTER with his audience.

Good job, Freddie!
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Cloudy on January 12, 2013, 07:03:04 PM
I don't necessarily agree with your opinion Freddie (it's really weird calling you Freddie), but I also think it's another way to look at the film which explains its multi-layered interpretative manner. I actually quoted you from IMDB saying the same thing because I thought it was interesting.

Since I know you scour all of the press stuff that PTA does, there is an interview where PTA talks about how as a writer/director he sees similarities to being a mystic or a spiritual leader, which may support your thesis, but still not the whole of your thesis.

I personally think the film is way too amazing/fucking great to fit your thesis... and you can retort that this means I am the group of people that are a part of your proposition which is cool too hehe
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Derek on January 12, 2013, 09:11:39 PM
No.
your smugness just says so much.

I too hate it when people think freely about ambiguities within great works of art. It deserves a ripe and intellectually motivated, "no."

Thanks for your contribution toward someone sharing their ideas in an art forum.  We need more of YOU in the art community at large. Well, that and more cute little fox-news-esque diagrams, like the one you shit out earlier in this thread.

Feel free to p.m me the misspellings and grammatical errors found above, unless you enjoy being openly smug about grammar too.

 Because after all there's no way anyone can comprehend, pr has ever comprehended any sentence that has a few misspellings or grammatical errors in them.

oh yeah, back on topic, what a great movie. i really like it.

Except ono was right.

I too hate it when people draw such reaching and strange interpretations of great art.

Your sarcasm sucks. And maybe check your own grammar before calling out others.

Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Neil on January 12, 2013, 10:08:02 PM
No.
your smugness just says so much.

I too hate it when people think freely about ambiguities within great works of art. It deserves a ripe and intellectually motivated, "no."

Thanks for your contribution toward someone sharing their ideas in an art forum.  We need more of YOU in the art community at large. Well, that and more cute little fox-news-esque diagrams, like the one you shit out earlier in this thread.

Feel free to p.m me the misspellings and grammatical errors found above, unless you enjoy being openly smug about grammar too.

 Because after all there's no way anyone can comprehend, pr has ever comprehended any sentence that has a few misspellings or grammatical errors in them.

oh yeah, back on topic, what a great movie. i really like it.

Except ono was right.

I too hate it when people draw such reaching and strange interpretations of great art.

Your sarcasm sucks. And maybe check your own grammar before calling out others.

I guess I'd rather spend my time discussing a "reaching" and or "strange," interpretation of great art than be a dismissive jerk.

also, i wasn't, "calling out" anyone's grammar. I'm simply saying, i'd rather talk about ideas than grammar, and if you can't discuss ideas with poor grammar use, quit being a dismissive jerk and be a god damn gentleman and help someone use the fucking language some of us have agreed on.


any way, i really liked that point  that pubrick brought up about how Freddie starts out loving a woman made of sand. Genius. I can't wait to watch this so many times in Feb.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: polkablues on January 12, 2013, 10:17:29 PM
1. There is no single, correct interpretation of any work of art.

2. Disagreeing with an interpretation doesn't make it wrong.

3. Artist's intent should be a diminishingly small factor in judging the value of an interpretation.

4. Any interpretation is right that can be supported by the text.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Derek on January 12, 2013, 10:57:55 PM
I disagree with you on your four points.

A work of art can't have an incorrect interpretation? It's completely subjective?

Especially don't understand point #4.

Some people are trying to read way too much subtext in the movie.

Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: polkablues on January 12, 2013, 11:15:45 PM
I disagree with you on your four points.

As is your right and privilege.

A work of art can't have an incorrect interpretation? It's completely subjective?

Not what I said. If I proposed that The Master was an allegory for corporations destroying the rain forest, that would be an incorrect interpretation. But not because that wasn't PTA's intent, only because it's unsupportable.

Especially don't understand point #4.

I can't make that my problem.

Some people are trying to read way too much subtext in the movie.

This makes it seem like you reject the very concept of art criticism entirely.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Neil on January 13, 2013, 12:39:40 AM
The important thing here Derek is that this film is fueling his desire to look deeper into cinema.

Quit. let's talk about something cool.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Cloudy on January 15, 2013, 01:52:44 AM
I'm wondering...how was the TWBB thread after people saw it? It feels like all of the excitement and love for The Master didn't really translate through to this thread. Is it just hard to speak about loving a film after seeing it recently in the cinema? Is it easier to speak about how bad a film is?

When thinking about the upcoming Inherent Vice project, as much as PTA talks about wanting to do a "cheech & chong" comedy, I can't really believe that is what it'll be like. I feel like PTA has too much juice in his system to be okay with producing something in the same vein as that. I think Pubrick was pretty right on in his assessment of PTA digging into these types of personalities like Pynchon...I wonder how that can translate through to the film.

*edited bc I grew tired of the non-stop cheesy gewiness
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on January 15, 2013, 04:41:53 PM
Quit. let's talk about something cool.
lol. my new goto is calvin candie's "let's keep it funny" and of course you gotta deliver it with the accent
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: malkovich on January 28, 2013, 09:53:50 PM
Found in the comments section of The AV Club for an article discussing the best scenes in film of 2012 (The Master's first processing scene topping it)

http://www.avclub.com/articles/the-best-film-scenes-of-2012,90136/#comment-744655386

Quote
(Please forgive the ridiculous length of what follows; but I thought this was the best time and place to finally think-things-through and offload these ideas, which hopefully won’t prove to be too boring.)

I think the above analysis of the “first processing scene” in “The Master” might have missed its true purpose; and that a different reading might unlock more of this film’s rewarding mysteries.  (SPOILERS, perhaps, below):

I believe that Hoffman’s character (who isn’t “The Master” of the title, by the way; that’s a shadowy throne that’s actually inhabited by his wife) is able to intuit Joaquin’s personality so perfectly –because he sees HIMSELF in the younger man; and each provocative question that he asks and hits right on the nose confirms their “link” more and more.

First, he sees the younger man’s “true uniqueness” in an ever-more-homogeneous Post-War America: he recognizes Joaquin’s wild romantic recklessness and will to violence, along with his restless desire for escape (all things which Hoffman has had to deny himself, now that he’s married and locked into his ever-tightening role as leader of a growing secular/psychological “spiritual” movement); and he also realizes their shared driving “need” to be intoxicated (which is the first thing that bonds these two together, their one-of-a-kind “secret drink,” which Joaquin mixed from stolen ingredients, and which Hoffman “found” and finished while Joaquin was passed out on the borrowed yacht…and which evolves, with each new alcoholic invention whipped-up by Joaquin, into a special ritual between them, a relationship that Hoffman tries to keep hidden from his all-seeing wife –like his desires for infidelity and “freedom”).

But where Hoffman has had to maintain a certain very strict public and familial sobriety, Joaquin has been able to indulge in all his crazy animal “honesty” (to destructive excess, it’s clear, and driven by things he doesn’t understand --to the point of letting an unrequited, disappointing “first crush” on a young girl haunt him, becoming a heart-sick neurosis that drives him to sullen alcoholic impotence).

But the “interview/analysis” scene actually builds to the breakthrough moment of Hoffman “uncovering” Joaquin’s deepest secret:  That he’s had sex with a family member –his aunt.  That Joaquin is able to admit this (and all the rest, but that most especially) so unashamedly makes Hoffman gush that he’s the “bravest boy he’s ever seen.”

From his own repressed nature (combined with the fact that he’s sought out a relationship with a woman whose dominant personality easily controls him –both mentally and sexually, with something as simple as an impersonal 20-second in-the-sink handjob) it’s my supposition that Hoffman also had an incestuous relationship with an older (“stronger”) member of his family in his past –a “dirty” relationship that he’s never been able to “transcend” or admit aloud.  (This may have been an older woman –but it might have even been a man, as…) --Furthermore, Hoffman’s own son seems to be a victim of Hoffman’s “control” –if not actually sexually, than certainly psychosexually…as he is also seen to be sullen and  “bitch resentful” and unable to break free of his father’s manipulation; until, at the end of the film, he is eventually seen, in England, to be a “broken and remade” (if utterly repressed) man, dressing exactly like his father, and acting completely differently, like a professional scion and “corporate lieutenant,” resigned to his role in the hierarchy of his parent’s “cult-like business.”

Anyway, this reading helps make it clearer that Hoffman is not an utter fraud –that his perceptiveness and prompting in fact cures Joaquin; so that by the end of the film, Joaquin is not only able to break free of Hoffman (who watches in joyous pride as he escapes on the motorcycle –something his own son would never have been able to do), but is able to finally confront his crippling past, as after so many terrified years he can at last “go home,” hoping to face the girl whose “absent love” so possessed him; and by talking with her family and finding out that she was able to move on with her life, he’s ultimately able to see this sad relationship for what it truly was –and in doing so, completely break its hold over him.

This allows, by the movie’s conclusion, the scene where Joaquin is able to again have a sexual relationship in England –without having to rely any more on the crutch of booze.  (He’s even learned how the “questioning game” he learned in that first “processing scene” --a version of which he plays with the girl on the bed-- is actually a gateway to intimacy and self-reflection.)  Therefore:  in the film’s final image, he lays in peaceful sleep beside the “sand woman of his own creation” –meaning that he’s not controlled any longer by his
mistaken fantasies, and is finally free to love and be loved (while Hoffman is still under the thumb of his cruel Master(s) –his wife, and the role in life that he once authored, but which now has him straightjacketed).

Again, sorry for taking up so much space; and thanks for considering this.

thoughts? never considered that angle before for that scene. the amount of layers this thing has, intentional or not, is increasingly astounding.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Cloudy on January 28, 2013, 10:43:12 PM
I've definitely heard/thought of this angle before, but I always get stuck when the final shot of the film of Freddie at peace with the sand-woman chronologically isn't congruent with the experiences he had. And really, that shot doesn't exactly resonate "peace", it feels more like a drunken, comfortable, last-resort safe cuddle. The fact that it's a woman "made of sand" makes it even more layered, because sand is fleeting, and Freddie is incapable of having this kind of cuddling/safe/sustained connection with a fleshed person. His master may not be a person, but his constantly moving, changing, dissolving, and building emotions are, and also what they make him latch on to. And these can be characterized as a sand-woman. It's really hard to intellectualize this, and I don't think the film is meant to completely intellectualize it, which is even more beautiful because this film is just as beautiful to intellectualize as it is to feel.

PTA himself has said that Freddie doesn't change much at all...and as much as we want the characters we see on screen to have some kind of change, we can see this piece as a vision of the two extreme parts of human beings (control of emotions vs. instinct) in flux. In There Will Be Blood there was also a similar portrayal of two extremes battling against each other, neither one winning really.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Pubrick on January 28, 2013, 10:47:11 PM
the amount of layers this thing has, intentional or not, is increasingly astounding.

this is the problem.

i don't know if it's a product of the educational system, shallow popular culture, mass literary ignorance, or what.. but the fact the film contains "layers" should be the LEAST surprising aspect of it, it is a basic inherent GIVEN.

the impasse i think most people come to is some kind of crippling angst when they ask themselves "is this what the author meant." and the dissatisfaction with the answer "it doesn't matter what he meant." these statements seem to be so destructive and insurmountable to most people that they simply retreat to "well we'll never know so anything we intuit is fucking bullshit and worthless, even if it feels true, because it was not approved by the creator."

dudes. that's idiocy. the distinction between a movie/book/painting basically any work of ART and a TOASTER is that a toaster was made for a single purpose with well defined parameters by people who just wanted to make a toaster and nothing more. a genuine work of ART made by a great artist has no single purpose, if it does then it's bullshit and should have been an essay or a press release or a mathematical formula. the idea of a work of art is not that it's worthless because it requires interpretation but that it is MUCH MUCH more significant because of this interaction with the observer that is not present when you use a toaster.

the process of creating art is also a mystery to most consumers, who see films especially as just another item intended for a single purpose expressed by way of genre. this is a comedy so i'm going to put this much money into the booth and i'll get this much laughter, that's the contract most people expect out of films and that's why most people hate this movie and anything else worth a damn.

what ACTUALLY happens when you create art is that you do NOT think about the final be-all end-all meaning. this doesn't mean that PTA is just writing blindly making shit up absolutely out of nothing, what that means is he's thinking about it to a certain point and then letting intuition guide him or letting something else take control. the most effective way this takes place in a film is giving freedom to other artists and collaborators. when JP comes up with something like Freddie's gait, PTA was not able to come up with that but left it in there because this inspired choice by another artist FELT RIGHT in the context of the greater work. this means that this is an aspect PTA didn't have to fully work out or justify himself, so it's conceivable and in fact quite common that a true work of art (of which there are in fact many) is not even fully understood by its very creator.

so keep that in mind when you give yourself to the movie. take everything you know about everything you can think of, and let the movie filter it. the themes of a film are patterns that should guide you towards a more refined filtering process. eventually you will get to insights like this guy above has made. the first things you notice may be obvious, gauge their veracity by testing it against the film itself. the first failure of most audiences was this step, they went in thinking "this is about scientology" well lo and behold that might explain about 1 percent of the movie, that filter is worthless, try harder and find another.. the tools you need are right there in front of you.

in fact, the key to something as good as the master is even closer than that, it's something personal.. it is not an acquired intelligence, it is something deeply natural. whatever that is, a quest for salvation, a yearning for connection, a feeling of love and pain, an elegiac response to the traumas of war, a desire for truth, anything.. it's in the film and it's in you. after you've accepted this reflection in art, then you can start to find all kinds of meaning and purpose in things you once thought worthless.

this is nothing special to the master, though it appears here in a heightened state. his other films have given you more substantial clues to hold onto, and a basic reading of one layer was pretty easy to get to, but they were all this good.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Neil on January 28, 2013, 10:52:34 PM
And Thus Spoke Pubrickthustra
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: HeywoodRFloyd on January 28, 2013, 11:28:48 PM
Spot on Pubrick
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Cloudy on January 28, 2013, 11:33:38 PM
Right on.  :yabbse-thumbup:
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Frederico Fellini on January 31, 2013, 01:01:39 PM
This could fit as one of the meanings of the opening shot? :


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4j6cUwCRmI




Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Brando on January 31, 2013, 04:19:17 PM
the impasse i think most people come to is some kind of crippling angst when they ask themselves "is this what the author meant." and the dissatisfaction with the answer "it doesn't matter what he meant." these statements seem to be so destructive and insurmountable to most people that they simply retreat to "well we'll never know so anything we intuit is fucking bullshit and worthless, even if it feels true, because it was not approved by the creator."

I very much had that thought process when I was younger. In High School, I remember being very obsessed with the artist's intention and meaning when trying to understand song lyrics. 

I then went to art school and read some books. One book was on poetry in song lyrics by a professor of English and Poetry. One of the first things in the book was how the artist's intent is completely irrelevant when trying to decipher a meaning of work. It made more and more sense as he broke down different poems and lyrics. You judge a work of art on it's quality without given thought to the artist's intention, cause the artist's intention is always to create a great piece of work, then you should find the meaning the same way as well. Also, you will never completely know the artist's intent.  For Example:

"The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense
Take what you have gathered from coincidence"

Did Dylan knowingly/intentionally follow gambler with better? And use the word sense cause he knew it sounds the same cents? and did he use coincidence cause it has coin in it?  You will never know if Dylan intended that or not but it's clearly there.  Once you stop trying to figure out what Dylan knew, you can actually start to judge and decipher and understand and enjoy the song.


Art has to stand on it's own once it enters the public.  It is severed from it's creator and his or her intentions.   If the artist's intention are truly what important, then it's not the piece but the artist's intentions what is the work of art.  That would make the product a imitation or a copy. Then we get into something similar to Plato's views on art being nothing but a copy of a copy.  Remembering a TS Eliot quote in the book, "the poet does many things upon instinct, for which he can give no better account than anybody else." 



in fact, the key to something as good as the master is even closer than that, it's something personal.. it is not an acquired intelligence, it is something deeply natural. whatever that is, a quest for salvation, a yearning for connection, a feeling of love and pain, an elegiac response to the traumas of war, a desire for truth, anything.. it's in the film and it's in you. after you've accepted this reflection in art, then you can start to find all kinds of meaning and purpose in things you once thought worthless.

This is very true. I am able to see so many truths about the film especially from reading everyone's responses to the film.  I didn't personally see the spirituality/mystical elements some saw in the film with the connection between Freddie and Dodd when i first saw the film but there are those elements in the film.  Previously, I probably would have been skeptical cause I didn't view PTA as a spiritual/surreal director.   Trying to decipher the artist's intent only gave me a very very narrow view of a piece of art. 

I'm not saying all you who are trying to find all PTA's intentions and influences and references are wasting your time.  You enjoy it keep doing it and godspeed.  I personally get more out of the film by looking at it on it's own and not trying to figure out if PTA was inspired/influenced/referencing by the wake shot from the film Sylvia.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Drenk on February 02, 2013, 05:25:09 PM
Pictures from Behind the Scene. It's pretty funny.

(http://24.media.tumblr.com/c37a6d23be72daebd1d8b889f3d7bf02/tumblr_mhm8duYjsk1qcnueyo1_500.png)

(http://25.media.tumblr.com/ddfb13ca21300343f77f8e424885bd56/tumblr_mhm7xqGBKP1qcnueyo1_500.png)

I guess he did the "I farted" thing. Funny PSH. :yabbse-grin:

(http://24.media.tumblr.com/3941c789d2c74718cc3033751f7d608e/tumblr_mhm7xqGBKP1qcnueyo2_500.png)

Kools...

(http://25.media.tumblr.com/86473fc292160fd604d8e67ed46ab4fe/tumblr_mhm7emEAah1qcnueyo2_500.png)

And more here:

http://thechosenjuan.tumblr.com

Unguided Message is the Behind the Scenes ?

(http://24.media.tumblr.com/f634b7e1f96f1fa0b0e986ab4cfeb939/tumblr_mhm6c5J02t1qcnueyo1_1280.png)
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Frederico Fellini on February 02, 2013, 08:52:31 PM
Yeah, I heard some people got the Blu-ray already, they get them for reviews and such. Only 24 more days to go.. Which reminds me, There are several torrents for the master that came out today, they are legit. I know nothing about it, I just heard it. I hope this doesn't stop people from BUYING the blu-ray. Good thing I pre-ordered mine..



P.S:


Maybe the phone call was NOT a dream?...


(http://oi46.tinypic.com/2wc2r74.jpg)


Phone cord.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Reelist on February 02, 2013, 09:12:44 PM
I see no cord. ( too dark )


but even so, that doesn't refute it being a dream. The odd thing about it is that Dodd would be able to find Freddie in a 50's movie theater for a phone call.



but from this quote by md we know what PTA's always been ahead of the curve when it comes to technology:

I remeber PTA saying in an audio interview that when he was 18-19, he'd pop a dvd in at the morning, afternoon and night. 

MAYBE FREDDIE HAD A CELL!!!



I know nothing about it, I just heard it..

You are going straight to jail. Put this Freddie in a cell..
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Reelist on February 06, 2013, 08:19:47 PM
If you google 'apricot belly' the first thing that shows up in the search bar says 'The Master' right after it, BUT THERE ARE NO LINKS EXPLAINING WTF THAT IS!!!

Is it supposed to mean the bitch is pregnant or suttin?


Really miniscule and unimportant detail, but it's just bugged me the past few times I watched it.


It's been playing at this theater near my house lately.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: 72teeth on February 07, 2013, 12:58:17 AM
i think it just means she has a sweet taught little beige belly thats yummy
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: KJ on February 07, 2013, 01:49:39 AM
that dream scene is the only scene I can't really wrap my head around. it opens up for the possibility that they where in fact connected to each other on a deeper lever which also opens up for the possibility that all the talk about past-lives could be true. I don't understand why he would open up for such a thing when everything that leads up to it is about Freddie realizing that The Master is full of shit. what is your theories about that scene?

I also cried before the movie even had started. I was so happy that I finally was there, in the cinema, to watch The Master... it felt so unreal. I need to watch this a hundred times more before I am ready to start talking about it. I am a slow-thinker....

(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcREm6uALvLh1uo2nYZdULQgZvglsH51TuZtZdWhpng_Q2mdggSEFw)

Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Lottery on February 09, 2013, 09:06:44 PM
Caught this at The Nova down in Melbourne. It doesn't need saying, but it is a phenomenal film.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Frederico Fellini on February 11, 2013, 08:44:31 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5zE0LpLpUU



NEW CLIP. New Footage.


Listen to that fucking soundtrack.  :o
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Cloudy on February 11, 2013, 05:49:22 PM
That was amazing. Where did you find that?
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on February 13, 2013, 09:50:23 AM
This finally came out in Portugal a week ago. I watched it then, first day, first show, and have watched it once more since, and am now in the process of reading all this pages of spoilers. The movie feels like it's alive inside me, just like CMBB, every day I'm thinking about it, making sense of it etc. I don't want to watch it again any time soon because I feel like I need to digest it slowly, think about it a little more. It's a small obsession really, but for now until at least it comes out on Bluray, I only want it to live in my mind, because a movie like this needs to be there as much as in front of my eyes. I don't know if this makes any sense at all, but well, that's how I feel right now.

It's funny that I saw this and Lincoln the day before, and the audience there seemed to be completely bored by the Steven Spielberg blockbuster and totally into The Master. And I could just feel the excitement on everyone there during the first processing scene. When it cuts to the first flashback in almost total silence, it was such a powerful moment in that theatre. It was amazing. When it ended, again, just like CMBB, I didn't know what the hell to think. I went alone, so I had no one to talk to about it, so I just got back home, took the subway, slowly realizing this movie will never let go of me as long as I'm alive.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Cloudy on February 13, 2013, 09:12:49 PM
It's pretty bizarre, everything you just said are/were my feelings exactly.
Just like you, I used to have TWBB cravings on a daily/weekly basis for a couple of years, and after seeing the master that constant churning  transferred over seamlessly. Seen it 8 times so far, and I'm burning for the next one. (Cinema near me kept it since September). I think I may actually have some sort of addiction to being immersed in the world of this fucking film.

Congrats on seeing it finally!
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Reelist on February 13, 2013, 09:35:45 PM
(Cinema near me kept it since September).



DDAAAAAAAAMMMMMMNNNNNNN!!!!!!!

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PrvQzCwG63k/T2Z9fpQ-OOI/AAAAAAAAA1o/iGzc2P7v9MY/s1600/friday-damn-gif.gif)
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Cloudy on February 13, 2013, 10:24:49 PM
LOL damn is right. Berkeley people have good taste, it's a little 48 seat cinema and it always has a crowd.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on February 14, 2013, 04:14:56 AM
What's funny is that unlike CMBB I honestly don't know what to tell people when they ask me if they should go and see it. Of course I always say "sure, you should see it", but then I get all those questions about what the movie is about and it starts getting weird. I end up telling them it's an experience more than a regular movie. That ends up getting them excited and I always have an excuse if they complain that they didn't like. "Hey, I warned you."
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Alexandro on February 14, 2013, 09:49:14 AM
Well I saw it but I can't talk about it too much. Seen it twice now, feels I can't stop thinking about it. Read everything here, mulling it over. The second time was even better. What I've been telling people is that the general public does not deserve films as great as this.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Ulivija on February 14, 2013, 10:38:06 AM
Holy shit!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taqZ74wHyhU
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: modage on February 14, 2013, 01:55:48 PM
(http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/537015_586009391428198_993507879_n.jpg)

(http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/223502_586010168094787_899799248_n.jpg)

Full set: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.586009368094867.147334.131531983542610&type=3
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Frederico Fellini on February 14, 2013, 04:13:50 PM
I was watching something on TV earlier on, about Martin Short and his career and all that. Well, there was a part where they talked about SNL, and his character  "Ed Grimley". They showed some parts of skits and the first thing that came to my mind was "Freddie":


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTkYrwwjAK0


The shirt, the super high pants, the posture/body language, talking without opening his mouth too much, etc.

Seeing as PTA is a huge SNL fan, I think it may have been in his subconscious somewhere.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Frederico Fellini on February 15, 2013, 09:37:39 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7xIHkgCzqo



UNGUIDED MESSAGE.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: HeywoodRFloyd on February 16, 2013, 08:21:53 AM
I've been wanting to give my take on the visual dynamics of this shot ever since I saw it, now that i have a copy of the film, I can screenshot the frame and finally post it (Yes I downloaded the film, but I've also pre-ordered so whatever).

(http://24.media.tumblr.com/947b98c00eac006863b8630a897a62c9/tumblr_mibh2jMazG1rcxkteo1_1280.png)

Straight after the processing scene when Dodd and Freddie symbolically fall in love and have a post coital smoke (Kools).

As you can see the placing of the actors, Freddie next to his man Dodd, and there appears to be a symbolic void (the doorway) visible now between Dodd and his wife.

Amy Adams keeps looking at Dodd then Freddie, glancing at Freddie at the end with a suspicious look (reverberated in so many instances later in the film).

Just one of the many great visual layering from The Master
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Frederico Fellini on February 16, 2013, 11:17:32 AM
That was pretty good Heywood. 

PTA has always been a very visual filmmaker, but I love how in THE MASTER his visuals have become much more subtle. One of my favorites has to be this:


On the right side of the frame. He falls asleep, can't have sex:

(http://oi46.tinypic.com/zx1d7k.jpg)





On the left side of the frame. Now he's sexually frustrated and pissed the fuck off, and on the right side of the frame in the background there are 2 mannequins getting married:


(http://oi48.tinypic.com/fkshp5.jpg)


"Is this for your wife?"


Also notice that there's a baby crying loudly in the background during that whole scene. It's all so simple but so fucking great.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Cloudy on February 16, 2013, 04:59:43 PM
Speaking of downloading, if any of you guys who have the bluray can upload the extras that would be sweet. Don't have a Bluray player.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Drenk on February 19, 2013, 09:50:09 AM
Sweet picture. It's 70mm.


(http://i71.servimg.com/u/f71/11/65/95/74/captur10.jpg)
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Neil on February 22, 2013, 10:59:19 AM
I've definitely heard/thought of this angle before, but I always get stuck when the final shot of the film of Freddie at peace with the sand-woman chronologically isn't congruent with the experiences he had. And really, that shot doesn't exactly resonate "peace", it feels more like a drunken, comfortable, last-resort safe cuddle.
The most interesting thing about this shot to me is that in the background all the men are all heading off somewhere in a single file line, while Freddie is asleep.  Almost like he missed the boat, or will miss the boat, literally and metaphorically. In fact, I'm not sure anyone else touched on this, but it's the only beach scene with this exact composition (the sailors leaving single file in the Background).

The fact that it's a woman "made of sand" makes it even more layered, because sand is fleeting, and Freddie is incapable of having this kind of cuddling/safe/sustained connection with a fleshed person. His master may not be a person, but his constantly moving, changing, dissolving, and building emotions are, and also what they make him latch on to. And these can be characterized as a sand-woman. It's really hard to intellectualize this, and I don't think the film is meant to completely intellectualize it, which is even more beautiful because this film is just as beautiful to intellectualize as it is to feel.
Life is something that gets washed away, that must be given back, so I find there to be as much of an allegory about life, love, taming the dragon, etc than specifically speaking to Freddie's arc as a character, but i can dig it both ways (no pun intended).
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Alexandro on March 08, 2013, 01:41:26 PM
Well, I've seen it three times now.
I guess after reading all these comments I have few things to say, but PTA's mention of Raoul Walsh as a "nuts & bolts director" and influence here really starts to make sense after the second viewing. This film goes very directly from one thing to the next, every scene as a consequence of the last. There's almost no wasted time, no contextualization, no introductions, just the action, the moment taking place. You're there in the moment with Freddie, particularly during the first 15 minutes or so, when everything happens so fast and you start realizing it's all about him, it's all about how he's walking directly into the Cause. But after Lancaster and Freddie meet, this continues. I think that by using elipsis in this way PTA is somehow rediscovering narrative cinema for us. He is going the opposite of what "contemplative cinema" does, and at the same time he's distancing himself of all the "narrative fat" most films have. It really is a "nuts & bolts", very direct film. It may be just too direct for audiences to follow completely, which would explain why people think is pointless. They can't keep up with it's rhythm.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on March 08, 2013, 02:01:53 PM
He is going the opposite of what "contemplative cinema" does, and at the same time he's distancing himself of all the "narrative fat" most films have.

I like the way you put this.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: BigSock on March 08, 2013, 02:58:12 PM
I agree with what you said. It moves so fast. The pacing is so quick.
Still watching it now, the scene with Dodd at the court and the judge declaring he pay up the money, and then the next scene is the dinner talk-it speeds up in such an incredible pace it continues to catch me off guard.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Ulivija on March 11, 2013, 08:09:56 PM
After trying unsuccessfully to decipher the correct lyrics for the "Moby Dick" song, I found them on the iTunes captions of the digital copy. The last lines are nowhere to be found on the Internet, and the song is not subtitled on the Bluray version:

I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid
A-roving, a-roving since roving's been my ru-i-n
I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid

Her eyes are blue her cheeks are red
Mark well what I do say
The wealth of her is on her head

I put my arms around her waist
Mark well what I do say
She said "Young man you're in some haste"

I put that girl upon my knee
Mark well what I do say
She said "Young man you're rather free"

She swore that she'd be good to me
Mark well what I do say
She'd spend my money fast and free

The sailor was a captain
He was a mighty dog
Served out to all the company
A double sheriff's grog
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Lottery on March 13, 2013, 06:10:38 PM
Well, I've seen it three times now.
I guess after reading all these comments I have few things to say, but PTA's mention of Raoul Walsh as a "nuts & bolts director" and influence here really starts to make sense after the second viewing. This film goes very directly from one thing to the next, every scene as a consequence of the last. There's almost no wasted time, no contextualization, no introductions, just the action, the moment taking place. You're there in the moment with Freddie, particularly during the first 15 minutes or so, when everything happens so fast and you start realizing it's all about him, it's all about how he's walking directly into the Cause. But after Lancaster and Freddie meet, this continues. I think that by using elipsis in this way PTA is somehow rediscovering narrative cinema for us. He is going the opposite of what "contemplative cinema" does, and at the same time he's distancing himself of all the "narrative fat" most films have. It really is a "nuts & bolts", very direct film. It may be just too direct for audiences to follow completely, which would explain why people think is pointless. They can't keep up with it's rhythm.

I like that and I agree. But could someone give me examples of narrative fat from all his previous films?
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Alexandro on March 14, 2013, 01:26:32 PM

I think the old PTA, in the motorcycle sequence for example, would have done what he did in Boogie Nights before the attempted drug deal in Alfred Molina's house: a whole scene of "this is what we well do next". But now, we are just suddenly in the desert with barely a context or explanation of why are they there, how they got there and what does the master wants to accomplish.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: AntiDumbFrogQuestion on March 15, 2013, 12:20:17 PM

I think the old PTA, in the motorcycle sequence for example, would have done what he did in Boogie Nights before the attempted drug deal in Alfred Molina's house: a whole scene of "this is what we well do next". But now, we are just suddenly in the desert with barely a context or explanation of why are they there, how they got there and what does the master wants to accomplish.

this might be because *GASP* Paul Thomas Anderson actually TRUSTS his audience to connect the dots!
I understand what you mean, it's strange and sudden, but I kind of enjoy this type of cut. Eventually we kind of figure out that this is Dodd's idea of fun, although it's disorienting to be in the middle of nowhere. I like that this stripped down way of storytelling. I noticed this in CWBB as well. Good stuff.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Alexandro on March 15, 2013, 12:23:55 PM
I'm not saying is bad at all. I'm just giving an example.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Ulivija on March 16, 2013, 09:35:01 AM
Lawrence Wright, the author of a major book about Scientology, thinks "The Master" is terrific!

http://www.pacificsun.com/marin_a_and_e/film/article_63b4cf74-813e-11e2-be0b-0019bb30f31a.html
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Frederico Fellini on March 18, 2013, 04:56:18 PM
Glass is made out of SAND.

Wooden walls are made out of WOOD.   BENCHES are also made out wood.  Letters are written on PAPER. Paper is made out of WOOD.

The wall is dead and cold. The glass window is warm and comfy.
Freddie makes out with the Glass window. But it's angry at the wall, he punches it and breaks it.
He would much rather be with his warm inanimate object (Think of Benny Profane in "V"), than with the uncertainty and the pain of a real life girl.

PTA hints that the glass window= sand/the beach, and wall =  doris/letter/bench... When Freddie kisses the glass there's a cutaway to Freddie at the beach making the sand woman.... and when Freddie puts his face against the wooden wall, PTA cuts to Freddie on the ship reading the letter Doris sent him.


"What color are my eyes?"
"Green"
"Change them to BLUE"


Doris's bench is GREEN.  The bench in the background when Freddie slaps the shit outta Bill White, it's a BLUE BENCH.   Freddie still has the same anger inside him, it's just of a different color.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Pubrick on March 18, 2013, 05:37:29 PM
that's good. possibly the best thing you've ever said.

don't take this the wrong way, but.. who did you steal it from?

if it's someone at IMDB please tell them to come and post here.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Lottery on March 18, 2013, 07:59:31 PM
I like this part.
The wall is dead and cold. The glass window is warm and comfy.
Freddie makes out with the Glass window. But it's angry at the wall, he punches it and breaks it.
He would much rather be with his warm inanimate object (Think of Benny Profane in "V"), then with the uncertainty and the pain of a real life girl.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Reelist on March 18, 2013, 10:17:17 PM
He would much rather be with his warm inanimate object (Think of Benny Profane in "V"), then with the uncertainty and the pain of a real life girl.

who wouldn't
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: AntiDumbFrogQuestion on March 19, 2013, 09:37:11 AM
I'm not saying is bad at all. I'm just giving an example.

I didn't think you were saying that, sorry, sometimes my sarcasm makes me come across like I disagree, which is not the case =)
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Fernando on March 20, 2013, 10:45:17 AM
I am an accountant, a business mayor, a film enthusiast and a football player. But above all, I am a man, a man that just saw The Master, just like you.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: KJ on March 20, 2013, 11:28:08 AM
I liked the boobs.

I could also tell that he was under the influence of drugs while making this movie. You can't tell what I am influenced by when I make one. Just sayin'.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Ulivija on March 20, 2013, 12:50:52 PM
I don't know if everyone's already seen this excellent article. It features a great photo of LRH sitting on a fence in cowboy outfit that closely resembles Lancaster Dodd's when Freddie photographs him. And this article also mentions that LRH was also a photographer, like Freddie.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dochollywood/2012/09/unlocking-the-master-plan/

PS. Since PTA talked about John Steinbeck's life as an influence on Freddie's character, I read a Wikipedia article about John Steinbeck's non-fiction book "Travels with Charley" and it mentions how Steinbeck took great liberty with the truth. This quote by Steinbeck's son reminded me of what Val tells Freddie about his father, and also what Freddie tells Lancaster in the jail ("You make this shit up!"):

Even Steinbeck's son believes his father invented much of the dialogue in the book, "He just sat in his camper and wrote all that [expletive]."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travels_with_Charley:_In_Search_of_America
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Lottery on March 20, 2013, 04:40:56 PM
I wonder if Scientology can work as the prime pieces of evidence against religion as a whole.

Probably not, a bit harsh.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Neil on March 20, 2013, 05:58:47 PM
Using the words, 'evidence' and 'religion' in the same sentence was your 1st mistake.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Lottery on March 21, 2013, 03:26:35 AM
It's interesting to look at scientology as a microcosm of the more established religions.  It's had a relatively peaceful growth in comparison to the others, that is until the great Scientology Wars of the 2340s
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Cloudy on March 21, 2013, 09:38:07 PM
Everyone needs to read this, it's an analysis on the film, PTA, Joaquin, in such well thought out detail. It would be great if he would post here.

Modage recently posted it on Twitter, long and dense:

http://okc.net/2013/02/26/california-dreamin-absorbing-paul-thomas-andersons-master/
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Cloudy on April 03, 2013, 02:50:09 PM
Modage just posted this video analysis of PDL, TWBB, The Master all together as a trilogy. I love the connection between PSH's characters from PDL/Master the most. This guy has done really interesting video essay's on PDL/TWBB as well if you haven't seen them. Hoping he does one for The Master.

*edit: in the first 10 seconds he says he'll be posting a full Master analysis later this week, didn't catch that...right on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4axdxfDTcE
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Larry on April 09, 2013, 09:24:25 PM

*edit: in the first 10 seconds he says he'll be posting a full Master analysis later this week, didn't catch that...right on.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06Jg1EoXSy4
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Cloudy on April 09, 2013, 10:56:08 PM
Definitely not as good as his other analysis' in my opinion. His PDL/TWBB were way more interesting.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Lottery on April 10, 2013, 07:07:48 AM
Quick show of hands. Who thinks Freddie changed? Who thinks he is the same animal he ever was?

Just want to gauge opinions.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Sleepless on April 10, 2013, 10:39:11 AM
Are we talking about The Master's Freddie or Xixax's Freddie?
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Lottery on April 10, 2013, 04:34:55 PM
You know what, either will do.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on April 10, 2013, 04:42:42 PM
I was of the opinion that he improved slightly. He hasn't sobered up, but a certain amount of self-actualization seems to have occurred.

He's certainly not the same, and definitely not worse.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Ulivija on April 11, 2013, 10:35:37 AM
A great article about Scientology that mentions "The Master":

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/apr/25/scientology-story

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This part definitely reminded me of Freddie's radio ad for the Cause when he says: "It works".

The Beat writer William S. Burroughs, an early enthusiast, described it in a letter to Allen Ginsberg: Scientologists “do the job without hypnosis or drugs, simply run the tape back and forth until the trauma is wiped off. It works. I have used the method—partially responsible for recent changes.”

Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: socketlevel on April 11, 2013, 01:02:04 PM
I was of the opinion that he improved slightly. He hasn't sobered up, but a certain amount of self-actualization seems to have occurred.

He's certainly not the same, and definitely not worse.

agreed, same flawed man who's more at peace with his flaws... and hey that's all we can really ask for.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Reelist on April 12, 2013, 03:54:56 AM
Who thinks Freddie changed? Who thinks he is the same animal he ever was?

I like the way this dude put it, from the article (http://okc.net/2013/02/26/california-dreamin-absorbing-paul-thomas-andersons-master/) Cloudy posted on the previous page:

"Like “There Will Be Blood” the film ends when a son figure must accept or reject the father figure. By this moment Freddie Quell has under our noses experienced what all heroes in novels are supposed to, he has experienced change. He knows himself. He will go drink, but he will not be controlled, at least by men like Dodd. And that’s a lot of freedom."

Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on April 12, 2013, 10:37:20 AM
I don't think Dodd is a father figure, and I don't really think Freddie "rejected" him.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Cloudy on April 12, 2013, 11:00:01 AM
The more I think about it the more I'm not sure if he grew or not, and the more I realize that's not the point of the film. If we think of him as someone from a bad break-up, it seems like at the end he's going back to who he used to be, but with more experience. Instead of trying to be someone he's not. I think that's a happy ending because maybe this could help him find something that will help his real potential to grow later. The movie showed a vulnerable soul go to a place where he could have been brainwashed and abused, but instead learned more about what doesn't work for him.


*EDIT: Here's a FANTASTIC 3 minute analysis of The Master, probably the most insightful compilation I've seen thus far.  (cred:modage)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUU3fsp9bTM
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: mogwai on July 16, 2013, 06:02:45 AM
Finally I have the great opportunity to post in the spoiler thread! :yabbse-wink:

I thought it was brilliant! I think it's Paul's finest work to date!

My only question is and forgive me for not browsing through the entire thread for the answer but what's up with the final scene with him at the beach? Did he dream all the stuff with The Cause etc? Cheers.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Reelist on July 16, 2013, 10:18:48 AM
what's up with the final scene with him at the beach? Did he dream all the stuff with The Cause etc?

No one's brought that up before, I think we all took it literally as a flashback to the first scene, juxtaposing the feral creature he was then to the man he's become. I would say above anything else that the last shot is suggesting Freddie has woken up from his dream. I like that it's an extension of the narrative showing how he 'missed the boat'.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: socketlevel on July 16, 2013, 10:49:17 AM
what's up with the final scene with him at the beach? Did he dream all the stuff with The Cause etc?

No one's brought that up before, I think we all took it literally as a flashback to the first scene, juxtaposing the feral creature he was then to the man he's become. I would say above anything else that the last shot is suggesting Freddie has woken up from his dream. I like that it's an extension of the narrative showing how he 'missed the boat'.

naw, this ain't the ending of Dallas. come on, why do people always fall back on it was all a dream nonsense, it's not remotely clever and would be so beneath PTA. I'd argue it's more about the man finding some semblance of peace and that peace rippling back throughout the narrative showing he was capable of it in the past but didn't have the wisdom to achieve it. it's just a nonlinear way to show the denouement of the film.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: mogwai on July 16, 2013, 01:12:48 PM
I searched the imdb board and they came to the clear conclusion that was Freddie made peace with himself and was independent.

I was hoping it wasn't a dream because he wouldn't have sex with that fine lady in the previous scene. :yabbse-grin:
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on August 01, 2013, 05:16:12 PM
Camera operator Colin Anderson talks working on The Master (http://www.soc.org/uploads/tx_socmagazines/2013_SAE_Linked.pdf) - page 46
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Lottery on August 01, 2013, 07:43:09 PM
Noice. I wish there were more of these sorts of recounts. For all of his films but especially his last three.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: HeywoodRFloyd on August 02, 2013, 09:39:01 AM
Camera operator Colin Anderson talks working on The Master (http://www.soc.org/uploads/tx_socmagazines/2013_SAE_Linked.pdf) - page 46

Wilderesque, thanks for this champ. I'm assuming you're a subscriber, would you also be able to link the There Will Be Blood issue which is under the '2008 Special Awards Season' issue
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on August 02, 2013, 04:38:57 PM
I'm not a subscriber, not sure how I initially came upon that link. Sorry.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: HeywoodRFloyd on August 03, 2013, 09:50:19 AM
I managed to find the TWBB edition's transcript, I don't know if it's the entire thing though

Camera Operator of the Year: IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Camera Operator of the Year Nominee Colin Anderson SOC on shooting There Will Be Blood


After working in the South African film industry for eleven years, Colin Anderson moved into assisting in Los Angeles. Making the leap to operating, he worked with DP Robert Elswit on Syriana and Good Night and Good Luck before joining forces again on There Will Be Blood.

Describe your experience shooting There Will Be Blood.

Working with Director Paul Thomas Anderson on There Will Be Blood was an unbelievably invigorating experience. He is an extremely complex man with a very clear concept of what he wants to do. Rehearsals were always private, with actor Daniel Day-Lewis, himself and DP Robert Elswit. Once happy with the scene he would block it with a finder and set up very specific shots. He always had a very precise view of what lens he wanted to use and how to frame it. Even though we were shooting anamorphic he insisted on center-punching all CUs and MCUs. Paul was deeply involved in all technical aspects of the film. We shot about 40,000 feet of lens tests and Paul went through them all, picking what Cs and Es he preferred. He would then specify on-set which lens he wanted to use. We had very few rehearsals, and with the high level of intensity on the set, one felt you couldn’t ask for more.

Tell us a little about your equipment on the movie.

We used Panavision equipment on There Will Be Blood with the C and E series anamorphic lenses. We also used a 43mm lens from a 1911 Pathé camera that Dan Sasaki at Panavision converted to anamorphic. It was amazingly sharp in the center with a dramatic fall-off at the edges which gave the frame a wonderful period feel. Panavision is my system of choice because it is so rugged. On There Will Be Blood the conditions were horrendous at times, and being three hours from the nearest airport made it rather important to have a reliable system.

I prefer to look through an optical finder as I don’t think anything can replace the connection to the frame that one has by looking through the finder. Apart from being able to see technical problems more easily—focus, boom shadows, etc—I think your reactions are so much more immediate and instinctive.

When hand-holding the camera, I now use the handles. I used to hold the matte-box but changed to handles on Syriana. Every shot was hand-held on that movie and I found using handles to be less tiring as you could brace your elbows against your midriff and almost rest in that position. On longer takes and long lenses, I find it easier to hold it steady.

As an Operator, I feel absolutely indispensable to the DP and the production as we are that vital link between concepts and results. DPs shouldn’t have to bother with the nuts and bolts of setting up a shot. Lately, with some of the DPs that I work with, Dan Mindel for example, I have become increasingly involved in scouting and pre-production meetings, which I find is an enormous help when we come to do the scene on the day.

What were some of the operating challenges on There Will Be Blood?

Some of the biggest Steadicam challenges for me on set were the wind, terrain and altitude. Paul would design these very long, slow Steadicam shots on a wide lens, and with the constant wind gusts it was extremely difficult to keep a solid horizon. He liked to walk right next to me watching the monitor, so often I couldn’t get the 4x4 double as close as I would have liked. Marfa, Texas, our main location is also at 5,000 feet so I became winded fairly quickly on some of the flat out running shots.

This was my first collaboration with Paul Thomas Anderson [PTA], and I hope it will continue into the future. I don’t believe there is one of his films that I haven’t liked. This was my third film with Robert Elswit, the other two being Syriana and Good Night and Good Luck. I cannot say enough good things about Robert. He is an Operator’s dream, having the perfect balance of giving you the freedom of choice and constructive advice where necessary. Robert does a lot of operating himself but is not scared of using two cameras and lighting for both. On Good Night and Good Luck and ¬Syriana, we almost always had two cameras on every shot, often at right angles to one another.

Daniel Day-Lewis has left an enormous impression on me. It was fascinating to see an actor embrace a character so completely, both on and off the set. He has truly set the bar with his level of commitment and focus, while still being approachable for technical adjustments.

I’ll never forget TWBB because it has the most difficult shot I have ever done as a Steadicam Operator: it was the shot of Daniel and [the boy] HW approaching the Sunday ranch for the first time. Paul only used the last part of the shot in the movie that was over Daniel and HW. When we did it, the shot started back about 400 feet, went through a small arroyo, up the other side and then a gentle uphill to the house where they meet Abel. The shot holds in a lock-off for about a minute and then pans them out. It was almost exactly four minutes long and at magic hour so there was not much resting between takes. After two or three rehearsals and eight takes, I was exhausted. To make matters worse, the light was dropping like a stone so we had to change from the 40 C to the E. I’ll never forget the Dolly Grip Jeff Kunkel having to support me as my legs were buckling underneath me. Unbelievably, we ended up shooting that particular scene a total of five times. The first two times were repeats for performance and then they recast Eli Sunday so we had to re-shoot it. The last few times were also for performance. The one thing that really struck me about PTA was the amount of re-shoots he would do. If my memory serves me correctly, the scene where the locals are handing out the pins to the oil workers at the rig was re-shot four times.

What was it like when you heard that you were nominated for the Camera Operator of the Year award?

It’s extremely flattering to be nominated by my industry peers as these are the people that understand the most about camera operating and can appreciate the difficulties involved in achieving some of the shots. One always feels that peer approval carries much more weight than anyone else’s.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: HeywoodRFloyd on August 12, 2013, 10:01:45 AM
So I was just wondering if anybody here downloaded the unreleased tracks for Jonny's score of The Master?

Indiewire posted the article in December that linked to the streaming website
Listen: Jonny Greenwood's Unreleased Score For 'The Master' (http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/listen-jonny-greenwoods-unreleased-score-for-the-master-20121230?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_content=Google+Reader)

The TWC guilds website page for the streaming has been taken down giving a 404 error most likely because awards season is over
TWC Guilds Link (http://twcguilds.com/film/the-master#score)

Here is the tracklist:

"The Master" Complete Jonny Greenwood Score
1. Baton Sparks
2. Able Bodied Seamen v1
3. Time Hole v1
4. Time Hole v2
5. The Split Sabre Combined
6. Overtones v1
7. Alethia
8. Overtones v2
9. Able Bodied Seamen v2
10. His Masters Voice
11. Application 45 v1
12. Overtones v3
13. Overtones v4 and v5
14. Back Beyond
15. Sweetness Of Freddie
16. Overtones v6
17. Back Beyond Credits

If anyone downloaded it, could you please upload it? Thanks!
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Lottery on August 12, 2013, 07:22:08 PM
I never did get around to downloading it. But I did listen to the stream on the website.

One thing, I desperately want a copy of 'She wrote me a letter', because that's probably one of the best compositions Jonny G made for the film (probably one of his best in general) and it only exists in trailer form. I imagine there's a longer variant.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: max from fearless on August 13, 2013, 10:29:00 AM
I second that, the score to "She Wrote Me A Letter" is incredible and needs to be let out into the world.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Punch on August 14, 2013, 11:44:39 AM
I have all of it, except she wrote me a letter because it was never put out. How can I send it?
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Reelist on August 15, 2013, 01:18:20 PM
very cool. Thanks, guys. I never got around to throwing the score on my ipod, but I think I will now that it's complete. It's weird, this is about the time the movie came out last year and I'm already nostalgic for it. Definitely due for a watch, preferably with someone else. That'd be a first.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Reelist on November 08, 2013, 08:02:47 AM
All of the google doodles look like a pussy to me today
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Drenk on November 08, 2013, 01:29:17 PM
What Google dildo?
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: N on November 08, 2013, 06:45:27 PM
All of the google doodles look like a pussy to me today
Same here.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Cloudy on January 05, 2014, 02:41:31 PM
Was reading through Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra and found this little gem:

"All these most difficult things the spirit that would bear much takes upon itself: like the camel that, burdened, speeds into the desert, thus the spirit speeds into the desert. In the loneliest desert, however, the second metamorphosis occurs: here the spirit becomes a lion who would conquer his freedom and be master in his own desert. Here he seeks out his last master: he wants to fight him and his last god; for ultimate victory he wants to fight with the great dragon."

Here is the rest for the interested: "Who is the great dragon whom the spirit will no longer call lord and god? "Thou shalt" is the name of the great dragon. But the spirit of the lion says, "I will." "Thou shalt lies in his way, sparkling like gold, an animal covered with scales; and on every scale shines a golden "thou shalt". Values thousands of years old, shine on these scales; and thus speaks the mightiest of all dragons: "All value of all things shines on me. All value has long been created, and I am all created value. Verily, there shall be no more 'I will.'" Thus speaks the dragon."

(http://thefilmstage.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/The_Master_Paul_Thomas_Anderson67.png)
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: velociraptor on January 23, 2014, 01:53:36 PM
http://cigsandredvines.blogspot.com/

Lots of great stuff in the interview posted today. Love how much of a fan Terry Gross is.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Cloudy on February 06, 2014, 02:28:25 AM
Max From Fearless linked this in the PSH thread, and this also needs to be here.

One of the greatest, if not the greatest interview/conversation with PSH, about happiness, The Master, and life in general. It is layered in a way not many conversations can be through time. The dialogue is between PSH and an extremely passionate (and worthwhile) philosopher.

RIP PSH.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiQkdprJso0
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: velociraptor on April 27, 2014, 06:27:22 PM
Anyone watching Christopher Evan Welch on Silicon Valley? He's amazing. What a fucking loss. The scene between him and Hoffman carries such a bizarre added weight to it now.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: modage on April 28, 2014, 07:37:58 AM
Yeah it's really a shame. This would've really been a breakout role/launching pad for bigger things for him, terrible he didn't live to experience it.

I also keep constantly thinking about THE MASTER scene and how both of them are gone.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Larry on May 04, 2014, 01:23:16 PM
hey dudes, random post. Im watching The Lady from Shanghai, and I don't know if this has been posted about before. I noticed some similarities between these two films.

A great day to all


edit: re-reading the C+RV interview with Paul. he mentions it along with Arkadin, Out of the Past, etc!
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Lottery on May 04, 2014, 07:53:11 PM
I'll have to give that a watch. PTA did say film noir was the biggest influence was behind it.

Semi-related- does The Master fall into a set of films such as Cool Hand Luke and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? They kinda seem to inform Freddie and his travels- it's not surprising to hear about post-war drifters, unwilling to comply with the system. Freddie has an incredible distrust of authority and of course imprisonment but he ends up in a different sort institution, I wonder what he sould have done in a Cool Hand Luke situation. What other films follow a similar idea? The concept of control, being part of a group and submission becomes rather important towards the end, If you figure a way to live without serving a master, any master, then let the rest of us know, will you?
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Ulivija on May 31, 2014, 12:23:32 AM
Untouchable Lancaster Dodd sings about Freddie:

The sailor was a captain
He was a mighty dog
Served out to all the company
A double sheriff's grog

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OevPrhTcaAM
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Larry on July 05, 2014, 04:59:20 PM
In reference to the department store scene:

"Only 49.95"
-from Max Ophuls film-noir Caught (1949)


(https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/l/t1.0-9/10447408_10152601244526018_2896846237267607773_n.jpg)

Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Axolotl on July 07, 2014, 11:25:51 PM
someone has probably already found this. i'm guessing it's not a coincidence.. at the very least it's spooky. Teresa Duncan's blog features quotes from "proverbs for paranoids", two of which are

1. "You may never get to touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures." 237
2. "The innocence of the creatures is in inverse proportion to the immorality of the Master." 241
and for those who may not remember or never knew.. Theresa Duncan, along with her partner Jeremy Blake, committed suicide after a long bout of extreme paranoia relating to scientology .
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Larry on October 02, 2014, 10:03:59 PM
I went with a paul dano recommendation on criterion last night; The Long Day Closes. Theres a short musical number featuring "Slow Boat to China", which was a treat. pta probably saw that. it was a very good movie
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Lottery on November 01, 2014, 06:50:14 PM
Posted this in the IV thread.

PESUDO-MASTER SPOILERS?

From the interviewer's twitter, Jenkins lead me to this about a week (?) ago.

Quote
Ask PTA if Freddie Quell from THE MASTER becomes Doc in INHERENT VICE. He imagines Freddie starting something like The Source Family. #yes

(http://maximumfun.org/images/source_family.jpg)

Did anyone wonder where Freddie would end up years after the film? I spent a long time thinking about that. It's interesting, because you have Master ending up as worshipped/despised 20th century religious figure however most people/most later followers of The Cause would never understand the impact that Freddie had on him. It's like he'd be lost to history under Peggy's orders and the only way anyone would ever really learn of him is coming across a first edition copy of the The Split Saber which has a tiny piece of text saying 'photography by Freddie Quell'.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Drenk on November 01, 2014, 06:52:35 PM
I don't think he can live very long, I imagine his death in an accident, something like that.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Garam on November 02, 2014, 11:49:50 AM
Killed for sleeping with the wrong guy's wife.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: porgy on November 02, 2014, 08:47:24 PM
freddie quell seemed like the type of guy who never really holds his shit together for long.  I could imagine him having a kid or two but getting divorced, drinking a lot, generally never having any or a lot of money. maybe homeless. 
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Just Withnail on November 05, 2014, 11:39:58 AM
Great little video on "The Master" by Richard Brody. (http://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/movie-week-master)
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Gold Trumpet on July 07, 2015, 09:35:19 PM
I dissented against Magnolia, There Will be Blood (which i actually want to watch again) and Inherent Vice. All of that delayed my watching The Master. However, I have to say, in very short words, it's a masterpiece. Amazing film. More words and comments to come.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: JG on July 09, 2015, 08:28:06 PM
glad you like it, i think its my favorite !
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: N on July 10, 2015, 06:13:53 PM
Its his best imo. Time will tell for sure but I think its pretty magical.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Ulivija on July 24, 2015, 01:49:02 PM
http://sensesofcinema.com/2015/feature-articles/a-zoomorphic-performance-joaquin-phoenix-in-p-t-andersons-the-master/
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Punch on September 24, 2015, 07:38:39 AM
someone else asked so i thought i'd post it here too...updated link for the score.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8kbiobar1cp1fvo/JGTM.rar?dl=0
(still looking for she wrote me a letter)
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Fuzzy Dunlop on February 22, 2016, 04:00:38 PM
Come Back To Me: The Painful Love Of Paul Thomas Anderson’s THE MASTER

Exploring the abusive infatuation that fuels PTA's masterwork.

by JACOB KNIGHT via Birth.Movies.Death.

http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/02/22/come-back-to-me-the-painful-love-of-paul-thomas-andersons-the-master (http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/02/22/come-back-to-me-the-painful-love-of-paul-thomas-andersons-the-master)


Is this love or pain?

That’s the question being asked by Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master: at what point does intimacy become nothing more than aching? It’s a dull sting; aimed directly at the center of your soul. No matter how much liquor or sex you seek to try and numb this omnipresent niggle that gnaws away at your sanity, the only remedy is its utter antithesis. We seek an unknowable sensation that alleviates loneliness, alienation and despair – one that manifests as either butterflies or a brief, personalized strand of influenza. The only problem is that the remedy can often be indistinguishable from the ailment, as love carries its own brand of paralyzing discomfort.

Over the last decade, Joaquin Phoenix has nobly become an avatar for the broken. Even when playing a towering icon in Johnny Cash, Phoenix discovers the hollow center of the men he portrays and externalizes that emptiness better than any of his current peers (ranking with the Crowned King of Masculine Melancholy, Warren Oates). Though Spike Jonze’s Her is probably the most obvious reference point when discussing the thespian’s mastery of mope (and PTA’s subsequent Inherent Vice as another where Phoenix is quite literally preoccupied by a lost love), The Master’s Freddie Quell is his crowning achievement as a performer.

Hunched over and nursing a spine that seems to barely function, Freddie drinks himself into unconsciousness after coming home from serving his country during WWII. He’s warned by Navy analysts that civilians may not understand the trauma he endured once he steps back onto shore. But Freddie is worse than just a man without a sympathetic country – he’s completely lacking any sense of drive or even the internal compass to right his own psychic voyage. Instead, he’d rather bounce from menial job to menial job; sneaking drinks of secret cocktails he concocts using any sort of rubbing alcohol or paint thinner he can get his paws on. It’s an incredible bit of acting – from Phoenix’s posture, to the way he mumbles instructions to smiling children and husbands, all looking to snap department store portraits for their loving families to frame on walls and desks. Nothing inside of Freddie works outside of his relentless sex drive, and he seems to know it. He’s a primal creature, and Phoenix’s kaleidoscopic gaze (combined with cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr. deftly keeping Quell’s surroundings hazy and blurred) lets us know just how loose he is in this new sea of flesh and sin.

It makes sense then that the greatest love of Freddie’s life is discovered during a blackout. Awakening in quarantine on a private ship set to sea, the able-bodied sailor comes face-to-face with a guru who will change his life forever. Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is many things – a writer, a doctor, a nuclear physicist and a theoretical philosopher. However, beyond being a hopelessly inquisitive man, he’s the first human being to engage the drunkard on any sort of nonphysical level, shrewdly asking him to leave his memories at the door before diving into some of the most painful moments of Freddie’s past. It’s immediately clear from the speeches Lancaster gives at his daughter’s wedding (not to mention his wife’s mutterings of unseen conspiracies brewing against the man) that he is a leader to his own private collection of colorful characters. But to Freddie, Lancaster begins as a drinking buddy and ends a witch doctor, forcefully yanking a love experience he’s suppressed via a torturously repetitive “processing” session. Unbeknownst to the “animal” (as Lancaster calls him), Freddie is being purged of this tender burden, only to have another take it’s place; for love and pain are cyclical.

Anderson setting the narrative against a fictionalized backdrop of Scientology’s beginnings has always been a talking point when discussing the picture, but The Master seems more concerned with a bond between men who recognize an unknowable (yet not necessarily identical) spark in one another’s eyes. For Freddie, Lancaster is a purpose – a reason for being. He can create basement libations for the sage that will allow him to feel however he wants – tailor made drunks for a man who is alleviating others’ pain. Watching Lancaster work a room, processing his followers and allowing them to feel connected with their past lives inspires Freddie, as this blessed soul has taken an interest in him. So when outsiders begin to question the monumental work Lancaster is doing, it ignites a fire in Freddie that cannot be extinguished. He becomes a rabid guard dog for Dodd’s Cause, beating down the doors of any who look to insult the “Master” who has stirred up this newfound resolve.

Though the two miscreants may be infatuated with one another, their attraction is anything but healthy. Lancaster is more curious with his new pet than anything else, rescuing the beast and nurturing him to a place of obedience. Lancaster and Freddie are both incredibly dangerous and destructive, but Lancaster’s manipulations are masked by the façade of wanting to “help” poor Freddie; while his wife, Peggy (Amy Adams, acting as a New Age Lady Macbeth), and children, Val (Jesse Plemons) and Elizabeth (Ambyr Childers), struggle to comprehend just what he sees in the ruffian. The answer isn’t so simple, as while Lancaster publicly scolds Freddie for acting out against enemies of the Cause, he’ll wrestle the boy to the lawn in a fit of joy after he’s released from county lockup for unleashing his aggressions. It’s an attraction to power, as Lancaster has discovered someone who will follow him into oblivion.

Quentin Tarantino has often remarked that he considers Paul Thomas Anderson to be his only equal in terms of their generation’s directorial prowess, so it’s not difficult to map a connection between Anderson’s usage of 70mm in The Master and QT’s similarly claustrophobic application of the format in Hateful Eight. Only where Tarantino is interested in creating a gore soaked theatrical playhouse inside of Minnie’s Haberdashery, playing with different planes within the frame and meticulously blocking performances, PTA is instead utilizing the crispness and clarity of the format to present a mystically hazy microcosm. Anderson indulges the widescreen tableaus the larger gauge effortlessly captures (just bathe in the sunlight of those oceanic sequences), but he’s also picking out every imperfection his two leads own with startling clarity. The 70mm format suddenly becomes a microscope, zooming in on these troubled souls as we desperately attempt to decipher just what void each fills for the other. Best of all may by PTA’s love of 70mm sound, as he captures each of Lancaster’s petulant outbursts whenever his belief system is questioned with the same intensity Tarantino does an Old West shotgun blast. Both are totally deafening.

Tragedy is the only true outcome when it comes to this sort of abusive relationship, and the ultimate misstep Lancaster makes is that he actually helps Freddie achieve a semblance of mental clarity. Only this somewhat sober alertness (brought on by allowing himself to fully commit to the Cause’s “healing” devices) clues Freddie in to the fact that his “Master” may be nothing more than a blustery fraud, solely addicted to the adoration of his flock. Fleeing the cult’s embrace, Freddie again proceeds to roam, discovering that the lost love of his past has long since forgotten their adolescent daydreams. Once more he’s drifting through life, hoping to find someone else that will look into his eyes and call him the “bravest boy” they’ve ever met. It’s a reminder that some connections can be so powerful that they forever alter the ways in which we view our personal universe, and fearing that this love can only be found and lost once during this (or any) lifetime may be the most excruciating pain of all.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: velociraptor on July 16, 2016, 01:47:16 PM
I still think this is the best poster for any PTA movie ever. It is so subtle and says so much. I also think "Was There A Fight" is the greatest trailer of all time.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Lottery on July 16, 2016, 07:53:07 PM
Was There A Fight/Hopelessly Inquisitive/She Wrote Me A Letter are truly exceptional. I still get chills when I watch them. Still bitter about not having the music from She Wrote Me A Letter though.

Yeah, that's an incredible poster. I also really like the blue kaleidoscope one as well. Both posters are fairly unconventional but quite effective.
(https://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTDxfjeTdLk9RWOBzsB67NBFnJqHWt9t--DYrzFMlm3A65CfjrF)
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Fuzzy Dunlop on July 18, 2016, 02:27:24 AM
Magnolia teaser all day baby

Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on August 24, 2016, 02:47:58 PM
John Hodgman takes a moment to promote The Master in his podcast this week (and calls it a masterpiece). It's all in the first 10 minutes.

http://www.maximumfun.org/judge-john-hodgman/judge-john-hodgman-episode-275-motion-strike-pose
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Something Spanish on January 15, 2017, 08:16:44 AM
Saw this film for the first time last night and thought the opening shot looked familiar....

https://youtu.be/aqcwo9qMuzM
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on January 15, 2017, 10:32:16 AM
That's even a bit like Mad Max pulling his head out of the sand.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: greenberryhill on April 21, 2017, 03:19:51 PM
Nice short film about Preserving the 70mm reels of The Master!

https://vimeo.com/214155435
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: greenberryhill on September 09, 2017, 01:55:00 PM
Finally this 2012 interview is available on Youtube :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9aBe0FB3d0
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: Lewton on October 09, 2017, 05:22:40 PM
Has this been posted already? This was made by the same folks (PlanetFab Studio) that did the other, more ubiquitous kaleidoscopic poster. I had never seen this one until today. Was it ever actually used?

(http://www.planetfab.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/the-master-film-planetfab-poster-weinstein-2.jpg)
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: modage on October 10, 2017, 08:17:30 AM
First I've seen of it.
Title: Re: The Master - SPOILERS!
Post by: ono on October 22, 2017, 11:59:53 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UgL2gJrQLA

So after 5 years, it's quite amusing/sad to watch this interview, because RIP PSH, and Haha @ Weinstein Q.  It's fluffy, but at least he got some press.