XIXAX Film Forum

The Director's Chair => Paul Thomas Anderson => Topic started by: matt35mm on November 24, 2017, 07:59:23 PM

Title: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: matt35mm on November 24, 2017, 07:59:23 PM
It's a very lovely and weird film, just as we've come to expect. Gorgeous. Full on indulgence in film looking like film, the opposite of digital. A bit of a sister film to THE MASTER, I feel, without being quite as intense. But there are many parallels. The score is indeed very good and front and center. Don't want to say too much more at the moment, and am still processing, but I am pleased and feeling that cinema high. PTA, Vicky Krieps, and Lesley Manville were there for a Q&A, which was wonderful, although most of it covered info that we all already know.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: FilmCell on November 24, 2017, 08:13:29 PM
Someone who saw it did an AMA https://www.reddit.com/r/movies/comments/7fbruz/i_got_to_see_an_advanced_screening_of_paul_thomas/?sort=old (https://www.reddit.com/r/movies/comments/7fbruz/i_got_to_see_an_advanced_screening_of_paul_thomas/?sort=old)
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Vicko99 on November 24, 2017, 08:20:35 PM
It's a very lovely and weird film, just as we've come to expect. Gorgeous. Full on indulgence in film looking like film, the opposite of digital. A bit of a sister film to THE MASTER, I feel, without being quite as intense. But there are many parallels. The score is indeed very good and front and center. Don't want to say too much more at the moment, and am still processing, but I am pleased and feeling that cinema high. PTA, Vicky Krieps, and Lesley Manville were there for a Q&A, which was wonderful, although most of it covered info that we all already know.
Does it have any "outrageous" moment?
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: KJ on November 24, 2017, 08:51:39 PM
i'm getting confused by the running time. the guy in the reddit thread says it's 2 and a hour, despite the previously report that it's very short.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on November 24, 2017, 08:51:50 PM
I saw the film today, too, and just posted my fairly spoiler-free thoughts here (https://www.reddit.com/r/paulthomasanderson/comments/7fble2/could_someone_who_went_to_the_advanced_screening/dqavy5l/).  I'm willing to answer any questions, as well, I guess.  Like Matt35mm, I'm still kind of vibrating (only got home about 30 minutes ago) from the experience.  As with most PTA films, a second viewing would make a tremendous difference in helping to process our thoughts and feelings about it.   

[edit] fixed bad link.  Sorry 'bout that.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on November 24, 2017, 08:52:53 PM
i'm getting confused by the running time. the guy in the reddit thread says it's 2 and a hour, despite the previously report that it's very short.

I informally clocked the version we saw today at 125 minutes, with another 5 minutes of credits.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: BigSock on November 24, 2017, 09:07:17 PM
I saw the film today, too, and just posted my fairly spoiler-free thoughts here (https://www.reddit.com/r/paulthomasanderson/comments/7fble2/could_someone_who_went_to_the_advanced_screening/dqavy5l/).  I'm willing to answer any questions, as well, I guess.  Like Matt35mm, I'm still kind of vibrating (only got home about 30 minutes ago) from the experience.  As with most PTA films, a second viewing would make a tremendous difference in helping to process our thoughts and feelings about it.

Link doesnt work

And there are massive spoilers out there, so beware
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on November 24, 2017, 09:40:23 PM

Link doesn't work

Fixed it.  Should work now. And I tried to be as spoiler-free as possible at that link.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: FilmCell on November 24, 2017, 10:00:12 PM
Post the audio you recorded from the discussion.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on November 24, 2017, 11:45:19 PM
Post the audio you recorded from the discussion.

I'll take a listen in the next couple of days, see if I can boost some levels, etc.  In the meantime, here's a good recounting of some of it:  https://theplaylist.net/paul-thomas-anderson-says-phantom-thread-script-real-collaboration-daniel-day-lewis-20171124
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: FilmCell on November 25, 2017, 02:08:59 AM
Wait, so you "HATED" inherent Vice?
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: WorldForgot on November 25, 2017, 03:06:53 AM
Wait, so you "HATED" inherent Vice?
Quote from: wilburfan on reddit
will probably never be able to get thru Inherent Vice a second time.

(http://drunksunshine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/o-INHERENT-VICE-facebook.jpg)
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on November 25, 2017, 12:04:52 PM
Wait, so you "HATED" inherent Vice?

Sadly, yes.  I was as surprised as you are.  (Or Doc, in the previous post.)  How could it have not worked for me on almost every level?  (Performances were excellent, I'll concede.)  I'm the only one in most PTA-flavored environments.  [shrug]  It's my burden, I guess. 
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Tdog on November 25, 2017, 02:42:51 PM
I really wish the orchestral music was mixed louder in IV. It might make things truck along a bit smoother.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Vicko99 on November 25, 2017, 10:14:53 PM
i'm getting confused by the running time. the guy in the reddit thread says it's 2 and a hour, despite the previously report that it's very short.

I informally clocked the version we saw today at 125 minutes, with another 5 minutes of credits.
Does the flick qualify as "dark and twisted"?? (Details, pleaase)
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on November 25, 2017, 11:30:40 PM
SPOILERS

Well it’s fucking beautiful, no surprise. A study in passive aggression and petty cruelty. Every scene asks: Who’s on top? Who can best exploit the other’s vulnerabilities? The dresses as emotional bondage...all the snips and cuts and pointed needles echoing the verbal weaponry used by the leads. Sex is conspicuously absent, but the power games and resulting domination replace any need for it. Like Jack Horner, Plainview, and Dodd before him, Woodcock molds others to his vision of life, with cold indifference to anyone's desires but his own. This character is darker than PT’s previous ones, though - he gets off on invoking humiliation and fear. Like in Blood, there's a sorrowful impossibility of reconciliation, because his essential nature cannot be changed. Reality must be twisted toward him, and twist Alma does. Luckily it’s darkly funny, too, the humor stemming from the absurdity of Woodcock’s self-seriousness. He just cannot. stand. not to be. in. control. Haha.

Maron relayed an insight into the narcissistic personality, once: “you’re either feeding their ego, or you’re a threat.” That partially sums up Woodcock, but then the pain that he inflicts as a result of his moodiness also becomes his pleasure. The ending is sick, but in a way, inevitable.

PT’s best. My new favorite.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on November 26, 2017, 12:09:37 AM
PT’s best. My new favorite.

Whoa.

I will try to forget the other things I read in your post...
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on November 26, 2017, 12:49:52 PM
SPOILERS

Well it’s fucking beautiful, no surprise. A study in passive aggression and petty cruelty. Every scene asks: Who’s on top? Who can best exploit the other’s vulnerabilities? The dresses as emotional bondage...all the snips and cuts and pointed needles echoing the verbal weaponry used by the leads. Sex is conspicuously absent, but the power games and resulting domination replace any need for it. Like Jack Horner, Plainview, and Dodd before him, Woodcock molds others to his vision of life, with cold indifference to anyone's desires but his own. This character is darker than PT’s previous ones, though - he gets off on invoking humiliation and fear. Like in Blood, there's a sorrowful impossibility of reconciliation, because his essential nature cannot be changed. Reality must be twisted toward him, and twist Alma does. Luckily it’s darkly funny, too, the humor stemming from the absurdity of Woodcock’s self-seriousness. He just cannot. stand. not to be. in. control. Haha.

Maron relayed an insight into the narcissistic personality, once: “you’re either feeding their ego, or you’re a threat.” That partially sums up Woodcock, but then the pain that he inflicts as a result of his moodiness also becomes his pleasure. The ending is sick, but in a way, inevitable.

Fuck, man, that's really well put.  You've illuminated things about the film I felt, but hadn't really articulated to myself yet. I'm now officially considering this the first review in print of the film. 
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on November 26, 2017, 03:20:23 PM
Quote
When love comes your way...it gets pretty complicated and peculiar...as love does.
   
--PTA on "Phantom Thread"   [from the post-screening discussion, Nov 24, 2017, Beverly Hills, CA]
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on November 26, 2017, 04:27:36 PM
Post the audio you recorded from the discussion.

Without meaning to be cute, (or a tease), I think I'm going to wait to post my full audio recording of the discussion following the Nov 24th screening I attended.   I think it will spoil less (and mean more) if you hear it after you've seen the film.  But to show good faith, here are a couple of moments that I particularly enjoyed.

In the first excerpt, Paul has just addressed a (not)-serving-as-his-own-DP question, when  Vicky volunteers what that was like from her perspective  (https://mega.nz/#!m4Z3CRKL!1tO9aroKRYjMbShtrHFbtwUjtswVhMtRnx3oT67RyBo).

The second is whether Paul is concerned about how a new film is received by audiences (https://mega.nz/#!fpB3RCLZ!8pujq_YUH29cMR41wCu5pyaHxUDjqEK6iJSRyp0uXrA).
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on November 26, 2017, 09:18:30 PM
i'm having problems with a lot of cinema these days...

Let me just say that if this isn't a thread somewhere else yet, it should be.  I've been having the same Dark Night of the Cinematic Soul for the last few years... I really liked Phantom Thread (thank God!), but really disliked things like Inherent Vice, Hateful Eight, Whiplash, La La Land, Get Out, Dunkirk, etc, etc. (It's an extensive list.)  So many films with "universal acclaim".  (It may have started when The Artist won Best Picture.)
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on November 26, 2017, 09:42:50 PM
Not contesting your opinion, to each his own. Just some additional thoughts:

One thing I really liked about Woodcock vs the megalomaniacs Plainview and Dodd was that there seemed to be actual stakes limiting Woodcock’s selfishness. In There Will Be Blood and The Master, the characters exhibit the prowess they hold in their minds through monologues or grand actions (standing on and hammering a railroad stake through a table, relaying an embellished story about wrestling a dragon), but there’s less actually pushing up against them in these moments. These are large overtures for large overtures sake rather than a need to dominate something else in the scene. Salesmanship and theater. To put it another way: if the characters didn’t act this way, nothing story-wise would change. I know this is a bit of a false equivalency because Plainview has Eli to contend with in terms of furthering his oil enterprise, and Dodd has a growing base of followers, or not, but what I'm trying to say is that the stakes of domination in those scenes are not as central to the plot as I think they are in Phantom Thread. Phantom Thread seems the inverse where dressmaking is an incidental profession, a symbol of the artist's life, but it serves more to create an engine for the hierarchical interpersonal relationships, which are the real meat of the film.

Reynolds’ lack of accountability nearly costs him one of the most monied patrons of the House of Woodcock, and he has to swallow his pride temporarily in order to operate in reciprocity with the world. At the dinner party scene, when Alma’s seated next to the man who invites them to the New Year’s Eve party, he attempts to sell her on it by saying it’ll be the “the time of her life.” Alma responds challengingly “How do you know what my life has been?” and the man says plainly, “I don’t. But I think you’ll have a very fine time.” This grounded reaction is in sharp contrast to all other conversations in the film, which can only be approached by Woodcock as battles to be won or lost. It reminded me of the moment in The Master when Dodd is confronted by the apartment gathering attendee who questions whether or not The Cause has the makings of a cult, but here that foil is deflected and buried more invisibly by having the contrasting conversation take place second-hand through another character. You still see the difference in humility but it’s not as bluntly in your face as before.

So the emotional transactions felt more literally like transactions to me here than in the past, where there had been a lot more telling and expository dialogue moving things along in linear fashion. Phantom Thread felt structurally more like a spiral that deepens as the story moves forward. That seemed like a real evolution in his writing, to me.

I’d taken this post down because I didn’t want to steer this thread into an uninteresting debate about which of his films are better, but do think that the movies he's made previously help illuminate where this one's heartbeat lies.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on November 26, 2017, 10:26:48 PM
Man, you've thought about this way deeper than I could have at this point.  I'm not sure I would have had those kinds of insights even after 3 or 4 viewings.  I'm still just basically sitting in the afterglow...  Well done, sir.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: csage97 on November 26, 2017, 11:32:46 PM
Thanks for posting your thoughts, everyone. I'm enjoying the discussion so far and I'm happy to see some people suggest that it's a sort of strange or curious film with lots of varying music.

Wilberfan, I am a mastering engineer. I spend most of my days listening to and massaging audio files, and testing out audio tools. If you'd like, I can take a look at the Q&A recording for you at some point and do a bit to smooth out the dynamics, get it to a comfortable playback level, bring out the speakers' voices and filter out unwanted noise. It probably wouldn't take a lot of time to get it to an acceptable point, so let me know. I'm likely busy with work the coming two days, but I'd have some time soon after. But if you think the file is already fine, that's all good. :)
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on November 27, 2017, 12:13:58 AM
Wilberfan, I am a mastering engineer. I spend most of my days listening to and massaging audio files, and testing out audio tools. If you'd like, I can take a look at the Q&A recording for you at some point and do a bit to smooth out the dynamics, get it to a comfortable playback level, bring out the speakers' voices and filter out unwanted noise. It probably wouldn't take a lot of time to get it to an acceptable point, so let me know. I'm likely busy with work the coming two days, but I'd have some time soon after. But if you think the file is already fine, that's all good. :)

The file already fine?  Pfff!   I took a real quick-and-dirty swipe at it for an hour or so this afternoon.  I don't really know what I'm doing (as you can probably hear).  I just increased the gain on the quiet parts, and hit it with an equalizer setting that sounded...better somehow.   I can let you finese it, sure.  If you're not worried about spoiling the film for yourself...  What I'd REALLY enjoy is watching you actually work on it.  You're not L.A.-based by any chance, are you...?  ;-)
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on November 27, 2017, 12:53:36 AM
like when he jumped from Magnolia to Punch-Drunk Love, in terms of the narrative dynamics of Inherent Vice versus Phantom Thread. this is straight forward as hell, even more so than Punch-Drunk Love, since Vicky Krieps explains what Phantom Thread will be about in her opening remarks. and then the entire movie is about what she said. also, what she describes, love, is the Phantom Thread. of course, love was the phantom thread. of course!

DDL is DDL good, which is great, and perfectly tuned. but i was surprised by his character's lack of range. here is the thing: DDL acts DDL good, but Vicky Krieps has the DDL character. the big character is Krieps. it's made clear that this is her movie, and she shreds. totally. every time i looked at her face i knew what was going on in the movie. sometimes i had to look across the room to see her face. but i would do that. because that was how i would know what was going on in the movie. in order for DDL to be spot on for his character, which he was, he had to be restrained. so there's less complexity to his acting frustrated in running jokes related to breakfast. her face's reaction to him becoming upset was always the more interesting face.

when he meets her she's a waitress. which is low culture. later he tells her ~, "Maybe you have no taste." but then at the wedding, when she takes the dress off the lady sleeping! then they kiss on the sidewalk! oh man. that was their Running in the Rain moment. the green dress had been the Ouija board.

that's because they're in love. it's maybe mysterious why they're in love, but i don't think Phantom Thread is a mysterious movie. i adore that PT adores the theme of people needing people. Phantom Thread is like a Paul Verhoeven love story. perfect high culture shittalking. and the women bonded by the end. this was as interesting as any other PT movie, they're all interesting, really i think way too many of you are way too hard on Hard Eight.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: csage97 on November 27, 2017, 12:58:40 AM
Wilberfan, I am a mastering engineer. I spend most of my days listening to and massaging audio files, and testing out audio tools. If you'd like, I can take a look at the Q&A recording for you at some point and do a bit to smooth out the dynamics, get it to a comfortable playback level, bring out the speakers' voices and filter out unwanted noise. It probably wouldn't take a lot of time to get it to an acceptable point, so let me know. I'm likely busy with work the coming two days, but I'd have some time soon after. But if you think the file is already fine, that's all good. :)

The file already fine?  Pfff!   I took a real quick-and-dirty swipe at it for an hour or so this afternoon.  I don't really know what I'm doing (as you can probably hear).  I just increased the gain on the quiet parts, and hit it with an equalizer setting that sounded...better somehow.   I can let you finese it, sure.  If you're not worried about spoiling the film for yourself...  What I'd REALLY enjoy is watching you actually work on it.  You're not L.A.-based by any chance, are you...?  ;-)

I'm way across the continent but not close enough to NYC to catch an advanced screening, unfortunately! L.A. sounds cool and, if I dare say, strange (no offense to the inhabitants!), and I need to make it out there for a visit soon. Anyway, the source recording is the biggest factor in an audio file being clean and high quality (sort of obviously). That said, there are a few ways that would hopefully highlight the voices more and get rid of unwanted noise as I mentioned .... I can send you a PM afterwards and give you a description of everything I did if you're interested in audio manipulation.

I'm not one who's too worried about spoiling things. As far as I'm concerned, the actors and director talking about filming and some of the scenes and such doesn't ruining the experience of actually being immersed in the film for me. As long as there's not some point where they say, "THAT BIG SCENE WHERE TWIST X HAPPENED AND IT WAS REVEALED THAT MAIN CHARACTER Y WAS Z AND THE WHOLE PLOT HINGES ON THAT ONE MOMENT," I'm fine.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on November 27, 2017, 01:39:08 AM
 Here (https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2017/11/27/daniel-day-lewis-makes-rare-appearance-new-york-final-film-phantom-thread/896668001/) is a write-up on the NYC post-screening discussion.

Quote
Anderson says he was inspired to write the script while laying in bed with his wife, Saturday Night Live veteran Maya Rudolph.

"I was very, very sick one night and my wife looked at me with a love and affection I hadn't seen in a long time," Anderson remembered. "So I called Daniel the next day and said, 'I think I have a good idea for a movie.' "

In reality, "Paul just needed an old man and I seemed to fit the bill," joked Day-Lewis
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on November 27, 2017, 01:57:20 AM
[Nodding my head]

https://twitter.com/ErikDavis/status/934978136369958912
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: eward on November 27, 2017, 10:02:42 AM
I loved it. Flew right by. He’s really moving the camera around again! Seeing it a second time tonight so more interesting, detailed remarks to come, but after having sat with it for 16ish hours, it definitely ranks pretty high overall for me. The ending is bizarre and coyly kinky. And the score! Wall-to-wall and utterly hypnotic.  I think this may help alleviate any remaining sting for those who felt burned by Inherent Vice.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on November 27, 2017, 09:33:21 PM
[Nodding my head]

https://twitter.com/ErikDavis/status/934978136369958912

building from this, and outside thread conversations, i wish to further the explore the concept of love as portrayed by Phantom Thread. it isn't that the title can't refer to anything else (i know how you PT people get), but rather that a full meaning is obtained from the idea of the title as a reference to love, based on the movie, Vicky Krieps's opening statements, and here are PT and wilberfan again --

Quote
When love comes your way...it gets pretty complicated and peculiar...as love does.
   
--PTA on "Phantom Thread"   [from the post-screening discussion, Nov 24, 2017, Beverly Hills, CA]

i'm about to get sooo spoilery

second warning about how spoilery i'm about to become

DDL tells Lesley Manville he's made a terrible life mistake and things are fucked, he needs help. that's a terrific scene because it solidifies the female/female relationship, but let us also consider what type of statement DDL makes. that is a very non-love statement. he's wanting to escape his marriage. and although i can't currently recall the exact order of the subsequent scenes, i know this is close to the end. the end i shall not mention, since i don't have to, and out of respect for people who haven't seen it. but those who have seen it you know what i mean.

how would it be logical for him to say that, and for the movie to end as it does? you see, it's not logical. it's love, which doesn't mean one thing. as i've mentioned before, a phantom thread is an imaginary one. and here the audience sees: we imagine for ourselves what we need to stitch our lives together when we do and how we do.

and that is true and tricky and difficult, and that is what we do. PT could've portrayed this a different way, sure, but i think the movie demonstrates this in a full way.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on November 27, 2017, 09:41:12 PM
I like your interpretation and I'm bound to agree with it.

I also think it's tricky in that specific turn and wonder how much it's love and how much it's Alma bending to his gravitational force. If love is self-sacrifice Alma is certainly in it, but is Reynolds in the same exact boat? Hmmm. I don't know. He's giving up his solitude. Maybe love isn't necessarily a balance, an equal two-way street, which is a bold thing for the film to say.

I think it's a bit more mysterious than you're willing to let on.

Still can't stop thinking about it.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on November 27, 2017, 09:46:14 PM
i also believe that scene between DDL and Lesley solidifies DDL's interior weakness and dependency upon others. i don't believe he's a man who could win his fights alone (there isn't evidence of that). i know you know that by the end he willingly self-sacrifices in order to preserve an environment of love.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on November 27, 2017, 09:52:24 PM
i don't believe he's a man who could win his fights alone (there isn't evidence of that).

This is a great point. Launching pad for a different conversation I want to think more about.

i know you know that by the end he willingly self-sacrifices in order to preserve an environment of love.

I know, but I'm thinking there's also an argument that Woodcock needs an audience, a target for his arrows, in order to feel satisfied by firing them. Like the old saying goes, if a tree falls in the forest with no one around to hear it, did it make a sound? Alma proves herself loyal in her submission, a willing punching bag for his outbursts. He could be going along with her plan in twisted desperation to preserve that.

Woodcock also loves to be infantilized, with Cyril constantly looking over his shoulder and replacing his (dead) mother's role. Alma's enthusiasm to take part in that odd dynamic certainly plays into it. Is the want to be mothered the same as the want to be loved?
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on November 27, 2017, 10:06:31 PM
just warning you guys again about major spoilers, in fact i'll make the text white

following upon your last statement, and building from the conversation, how much of their love is for each other, and how much of their love is for themselves? does she not enjoy how great she looks in his dresses, which everyone would like to wear? she gets jealous asap. she fears losing him, but is it because she fears losing what he represents? i was hard on her first because he's easy to be hard on. in an overall sense i think most loves are impure. he seems to love himself way more than he loves her or anyone. the harder part with him is identifying how he lovers her for her.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on November 27, 2017, 10:12:15 PM
^ Mic drop
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on November 27, 2017, 11:20:54 PM
Just so I understand clearly, I thought this thread was for spoilers and the other thread was not.  Does it not work that way?
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on November 27, 2017, 11:22:28 PM
It is, some people who haven't seen it are popping in and stealing glances because curiosity's a bitch. We're just being extra cautious.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on November 28, 2017, 02:31:26 AM
A "review" (of sorts) from @Lons (via Twitter)   Perhaps Spoileresque
Quote
You heard it here first, folks. Paul Thomas Anderson is a good filmmaker.

Quote
To unpack a bit more: PHANTOM THREAD is strange and romantic and claustrophobic and very funny and creepily unsettling and provocative and thoughtful and kind of silly and I definitely want to see it again.

Quote
Like all of PTA's best, it's the kind of movie where you check in with yourself every half hour, and think you know what he's pulling off and what's coming next, and you're wrong every time.

https://twitter.com/Lons/status/935382622418509824

He's articulated my reaction rather nicely, actually.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: eward on November 28, 2017, 12:57:38 PM
https://www.wmagazine.com/story/exclusive-daniel-day-lewis-giving-up-acting-phantom-thread?mbid=social_facebook

Daniel Day Lewis on Phantom Thread and his "retirement". Surprising tidbit: He has not seen the film and apparently has no plans to.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Rooty Poots on November 28, 2017, 01:04:41 PM
https://www.wmagazine.com/story/exclusive-daniel-day-lewis-giving-up-acting-phantom-thread?mbid=social_facebook

Daniel Day Lewis on Phantom Thread and his "retirement". Surprising tidbit: He has not seen the film and apparently has no plans to.

Quote
I do know that Paul and I laughed a lot before we made the movie. And then we stopped laughing because we were both overwhelmed by a sense of sadness. That took us by surprise: We didn’t realize what we had given birth to. It was hard to live with. And still is.

…and…

Quote
Paul and I spoke a lot about curses—the idea of a curse on a family, what that might be like. A kind of malady. And it’s not that I felt there was a curse attached to this film, other than the responsibility of a creative life, which is both a curse and a blessing. You can never separate them until the day you die. It’s the thing that feeds you and eats away at you; gives you life and is killing you at the same time.

Jesus Christ.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on November 28, 2017, 01:09:44 PM
Quote
Although there have been rumors that Day-Lewis is going to become a fashion designer, he laughed when I suggested that career. “Who knows?” he said mischievously. “I won’t know which way to go for a while. But I’m not going to stay idle. I don’t fear the stony silence.” He has always had a variety of passions: He once wrote a comedy script with Rebecca; he paints well; he makes furniture; and he is a fan of MotoGP, the competitive motorcycle tournament. But he also has a deep love of film, and it is hard to imagine that he will not continue to contribute to movies in some way.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Drenk on November 28, 2017, 01:12:14 PM
"Not wanting to see the film is connected to the decision I’ve made to stop working as an actor. But it’s not why the sadness came to stay. That happened during the telling of the story, and I don’t really know why.”

I should not hang in the Spoilers thread but...whaaaat? I don't know if he hates the movie or if it overwhelmed him. It was weird at the last Q&A the way he kept repeating how awful shooting the movie was.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on November 28, 2017, 01:34:51 PM
I know you guys get this, but this is something I constantly have to explain to the great-unwashed about PTA's films:

Quote
Phantom Thread is one of the most beguiling portrayals of fashion in the history of film, but in the end, it’s not a film about fashion.

"But Boogie Nights is not about porn.  There Will Be Blood is not about the oil industry.  The Master is not about Scientology..."


Back to Phantom Thread for a second.  SPOILER

I was just meditating when the following thought wafted by:   The driving scenes in Phantom Thread had a very 40's/50's look about them.  There's one especially driving down a dark lane with the shrubbery on either side illuminated rather awkwardly (so we can see the car).  Very much reminded me of all of those rear-screen projections from the era of Rebecca, etc.    I can only hope it was a deliberate attempt to invoke that period of film making.   

And have we discussed Reynolds' aggressive style of driving yet?   I'm taking it as a 'release' for him.  A way to (unconsciously?) blow off the contained, controlled environment of the House of Woodcock.  Other thoughts?
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Vicko99 on November 28, 2017, 10:47:38 PM
I read on twitter that the ending is a direct homage to blood meridian :shock: :shock: :shock:. Can someone spoil it for me, I'm not watching this until march
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on November 29, 2017, 10:18:36 AM
spoiler: it's not a direct homage to Blood Meridian.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: csage97 on November 29, 2017, 06:17:11 PM
I know you guys get this, but this is something I constantly have to explain to the great-unwashed about PTA's films:

Quote
Phantom Thread is one of the most beguiling portrayals of fashion in the history of film, but in the end, it’s not a film about fashion.

"But Boogie Nights is not about porn.  There Will Be Blood is not about the oil industry.  The Master is not about Scientology..."


Back to Phantom Thread for a second.  SPOILER

I was just meditating when the following thought wafted by:   The driving scenes in Phantom Thread had a very 40's/50's look about them.  There's one especially driving down a dark lane with the shrubbery on either side illuminated rather awkwardly (so we can see the car).  Very much reminded me of all of those rear-screen projections from the era of Rebecca, etc.    I can only hope it was a deliberate attempt to invoke that period of film making.   

And have we discussed Reynolds' aggressive style of driving yet?   I'm taking it as a 'release' for him.  A way to (unconsciously?) blow off the contained, controlled environment of the House of Woodcock.  Other thoughts?

I was thinking this same thing while I was watching the trailer. There's that quick shot in which DDL and Vickey Krieps are driving in a car. Totally Hitchcock vibes to it ... and the score over top is bliss.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: eward on November 29, 2017, 11:23:38 PM
Some sadly lo-res snaps from the DGA screening:
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: modage on November 30, 2017, 07:19:58 AM
I read on twitter that the ending is a direct homage to blood meridian :shock: :shock: :shock:. Can someone spoil it for me, I'm not watching this until march

In regards to thematically similar films (and potential but unconfirmed influences):

@NickNewman (https://twitter.com/Nick_Newman/status/936062289568059392): They said “art house 50 Shades of Grey” because they haven’t seen La Belle Noiseuse, Buñuel’s Diary of a Chambermaid or The Heartbreak Kid.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on November 30, 2017, 02:30:38 PM
Yeah, hearing "Arthouse Fifty Shades of Gray" a couple of months ago made me sad.  I hadn't seen 50 Shades at all, but referring to PT this way made me sad anyway.   Is that description even remotely close to being valid??
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: modage on November 30, 2017, 02:36:23 PM
No. It is not even remotely close to being valid.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on November 30, 2017, 02:43:06 PM
it's also not like any Mike Leigh movie. basically all the rumors were false, pretty much every one maybe.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: KJ on November 30, 2017, 07:58:16 PM
b-b-but I wanted 50 shades )):
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Pringle on December 01, 2017, 04:30:44 PM
I may be wrong, but I don't remember two of the shots from the trailers ever appearing in the film: the quick push in at the restaurant where Reynolds looks up from a piece of paper he's writing on, and the other slow push-in on Reynolds with his arms crossed as he says "There is an air of quiet death in this house."

Did I just miss these shots in the final film?
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: boogienights on December 05, 2017, 05:15:31 PM
I may be wrong, but I don't remember two of the shots from the trailers ever appearing in the film: the quick push in at the restaurant where Reynolds looks up from a piece of paper he's writing on, and the other slow push-in on Reynolds with his arms crossed as he says "There is an air of quiet death in this house."

Did I just miss these shots in the final film?

Did not see the push in, but I think thta my have been left on the cutting room floor as I think that's from the post wedding scene which pushed out, but he didn't put his glasses on or off like in the trailer
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on December 06, 2017, 07:49:51 PM
In any case I feel like the influence of Kubrick is present in more ambiguous and less easily measured ways, like for instance the conceptual structuring of the films.

The structure-of-my-own-invention aspect is present in TWBB too, but I don't think it's operating on the same level [as Kubrick]. Just different, not worse. There’s allegory but it’s primarily an inflation of the character’s uniquely personal desires, not necessarily a dually functioning grander statement about humanity at large.

During Phantom Thread I kept thinking Eyes Wide Shut, as I've since learned other people were, too, but it's really hard to explain why. It seemed the most invisibly Kubrick. I'm so curious to see if PT ends up mentioning anything about it.

Last night I was thinking about this, reading around to refresh my memory. I came across this page (https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-definitive-style-of-Stanley-Kubrick-What-makes-a-Stanley-Kubrick-movie-different-from-the-rest):

Quote from: Marcus Geduld
But it's a mistake to say that Kubrick believed the id would always triumph over the superego. He believed both forces would always be with us and would always be locked in battle. That is Kubrick's ethos: the battle between constraints and freedoms never ends. Society will always beat people down. The beast will always disrupt society. Society is good, because it keeps us from all killing each other; society is evil, because it castrates us; our natures are evil, because they are sexually depraved and murderous; our natures are good, because they're artistic and creative.

This is a markedly different ethos that that of most other artists. Most seem to take a side: human nature is wicked and must be subdued; culture is wicked and must be rebelled against. Humanity will ultimately triumph; Society will destroy humanity. Kubrick was neither a romantic nor an Orwellian. He was a Freudian. Neither the id nor the superego are going anywhere. They are both here to stay.

The more I think about it, the more I believe those ideas are present in Phantom Thread as well.


I guess there's not a ton to say about it operating both personally and superpersonally that isn't made explicit in the Geduld quote above. Reynolds as the unchained Id, embracing his base impulses and prioritizing creative output over interpersonal harmony, and Alma the limiting force that keeps him awake to the needs of the world at large. Neither Alma nor Reynolds (Id and SuperEgo) “win” in the end, rather there’s a seesaw balance between them, Reynold’s hedonistic working methods allowed to flourish for a time, and then Alma’s motherly containing influence being given a chance to propagate through her making him sick with the mushrooms. Reynold's artistic (beast) behavior runs right up against the edge of what’s acceptable within the limits of civilized society while still contributing to its enrichment, with Alma bringing self-awareness, making sure the river never runs over to a societally detrimental degree.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Pringle on December 07, 2017, 07:38:17 PM
Here's a great, in-depth, very spoilery interview with PTA about the film.


http://emanuellevy.com/review/featured-review/phantom-thread-paul-thomas-anderson-about-his-collaboration-with-daniel-day-lewis/ (http://emanuellevy.com/review/featured-review/phantom-thread-paul-thomas-anderson-about-his-collaboration-with-daniel-day-lewis/)
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 07, 2017, 09:41:41 PM
Here's a great, in-depth, very spoilery interview with PTA about the film.


http://emanuellevy.com/review/featured-review/phantom-thread-paul-thomas-anderson-about-his-collaboration-with-daniel-day-lewis/ (http://emanuellevy.com/review/featured-review/phantom-thread-paul-thomas-anderson-about-his-collaboration-with-daniel-day-lewis/)

I suspect that was cobbled together from the several post-screening discussions he attended.  A couple of the quotes I recall from the screening I was at.

I still don't understand why DDL doesn't get a co-screenplay credit, though, after reading that. 
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: matt35mm on December 10, 2017, 12:08:13 AM
I finally feel like I can say some real thoughts on the film now that I've seen it three times. The whole thing feels like a symphony, and there's only about 10 minutes of it that doesn't have score. Like it's one movement into another and into another. The editor, Dylan Tichenor, told me he was a little embarrassed by how much music there was, and I understand where he's coming from as music is so often a crutch, but here I feel like that symphonic idea is central to the DNA of the thing, and the music is the loveliest.

One major thing that I clocked onto this time was the idea (shared with THE MASTER) that these are two souls that are meeting again and again in different lives. I mean, I clocked onto that the first time when Alma literally says so toward the end of the film, but I thought about it in relation to the rest of the film, and in particular, with the idea of Alma's impulse to want to take care of Reynolds, and to have him be helpless. There is the scene when he is sick and hallucinating his mother, and Alma walks in and past the mother, and then walks by again and the mother is gone. His mind/heart begins to conflate Alma with his mother, who he misses very much.

Just before Reynolds meets Alma, he speaks of having an unsettled feeling that his mother is near him, watching over him. Then he meets Alma and takes her on a date then to his country home. He tells her that his mother is the first woman he dressed. He then dresses Alma, perhaps much the way he would've dressed his mother. Soon after, on the hill overlooking the sea, Reynolds says, "I feel as if I've been looking for you for a very long time." Alma: "You found me."

Without taking things QUITE literally, I do like to let some part of my brain take these things at face value when a character says, as Alma does here, and as Master does, that they are fundamentally connected with Reynolds/Freddie in past lives and future lives. The two balloons with messages that found their way to their intended destination (the beautiful poetic image from THE MASTER). And so I think about how very probably, Alma was born around the time that Reynolds' mother died, and the thing that he needs in Alma is subconsciously related to a feeling that he has found his mother again. Right after his hallucination of his mother blending with Alma, he proposes to Alma, having been previously so sure that he would never marry.

Their relationship is clearly more complicated than this, just as Freddie and Master's was, but there is this central recognition of each other, something that transcends the visible, moment to moment world.

The second-to-last image is Reynolds with his head in Alma's lap, as he must've done with his mother, this feeling of the ultimate homecoming and sense of peace. The final words spoken, spoken like a child to his mother, "... and I'm getting hungry."

What a lovely film.

An interesting tidbit from when I talked to PTA at a reception for the film (http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=73.msg350890#msg350890):

People kept asking PTA how Reynolds knew that Alma was poisoning him in the climactic scene. He said he meant for it to be very clear that Alma is doing this in plain sight of Reynolds, so there's no guessing on his part. They both know what's going on, but it's a staring contest ("If you want to have a staring contest with me, you will lose"). PTA didn't mean for this to be ambiguous. He felt a little bad that this wasn't clearer.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 10, 2017, 12:16:18 AM
I finally feel like I can say some real thoughts on the film now that I've seen it three times.

Fascinating.  With only one viewing (so far), I hadn't made the connection between his Mother and Alma.  That's definitely something to watch for next time. 

Curious, was this a DCP or 35mm print you saw this third time?
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: matt35mm on December 10, 2017, 12:18:32 AM
I finally feel like I can say some real thoughts on the film now that I've seen it three times.

Fascinating.  With only one viewing (so far), I hadn't made the connection between his Mother and Alma.  That's definitely something to watch for next time. 

Curious, was this a DCP or 35mm print you saw this third time?

DCP this time, on the mixing stage where it was mixed!
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 10, 2017, 12:41:12 AM
It will be interesting to see if this rather extensive screener/working-the-guild-crowd will pay off in nominations/awards.  It's probably a reasonably smart way to get the film in front of the eyes that need to see it for positive awards outcomes.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: csage97 on December 10, 2017, 01:15:52 PM
I finally feel like I can say some real thoughts on the film now that I've seen it three times. The whole thing feels like a symphony, and there's only about 10 minutes of it that doesn't have score. Like it's one movement into another and into another. The editor, Dylan Tichenor, told me he was a little embarrassed by how much music there was, and I understand where he's coming from as music is so often a crutch, but here I feel like that symphonic idea is central to the DNA of the thing, and the music is the loveliest.

It will be interesting to see if this rather extensive screener/working-the-guild-crowd will pay off in nominations/awards.  It's probably a reasonably smart way to get the film in front of the eyes that need to see it for positive awards outcomes.

Is the purpose of the limited release in major cities to have critics view it and generate some buzz for awards season in hopes that the awards buzz will bring in audiences upon a wider release? I understand the natural cycle of these sorts of releases (vs. big studio releases), but it sucks that some can see a film such as this three times while others in my sort of position won't have access to it for at least a month and maybe not at all until it's released on Blu Ray while I can go see Justice League or Thor or The Avengers very easily. (I'm not trying to point a finger at those who've seen it multiple times by now. Obviously they're not at all at fault and I'm totally happy that they took the opportunity; I would of course do the same. I'm just irrationally complaining about the way that movie distribution has to be.)

Maybe I'm projecting an unjustified sense of entitlement here. It's not like I'm talking about the fairness of access to food or housing or something. I guess I'm just letting out a sigh at the state of film distribution.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 10, 2017, 01:23:06 PM
it sucks that some can see a film such as this three times while others in my sort of position won't have access to it for at least a month and maybe not at all until it's released on Blu Ray...

In a weird, twisted, unfair way the campaign is having it's desired effect:  It's building up buzz, getting people even more excited to see it.  (And there is no hesitation for stories/articles/posts to emphasize the "DDL's-last-role!" angle--which I never really think about, to be honest.  To me, this film represents "PTA's Latest Feature" and not "DDL's Last".
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: csage97 on December 10, 2017, 02:09:02 PM
it sucks that some can see a film such as this three times while others in my sort of position won't have access to it for at least a month and maybe not at all until it's released on Blu Ray...

In a weird, twisted, unfair way the campaign is having it's desired effect:  It's building up buzz, getting people even more excited to see it.  (And there is no hesitation for stories/articles/posts to emphasize the "DDL's-last-role!" angle--which I never really think about, to be honest.  To me, this film represents "PTA's Latest Feature" and not "DDL's Last".

In a weird, twisted, unfair way the campaign is having it's desired effect:  It's building up buzz, getting people even more excited to see it.  (And there is no hesitation for stories/articles/posts to emphasize the "DDL's-last-role!" angle--which I never really think about, to be honest.  To me, this film represents "PTA's Latest Feature" and not "DDL's Last".

Yep, and I can't fault it for that. I don't mind the major-city-limited-release thing to generate buzz. I guess I'm just more or less complaining that the wide release status is unforeseeable in the meantime. Will it come to a city near me at all? I don't know at this point. I'm starting to think it won't. Meanwhile, the Justice Leagues, Thors, and Daddy's Homes will go on rolling at the theatre in my city. It sucks that there's not a big demand for visionary, artistic content like Phantom Thread. It's not like the plot or the shooting or the acting is that weird or unconventional or experimental anyway. Why don't the masses appreciate this stuff?

I was having this conversation with a friend last night. He was talking about how he's excited to see Justice League. I said that superhero movies don't interest me. He suggested that they're about the only thing that gets people out of their homes and into the theatre seats. People apparently want to see these larger-than-life spectacles in the Baudrillardian sense.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 10, 2017, 04:49:04 PM
Why don't the masses appreciate this stuff?

There's the crux of the issue, right there.   Subtle, thought-provoking, nuanced...those are qualities that will never appeal to the masses. 

As H.L. Menkin once wrote,

Quote
No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on December 10, 2017, 04:59:22 PM
looking forward to your list of art house favorites from 2017.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: modage on December 10, 2017, 06:05:22 PM
I'm late, I'm sorry. I was fortunate enough to see this twice so far and have just not had the time to write something organized so here goes with some random thoughts.

First, some non-spoiler stuff for any lurkers brave enough to enter this thread.

Firstly: For anyone concerned at all, PTA has not dropped the ball. Phantom Thread is another worthy entry in PTA's filmography. And the thing I've learned from watching the lists come in ranking his filmography is that it really doesn't matter if it's your first or 8th favorite film of his, because they're all great in their own way. What's your 6th favorite Kubrick film? Who cares. Because each one says something different and whatever your preference is says as much about you as it does about any objective quality of the film itself.

This feels like the beginning of a new era for PTA. In my own head I kinda break his career into 3 bits (Developing his style: Hard Eight > Boogie Nights > Magnolia, Throwing everything out the window: PDL, TWBB, the difficult Joaquin period: Master, IV) and now Phantom Thread which seems unlike anything else he's made to date. And yet... would make a fascinating double-feature with Punch-Drunk Love (his two oddball films about love), with The Master (50s setting, master/servant relationships) or TWBB (a study in contrasts for DDL). Like The Master it seems at times it could be a film actually made in the 50s, the score especially pushes it to places that feel very period, but PTA's voice as a filmmaker always shines through brighter and keep it from ever becoming a recreation (a la Soderbergh's Good German or Haynes' Far From Heaven).

If you were concerned by the trailer (as I was, a bit) that this might be more of a buttoned up Merchant Ivory film for PTA, you can alleviate those concerns. The movie is pure PTA through and through. In retrospect, having seen the film, the trailer feels like a compromise between showing that it’s a PTA film but also a film that a regular people might go see. To me, the trailer sells a more straightforward movie, not a bait and switch exactly, but only hints at the places it goes.

I spent much of my first viewing (as I tend to do with his films) just noticing all the little ways the film is different from anything PTA has made before (the camera shake on the hood of the car, ooh!), and the second viewing just taking in the details and picking up on all the ways it actually fits into his filmography.

Phantom Thread is a much more immediate film than Vice or The Master. And I chalk that up to two major factors: DDL is a more charismatic actor than Joaquin (who is incredible but can also repel audiences) and Dylan Tichenor back as editor. For all its eccentricities and turns, by the time the lights come up on Phantom Thread, I think most people will leave the theatre without asking themselves what the hell it was about (which was not the case for Vice or The Master, where multiple viewings could reveal new truths but the films would never be 'solved.'). PTA's most experimental/difficult films for normal audiences are (to my mind) PDL, Master and Vice, all of which were edited by Leslie Jones. Dylan Tichenor is back in the saddle for this and for me it shows. (Not saying any of these films are better or worse, just that some are more wandering and elliptical, and some more direct.)

I'm terrible at estimating what general audiences will go for (when I first saw TWBB I thought it was PTA's most difficult film and would not make any money) but it feels to me like between DDL's performance and a few outrageous moments, this could have a chance at breaking through with the masses more than his last few films. But again, who the fuck knows. So far so good on critical notices and year-end stuff.

MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW

These have been reiterated elsewhere but the keys to unlocking this film were 1.) PTA's reveal at the Q&A about how the genesis of Phantom Thread occured when PTA being sick as a dog and saw Maya look at him with a kind of love he hadn't seen from her in a long time. And 2.) PTA and DDL admitting that Woodcock could have been in any creative profession and it was almost arbitrary that it became fashion (though obviously after it was decided, they all dove in head-first). This is absolutely a film about these three characters, not about dressmaking or Charles James or whatever else.

This is PTA's most intimate film to date. After the huge epic scope of TWBB which is an epic about capitalism, greed, oil, religion, it’s surprising (for me anyway) to see them reteam for this much much smaller film, an interior epic about relationships and the fucked up things we do to the ones we love most.

I thought it was interesting how in both this and TWBB, how much they reveal about the lead character through showing the process in which he does his job. TWBB spends a ton of time showing you the process of getting oil up out of the ground, buying land, the lengths that Plainview will go to succeed at both, and likewise Phantom Thread spends an equal percentage of screen time immersing you in the world of dressmaking to show how Woodcock’s character ticks through the obsession of his pursuits.

The New Years Eve scene is the major set piece of the film. For me, it's the oil derrick on fire sequence of Phantom Thread. Beautiful, gorgeous, huge. Compared to how much time we spend in that townhouse, it’s just incredible to see it opened up like that for just a brief few minutes, but wow. (I wonder how much of the film’s budget just went towards wrangling all the extras, costumes, elephants just for that scene?)

The mother scene is interesting. As has been mentioned it’s definitely part of Woodcock’s interest in Alma, that it makes him feel closer to mother, or the feeling that she gave him as she cared for him, and in his weakened, near-death state, almost gets back there. I believe that seeing his mother there is part of what binds him to Alma. It’s also interesting because I believe it’s the second fantasy sequence in PTAs career, after the nude dance scene in The Master. In both cases we see a character lying down envisioning something that is not happening.

There are weddings in so many PTA films! Boogie. Blood. Master. Phantom. And offscreen marriage in Hard Eight too, I believe. I don’t know what this means, but I doubt he realizes he’s doing it.

Like Katherine Waterson in Vice, Krieps is a real discovery here. She's incredible going toe-to-toe with DDL and I'm excited to see where her career goes in the next couple years after she gets snatched up by tons of other directors.

It’s still CRAZY to me PTA didn't use a DP. Phantom Thread looks great but feels a bit looser and less precious in its framing than his previous work. Though it moves a ton compared to the locked off style of Master and Vice, which probably allowed for a lot more improvisation. I would be curious to know if there was as much fucking around off-script as there seemed to be during those films. I would guess not. Or in any case, if there was, it feels like there wasn’t as this feels tighter, but again that could all come down to the editing.

I have tons more thoughts and can’t wait to see it again to keep discussing and thinking about it. It’s definitely my favorite of 2017 though much too early to say where it ranks in my personal PTA list, as I’m having a hard time imagining anything in the Top 3 or 4 ever being unseated.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Ghostboy on December 10, 2017, 07:24:52 PM
Only seen it once so far but man was this delightful. Intimidatingly good as always and (also as always) like nothing else out there. Can't wait for the Xmas to see it again.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 10, 2017, 07:43:35 PM
That was an excellent read!  Thanks for taking the time.

There are weddings in so many PTA films! Boogie. Blood. Master. Phantom. And offscreen marriage in Hard Eight too, I believe. I don’t know what this means, but I doubt he realizes he’s doing it.

A fascinating observation.  Of course, PTA has never had a wedding in his own personal life...  And his Dad was married twice.  Not sure what any of that means, but...

Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Sleepless on December 13, 2017, 10:04:01 AM
I'm not looking... I'm not looking... Just stumbling blindly in here to share this:

Lovesick: The Complicated Relationship of "Phantom Thread" (https://mubi.com/notebook/posts/lovesick-the-complicated-relationship-of-phantom-thread)

I haven't read it either, obvs.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 13, 2017, 10:55:36 AM
I'm not looking... I'm not looking... Just stumbling blindly in here to share this:

Lovesick: The Complicated Relationship of "Phantom Thread" (https://mubi.com/notebook/posts/lovesick-the-complicated-relationship-of-phantom-thread)

I haven't read it either, obvs.

That was very insightful, but Jesus, do NOT read that until you've seen the film. Seriously.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on December 13, 2017, 01:23:44 PM
That review was so beautifully articulated. Wonderful read.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Pringle on December 13, 2017, 02:03:36 PM
How did you guys read the ending, in terms of tone? I found it to be sinister and unsettling (as did the friend I saw the film with) but many reviews and reactions that I have read seem to have seen it differently, with the resolution being sort of a "isn't love strange" type of thing.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on December 13, 2017, 02:16:29 PM
I had a similar reaction on my first viewing, Pringle, and I’ve only seen it once. The ending has become an active debate in my mind. Thinking I probably read it a bit too b&w initially, as the ideas about Reynolds wanting to be mothered weren’t as clear to me. As it continues to brew, I’m thinking that it probably comes down to the individual watching and their personal perspective, as every love is different. What may be toxic to some can work for others, what may be serene for some for others may be too tame. And even if not traditionally healthy, the illogical, overriding nature of love can make static ideas like “healthy” irrelevant, anyway.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 13, 2017, 02:46:38 PM
How did you guys read the ending, in terms of tone? I found it to be sinister and unsettling (as did the friend I saw the film with) but many reviews and reactions that I have read seem to have seen it differently, with the resolution being sort of a "isn't love strange" type of thing.

It's been almost three weeks since I've seen it, so it's begun to fade a little...but I recall having a really big smile on my face having realized what was really going on between them.  I don't remember having any sense of judgement, etc, towards them, more of a "Oh, good for you two to have discovered something that makes you both so happy..."
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on December 13, 2017, 03:05:30 PM
Quote from: wilberfan
I recall having a really big smile on my face having realized what was really going on between them.  I don't remember having any sense of judgement, etc, towards them, more of a "Oh, good for you two to have discovered something that makes you both so happy..."

The elliptical implications of bdsm are certainly fine if entered into voluntarily. The movie doesn’t exactly paint Alma as a willing participant in submission in the beginning, it all comes as a slow surprise, and things like the private dinner she cooks are clearly not intended to be stages for her own belittlement, from her own end - at the time this occurs, she very explicitly wants to do something nice for Reynolds.

At some point this turns, and Alma realizes that the only way she can stay with him is if she ceases fighting his control of her, that is until their “special agreement” is reached, because he’s incapable of operating any other way. The story is interesting in its statement about love because one individual is imposing his will on the other, and while participatory in the end, their sexual natures are not totally compatible at the outset, and Alma is the one who sacrifices to make them so. Reynolds only engages in the inverse of what he’s used to, but it’s a car traveling in the opposite lane on the same highway, not a perpendicular interstate which is where Alma initially came from. That other road, not belonging to him, is a place he’s unwilling to go. This car analogy is horrible but I think it makes sense.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Pringle on December 13, 2017, 06:48:07 PM
What a wonderful, rich film we've been given to digest!

I think the mother bit has a huge deal to do with it. Part of what disturbed me about the film was my interpretation of why Reynolds agreed to eat the mushrooms: the image of his beloved Mother only came to him when he was in his fever dream poison trip, and his desire to return to his Mother again is directly tied in his mind to the eating the mushrooms. Which leads to another, probably obvious reading of the film as an allegory of some sort about artists who become dependent on self destructive substances, and the people around these artists who feed them these substances for their own gain. Alma seemed less like "the one person on Earth who really understood him" than she did like an addict's spouse who enables the addiction in order to maintain the security of the relationship. After all, Alma clearly got off on the power of being Mrs. Reynolds Woodcock. Clearly, ingesting these mushrooms is very unhealthy and, while they may not kill Reynolds now, the repeated ingestion of them can not lead to anything good, and how sustainable is this situation they're in?

I couldn't help but think of people like Prince and, yes, Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on December 13, 2017, 07:19:36 PM
the mother philosophy has been very on point.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: csage97 on December 14, 2017, 01:21:18 AM
I read somewhere that there are lots of cross fades in the film. Anyone care to confirm who's seen it?
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Tictacbk on December 14, 2017, 03:55:54 AM
We were very specifically asked not to reveal anything about crossfades at our screening. Sorry, you'll just have to wait and see.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: csage97 on December 14, 2017, 10:57:38 AM
We were very specifically asked not to reveal anything about crossfades at our screening. Sorry, you'll just have to wait and see.

By whom? The staff? PTA? You don't have to answer. I don't know if you're wholly serious, but I'll buy it. That's interesting that they were specific about it. Your response kind of confirms it, anyway .... :P
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: modage on December 14, 2017, 11:04:00 AM
He’s totally kidding. And I can’t remember anything specifically about cross fades except maybe in a couple instances.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: csage97 on December 14, 2017, 11:40:06 AM
He’s totally kidding. And I can’t remember anything specifically about cross fades except maybe in a couple instances.

I've been had. I pictured PTA standing up there, saying, "and don't mention anything about all those cross fades throughout the film."  :yabbse-grin:
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 14, 2017, 01:49:39 PM
I've been had. :\

Indeed.  There's a lot of that (http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=73.msg350155#msg350155) going around.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Tictacbk on December 14, 2017, 02:09:17 PM
Haha sorry, dumb joke.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: csage97 on December 15, 2017, 07:13:15 PM
Haha sorry, dumb joke.

Heh, no problem at all. I am a just a gullible goose!  :yabbse-grin:
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on December 16, 2017, 10:39:35 PM
Molly Haskell's Film Comment quote from the Best Films list. is this comment a spoiler? i'd actually place it in the non-spoiler thread after the current post, but the guy is sending messages about preserving his virginity as well so it's like, do i touch him or not

there couldn't be a movie that made anything near lick a sense if not for Vicky Krieps, i think, i agree with Molly Haskell

Quote
Opposite Daniel Day-Lewis as Reynolds Woodcock, Vicky Krieps’s Alma emerges as the perfect figure for Woodcock’s purposes (and designs)—embodying the freshness of youth, while stolid enough to withstand his frenzies. Intriguingly, and for the first time in Anderson’s career, the woman becomes the real protagonist.

maybe everyone said that, i don't actually read the critics. i looked at year-end lists this year, as sort of like a summary about how the critics felt this year.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 16, 2017, 10:50:31 PM
Molly Haskell's Film Comment quote from the Best Films list.

Today I learned Molly Haskell is still alive and still reviewing films.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 17, 2017, 06:38:08 PM
[Rolling my eyes]

P.T. Anderson’s Phantom Thread Couldn’t Come At A Worse Time (http://www.riotmaterial.com/p-t-andersons-phantom-thread-couldnt-come-at-a-worse-time/)

Quote
Phantom Thread, which pushes the narrative that geniuses are on some level allowed to be abusive. If your work is beautiful enough, your soul can be made of scabs and darkness. The world excuses so much if you’re talented and male.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on December 17, 2017, 07:27:32 PM
don't be surprised when PTA gets run through the 2017 Woke Filter.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Punch Drunk Hate on December 17, 2017, 07:32:44 PM
Many skeptics I know of is due to the film relationship between the dominant older male-younger female relationship. As screwed up as Hollywood films are on these ridiculous pairings, there's something more deeper beneath the surface that isn't all glamour and romantic, with PTA at the helm. I won't discussed further until I see the film for myself, so make of that what you will.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on December 18, 2017, 02:44:29 PM
Glenn Kenny at rogerebert.com with a 4-star review:

https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/phantom-thread-2017

Quote from: Glenn Kenny
But this is not a film that has a conventional climax; the war of wills between the two characters does not have a tidy resolution. We don’t even know just what it is that Alma wants, let alone what she gets. Her background is shrouded. Beautifully portrayed by Vicky Krieps, she speaks with a slight German accent. There’s a scene set at a press conference, where a vulgar dowager for whom Woodcock has made a wedding dress is discussing her impending wedding to a Dominican politician. A journalist asks the man about whether he “sold visas to Jews during the war” and Anderson cuts to a close-up of Alma, her face neutral. This is a movie of confrontations, of dreamlike moments dissolving into micro nightmares, but it is hardly a conventional “battle of the sexes” story.



Edit - From this (http://www.indiewire.com/2017/12/vicky-krieps-phantom-thread-1201906406/) interview with Krieps:

Quote
Her focus always returns to the work and its effect on her — even if some of it was left on the cutting-room floor. “It’s not in the movie anymore, but there’s a scene that was very strong where Alma goes and wanders off on her own in the country house and finds the wedding dress of their mother,” she said. “She takes it out and actually tries it on; she’s discovered by Cyril [Manville]. And that was a scene that was just unlike anything I’ve ever done — it was like there was a ghost in the room the whole time. It really was.”
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Tictacbk on December 20, 2017, 01:41:05 AM
I just came home to my screener of this (finally) and immediately had to put it on for a second viewing. It's just so great. I'm immediately welcomed back into this world that I never even knew existed, but I love it. The score, the richness of the images, everything just draws you right in. I'm weirdly reminded of PDL in how quickly it works. It feels like between PDL and this, I grew up with PTA.

Anyway, does anyone have any recommendations of classic films to pair with this? I'm not so familiar with gothic romance stories. I'd love to dive in.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 20, 2017, 04:00:50 PM
I just came home to my screener of this (finally) and immediately had to put it on for a second viewing.

Today I learned they're actually sending out screeners of this gem.  Wonder if we'll get one...?
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: KJ on December 20, 2017, 04:51:12 PM
I just came home to my screener of this (finally) and immediately had to put it on for a second viewing.

Today I learned they're actually sending out screeners of this gem.  Wonder if we'll get one...?

Well, I met Paul at a grocery store and...eh, nevermind, I'm just gonna leave this thread for now because I haven't seen it yet. Bye bye, spoilers.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: JG on December 21, 2017, 11:58:47 AM
Nice film! I'll gush without really saying anything at all... still throwing it in the spoiler thread cos i'm scared of upsetting someone!

Up until Inherent Vice, all of PTA's films left me breathless and held me in a way that few other films/filmmakers do. I had a lot of trouble with Inherent Vice, but I'm happy to say that this one brought back all those old feelings. There are moments that felt like absolute magic to me - unusual cinematography, beautiful music, captivating performances. Krieps face guides us through so many of the scenes - she's amazing to watch and perfectly cast.

Its perhaps the most linear and straightforward of his movies (at least since PDL), but its consistent with his recent work in that its not really concerned with traditional three-act plot mechanics... Its episodic and free. Like the Master and Inherent Vice there are portions of the film that might be described by some as "meandering" but it always recenters itself... pta seems aggressive with theme here. there's a kind of repetition to the plot, and as the scenes go on, the editing seems to hone in on a few key ideas on the nature of relationships. in that way it doesn't feel far from what mother! was trying to do. but aronofsky's approach is so, so different from from PTAs. everybody's got worlds inside of them and its fascinating to see how different two visions can be!

i''ll admit - there are several movies i saw this year that i like more than phantom thread, but phantom thread contains some of the most inspired bits of filmmaking I've seen in years... i don't think that's a bad thing at all..
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: csage97 on December 21, 2017, 02:12:04 PM
Nice film! I'll gush without really saying anything at all... still throwing it in the spoiler thread cos i'm scared of upsetting someone!

Up until Inherent Vice, all of PTA's films left me breathless and held me in a way that few other films/filmmakers do. I had a lot of trouble with Inherent Vice, but I'm happy to say that this one brought back all those old feelings. There are moments that felt like absolute magic to me - unusual cinematography, beautiful music, captivating performances. Krieps face guides us through so many of the scenes - she's amazing to watch and perfectly cast.

Its perhaps the most linear and straightforward of his movies (at least since PDL), but its consistent with his recent work in that its not really concerned with traditional three-act plot mechanics... Its episodic and free. Like the Master and Inherent Vice there are portions of the film that might be described by some as "meandering" but it always recenters itself... pta seems aggressive with theme here. there's a kind of repetition to the plot, and as the scenes go on, the editing seems to hone in on a few key ideas on the nature of relationships. in that way it doesn't feel far from what mother! was trying to do. but aronofsky's approach is so, so different from from PTAs. everybody's got worlds inside of them and its fascinating to see how different two visions can be!

i''ll admit - there are several movies i saw this year that i like more than phantom thread, but phantom thread contains some of the most inspired bits of filmmaking I've seen in years... i don't think that's a bad thing at all..

Very nice. What films did you like more this year, if you don't mind me asking?
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: csage97 on December 21, 2017, 02:17:14 PM
New sneak preview trailer! I love the camera movement. Just gorgeous!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30KpHxWwZaU
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: JG on December 21, 2017, 02:52:52 PM
i''ll admit - there are several movies i saw this year that i like more than phantom thread, but phantom thread contains some of the most inspired bits of filmmaking I've seen in years... i don't think that's a bad thing at all..

Very nice. What films did you like more this year, if you don't mind me asking?

some of the movies at the top of my list this year:

the other side of hope
the day after
good time
ex-libris
blade runner 2049
twin peaks: the return

but then, it feels so silly to rank any one of these movies over the other..  all are wonderful in very different ways!
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: KJ on December 21, 2017, 04:58:15 PM
New sneak preview trailer! I love the camera movement. Just gorgeous!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30KpHxWwZaU

why did I tear up watching this? I want this film so bad :(
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: ono on December 21, 2017, 05:10:45 PM
I can't make out what is said at :43.  Anyone?
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 21, 2017, 05:17:36 PM
I can't make out what is said at :43.  Anyone?

It sounds like a woman's name ("Helen" "Eileen"?) and then "...ready?"   But I'm not really sure about that.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on December 21, 2017, 05:32:21 PM
This is a scene that’s interesting to compare stylistically to what’s come before - there being the similar part in the department store in The Master. Here, Alma isn’t modeling this dress so much for the patrons as she is for Woodcock...the camera’s straddling the line between being Alma’s POV of the people she’s showing to while keeping enough distance so we can simultaneously look at her. It’s like a culmination of a lot of the things said in the partial commentary (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvSTB9yBdcw) for Madame de... In the earlier department store scene, the girl seems more beholden to the blocking, hitting marks so she can interact with the customers, whose positions have been pre-decided. Here, Alma’s movements are controlling the frame, and the camera’s going to go where she goes, keeping the story about Alma and Reynolds’ interior world even when they’re not physically together.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Riley Jonathawinn Drake on December 22, 2017, 03:36:36 AM
Vicky Krieps mini interview with a new clip starting at 1:41

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJXj-J8TX4A
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 22, 2017, 10:43:07 AM
Sigh... She's adorable, isn't she?
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Riley Jonathawinn Drake on December 22, 2017, 05:12:19 PM
Here is an 8 minute radio interview with PTA + some new scenes from the film but sadly, only audio is available.
Thought about posting this in the interviews thread but,I think the interview is a little spoilerish.



https://knpr.org/npr/2017-12/phantom-thread-director-paul-thomas-anderson-offers-audiences-intimate-film
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 22, 2017, 05:27:54 PM
Man, just the few seconds of music in that interview gave me goosebumps again...  What a score!
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 22, 2017, 06:40:37 PM
Listen to Jonny Greenwood’s new song from his Phantom Thread soundtrack

[SPOILERS if you'd rather encounter this for the first time in context]

Gorgeous... 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bT_XjcdgT6g

(Made me cry...)
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on December 22, 2017, 06:50:12 PM
It’s been said that the protagonist of a movie is the character who changes most. Both Alma and Reynolds change, to different degrees, but it seems like people’s liking or disliking the movie is based partially on whose story they primarily see it as, and if they perceive one of them controlling the leash by the story’s end, vs. that leash continually and cyclically changing hands. The question "Who changes more?" is a hard one to answer here. One fascinating aspect of the movie to me is whose story it is continues to shift back and forth in my mind, and how the one you choose maybe says more about you than the movie itself.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on December 22, 2017, 10:24:25 PM
great post with a great close. great overall perspective. the bare minimum should be Vicky Krieps in every conversation, has been what's been on my mind. Paul and Jonny and Dan, i know i know, i agree. Vicky Krieps brings it is what i've said will say. she's the emotional thread in the movie you watch. how quickly everyone wants to discuss the mother! Vicky in relation to Dan, not Vicky on her own. and Jonny's score. and PT's direction. for sure the guys did a great job. but Vicky Krieps did a great job too.

although i believe the above post was referring to other conversations taking place regarding toxic relationships and whatnot, like i said that was a great post and a great overall perspective.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: samsong on December 26, 2017, 12:14:39 AM
head still spinning, and im debating going to see this again in an hour, but i absolutely loved this.  all i’ll say right now is that my initial impression is that the film is a resolutely romantic one (and instantly one of the greatest movie romances of all time), and the most incisive and challenging essays about romantic love since certfied copy.  film of the year after twin peaks.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on December 26, 2017, 09:43:26 PM
Anyway, does anyone have any recommendations of classic films to pair with this? I'm not so familiar with gothic romance stories. I'd love to dive in.

Quote from: The NY Times
Mr. Anderson is an admirer of suspenseful romances like “Rebecca” (1940) and “Gaslight” (1944) and pictured Mr. Day-Lewis as a darkly debonair leading man in the mold of Laurence Olivier.


And (http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=13512.msg349979#msg349979)
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: samsong on December 26, 2017, 10:10:09 PM
ended up seeing this a second time less than six hours after getting out of the first go.  repeat viewings (well, at least two) are rewarding, if only to luxuriate in the film's expert craft by everyone involved, especially jonny greenwood's score for the ages.  his "house of woodcock" piece is one of the single greatest pieces of [movie] music ever written.  the world it creates is so alluring and utterly pleasurable to spend time in.  this is his best film.

having gone through the thread, i agree with a lot of what's being discussed, and not sure i have much else to articulate except to say that, as aforementioned, the exploration of romantic love is the context with which i personally view the whole thing, and to that end find the ending to be a wry, lovely, perversely hopeful send-off.  the film strikes me as the inverse of the duke of burgundy, which used outwardly kinky sexual proclivities to explore the mundanity of relationships.  phantom thread takes the form of a traditional prestige romance to explore the thornier subtext of what brings and keeps two people together, and as such appropriately defies categorization, is ineffable, and at times completely fucked up.  the portrayal of a creatively burdened individual consumed by their work is the most hypnotically mundane it's been since rivette's la belle noisseuse, but i think as most people are pointing out, that aspect of it isn't as pertinent as the personality traits that come with being that kind of person that inform reynolds's character.

is there are more exquisitely understated first meeting of two lovers in all of cinema?  as for exquisitely understated, my second viewing gave me a deeper appreciation of ddl's performance.  the way his micro expressions bely how he actually feels versus what he's saying is a thing of humbling beauty.  vicky krieps and lesley manville are equally staggering. 

still mulling, still basking, still fighting the urge to jump in my car and go see this again, and again, and again. 
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: boogienights on December 27, 2017, 01:42:19 PM


still mulling, still basking, still fighting the urge to jump in my car and go see this again, and again, and again.

go for it, I love seeing good films several times. I've been busy with family stuff so I haven't gotten a chance to rewatch it since the guild screening I've been too.

Debating 70mm at the Arclight or DCP at the Landmark. Would like to see the DCP since I already saw it projected on 35mm, but I also want one of the 70mm programs haha
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: csage97 on December 27, 2017, 08:36:12 PM


still mulling, still basking, still fighting the urge to jump in my car and go see this again, and again, and again.

go for it, I love seeing good films several times. I've been busy with family stuff so I haven't gotten a chance to rewatch it since the guild screening I've been too.

Debating 70mm at the Arclight or DCP at the Landmark. Would like to see the DCP since I already saw it projected on 35mm, but I also want one of the 70mm programs haha

Go see the 70mm first! It's a unique opportunity to see it on that format (even if it's just blown up from 35mm) and get the program. You can always see the DCP after. I will only have the opportunity to see the DCP and nothing else.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: boogienights on December 27, 2017, 09:53:47 PM


still mulling, still basking, still fighting the urge to jump in my car and go see this again, and again, and again.

go for it, I love seeing good films several times. I've been busy with family stuff so I haven't gotten a chance to rewatch it since the guild screening I've been too.

Debating 70mm at the Arclight or DCP at the Landmark. Would like to see the DCP since I already saw it projected on 35mm, but I also want one of the 70mm programs haha

Go see the 70mm first! It's a unique opportunity to see it on that format (even if it's just blown up from 35mm) and get the program. You can always see the DCP after. I will only have the opportunity to see the DCP and nothing else.

I just got back, looked amazing, they did a great blow up, the presentation was great.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: csage97 on December 27, 2017, 10:58:13 PM


still mulling, still basking, still fighting the urge to jump in my car and go see this again, and again, and again.

go for it, I love seeing good films several times. I've been busy with family stuff so I haven't gotten a chance to rewatch it since the guild screening I've been too.

Debating 70mm at the Arclight or DCP at the Landmark. Would like to see the DCP since I already saw it projected on 35mm, but I also want one of the 70mm programs haha

Go see the 70mm first! It's a unique opportunity to see it on that format (even if it's just blown up from 35mm) and get the program. You can always see the DCP after. I will only have the opportunity to see the DCP and nothing else.

I just got back, looked amazing, they did a great blow up, the presentation was great.

Awesome! I'm glad it turned out well. I hope the program is cool too.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: boogienights on December 28, 2017, 12:02:20 AM


still mulling, still basking, still fighting the urge to jump in my car and go see this again, and again, and again.

go for it, I love seeing good films several times. I've been busy with family stuff so I haven't gotten a chance to rewatch it since the guild screening I've been too.

Debating 70mm at the Arclight or DCP at the Landmark. Would like to see the DCP since I already saw it projected on 35mm, but I also want one of the 70mm programs haha

Go see the 70mm first! It's a unique opportunity to see it on that format (even if it's just blown up from 35mm) and get the program. You can always see the DCP after. I will only have the opportunity to see the DCP and nothing else.

I just got back, looked amazing, they did a great blow up, the presentation was great.

Awesome! I'm glad it turned out well. I hope the program is cool too.

It is, very meaningful since PTA's my favorite director, my friend got one for his brother.

Sorry that you can't see it projected on film or get a program, I'm sure the DCP is great though, he has a long history of great transfers, and I'll look forward to the medium myself.

Anyway you see it, it's a great film
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: samsong on December 28, 2017, 07:15:49 PM
saw it again.  i'm addicted.  my affection, appreciation, and obsession for this movie has deepened with each viewing.  looking forward to many more visits when this is playing at a moviepass eligible theater. 

the thing that really struck me this third time is the film's leanings toward screwball comedy among its many many facets, and how ardently pta refuses to judge his characters.  reynolds woodcock is revealing himself to be one of his and day-lewis's greatest creations, with krieps and manville equally holding down their ends of the triangular character study that's as beguiling and richly humane as cinema gets.  this is no small feat.  suffice it to say this movie plays HARD into my sweet spot.  i literally love everything about it.

gotta run, more later.  it's nice to fall so madly in love with a movie again. 
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 28, 2017, 07:20:37 PM
it's nice to fall so madly in love with a movie again.

Boy, howdy.  And it's nice to hear someone able to say that again...
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on December 31, 2017, 05:44:07 AM
Had an affair with the 70mm version tonight. Some things became clearer.

-Everyone acts with their whole faces and posture. I bet you could run this thing like a silent movie and just watch the juxtaposition of faces and retain the story. Do they match? What do they want? How is each face reacting to the other? It’s amazing how much the faces express in this film. They speak as loudly as the lines. It reminded me of Chaplin, that way. This all comes to a crescendo during the New Year’s Eve party when Reynolds goes to retrieve Alma. They exchange no words. It’s all beautifully played out as if in charades, and burns its images into your mind's eye like the movements of a ballet.

-The sound effects are also mixed LOUDLY, and most often have the effect of grammatical punctuation, becoming an added way for each character to express his will. And they all act out their emotions as if with props. Most obvious example: the final scene after Alma has served Reynolds his omelette. She pours two glasses of water - a slow, medium-height pour for Reynolds, and a longer, even higher pour for herself, establishing dominance. The communication with sound effects is so rampant I’m wondering if you could run the film without the image and still follow along, just listening.

-Foreshadowing for the later evolution of their relationship happens early on, as does a veiled allusion to what’s going to happen with the mushrooms. Was surprised how early the mother element is woven into the narrative. It’s literally the second conversation Reynolds and Alma have, and it occurs on their first date, underlining the romantic context of his maternal feelings.

(https://i.imgur.com/Bsj952p.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/9jpA2QB.jpg)

And this, I believe the first time they’re having dinner out with Cyril:

(https://i.imgur.com/ANpN6z3.jpg)

-We often see Reynolds from the point of view of Alma, but not Alma from his own. She often secretly admires him while his attention is directed elsewhere, but he almost never looks at her the same way, the exception being when Alma is seated next that socialite’s son (Dr. Hardy), and Reynolds is made privy to what a good time the two of them are having talking to each other. Here we see Alma from Reynold's point of view on the far end of the table, but it’s under the auspice of ownership, or desire coupled with it, at least. I thought this was telling. The movie is still about them both, not purely from Alma’s perspective. We see Reynolds alone as he readies himself in the morning, and then also when he’s sick, hallucinating. When Reynolds is alone, he concerns himself with himself, whereas Alma always behaves (or is shown) relationally.

-When Alma poisons Reynolds the first time and he falls ill while examining a dress, his shoe polish ruins the fabric during his fall. As Reynolds falls sick, his work is sullied as well, his art being an extension of himself, intrinsically connected.

-The shot structure is so varied and creative. How many ways can one shoot inside the same rooms?


And have we discussed Reynolds' aggressive style of driving yet?   I'm taking it as a 'release' for him.  A way to (unconsciously?) blow off the contained, controlled environment of the House of Woodcock.  Other thoughts?

Probably true. It’s also pretty clear that this is an on-the-button metaphor for who’s “steering” (COUGH) the relationship. When Reynolds is feeling weak/exhausted following the showing of his dresses to the social elite, Alma insists she drive (they get in the car in their “original” positions and then switch places), coinciding with her gaining agency, learning the ropes of his business, ascending within his company to a role of helping assemble the dresses (taking over his life).

(https://i.imgur.com/Q9pMgg9.jpg)


i don't believe he's a man who could win his fights alone (there isn't evidence of that).

One thing that was front and center this time is how Cyril is always on top because Reynold’s mother was always on top and continues to be in his own mind, and upon her death she (Cyril) immediately stepped into his mother's shoes. Then Alma comes along and the torch is again transferred. Towards the end, when Reynolds becomes sick and the doctor visits the house, upon leaving, Cyril and Alma walk him to the door. “Goodnight Mrs. Woodcock” he says, and “Goodnight Dr. Hardy” both Cyril and Alma reply in unison. The dots connecting. Cyril never loses an argument, either. The one time she relents, when Alma requests time alone for her surprise dinner, it's to let Alma see she was right all along.


as aforementioned, the exploration of romantic love is the context with which i personally view the whole thing

Yes, this was more evident this time.

the thing that really struck me this third time is the film's leanings toward screwball comedy among its many many facets

Double yes.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 31, 2017, 11:53:52 AM
Well, that was insightful!  Will definitely inform my 2nd viewing.   And pray, tell:  From whence came the screenplay pages...?  (And how hearty is your scanner?)
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on December 31, 2017, 03:31:04 PM
Ha, I don’t have a scanner (it’s bound, anyway). There are some awards consideration copies up for auction. If you don’t want to go that route, I’m sure a PDF will surface online eventually.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 31, 2017, 07:22:28 PM
Ha, I don’t have a scanner (it’s bound, anyway). There are some awards consideration copies up for auction. If you don’t want to go that route, I’m sure a PDF will surface online eventually.

And you're unwilling to start an informal lending library, sir?
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on December 31, 2017, 07:29:54 PM
Vehemently opposed.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on December 31, 2017, 08:42:22 PM
Happy New Year anyway.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on January 02, 2018, 09:11:47 PM
^ Happy New Year

Saw it a third time. A couple more thoughts and then I promise I’ll shut the fuck up for a while.

The whole thing feels like a symphony. Like it's one movement into another and into another.

It really does. It’s as if scenes are conceived starting from a place of “up” or “down”, born from the emotional place the relationship is at at a specific point in time instead of being traditionally linear setup and payoff sequences. The sort of arbitrary order of those moments of joy (modeling Reynolds’ dress for the first time) or annoyance (interrupting with tea) mirror the unpredictable pattern of Reynolds’ moods, making the movements of the relationship feel very true to life, not necessarily a logical (which would be unnatural) progression.

The overall story is big but the individual scenes are built around exchanges that are extremely small, each character giving and taking in small ways. For example, when there are set ups and payoffs, they often follow micro exchanges that speak to much larger dynamics:

When Princess Mona arrives at the House of Woodcock to have her wedding dress made, she walks down a line of the house staff and shakes everyone’s hand. Alma stands on the right in the middle of the line, waiting to be greeted, but the Princess turns away from her, inadvertently shunning her right before she's reached, and focuses on the other side. The camera slowly zooms into Alma’s face. During the following scene, after the Princess’ wishes for her dress design are recorded by Reynolds, Alma, seething, crosses the room to confront her as she’s being measured. “I wanted to wish you good fortune on your wedding day.” Then: “I live here” (I'm important. Know that).

Two scenes built around these mini moments to convey that Alma is feeling her place in Reynold’s life is threatened, that she’s replaceable, that she’s unacknowledged, that their relationship is precarious and could go to shit. A complete relationship dynamic communicated this way. And it’s a totally relatable, recognizable slight we’ve all gone through at some point or other. Or it’s 'I’ve done something nice for you to show my love for you by bringing you tea' / 'I’m not going to recognize your kindness and berate you for it instead, or make you feel awful about buttering your toast', etc. etc. I suspect the movie feels so naturalistic and lacking contrivance partly because of this, even though the dialogue is stylized. It’s not bending over backwards to make things dramatic, but blows up small dramas as if seen through a microscope.

Also, when Reynolds and Alma are taking their first photographs together against that white backdrop, there’s someone off screen babbling at Reynolds, suggesting he sit on the floor. Reynolds is characteristically not having it, barely audibly mumbling about not wanting to sit on the floor and bend to this guy's will. Bahaha. I was wondering if those buried, sort of throwaway moments rife in so many other PT movies "Change your hair, change your life" were missing here, but I think there are still a few.
 
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: WorldForgot on January 02, 2018, 11:10:47 PM
^ Happy New Year

I was wondering if those buried, sort of throwaway moments rife in so many other PT movies "Change your hair, change your life" were missing here, but I think there are still a few.

Without a doubt. How about Alma's retort to the 'shifty-eyed' doctor? "How do you know how my life has been?" Sums up the inability to pierce into the dynamic from the outside.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: eward on January 02, 2018, 11:26:05 PM
I love the moment when the Boy-Doctor greets Alma face to face for the first time with smoke spilling out of his mouth.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: WorldForgot on January 03, 2018, 12:24:32 AM
The way the score hits on "Kiss me, my girl. Before I'm sick." FLOORS me.
That swell feels like the danger of love.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on January 03, 2018, 12:46:40 PM
How Phantom Thread undresses our ideas about toxic masculinity

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/jan/02/how-phantom-thread-undresses-our-ideas-about-toxic-masculinity
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Drenk on January 03, 2018, 05:30:26 PM
I haven't read it, but I suppose there are spoilers in it. I like the writer.

Love, After a Fashion

https://www.filmcomment.com/article/paul-thomas-anderson-phantom-thread-love-after-a-fashion/
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: csage97 on January 05, 2018, 05:01:30 PM
There are a few new/not-shown-before short clips in this segment. The segment focuses on the dress design for the film: https://twitter.com/WhoWhatWear/status/949021189736824832

As a side note, I still haven't seen the film as it looks like it'll open where I am on the wide release date of the 19th. I decided to keep up with the press, trailers, spoilers threads, etc. for this film, so it's been an interesting experience. I've seen the limited shots and scenes from trailers and such, so I've gotten a small taste for the cinematography and feel of the film. I've read and listened to the available articles, interviews, and most of the reviews that don't seem redundant to what I've already read, so I have an idea for the general story and some limited plot details. That being said, I still haven't seen the film, so I just don't know how all the scenes and things that critics have mentioned are actually executed. I've heard it's really funny in a certain way, but I just haven't had the experience of witnessing it yet. I've heard that Vicky Krieps gives a wonderful performance to rival DDL's and Lesley Manville's, and that she may even have the best performance, but again, I haven't seen it, so I have to use my imagination and don't actually have any idea of the execution.

It's an interesting position to know about the performances, have a few short scenes and trailer bits to go off, have a general outline of the story, but still be totally in the dark about how these things will actually be fleshed out on screen. I'm really excited for it and it's not spoiled for me. At this point, I'm wondering how the details will be filled in and how all the plot points and scenes will look and feel. I'm wondering about what the tone of the movie will feel like when I'm watching it.

For The Master, I wasn't yet a major PTA fan and went to see it with a friend because I knew Jonny Greenwood did the score. I had no idea what to expect. For IV, I read a bit about critics' and audience responses during the festival period, but nothing surprised me and I'd already read the book, so the anticipation there was based on how the plot of the book would be adapted to the screen, and I knew what to expect from the comedy because it presumably would come right from the book. Phantom Thread is different than both of those for me. I'm still in the dark about how all the things I've read will actually manifest on screen. For example, I just don't know how PTA and the actors will execute the funny scenes that reviewers have mentioned. I don't know the details and intricacies of the relationships in the story, but only have a very general idea of what it'll be like.

Anyway, I thought I'd share that. Still a couple weeks to go until I see the film. Ugh ....
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on January 05, 2018, 05:17:46 PM
i read your whole post and got into it. i think you have a good amount of remaining mystery and a healthy perspective. the movie's tone is something that's far easier to experience than describe. the tone isn't like Rebecca or any of the classics he mentions, you know. what i can elaborate upon is its humor, and i'll refer back to a PTA quote, when he said it was obvious to him that PSH was hilarious in The Master, since anybody with that type of perspective is hilarious. what DDL does in PT is he says shit so harsh you can't help but immediately see he goes too far, and overblown people are funny.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on January 05, 2018, 06:41:33 PM
will you guys help me remember some of the funniest lines? wilder you've got the script lol


1

Cyril
He doesn't like to get upset at breakfast because it ruins his day.

2

Reynolds Woodcock
Something about taste.

Alma
Likes her taste.

Reynolds
Change.

Alma
Never

Reynolds
Can we not do this now, for real.

3

Reynolds
You came into my house with a gun? You snuck inside my house and hid and now you're going to assassinate me? This has been your plan and that's how you treat a person!

4

[on a balcony during a vacation]

Alma
*makes the sound of a knife scraping against a piece of bread*

5

Reynolds
(The sass he gives the woman at the breakfast table before Alma.)
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: csage97 on January 05, 2018, 06:45:56 PM
i read your whole post and got into it. i think you have a good amount of remaining mystery and a healthy perspective. the movie's tone is something that's far easier to experience than describe. the tone isn't like Rebecca or any of the classics he mentions, you know. what i can elaborate upon is its humor, and i'll refer back to a PTA quote, when he said it was obvious to him that PSH was hilarious in The Master, since anybody with that type of perspective is hilarious. what DDL does in PT is he says shit so harsh you can't help but immediately see he goes too far, and overblown people are funny.

Thanks for reading the whole thing and the reply. Heheh. Interesting that the tone is not like Rebecca and those others. I'm expecting tone very similar to The Master.

I have read interviews in which PTA describes the humour you've mentioned, so I guess I'm not totally blind there. There was a scene they played during a podcast or radio interview in which Reynolds mentions how he's admiring his gallantry at not scolding Alma for preparing his food with butter instead of his preferred oil. I did laugh out loud at that one. So I suppose I know what to expect there. Nonetheless, I'm not sure how sustained or frequent that humour will be. I also don't know if Reynolds is the only one who exhibits such extreme and ridiculous behaviour. Maybe Alma or Cyril do similar things, but if so, how often? I'm sure you can see what I mean here. I know that A, B, and C general things happen, but of course know nothing about the pacing, editing, exact use of score, and so on, to really have it spoiled.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on January 05, 2018, 06:53:09 PM
[on a balcony during a vacation]

Alma
*makes the sound of a knife scraping against a piece of bread*

That's the best. His nearly uncontrollable discomfort there makes me lose it.



This whole interaction:

(https://i.imgur.com/JbnvmWo.jpg)


Also when he and Alma go to retrieve the dress, Reynolds standing in the doorway holding her clutch...this exchange (which isn't scripted):

CAL
Mr. Woodcock...

Beat.

REYNOLDS
Cal.


And his general pacing and puttering after Alma defiantly leaves the house for the New Year's Party, right before he decides to go retrieve her.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on January 05, 2018, 06:59:25 PM
the retrieval of the dress is a riot. earlier i mentioned how just after then they kiss, and how great that moment is. based on my memories that's my favorite sequence
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on January 05, 2018, 07:04:46 PM
Yeah agreed. The movie is fully doing its thing at that point... The bit of score that plays through there is my favorite part, and I’m in love with the rhythm of the cuts in the scene when Barbara Rose sways back and forth before passing out face-first at her wedding reception.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on January 05, 2018, 07:07:23 PM
lol. and from a logic of love the sequence provides foundation and makes you believe in them, has you see them as they see each other.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on January 05, 2018, 07:43:06 PM
[SPOILERS]

Had my second viewing (70mm at the ArcLight in Hollywood) this morning.  I enjoyed this viewing more than my original viewing, as I think there are more mental CPU cycles available to watch for nuances of story and performance, etc.   Made a bunch of new observations--none of which I can share, as I had nothing to write them on (and which have since evaporated or gone into hiding).

The other two of my party--both women (one a psychologist, the other a medical professional) found the film interesting and impressive from a performance and art direction/cinematography perspective, but "unrealistic".  The psychologist found fault with the psychodynamics of Alma and Reynolds, the doctor obsessed with the idea that mushrooms provide a horrible death regardless of the type or amount consumed.

I found those two perspectives overly literal.  (I find it hard to believe that there isn't a spectrum of toxicity in fungi, too, for example.)   We'll have to research what kind of mushroom Alma was working with here...  I'm not yet prepared to address the validity of the psychology of the central relationship...
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: eward on January 05, 2018, 08:55:33 PM
will you guys help me remember some of the funniest lines? wilder you've got the script lol

Some of my favorites:

Reynolds, to Cyril: "It's comforting to think the dead watch over the living...I don't find that spooky at all."

Alma, to Mrs. Rose's maid: "It is no business of ours what Mrs. Rose wishes to do with her life...but she can no longer behave this way dressed by The House of Woodcock."

Reynolds, to Cyril, after the fawning girl says she wishes to be buried in one of his dresses: "You'd dig her up and sell it again, wouldn't you?"

I love this movie so much.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on January 05, 2018, 09:40:49 PM
"spooky" is glorious

anybody: what was the thing he became upset about concerning the woman at the breakfast table before Alma?
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: eward on January 05, 2018, 09:54:50 PM
I seem to recall she tries to give him something (a pastry perhaps?) and he rejects it, claiming to have told her something about it - “No more stodgy things.” -  and she argues that he must have told someone else, not her...then says something to the effect of, "Where are you Reynolds? How can I get your attention aimed back at me?" (paraphrase) and he claims he cannot "begin the day with a confrontation". I would consult the script if I had my copy on hand, for I recall that scene including some lines that didn't make the final cut...
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: BB on January 06, 2018, 10:37:52 PM
Finally saw this at my absolute first opportunity. Had to sit in the front row, which hasn't been the case for anything else this year. Made me feel good sitting in a packed house. The room had great energy too.

Just an overall wonderful experience from beginning to end that lent an enchanted air to the rest of my day. A truly ROMANTIC film in a way that nothing has been in forever. The first time, I would argue, that you can really really sense the influence of TCM and this very specific but also pretty common genre of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. I think a lot of people have problems with IV because it too draws on a very specific but also pretty common genre of the late 60s and early 70s (Candy, What's Up Tiger Lily, maybe Hot Rods to Hell, The Acid Eaters, Robert Downey Sr. movies) that not a lot of people are that familiar with or into. But they don't tend to play those movies on TCM. And The Master has a far more modern sensibility.

I read somewhere that there are lots of cross fades in the film. Anyone care to confirm who's seen it?

There is one particular cross fade that stands out on first viewing. When they are at the ski resort and they cross to snow then to the stairway. Such a classic technique. It's so achingly steeped in the period.

Still have a lot to catch up on from 2017 but I doubt anything else is going to be quite like this. He's just such an interesting filmmaker.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: samsong on January 07, 2018, 03:36:59 AM
favorite funny moments would include: (in completely random order)

- alma's reaction after cyril says she has the perfect figure because reynolds "likes a little belly."
- cyril's disdainful responses to reynolds acting out: (butchering it) "don't you speak to me that way, i will walk through you and you'll end up right on the ground.  don't pick a fight a me, you will not come out of it alive.", and "no one does, but i don't want to hear it because it hurts my ears."
- dinner
- barbara rose drunkenly taking off her jewelry.  as she goes to place the second earring in the bag, she begins to put it on, forgetting what it was she was doing.
- reynolds: "aren't you two the absolute model of politeness."
- reynolds: "alma, there's a strange boy in the room, can you please do something about him?  fuck off.  yes, fuck off."
alma: "i believe this is clear.  he wants you to fuck off."
- reynolds: "frankly, i'm applauding my own gallantry for having eaten it the way it was prepared in the first place."
- reynolds: "whoever came up with that word should be spanked in public.  fucking chic!  what a filthy little word!  hung, drawn, and quartered, fucking chic!"
- alma: "you will not die.  you may wish you could rather die, but you will not die.  i will take care of you."
- priest: "please remember that when you were saying these vows to look at each other, for it is to each other that you're being wed, not to me."
- approached at dinner by aspiring woodcock dress owners, one of whom would like to be buried in one.  reynolds to associate: "you'd have her dug up and try to sell the dress again."
- reynolds's response to finding out he'd been invited to barbara rose's wedding: "what do you want me to do with that?"/"i find this very disconcerting.  i wish i hadn't heard it until later in the afternoon."

---

something i noticed and found interesting about that "i cannot start the day with a confrontation" scene is that same pastry he got annoyed at makes a reappearance when alma disrupts breakfast.  curious as to whether or not it was an intentional detail... hard to think it isn't, as it communicates so much.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Pringle on January 09, 2018, 06:36:41 PM
I posted before about shots from the trailers that were not in the final film, and just saw a YouTube ad/trailer that included shots from scenes that are not in the film: the first is a gorgeous shot of Reynolds and Alma lounging on a yacht as it passes mountains on their honeymoon (which reminded me of the omitted shots of Freddy hanging over the side of the ship from the Master), in addition to another scene of a fitting between Reynolds and Alma, which seemingly takes place at night and ends with a nice shot of Reynolds and Alma nuzzling one another.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on January 09, 2018, 07:07:30 PM
I posted before about shots from the trailers that were not in the final film, and just saw a YouTube ad/trailer that included shots from scenes that are not in the film..

There seems to be a few new selections on Youtube.  Can you provide a link to the one you're describing?
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Pringle on January 09, 2018, 07:25:49 PM
I posted before about shots from the trailers that were not in the final film, and just saw a YouTube ad/trailer that included shots from scenes that are not in the film..

There seems to be a few new selections on Youtube.  Can you provide a link to the one you're describing?

I've not been able to find a link to it, unfortunately, but it has appeared as an auto-play ad for me before the 'Right Now' video by Haim. It is about 15 seconds long.

I promise it exists!
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: samsong on January 10, 2018, 07:43:01 PM
what do you guys make of "never cursed"?

the conversation by the fire towards the beginning of the film is so loaded.  in hindsight it's where the real action happens, where the restaurant love-at-first-sight bit is the foreplay to the scene where they really fall in love.  that slowly growing smile and knowing nods to himself from reynolds when alma delivers that gorgeous line, "if you want to have a staring contest with me, you will lose," and the amount of conflict that comes over his expressions as he goes between speaking openly about himself and remaining guarded is so achingly human.  there's a subtle, veiled expression of pain right after he proclaims himself a "confirmed bachelor" (her reaction to this line is gorgeous, too) that immediately endeared me to him.  he's a man devoted to his craft who's also resigned to the notion that his love life has to suffer as a result.  to feel trapped by your shortcomings is a universally tragic phenomenon i think, and so compassionately expressed here.

there's also that absolutely heartbreaking moment during the big confrontation during his surprise dinner when alma says that she's, "waiting for [him] to get rid of [her]."  the way ddl reacts to this line moves me to no end, especially because he follows it by saying rather callously that he doesn't need her.  i revel in the humanity of that moment of contradiction, and the film is rife with them.  when alma leaves to go to the new year's eve party alone and reynolds is left to deal with his insecurities (which greenword's score so gorgeously conveys) then goes after her, it's the kind of movie moment that you would expect to end in some sweeping romantic gesture, and for so long it builds that way.  when they finally come face to face, it turns into a staring contest that reynolds indeed loses, him reacting kinda poorly (i read his expression in that scene to be a "what are you looking at?" gesture) and taking her back home.

which brings me back to "never cursed."  reynolds explicitly refers to the things he sews into garments as secrets that only he would know about, which to me suggested that it's a place where he expresses his vulnerabilities.  "never cursed" then seems to me a well-wish for the new bride but also a wishing well wish cast into the ether that he, in fact, wasn't cursed to a life of confirmed bachelorhood.  there's a longing there that i love so much, especially because alma finds it and, in my mind, comes to the same conclusions i did, which inevitably deepens her love him.

i described this movie as the 2001: a space odyssey of romances to someone to relate how momentous i find this movie to be.  there's a nebulous, all-encompassing quality to what this movie's about in the context of romantic relationships that engages in that kubrickian "bow to the unknown" (as jan harlan once put it) that i find utterly poignant.  movie romances that employ and stretch the faculties of the cinematic form have struck me as being the ultimate expression of cinema for some reason, probably because of the intensity of emotional resonance that accompanies and informs the formalism.  films like sunrise, l'atalante, portrait of jennie (which is the best romance-cum-essay on the creative process until this came along), the new world, certified copy.  this may and well be my favorite of all of them.  the obsession is real.  top five of all time material for me.  i've gone a full week without seeing it and i'm suffering withdrawal.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on January 10, 2018, 09:32:20 PM
that was a cool post
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on January 11, 2018, 03:34:37 AM
what do you guys make of "never cursed"?

there's a subtle, veiled expression of pain right after he proclaims himself a "confirmed bachelor" (her reaction to this line is gorgeous, too) that immediately endeared me to him.  he's a man devoted to his craft who's also resigned to the notion that his love life has to suffer as a result.

which brings me back to "never cursed."  reynolds explicitly refers to the things he sews into garments as secrets that only he would know about, which to me suggested that it's a place where he expresses his vulnerabilities.  "never cursed" then seems to me a well-wish for the new bride but also a wishing well wish cast into the ether that he, in fact, wasn't cursed to a life of confirmed bachelorhood.  there's a longing there that i love so much

I agree with what you say about the messages sewn into the dresses being expressions of his vulnerabilities. To my mind, Reynolds’ personality disorder is his ‘secret’ curse. A permanent, unsolvable conflict (a “ghost”, “haunting” him) and the real source of his despair. Reynolds is aware of it, but resigned to it, too, as an essential part of himself. My interpretation is that yes his obsession with work is real, a product of his artistic impulse, but also that his answer to Alma’s question is a bit of deflection. To have to explain that you can’t operate in relationships the way most people do is an unacceptable answer. To say “I make dresses”, while true, is a way to veil this.

Whether Reynolds’ personality is tied to his becoming accustomed to being mothered and lavishingly attended to, or something even more disturbed and difficult to alter, as in a deep-seated narcicissm (which is what I see in his character) isn’t fully clarified, but I view it as a combination with an emphasis on the latter (or the former creating the latter, in childhood). Narcissists are incapable of truly selfless giving in love in the way that a more healthily-oriented person is, without also expecting some sort of reward, admiration, or attention, in return. To give to them means a debt is made, and to engage in relationships lacking this vampiric element feels unnatural. So the question the film poses in the beginning to my mind is: can Reynolds yield to anyone else and accept the compromise that love requires? Not will he, but can he. The psychological magnifying glass that follows is an exploration of this. My reading is that he knows that compromise is fundamentally incompatible with his constitution, but he wants it, he wants to know love with Alma. And mentally he may not be able to change, but physically he can be incapacitated. Relenting to Alma this way is Reynolds’ willingness to embrace love acted out, in the only way he’s capable. So the end is not only a bit of sadomasochim, but the road of compromise and love expressed as only the man named Woodcock can. The physical realm is necessary because the other realm is not. I love it as a literary flourish to the story, but I also don’t believe it’s included purely as an injection of literary style.


there's also that absolutely heartbreaking moment during the big confrontation during his surprise dinner when alma says that she's, "waiting for [him] to get rid of [her]."  the way ddl reacts to this line moves me to no end, especially because he follows it by saying rather callously that he doesn't need her.  i revel in the humanity of that moment of contradiction, and the film is rife with them. 

I wonder about this one. Because I don’t believe he needs her, only a woman. This really is the pivotal scene in the film, because later he chooses to act against himself by committing, as if she is really the only one he needs. Alma does match him, though. Tongue for tongue. That sets her apart…

when alma leaves to go to the new year's eve party alone and reynolds is left to deal with his insecurities (which greenword's score so gorgeously conveys) then goes after her, it's the kind of movie moment that you would expect to end in some sweeping romantic gesture, and for so long it builds that way.  when they finally come face to face, it turns into a staring contest that reynolds indeed loses, him reacting kinda poorly (i read his expression in that scene to be a "what are you looking at?" gesture) and taking her back home.

And here, the reason why he makes that choice…she challenges him, fights fire with fire. It’s the only thing that can work with a man of his qualities. And because she can see him for who he is, which is really unique to her. If Cyril wasn't blood and “the perfect size”, maybe he'd marry her, too.

i described this movie as the 2001: a space odyssey of romances to someone to relate how momentous i find this movie to be.  there's a nebulous, all-encompassing quality to what this movie's about in the context of romantic relationships that engages in that kubrickian "bow to the unknown" (as jan harlan once put it) that i find utterly poignant.

Yes yes yes! Beautifully put.

Also…

I came across a mostly negative review on Letterboxd earlier tonight, which, as much as I disagree with its conclusion and criticisms, I thought was generally well-observed. In its describing what it sees as failings of the film, my thoughts of what I love about it become clearer. The thing I think this review fails to see is that Reynolds’ personality precludes traditional compromise and a traditional relationship from the outset, and so the mushroom overture IS a perversely life-affirming and love-affirming notion. If you read it and answer “because he’s a narcissist” to the questions it poses, I think the movie takes more definite shape.

Quote from: Etan Weisfogel
Much like TWBB and The Master, this is a film about a deeply unhealthy co-dependent relationship, but this film lacks the socio-historical context that made the affectations and behavior of the characters in TWBB and The Master easier to accept. Phantom Thread exists in a hermetically sealed universe, in largely one location, and PTA seems to me to have chosen mid-50s London as the time period/social milieu entirely for aesthetic reasons. The clothes and production design and music and so on and so forth are indeed all sumptuous and ravishing, but I don't think he's saying anything of note about fashion culture of the time--that an acclaimed male artist is a fussy asshole and treats women like shit certainly does not feel particular to this era. So, where the strange, almost inhuman behavior of characters like Daniel Plainview and Freddie Quell is explicable when these characters are seen as representative of moments in history (the rise of industry and postwar anxiety, respectively), the similarly odd behavior of Woodcock and Alma can't be explained in the same way.

That's not necessarily a bad thing (I find the way Plainview and Eli are so clearly meant to represent capitalism and religion a little simplistic, though that film needs a rewatch) but PTA doesn't adjust his approach in any discernible manner. So, all we're left with as an audience, then, is a dual study of two characters whose behavior is often incredibly alienating to the audience. We're constantly put in the position of asking "Why do these people act this way? What are their motivations? What is driving them?" and PTA often frames them in tight closeup, as if to search their faces for answers. Why does Woodcock keep the company of women when he seems to so clearly see their presence as a burden? Why does he tread over other women but kowtow to Cyril? What is his obsession with his mother? And for Alma, why does she not just leave? Why does she continue to allow herself to be humiliated, shamed, and treated like nothing? (Let's not assume, for the moment, that Alma is operating within an abusive relationship because, though it may be true, that's not the framework the film ultimately sets forth.)

The answer to these questions, I think, all end up being fairly simply. But then there would appear to be a disconnect between the strain and effort of the aesthetic to understand these people, and the ultimate simplicity of their psychology (e.g., Woodcock has mommy issues, Alma wants to be seen as beautiful, etc). The problem is perhaps that PTA wants to create a sense of mystery, a sense of ambiguity, but that ambiguity is just stalling until an inevitable end rather than being a useful or necessary tool for the narrative, keeping the audience in the dark in order to shock them at the end but not providing any insight. PTA's goal here, in other words, is not exploration but rather obfuscation; preventing us, until the very end of the film, from having all the clues necessary to understand this relationship, then cutting us off from these characters once we have actual material to work with! Like Woodcock playing Alma, or perhaps vice versa, PTA is playing a game with the audience, but I don't think I'm much interested in the nature of his game.

The idea that the end should really be the film's midpoint is an idea I've heard a lot from those who don't like the film, but I think those people like the ending but just find it misplaced, whereas I take issue with the ending! The final montage seems to be suggesting an idea that I simply reject having sat through the prior two or so hours (isn't this relationship beautiful? Nah, sorry, it's an awful relationship). And I think that idea is contingent on Alma having the same power as Woodcock, which she simply does not. For this to be a mutually abusive relationship, or an equally abusive relationship, which is what I think the film pushes us towards, Alma's form of abuse would have to exist as something other than a reaction to Woodcock's constant belittling and mistreatment of her (again, because PTA doesn't explore what the relationship becomes once Woodcock understands what Alma is doing to him, we have no way of knowing if this ever does exist as something other than that). My rabbi Adam Katzman thinks that this is the point of the film--exploring the power dynamics between a man and a woman in this time, and locating the only way in which a woman could assert power over a man in this context--which is a solid interpretation, but for me the fact that Woodcock accepts her revenge at the end dismantles any power she might have had, because her power is necessarily couched in his permission to give her power, and thus it becomes not a revenge at all but rather another form of subservience to him.

Maybe that would be interesting to explore if the film was placed entirely in Alma's perspective, and thus the ending would be her own skewed view of this relationship in which she has no power, but despite her narration the film switches perspectives often (the first twenty minutes is focused on Reynolds), and Dr. Harding never provides any kind of objective counterpoint to her subjective telling of this story, and instead just acts as a sounding board. So all we get is the "this is love!" ending, which just strikes me as disingenuous. For this to work as an allegory about relationships in general (i.e., we all mistreat each other and seek power over one another in different ways), it has to work on the literal level first, and I simply cannot accept that this is a good relationship, even on the characters' own terms, and I certainly cannot accept that this is anything like my relationship or any other healthy relationship I can think of!

This same reviewer wrote something about Cassavetes and Pialat’s relationship to narrative which I find insightful, and think also applies to Phantom Thread. Funny enough, it also explains away some of his critcisms or bewilderment about this movie in relation to There Will Be Blood and The Master, especially in regards to their socio-historical context being integral to their narrative efficacy in his eyes:

Quote from: Etan Weisfogel
I want to expand on some thoughts my good buddy Graham had about Pialat and his supposed American counterpart Cassavetes. I think Graham is right that the central concern of both of their films is emotion, specifically, I would add, how to structure narrative around certain emotions. That may sound like an obvious or not particularly noteworthy aim, but I think it's different from how most people make films, which is to build emotion out of narrative, rather than narrative out of emotion.

I guess many arthouse/independent directors do this, but one reason I think Pialat and Cassavetes are so often associated with each other is that both deal with extreme emotions--not necessarily unrealistic emotions, but certainly outsized, intense, and passionate emotions. They are, in a sense, emotions that might easily lend themselves to melodrama. But while both directors certainly show some affinity for the melodramatic, I think both are interested in finding ways to work around melodrama, to find other ways to portray these emotions. Cassavetes does this at least partially through exaggeration, allowing actors to explore an emotion in full during extensive sequences that tend to go on past the moment where another director might think the actor had gotten across the "point" (most acting is, of course, simply telegraphing narrative information or responses to narrative information). Pialat takes the opposite approach, attempting to find the mundane in the melodramatic. As Graham points out, the former approach lends itself nicely to duration, while the latter lends itself to ellipsis (skipping over moments that might be deemed important to a narrative of melodrama).

My own perspective is that Phantom Thread’s sort of inverted narrative structure, forming plot almost purely out of emotion, was always the inevitable trajectory that began with Blood and The Master (and maybe even Magnolia and PDL, now that I think of it…) The socio-historical contexts in PT’s movies have always been excuses for characters and set-dressing, a way to give visual weight to those “outside, intense, and passionate” emotions described above, and also a way to add aesthetic value and luxuriate in those textural details. While the WWII period may have prompted the narrative scenario that inspired Master and Freddie, ultimately the story revels in the psychology of those characters and the relationship dynamic between them as its main interest, socio-historical comment or contextual relevancy be damned. The launching pad is always abandoned in favor of an all-encompassing, universal truth, as samsong pointed out

I wanted to comment on this specific part of that letterboxd review quoted in full above:

Quote from: Etan Weisfogel
the final montage seems to be suggesting an idea that I simply reject having sat through the prior two or so hours (isn't this relationship beautiful? Nah, sorry, it's an awful relationship). And I think that idea is contingent on Alma having the same power as Woodcock, which she simply does not. For this to be a mutually abusive relationship, or an equally abusive relationship, which is what I think the film pushes us towards, Alma's form of abuse would have to exist as something other than a reaction to Woodcock's constant belittling and mistreatment of her (again, because PTA doesn't explore what the relationship becomes once Woodcock understands what Alma is doing to him, we have no way of knowing if this ever does exist as something other than that).

Etan’s description of Alma’s pushback always being in reaction to Reynolds and not “mutually abusive” is true, but I see it as finally hopeful. Alma doesn’t need to have the exact same power as Woodcock. That’s not why she does it, exactly, and not the point of the end of the film. She could very well leave him for someone else. While there’s some degree of subversion to their roles, I think she pursues the change in power dynamic because she believes in him ("You're not cursed!"). She believes in his ability to love. And I do see the movie as working as an allegory for the push-pull of all relationships in general.

I love that he thought of it enough to talk to his rabbi.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Riley Jonathawinn Drake on January 11, 2018, 12:38:55 PM
Happy New Year  :violin: :violin:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCNsHSJrn9M&t=1751s
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: eward on January 11, 2018, 02:50:51 PM
You beautiful, charitable soul.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: modage on January 11, 2018, 06:57:40 PM
Finally saw this a third time last night at the Alamo Drafthouse in BK. The screening was Black Tie (suggested (https://drafthouse.com/nyc/show/phantom-thread-black-tie-event-in-70mm)) and in 70mm, which was a fun excuse for a bunch of nerds like myself to put on bow ties and go to the movies. Some more random thoughts about the film from viewing #3.

- For a movie about relationships/love/etc., the film is oddly sexless! For PTA, who never shies away from sex, the film is unusually chaste.

- Related thought: The film is also almost (but not entirely) devoid of passion. The most passionate moment in the film is when they kiss after stealing the dress back. And I think there are really only 3 or 4 instances of anything physical between them (he pulls her into his room, they kiss on the street, holding hands walking around town, and the final denouement) For the most part we're just given the cruelest bits of their relationship (an entirely different sort of passion), but never really allowed to root for them as a couple in the traditional sense. It's a really interesting choice, withholding the part of the story that would satisfy an audience. It's an easy mark so PTA just skips it.

- In the first scene where Woodcock is measuring Alma and he tells her to stand up straight and she pushes back with a "Why didn't you just say that" she is so fiery. I feel like if she were truly in awe of him from the beginning she'd probably shrink like a wallflower instead of pushing back so forcefully so soon. I wonder if Krieps and DDL had any friction on set and these moments display some of that bubbling over? Either way, it's a great performance. Update: Having thought about this for a day I  think it's the first time Reynolds really pushes her and she pushes back just as hard. It's this response that probably endears her to him and why the relationship works.

- The autograph scene at dinner is exactly how I picture PTA to be as he's interrupted by a fan telling him that his films are the greatest. Haha, maybe not true. But that's how I see it.

- Cyril really leaves Woodcock out to dry the scene that Alma opens the door while he's talking shit about her!

- Really noticed how many times Reynolds talks about being hungry. It always corresponds to when he's excited.

- The shot of Cyril at the table with the giant open window behind her reminds me a lot of how PSH is framed at the end of The Master (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAQiAQROi7g).

- When Cyril mentions that Barbara Rose pays for this house, does she mean literally like she pays his rent to work there? Or that she spends so much money it basically pays for the house and gives him more work than his other clients?

- Speaking of the rich old lady, Barbara Rose, she reminds me a smidge of the rich old lady, Mildred Drummond (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-egb2tQGx8_s/URnKhcl4ChI/AAAAAAAACL4/25Gq1win9V4/s1600/7.jpg), in The Master. PTA's characters have a real contempt for high-society ladies in the 50s.

- Seeing the film a second or third time is such a different experience from my first viewing where I kept expecting the film to go super dark with a much bigger finale. After TWBB which ends with the bowling alley pummeling, I spent the last act of Phantom Thread waiting for Cyril to poison Alma (to death) or Alma to poison Woodcock (to death). Once you know it doesn't go that way, you an enjoy it as a dark comedy instead of a tragedy. But the film would play completely differently if the final 5-10 minutes had a different resolution. I wonder if PTA knew this ending when he started writing or if he kinda arrived here after considering other (potentially darker) resolutions.

- This has I'm sure been mentioned but the omelette at the end is a total reprisal of the staring contest. Duh.

- The ending where Alma daydreams into the future and we're shown the baby carriage and things that may or may not happen reminded me of two of my favorites: Raising Arizona and 25th Hour.

- The scene where they're dancing at the New Years place and some of the other guests waltz onto the floor around them is such a great 00s PTA touch. You know that's something he just filmed on the day they did the NYE scene and wasn't sure if they'd have somewhere to put it and it just slides in perfectly as the film is wrapping up. It's not real but it's beautiful.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: jenkins on January 11, 2018, 07:21:59 PM
- In the first scene where Woodcock is measuring Alma and he tells her to stand up straight and she pushes back with a "Why didn't you just say that" she is so, so pissed off. It seems like she fucking hates him whenever she's able to shoot these daggers back at him. And I believe that she admires/adores him but harder to believe she loves him. But if she were truly in awe of him from the beginning she'd probably shrink like a wallflower instead of pushing back so forcefully so soon. I wonder if Krieps and DDL had any friction on set and these moments display some of that bubbling over? Either way, it's a great performance.

sometimes Reynolds sounds so, so pissed off,  as if he fucking hates people. it isn't necessarily a personal affront against another person, rather an expression of an interior force. i believe it's fair to say they both have tricky personalities and the movie is about those types of people falling in love. and love is a funny thing that doesn't have to be as obvious as all that.

that's in line with my personal support of Alma, an expression of an interior force, really not so pissed or wanting to express hate.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Pringle on January 12, 2018, 04:18:33 AM
Here are 3 new TV Spots (from New Zealand) that feature shots that aren't in the final film, including:

Alma and Reynolds on a yacht, passing a mountain.
Another fitting scene between Alma and Reynolds.
Reynolds stalking through a graveyard.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw5PVcahALY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOv_u-3KyPw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ebohu4fqvTg
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: samsong on January 12, 2018, 05:18:07 AM
wilder, found your articulation of reynolds' narcissism and the focus on power dynamic shifts to be illuminating.  definitely something to hone in on for subsequent viewings.  i'll admit that i've submitted to the film as being a kind of universal allegory of all relationships ("the most beautiful romance in the world.  just to take that a bit further, the most beautiful romance of all time.  or even further still, the ONLY romance that ever was.") and view the power dynamic more as a dance than a fight.  i also do think think in that dinner scene that reynolds does know that he needs alma, or loves her more than he lets on, as suggested by how taken aback he is when he hears her say something as painful as feeling unwanted, but isn't ready to open about it, and he certainly isn't going to concede or let her win that argument.  he'd sooner tell her to fuck off. 

on to etan.  i don't find his oversimplification of character psychology in the film to be in any way cogent.  if anything one of the things pta does so brilliantly is eschew easy psychological character mapping.  there seems to be a common issue with those with negative impressions of the film are an overly literal reading of the film, and broad judgements made about the characters based on said reading.  an older woman asked her friend why anyone would stay with a someone they had to poison in order to tolerate, and my eyes just about rolled out of my head.

obviously i find his rejection of the film's success as an allegory for relationships in general to be misguided, particularly in his insistence that its functionality as allegory is contingent on its success on a literal level.  but it seems to come down purely to the ol' adage, "i couldn't relate to it, so it must be bad."  maybe this says more about me than anything, but i found most of, if not all of it be perfectly relatable.  i've always maintained that human beings are fucking insane, and that at no point is this more evident than when two romantically involved people are alone together.  that this film is decidedly unromantic (in the traditional sense) in its portrayal of a relationship is one of the reasons why it's so goddamn great.  thought matt ross put it nicely in his indiewire blurb where he posits that one of the things the film is about is "the impossibility of understanding a relationship from the outside (that is – if one is not in it)."
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilder on January 13, 2018, 01:39:26 AM
sometimes Reynolds sounds so, so pissed off,  as if he fucking hates people. it isn't necessarily a personal affront against another person, rather an expression of an interior force.

Totally. You see it in the scene when he's "backstage" helping ready the dresses as the girls are exiting and entering, modeling for the members of high society. He even catches himself after losing his temper, almost under his breath "Sorry, sorry..."

i'll admit that i've submitted to the film as being a kind of universal allegory of all relationships […] and view the power dynamic more as a dance than a fight.

The rhythm of the film does sort of play like a dance… Greenwood’s score too kind of paints it like a dark round in a ballroom. I like what PT said in reference to Aimee Mann’s music, on Kimmel, that she makes “upbeat downers”. PT is also so great at combining disparate tones to make you look again at something you might have thought askance about, initially. He just talked about Boogie Nights this way, on the Nerdist podcast. How up until its release the representations of the porn world had swung wildly between the bleak view of Hardcore and the extremely silly, on the other end, with no nuanced in-between. The way he presents this whole scenario has got to be on the top of a list of those that expand the vernacular. It keeps rolling over and over, in me. The first time was very funny but felt darker, the second watch felt bright and prickly, and on my third it went darkly beautiful, again. The film is truly alive.

i also do think think in that dinner scene that reynolds does know that he needs alma, or loves her more than he lets on, as suggested by how taken aback he is when he hears her say something as painful as feeling unwanted, but isn't ready to open about it, and he certainly isn't going to concede or let her win that argument.  he'd sooner tell her to fuck off. 

I can swing with that to a certain extent. He certainly needs her more than he’s willing to let on and isn’t going to present himself as weak to her at this point. Really I agree with the things you said, I just don’t know how deeply/permanently attached he can become, and as Etan pointed out, we don’t see the aftermath enough to know (although that’s a different movie and definitely isn’t necessary, here). I see Reynolds as the type of guy, if Alma and he were to split, to mope and moan for a week and then be over it and onto the next one, because the honeymoon period seems to be what he likes, as is evidenced by every relationship he’s had in the film up til Alma. Once the glimmer wears off, infatuation fades, and there are obligations to another person, I don't know that I can see him sticking around through the thick and thin. Obviously just speculation. The movie wants them to succeed.

on to etan.  i don't find his oversimplification of character psychology in the film to be in any way cogent.  if anything one of the things pta does so brilliantly is eschew easy psychological character mapping.  there seems to be a common issue with those with negative impressions of the film are an overly literal reading of the film, and broad judgements made about the characters based on said reading.

I like the way you put that, and I also completely disagree with his reductive psychological description ("Woodcock has mommy issues, Alma wants to be seen as beautiful") and yet I sympathize with his reading, because the movie is so dense. Jenkins' observation above about Reynolds not being so much hateful towards any one person as just bursting with an unrestrained energy and ruled by his moods is one such example. I certainly relate to aspects of that. That description of him is a fucking sentence though, it takes a sentence long to parse how dense the emotions being portrayed are. He could be described as “moody” or “an asshole” or “obsessive”, or “artistic”, etc., but a word alone doesn’t seem to do the trick. So I’m not sure how easy he is to see into…

Maybe it’s partially that the way romance has been portrayed in so many films and stories as sort of mythical and compartmentalized - distinctions between wonderful times and sad times made achingly clear beat for beat, has trained audiences not to buy this as one. “We tell ourselves stories in order to live”, Joan Didion says. Excise the mud of it. This movie doesn’t really do that at all. There are so many moments in Phantom Thread that ’eschew easy psychological character mapping’, as you said, and blend the positive with the negative - like Alma’s initial fitting. What a thrill, having a dress made by this couture designer! But then also to be subtly cut down? (“You have no breasts”) But then he professes she’s “the perfect shape”? It must be confusing to parse, for her.

The film is brilliant at replicating the feeling of looking back on a relationship you’re no longer in when you’re having difficulty distinguishing the good moments from the bad, wondering if you made the right decision, or if you saw it for what it was. It’s all a blur and something you accepted and embraced wholesale when in it. All the pills had to be swallowed together and you’re not sure what’s causing what feeling. This is devolving into word soup. I want to quote your previous post again:

i described this movie as the 2001: a space odyssey of romances to someone to relate how momentous i find this movie to be.  there's a nebulous, all-encompassing quality to what this movie's about in the context of romantic relationships that engages in that kubrickian "bow to the unknown" (as jan harlan once put it) that i find utterly poignant.

A fish asking 'what’s water?'…it’s soo good at that… and so good at capturing the valley between two people that can’t be quantified. The unknown unknowns. You said it better.

obviously i find his rejection of the film's success as an allegory for relationships in general to be misguided, particularly in his insistence that its functionality as allegory is contingent on its success on a literal level.

Same

i've always maintained that human beings are fucking insane

I just wanted to quote this.

that this film is decidedly unromantic (in the traditional sense) in its portrayal of a relationship is one of the reasons why it's so goddamn great.  thought matt ross put it nicely in his indiewire blurb where he posits that one of the things the film is about is "the impossibility of understanding a relationship from the outside (that is – if one is not in it)."

Abso-fucking-lutely
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Drenk on January 13, 2018, 01:36:17 PM
Haven't read it so it might be bad, but putting it here so I'll read when I'll have seen the movie.

The New York Review of Books — The Pattern and Passion of Phantom Thread.

http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/01/13/the-pattern-and-passion-of-phantom-thread/
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: md on January 13, 2018, 05:30:07 PM
what do you guys make of "never cursed"?

In either the Bill Simmons podcast or the one with Rian Johnson, PTA said he and DDL discussed the idea of family curses and what that meant to them and if they were real.  So maybe that has some meaning or inspiration for the hidden msg. 

Was anyone able to pick up one of the lovely booklets they were giving away at the Arclight 70mm screenings?  A beautiful little treasure.

(https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/Ke8AAOSweBhaTzvD/s-l1600.jpg)
(https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/6ZAAAOSw8W5aTzvC/s-l1600.jpg)

PTA always comes through with the goods time and time again.  I walked into the film a few minutes late, sort of thrown into the middle of the scene with Reynolds and Alma in front of the fire.  And the film switch really turned on when he's measuring Alma and he says "25" and its beautifully synced with that nice pan of the tape reel.  Felt very much like a warm PTA smile and all things started going in full motion.  Like the later surveying scenes in TWBB. 

The first act of the film felt so out of place with today's 'standards' of cinema -- the dialogue, the pacing, even the cinematography and staging -- it all felt very foreign and very nostalgic.    I almost needed to check myself in order to get lost in the PTA magic.  Maybe the cynic in me was being tested.  And by the time Reynolds is at the New Years Eve party and there is that long hold on the two of them just staring at each other in silence my emotions are completely gushing. 

For some reason I could not help but think that PTA was making this film for his daughters.  Like a gift down the road that they can remember him by.  Some of the arguments and motivations of the relationship between Reynolds and Alma were so entangled due to the age difference, like a parent scolding their child. 

The handheld scene when Alma is walking in her first fashion show was marvelous and such a great use of handheld (may have been one of the first longer uses of it in the film).  The smokey depth of the scene and the backlight of the window really (if I remember correctly) looked so damn beautiful and unique.  Something that would be close to impossible to capture with digital. 

I loved Reynold's hair throughout the film.  When its slicked back and handsome and when it's a bit ruffled and puffy when he is struggling.  Just a nice attention to detail.

The double take Reynolds does on New Years Eve when Alma walks out the door was funny just like something Barry Egan might due.  Its so idiosyncratic and so PTA.  The second look would most likely get cut in any other studio film, but PTA has this hold on the game. 

The scraping sounds of the toast were so simple and so cinematic as a creation of tension and comedy.  Nothing too to intellectual, just meat and bones filmmaking at its core, executed properly with your favorite cast.  I mean, Alma's accent is so sexy and innocent.  Just love the feeling when your thinking PTA is making something special just for you.  The man is clutch.  Bravo!






Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: martinthewarrior on January 13, 2018, 07:06:20 PM
Holy hell. This one might be his best. It's certainly his most psychologically rich. In the best way, it feels like the first... old man movie he's made. A lot of life had to be lived to come to something so messy, complicated, and true about how men and women attempt to keep loving each other when the dopamine runs out. I agree with whoever said it felt like the beginning of a new period for him. Feels like his most personal since Magnolia, but where that was blood and guts and heart, this one is a brain in a jar, save for a few moments of that young man passion. I love, love, loved it.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: samsong on January 14, 2018, 12:09:01 AM

 I walked into the film a few minutes late, sort of thrown into the middle of the scene with Reynolds and Alma in front of the fire.

if that's actually where you came in, then you missed, like, 20 minutes...
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: md on January 14, 2018, 10:28:58 PM

 I walked into the film a few minutes late, sort of thrown into the middle of the scene with Reynolds and Alma in front of the fire.

if that's actually where you came in, then you missed, like, 20 minutes...

Yeah, dude....I'm not lying.  LA traffic....
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on January 15, 2018, 08:07:29 PM
[SPOILERS]

A Relationship Expert Psychoanalyzes Phantom Thread’s Twisted Romance

https://www.thecut.com/2018/01/dissecting-the-twisted-relationship-in-phantom-thread.html
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on January 18, 2018, 01:54:23 AM
Initial thoughts. Loved the movie of course. It's unlike anything else I've seen. This, basically:

Phantom Thread’s sort of inverted narrative structure, forming plot almost purely out of emotion, was always the inevitable trajectory that began with Blood and The Master

These two characters and all the emotions and THAT MUSIC are still swimming around in my brain, growing...

I've only begun to skim through, but Wilder you've written some truly brilliant stuff here about the film. I fully agree with the reading that Reynolds's personality disorder is his curse.

Some assorted thoughts before I forget. Apologies if these things have been said....

Their romance begins with Reynolds seducing Alma and sort of establishing dominance. But the real story is Alma seducing him. You can see Reynolds being taken by Alma's playful deviousness bit by bit. Something — perhaps the part of himself that's really not himself (his disorder) — prevents him from submitting to her advances. I so wanted him to submit. He wants to. Alma knows he wants to, so she helps him along. And finally he does. Also, what a bold choice to have them actually fall in love after they're married.

Alma suspected that Reynolds wanted to possess her. And then, indeed, he used language to that effect in his marriage proposal, which I think is why she hesitated and then asked the followup question: "will you marry me?"

After Inherent Vice (sorry, have to say this), it's refreshing to have a PTA movie that knows what it wants and is exactly what it intends to be. This may be one of PTA's less ambitious films on the surface, but it's clearly one of his most perfectly crafted and sneakily complex.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: ono on January 18, 2018, 11:48:11 PM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blewit

That's the mushroom.  So no, not deadly.  So that criticism is wrong.  The mushroom thing is interesting because mushrooms are fabled to give both life and death, depending on the source.

"I'm getting really hungry."  I forget the exact phrasing.  His "I was cursed, alright."  The most sexual line in a sexless movie.  Or thirsty.  Which isn't said.  Take your pick.  So he will be lovesick forever more.  Hey, whatever works.  I kind of lost focus when Alma was daydreaming about the stroll and the carriage and what have you, and then I blinked, and it was over.  It flew by, and I kind of wanted to relive it, just to again soak in her final monologue.

For the first 30 minutes -- maybe the first hour or so -- I just had a stupid grin on my face, getting wrapped up in it all.  The music swells, that ubiquitous score.  Then, things finally settle down.  On one hand, it's nice to come here and read and get a bit more depth out of it, but on the other, I found myself somewhat disappointed by its simplicity.  I wanted more depth.  I'm walking out with the same feeling I left with after TWBB.  That he only scratched the surface of Plainview.  Too much unexplained pettiness, not enough character exploration.  I did love their dinner argument.  Not that they're too similar, but it calls to mind the dinner argument in La La Land.  I think that's one scene where their defenses do get stripped down and you actually do see the humanity of these hurting people.  More of that would have been nice.  Argument against it is anything more my be redundant.  I get that.  Still loved it.  Need to see it again, of course.

Comparisons and parallels: Hallucinations of Reynolds' mother has that same feel of Freddie dozing off while watching Casper, and also the naked dance.  Cyril and Master framing in final scenes.  Said elsewhere.  The models walking up the staircase, just like the soldiers walking to the doctors office at the beginning of The Master.  I really liked how during the breakfast scenes all of the audio was turned up to 11 and then some.  And that's all I've got.  Will look at the thread again later as it's sure to jog more thoughts.  The film's sat with me for about 3 hours now.  Satiated.  Hungry for more, myself.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: WorldForgot on January 19, 2018, 01:54:34 PM

when alma leaves to go to the new year's eve party alone and reynolds is left to deal with his insecurities (which greenword's score so gorgeously conveys) then goes after her, it's the kind of movie moment that you would expect to end in some sweeping romantic gesture, and for so long it builds that way.  when they finally come face to face, it turns into a staring contest that reynolds indeed loses, him reacting kinda poorly (i read his expression in that scene to be a "what are you looking at?" gesture) and taking her back home.

And here, the reason why he makes that choice…she challenges him, fights fire with fire. It’s the only thing that can work with a man of his qualities. And because she can see him for who he is, which is really unique to her. If Cyril wasn't blood and “the perfect size”, maybe he'd marry her, too.


If you watch how he scans her when Reynolds first approaches her, it's as if he's worried about the dress-first, alma-second, and Alma wins because "well that's very typical of you"
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: csage97 on January 20, 2018, 12:49:43 AM
Hooray! I saw Phantom Thread today (well, technically yesterday). I'm going to need some time to process the story and such a bit more, but here are a few random musings:

-Vicky Krieps was wonderful. Really wonderful. She was able to convey so much emotional change from moment to moment in her face and movements. She could show expressions of ambiguity or conflicted emotion, or a sort of playful curiosity and rebelliousness to challenge Reynold's boyish fussiness.

-The whole thing felt more dreamlike than I'd anticipated. The first bit from the beginning to the breakfast where Alma butters her toast loudly had a sort of sweeping feeling to it, carried along by Jonny Greenwood's score and Alma's intermittent narration. It felt like if you took a montage and stretched it out over a period of time, with each bit of it also pulled to proportionately fit the whole. In a sense, that made things further feel like when you recall something in the past, only to realize that its story was more fleeting and transitory than it felt at the time. In this regard alone, I think this is a cinematic achievement alone and one that PTA should be proud of.

-The cinematography: It's interesting that the crew was without a dedicated DP, whether frequent collaborator Robert Elswit or Mihai Malaimare Jr. Gaffer Michael Bauman was credited as "lighting cameraman," which is what John Alcott was credited as for Barry Lyndon (can't remember if this was the case for A Clockwork Orange). The look of the film was very interesting when considered purely from a photography and lighting standpoint. They pushed the film stock a lot to bring out grain and had lots of fog in the house at times. There was a soft look to lots of the outdoor scenes (I'm specifically thinking of the shots in front of the London townhouse). All this added to the dreaminess and feeling that things are "floating along." Add this in with the general talk of ghosts and curses from the Woodcocks, and things seem sort of spectral in this wonderful way.

-DDL's performance was interesting. On the surface, his character appears a bit two-dimensional: He's obsessive and fussy about his work and needs everything to be in its right order, just like a child (and has outbursts when things don't go his way, just like a child) -- but on the other hand, there's this longing to be loved and deep-seated fear that those who love him will disappear. This is evidenced in his longing to reunite with his mother, but that special dress he made for her is lost, just like she is, and he can simply never get any of that back. So he puts up this defense against the possibility that those who he loves might leave him forever -- turn into ghosts who might haunt him deeply -- and instead focuses on what he can have most personal control over, which is his dressmaking. What might appear like emotional immaturity and pettiness on the outside could be the indicator that deep down, he's hurt and very afraid of exposing himself to vulnerability and he's trying to any threats to that at a distance.

-Lesley Manville brought a steadying and clarifying presence to the story. Her character is very terse and to-the-point, never getting overly emotional and always making sure things get done in the house.

-The sound mixing was great. What an ingenious move to make certain things very loud and apparent. These sounds, such as the Alma buttering her toast or pouring water, actually convey what the characters are experiencing and become a part of the story. I love that sound was used as sort of another dimension to the story.

-There were tons of very close shots of characters' faces. Not that I didn't expect it, but I'm just always thrown off by how much of these shots are really there in PTA movies from The Master on. The aspect ratio is really something on a big cinema screen. The framing totally fit the projection screen, so those close shots make the actors visually massive. You can see details in facial movements, and when you have actors like DDL, Lesley Manville, and Vicky Krieps especially, it can be a storytelling advantage and tool. The other thing is that camera movement looks different in this aspect ratio. The wide frames from PTA's anamorphic days really change the whole feel of things for me: Things feel less panoramic in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. There are advantages to both ratios, and PTA has really been able to capture these stark closeups in 1.85:1 from The Master on that I've had to learn to embrace.

-I loved how the film oscillated from hilarious parts to very eerie, ghost story-esque/Hitchcockian parts (i.e., the mushroom and hallucination scenes). It was great how the film was not afraid to show a non-cliche relationship with all its dark and ambiguous undertones. Partnerships are often full of strange and subtle occurrences, and this film embraced that and didn't shy away from that (it was basically what the movie was about). It wasn't a "Hollywood romance/relationship arc" thing, which was precisely what La La Land was and the reason that I hated La La Land (that is, that La La Land depicted such a tired relationship arc with shallow dialogue and characters). In the bit where Alma is first preparing the mushrooms, there was this very low sub bass (a deep rumble), and things felt like they suddenly took this unexpected and very eerie turn. I absolutely loved that. I wanted this sort of thing to come out just a little bit more in what proceeded, but I felt it was there enough and I was satisfied in the end with it. (Another very eerie scene -- yeah, I keep using that word -- happened when Reynolds hallucinated and his mother was just standing there.)

That's all for now. It's late and I'm getting very sleepy, but I'll probably come back within the next couple days and write a bit more, probably things leaning more towards my experience with the lead-up to this film and then the release. I will say that I am experiencing a great sense of relief at the moment -- relief at finally having seen this movie I've totally fanboyed over for months now. But I'm glad it was different than what I'd expected and I feel satisfied and happy with what the film was.
Title: Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
Post by: wilberfan on January 20, 2018, 08:55:43 PM
-The sound mixing was great. What an ingenious move to make certain things very loud and apparent. These sounds, such as the Alma buttering her toast or pouring water, actually convey what the characters are experiencing and become a part of the story. I love that sound was used as sort of another dimension to the story.

More on the sound design of the film:

How Phantom Thread Made Toast Irritating

http://www.vulture.com/2018/01/how-phantom-thread-made-toast-irritating.html