Author Topic: The Master - Spoiler-Free Thread  (Read 325185 times)

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rjmjr

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Re: The Master
« Reply #1605 on: September 11, 2012, 07:49:13 AM »
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/10/scientologists-criticize-the-master-harass-its-distributor_n_1872109.html

Weinstein vs. Scientologists ...

"A Post source notes that calls to Weinstein's office had become so numerous that some people hired extra security. (Weinstein's security was already tight due to an unrelated blackmail attempt.)"

cinemanarchist

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Re: The Master
« Reply #1606 on: September 11, 2012, 09:49:22 AM »
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Tonight is the night and then back home to read that Film Comment article!
My assholeness knows no bounds.

InTylerWeTrust

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Re: The Master
« Reply #1607 on: September 11, 2012, 03:02:54 PM »
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*** READ AT YOUR OWN RISK ***  SPOILERS


Paul Thomas Anderson, 'The Master' Director, On Joaquin Phoenix, Dianetics And His 'Natural Attraction' For Redheads
by Michael Hogan (Huffingtonpost)



(Bold letters is Mike Hogan speaking.... Non-Bold is PTA speaking)

"The Master" is a movie people are going to be talking about for a long time. Paul Thomas Anderson's haunting meditation on friendship, manipulation and man's desperate search for sanity is more enigmatic than his earlier films -- it neither grabs you by the throat, like "There Will Be Blood," nor twirls you around the dance floor, like "Boogie Nights." When it screened at the Venice and Toronto film festivals, the general response was: Whoa, I'm going to need to see that again.

The film's central relationship -- and riddle -- concerns a troubled World War II vet named Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) and a charismatic sect leader named Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), whose friends and followers call him Master. Dodd, who likes to preach that humans are not animals and needn't be ruled by our emotions, is fascinated by Freddie, a rage-filled loner whose idea of courting is to scrawl "Do you want to fuck?" on a piece of paper and present it to the object of his desire. (Don't worry: he also adds a smiley face.) Freddie, in turn, is torn between his belief in the Master's power to heal him and his suspicion that the whole thing is just another con. In an early, face-to-face therapy session, Dodd proves that he can get behind Freddie's defenses, but whether he can heal his unruly pupil is less clear. Freddie, in turn, repays his would-be savior by violently punishing anyone who dares to question Dodd -- an arrangement Dodd clearly enjoys, despite his tepid protests to the contrary.

Because the film is so careful not to provide easy answers or fill every space with exposition (unlike, say, the frantically over-stuffed "Cloud Atlas"), it lends itself to speculation and analysis. Anderson himself admits that he's still trying to work out what it all means.

"The Master" is Paul Thomas Anderson's sixth film, and something about its surety and magisterial beauty -- coming on the heels of the epic, Oscar-nominated "There Will Be Blood" -- has created a consensus view of him as America's best working filmmaker, if not the world's. The film won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and would have won Gold had the festival's judges not been so hell-bent on giving top acting awards to both Phoenix and Hoffman. (Gold Lion-winning films are generally disqualified from the festival's other awards.) I spoke to Anderson at the Toronto International Film Festival about his writing process, his collaboration with Joaquin Phoenix (a shoo-in for a Best Actor Oscar nomination and a very serious threat to win), his "natural attraction" for redheads and his relationship -- or lack thereof -- with the filmmaker Paul W.S. Anderson.

Michael Hogan: I wanted to start by talking about the relationship between the two characters. I know people have said it's a father-son relationship, others have said it's homoerotic. I walked out and thought, They're the same person, at some level. They're doppelgangers. Do you think there's something to that?

Paul Thomas Anderson: That's good. I like that, you know? [He pauses and taps his fingers on the table.] I mean, it's never an occurrence in writing it or doing it, but you find yourself on the set one day and you're maybe bored and you kind of realize things that are going on that you hadn't thought about, you know? You're staring at cables on the floor and you zone out and realize things like that. And they're nice thoughts, but that's all they are. They're not the kind of thing that you can actually film, or get underneath. It's something that's after the fact. The homoerotic thing -- you know, you can consider it that way, sure, but [I think of the characters as] stand-ins for any relationship story. People have attractions to somebody that's probably not good for them, or an attraction to somebody who's a runner, you know? That attraction the Master has for Freddie -- absolute sheer excitement at the thrill of the possibility that he may leave or do something crazy at any moment.

We keep hearing The Master saying to his pupils, "You are not an animal," "You're not ruled by your emotions," and Freddie's living proof that that's not true.


Yeah, well, Phil says it best in his press conference in Venice. He says, I wish I could walk out into the streets and shit and fuck every woman that I see and all this different kind of stuff, but I can't do that, and I think I'm gonna go find a master to teach me how not to do that. It's funny. You're talking about that thing that they're two sides of the same person. I remember thinking sometimes, while we were shooting, Is he a ghost, almost? You get into researching that period and there were all these sailors surrounded by death and just so many bodies. You just think about guys being literally out at sea and surrounded by their buddies floating in water and stuff like that and you just think, Maybe he's a ghost himself. Does he even know it? Is he sort of walking around -- it gets into all these kinds of questions.

Clearly, people will continue to analyze these relationships, but what was your original impulse in writing the story? It was right after "There Will Be Blood" that you wrote it, right?

Yeah, well, I'd had a lot of the story for a while now. And it was the story of this sailor that was episodic -- stuff that came from John Steinbeck's life and stories that I've heard over the years -- collected in short story form, almost. And after "There Will Be Blood," I went back to it and dressed it, and the Master came into the story a little more strongly, and I just kept following the way that it led me, I suppose. I don't know what your experience is with writing, but mine is really chore-like, over and over again, until it gets good. When it starts, suddenly, you blink your eyes and there's 10 pages, you don't know where they came from. It's thrilling.

You're channeling something more than analyzing it.

Yeah. It sounds hocus pocus-y. But then you don't know when that's gonna happen again, and until it does you're workman-like with it. That's my method of attack, anyway.

With that in mind, I don't know if this is an answerable question or not, but I've noticed there are a lot of loners in your stories. You're obviously not a loner -- you have a family -- but is there something about loners that appeals to you in terms of creating characters?

Sure, I suppose. Not to get philosophical but we're all kind of loners though, ultimately. You can have family, can have lots of friends, but ultimately we're all here passing through this thing. How much can we hang on to other people? These are things everybody goes through. But I don't know. I'm attracted to these kinds of characters. Not quite sure why, but they make for good stories that I like to tell.

And like you said, they're unpredictable, right?

Yeah, that's good. Yeah, exactly. Right.

There are a lot of redheads in this movie. Is that a coincidence?

Kind of. I have a natural attraction to redheads, anyway: Julianne Moore, Amy Adams. I have to say, not some kind of real by-design thing but one of those things that just keeps happening accidentally-on-purpose. The very nature of creating a family for Phil is that you're going to have sons that have to look like him, that kind of thing. But yeah, it ends up looking really interesting.

Let's talk about Joaquin Phoenix. I read in The New York Times that when he smashed the toilet during his jail-cell scene with Philip Seymour Hoffman, he wasn't expecting to do that and didn't even know that it could be done. Were there ever times that you were afraid he was going to hurt himself?

Many times, yeah. There were a number of scenes where he just had physical stuff -- being restrained by police officers. There was another scene that we cut where he was in a courtroom and goes absolutely crazy and bounces around the courtroom and runs around. There were a number of opportunities for him to hurt himself, and I think he did, you know? But that's kind of what you want, hopefully within reason. He'll get over it. [Laughs.]

Are there other moments he improvised that you kept?

When he starts to strangle that guy and says, "I'm trying to get the lighting right," and the guy slaps him in the face. That was improvised. I mean, they knew they had to get into a scuffle, but we didn't know exactly how it was going to go down. They just agreed with each other that -- they agreed they didn't know what was going to happen. And we sort of set the ground rules that he can punch him in the face, slap him, whatever he had to do. We just said, "Is everybody all right with this? Is everybody all right? All right, go to your corners." And I think you get exciting stuff that way, and when Joaquin starts strangling him and says, "I'm trying to get the lighting right," I thought, "That's really good."

The scene where Freddie and the Master sit face to face for a therapy session and Freddie's not allowed to blink -- by the end of it, the vein is standing out on Phoenix's forehead and pulsating. Is that the kind of thing where you're standing there going, Oh my god, is this really happening?

Well, you get a scene like that and you have a situation where any intentions you have as an actor go completely out the window, because the sheer volume of the pages -- it's like 12 pages of one word back and forth, so just sheer memorization alone is putting you in a spot where you have to concentrate. And just slalom down a hill as fast as you can. So you kind of, in a great way, become powerless to choices you're trying to make as an actor. It's just, "Hold on tight and try to get from the beginning to the end." And it was just fun to watch them do it. We set up two cameras at the same time. It would have been impossible to do the traditional thing where you look at this person and then that person.

So it's almost like recording a band live.

That's exactly right. Yeah. And it's nice to give somebody something physical to do. It's one of those nice things: You can't blink. How can you not blink for that long? It's good.

At one point, the members of the Master's sect make a concerted effort to tame Freddie. In one of the exercises, he has to walk from the wall to the window, the wall to the window, and describe what he sees and feels. Was that based on any research you did, and what do you think the Master is trying to accomplish there?

That was based on a thing that I had read in the very early days of Dianetics. The idea was to take you through a number of different emotions: anger, apathy, withdrawal, all these things, to the point where you are actually OK with it. It's a disciplining exercise, I believe. I have no idea if it's something that still goes on, but I read about it happening in the early 50s. '51, '52, '53. So that was the inspiration for that. And setting that to the side, there's something very dramatic about that. It's a good situation to get in dramatically, but also between these two characters, too. Somebody who's desperate to tame themselves and be good for their master, and get into this, and figure out, "What the fuck is wrong with me?" and "I don't want to act like this anymore." It lent itself to a kind of flammable dramatic sequence.

I know you were raised Catholic. Do you see similarities between Scientology and Catholicism as you're researching the film?

Not really.

There were times watching the film when I thought, Boy, Dodd is just making up any old thing, but then you're in church and they're saying stuff that got made up 2,000 years ago.

Yeah, sure, I think a lot of people can make that argument. I don't know. I don't really think about it.

A lot has been made of the fact that "The Master" is being shown on 70-mm film. Is there anything people should be looking for as far as what separates it from other formats?

No, I don't think so. I think it's more of just a feeling. Hopefully you're not squinting to see what you're supposed to be seeing. You know, it's great that a lot's been made about it, but on the other hand it's important just let the theater go dark and have a movie wash over you -- have a kind of world of make believe feel alive and vaguely real, and hopefully it helps do that. And just kind of gets you to time travel, hopefully. And it just felt like a good space ship for time travel for us, the way that it looks and the way that it feels. Yeah, it would be a drag if somebody goes in like, "What am I missing? Was it supposed to talk to me? Pet my head?"

What's the secret to a great trailer?

I don't know. In the case of Leslie Jones -- the editor I work with, She's the one who's spearheaded a lot of that stuff -- we started doing stuff like that on "Punch Drunk Love," where we had a lot of material that wasn't in the film and we wanted to work with it. But we didn't have any place to put it. It didn't belong in the film. So I don't know. Hopefully they can stand alone as their own little weird little things. They've been fun to do. Really fun. Kinda great. Yeah. Kinda great. Fun.

You mention "Punch Drunk Love" -- do you wish Adam Sandler would do more movies like that? Do you still watch his comedies?

I do. I thought "Funny People" was amazing. And he was amazing in it. And that's only a few years ago now. I want Adam to do whatever he wants, but I would love to see him do more things like "Funny People." He's so talented.

Have you ever met Paul W.S. Anderson? You guys both have films coming out on the same day.

I've never met him. Have you?

No. I had this fantasy that you guys were good pals, emailing each other jokes and stuff.

I've never met him. Yeah, it's weird. Do you know anybody who has your same name.

I'm actually a member of a Facebook group of Mike Hogans, because there's a zillion of us out there. There's like 100 people in this Facebook group.

That's awesome. I've never heard of such a thing. That's hilarious.
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P Heat

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Re: The Master
« Reply #1608 on: September 11, 2012, 04:01:42 PM »
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There are a lot of redheads in this movie. Is that a coincidence?

Kind of. I have a natural attraction to redheads, anyway: Julianne Moore, Amy Adams. I have to say, not some kind of real by-design thing but one of those things that just keeps happening accidentally-on-purpose. The very nature of creating a family for Phil is that you're going to have sons that have to look like him, that kind of thing. But yeah, it ends up looking really interesting.

I made a joke about this a while ago and I think pubrick went off on me lol. I think P.T would stand by my comment. Anyway, I like to think P.T is doing what ol' Marty has done with blondes. Both have notable female characters  who really shine in their films.
anyway it was after i posted my first serious fanalysis. after the long post all he could say was that the main reason he wanted to see the master was cos of all the red heads.
  :P

InTylerWeTrust

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Re: The Master
« Reply #1609 on: September 11, 2012, 04:19:16 PM »
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I like to think P.T is doing what ol' Marty has done with blondes. Both have notable female characters  who really shine in their films.


Marty has said that his fascination for blondes comes from watching Hitchcock films. Personally, I don't see PTA having the same kind of "adoration" for redheads, or at least he doesn't show it as much as 'sese and 'cock.



I made a joke about this a while ago and I think pubrick went off on me lol. I think P.T would stand by my comment.


Pubrick goes off on EVERYBODY. That's just how he is, don't take it personal....  But what was the joke?
Fuck this place..... I got a script to write.

Pubrick

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Re: The Master
« Reply #1610 on: September 11, 2012, 06:33:41 PM »
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Pubrick goes off on EVERYBODY. That's just how he is, don't take it personal....  But what was the joke?

first of all you don't know shit about me, you're the last person who can make statements about how anyone is around here since you have the most delusional paranoid perspective not seen since the last time we banned you.

anyway it was after i posted my first serious fanalysis. after the long post all he could say was that the main reason he wanted to see the master was cos of all the red heads.

it didn't seem like a joke, and so i replied that this is why we can't talk seriously about movies.. because of horny loser manchildren who are driven by base instincts and have little inclination to talk about anything with any seriousness. thankfully there are exceptions.
under the paving stones.

InTylerWeTrust

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Re: The Master
« Reply #1611 on: September 11, 2012, 06:50:52 PM »
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first of all you don't know shit about me, you're the last person who can make statements about how anyone is around here since you have the most delusional paranoid perspective not seen since the last time we banned you.


 
How adorable. I told y'all Pubrick goes off on everybody.... So predictable, yet so entertaining. 


Quote
we can't talk seriously about movies..  because the place is filled with horny loser manchildren who are driven by base instincts and have little inclination to talk about anything with any seriousness.



In one hand, yes that's true and it's a shame. But on the other hand, that's what makes this place sooo good.  But that's just like my opinion.
Fuck this place..... I got a script to write.

Drenk

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Re: The Master
« Reply #1612 on: September 11, 2012, 06:54:29 PM »
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Quote from: Jonny Greenwood
Here's a good trailer - (though forgot to put this particular bit of music on the album…..)

(here the She Wrote Me A Letter teaser)

Hope you like what you hear as much as what you see…..film is great!



I just love Jonny Greenwood.
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Kellen

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Re: The Master
« Reply #1613 on: September 11, 2012, 09:15:37 PM »
+5

InTylerWeTrust

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Re: The Master
« Reply #1614 on: September 11, 2012, 10:32:11 PM »
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Kellen dude.... Make that your avatar!

If you don't, I will.
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InTylerWeTrust

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Re: The Master
« Reply #1615 on: September 12, 2012, 06:34:50 AM »
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Fuck this place..... I got a script to write.

HeywoodRFloyd

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Re: The Master
« Reply #1616 on: September 12, 2012, 07:23:57 AM »
+1
I think the reference is about DDL being mistaken for Vincent Froio in the first TWBB unofficial set photos.

malkovich

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Re: The Master
« Reply #1617 on: September 13, 2012, 12:56:17 AM »
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**READ AT YOUR OWN RISK?**

The AV Club - Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master is about much more than Scientology


by Scott Tobias

“Your memories are not invited.”

Inspired by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church Of Scientology—though by no means explicitly based on, or even about Hubbard—Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character in Paul Thomas Anderson’s stunning new film, The Master, may be a charlatan, but those five words have the power of real magic. To a World War II veteran trying to drown the nightmare of the Pacific Theater in a tubful of moonshine, the silky assurance of Hoffman’s voice brings instant relief, like a shot of morphine to the psyche. The spell wears off, but at that moment and others, it’s possible to imagine how the ideas and methods of a spiritual guru like Hubbard could find purchase in the late ’40s and early ’50s. Magicians rely on their audiences to complete their illusions—after all, a trick doesn’t work without the willful suspension of disbelief.
Shot on a 65mm canvas, The Master takes a format usually reserved for the grandest spectacles and deploys it to startlingly intimate ends; the true landscape of the film isn’t a battleground or the outer reaches of the galaxy, but the contours of Joaquin Phoenix’s face. Though no less ambitious than previous Anderson period pieces like Boogie Nights or There Will Be Blood, The Master forgoes their sprawl in favor of intense chamber drama, focusing on the titanic struggle between two men rather than the clash of armies. It’s a feisty, contentious, deliberately misshapen film, designed to challenge and frustrate audiences looking for a clean resolution. Just because it’s over doesn’t mean it’s settled.

Cut on the discord of Jonny Greenwood’s score, The Master opens with Phoenix as a troubled seaman returning to America after the war and bouncing from job to job, first as a portrait photographer at a department store, later cutting cabbage alongside migrant workers in a California field. His erratic behavior gets him chased out of every position, finally landing him as a stowaway on a ship owned by Hoffman, the founder of a new religion that sounds an awful lot like Scientology. Away from the hostilities of nonbelievers on dry land, Hoffman uses his time on the boat to proselytize to fervent converts and develop ideas for his second book in peace. He presents himself with a serene confidence that goes along with his quest for human perfection, but he has his share of demons, and his wife (Amy Adams) is critical to keeping him on-mission.

In Phoenix, Hoffman finds precisely the sort of person who could open to his teachings—a drifter, grasping at straws, and at the very least willing to indulge him in exchange for three square and access to the liquor cabinet (and paint-thinner). A scene in which Hoffman puts Phoenix through a “processing” session, breaking down his defenses with a relentless fusillade of questions, is one of the best in Anderson’s career, and it sets the table for a relationship that ebbs and flows between camaraderie and rivalry. Phoenix’s vulnerability seems to make him easy prey for a snake-charmer of Hoffman’s caliber, but their bond isn’t that simple—sometimes, the guru just wants a drinking buddy, someone to accept his own weaknesses without judgment.
Pre-release controversy aside, The Master isn’t an examination of Scientology or its development—though the parallels between Hoffman’s character and Hubbard, or Scientology and “The Cause,” are unmistakable—but uses it as a means to an end. Anderson has a much keener interest in Phoenix as an example of the American soldier returning from war, and in man’s attempts to come to terms with his animal nature. It would have been easy enough for Anderson to draw a stark contrast between Phoenix’s feral aggression and Hoffman’s gentle pleas for civility, but the roles get twisted and confused, and their commonalities at times are just as pronounced as their differences. Anderson builds the entire film around a handful of toe-to-toe conflicts between the two, each with its own tenor—tender and slashing, bitter and resigned. It’s a reminder that for all his gains as a stylist, Anderson continues to get better as a writer, too, not only creating complex characters, but allowing that complexity to linger and disturb.

The Master extends a tradition of Anderson films about fathers and sons, whether of the real or surrogate variety: Philip Baker Hall and John C. Reilly in Hard Eight, Burt Reynolds and Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights, Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano in There Will Be Blood. Phoenix comes to Hoffman as the wayward child, looking for guidance, but the neediness isn’t entirely limited to him—while Anderson nails the way spiritual frauds can abuse the faith of their followers, there are times when their roles shift and the power of the father is transferred. Given parts that draw on a full range of emotion, Phoenix and Hoffman are equally superb as seekers who both find what they need in each other and expose the emptiness and hurt at their core.
The Master means to unsettle—not through the startling violence of Punch Drunk Love and There Will Be Blood, or the emotional crescendos of Magnolia, but through a central relationship that’s played for the highest stakes. It’s ambiguous and jagged in shape, and perversely resistant to insta-reaction. Anderson has never made a more difficult film, but he hasn’t made a more mysterious one, either, or one so suffused with meaning: The Master’s function as an incisive shadow history of Scientology is almost incidental to the other tasks it’s trying to accomplish. Defiant in the face of rapid digital conversion, Anderson gives celluloid the victory lap it deserves. Seen in 70mm, it’s a processing session on an epic scale, an amplification of wounded souls.  [A]




I can't wait till I can safely read the spoiler thread. It's way too tempting.

Drenk

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Re: The Master
« Reply #1618 on: September 13, 2012, 07:48:02 PM »
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At 12:00, there is, in a way, the scene from the first teaser. (But yeah, this movie is the first teaser.)

At 47:30, the beginning of the first trailer.

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polkablues

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Re: The Master
« Reply #1619 on: September 13, 2012, 11:14:20 PM »
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Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you A Really Dumb Review of The Master, from Gawker.  Short version: he got bored when he realized it wasn't a exposé of Scientology.
First things first, I'm surrealist

 

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