Author Topic: serious fanalysis of The Master so far (CANON ONLY.. no script/spoiler talk)  (Read 18531 times)

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everythingtarantino

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yeah tyler was the first one who spotted the passenger and the double life of veronique........ :yabbse-thumbdown:

velociraptor

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Of all the amazing footage that's been released so far, the most impressive for me is still that close-up of Phoenix from the first teaser, with the marine officer's shoulder dirtying the frame a bit. I've never seen such an impressive, detailed close-up; although certainly his performance probably helps. I'm under the assumption this close-up was shot on 65mm (could be wrong). It's interesting how PTA is utilizing the format, with all the big frame-encompassing close-ups and 1.85:1 AR- seems to be doing something really new/unexpected with it.

By the way, 3rd post here but I haven't said hello. So hello. Love the forum/site. long time reader despite being a new poster.

matt35mm

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Hi! Welcome! Here's a thread in which to say a bit more about yourself: http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=2.930 (We should probably put that in a more obvious place, since no one seems to see it until one of us links it... it's hidden in the Xix & Xax part of the forum)

I know what you mean about that close-up. Somehow, Joaquin Phoenix's eyes seem larger and lighter/greener, his eyebrows thicker, which lends a sense of deepness to his face that made him unrecognizable for a split-second when that shot was revealed. For sure a part of that is his performance and that permanent half-scowl he's rockin' in this movie, but it's interesting to wonder whether something about it being shot on 65mm accentuated something about his eyes...

I'm also quite fascinated by the way the shoulder of the officer is blurred in that shot. I wonder if the camera was actually quite far away with a long lens, which would have the effect of flattening Joaquin's face a little bit, which might add to the sense of a little-something-different about it.

There's more to it than it just being shot on 65mm, though... the color scheme in this movie leans a touch toward Technicolor and there's quite a bit of diffusion to the image in some shots, leading the highlights to glow and bleed a bit. I adore that. And that shot of the three kids getting their picture taken... that doesn't even look like it belongs in a modern movie. It feels lifted straight out of a 1950s film. PTA and Mihai Malaimare Jr. (MMJ?) absolutely nailed the period look.

Ravi

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The lighting is certainly reminiscent of that bright carbon arc lighting from movies of that period when lenses and film stocks were slower.

The extreme blurring could be a side effect of having to use longer lenses with 65mm shooting. I know that with 35mm anamorphic you have to use a lens twice as long to get same the field of view as Super 35, which produces a shallower DOF at the same stop. I believe the same is true of shooting 5-perf 65mm vs Super 35. I think the juxtaposition of the classic look with darker subject material is intentional.

InTylerWeTrust

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I know what you mean about that close-up. Somehow, Joaquin Phoenix's eyes seem larger and lighter/greener, his eyebrows thicker, which lends a sense of deepness to his face that made him unrecognizable for a split-second when that shot was revealed. For sure a part of that is his performance and that permanent half-scowl he's rockin' in this movie, but it's interesting to wonder whether something about it being shot on 65mm accentuated something about his eyes...

I'm also quite fascinated by the way the shoulder of the officer is blurred in that shot. I wonder if the camera was actually quite far away with a long lens, which would have the effect of flattening Joaquin's face a little bit, which might add to the sense of a little-something-different about it.

There's more to it than it just being shot on 65mm, though... the color scheme in this movie leans a touch toward Technicolor and there's quite a bit of diffusion to the image in some shots, leading the highlights to glow and bleed a bit. I adore that. And that shot of the three kids getting their picture taken... that doesn't even look like it belongs in a modern movie. It feels lifted straight out of a 1950s film. PTA and Mihai Malaimare Jr. (MMJ?) absolutely nailed the period look.


That Close-Up is definitely beautiful and eerie (along with the music). BTW The little white blurred shoulder is an Homage/Nod to "One flew over the cuckoo's nest":



(One of many Jack Nicholson references that can be found in the trailers)

Also the way the close-up is composed, Just his head floating, real tight shot, Clear background that highlights his face even more, reminds me of the Close-Ups in "The Passion of Joan of Arc":



And yes, they definitely used a Long Lens. Talking about that shot of the 3 kids in the picture, That's my favorite shot of all the shots I've seen from "The Master". I don't even know how they made it look like that, it's so fucking surreal. Can't be compare to any shot I've seen in any other movie. A work of art.

I'm really loving PTA's style on this one too. Instead of his usual Super Wide-Robert Altman style shots, he's going for Locked down real tight Close Ups. Also, he seems to be doing that "Punch-Drunk Love slightly Overexposed" shots thing, Which gives the film a very distinguish kinda softer look.

EDIT: This one might be my second favorite shot:


Fuck this place..... I got a script to write.

matt35mm

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Of course it's intentional! This is Paul Thomas Anderson we're talking about! How dare you!

But that is interesting. I didn't think about having to use longer lenses with 65mm to get the same field of view, although it makes sense when I think about it in relation to what I know of the DSLR cameras (a lens on a full-frame 5D giving a wider field of view than the same lens on a 7D).

It definitely seems to be the case that PTA is creating images here that are just a little bit different from what we've seen before, as there is that classic look, but very modern technique (that sort of over-the-shoulder shot would not have been done in a 1950s film, at least not composed with the shoulder bleeding over the face), with the resulting images being full of organic side effects that wouldn't be seen in an 1950s or a modern film. It will be a very interesting hybrid of two very different kinds of sensibilities, but that has become something to expect of PTA, who has always been an old-fashioned guy in some ways and very modern and radical in other ways. You can see the theme of the old clashing against the new in all of his films (except for maybe Punch-Drunk Love, although even that film has what I feel is a very old-fashioned and sincere love story with a very modern visual sensibility), and this idea is present in his technique as well.

Jeremy Blackman

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You two need to do a cinematography podcast together or something.
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Cloudy

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I agree with JB...really enjoyed this back and forth. I was wondering if we should maybe gather a list of the essential films from the period that might have influenced PTA's cinematic tone with this one...it would be great to see all these films and then see The Master.

InTylerWeTrust

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I agree with JB...really enjoyed this back and forth. I was wondering if we should maybe gather a list of the essential films from the period that might have influenced PTA's cinematic tone with this one...it would be great to see all these films and then see The Master.



***** MIGHT CONTAIN SOME MINOR SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN THE TRAILER... READ AT OWN RISK *****


So far, what I got/What I've watched that has similarities to the Script/Plot/Footage of the Master:


One flew over the cuckoo's nest (Jack Nicholson, Brad dourif. The shot in the trailer where they're all sitting around in blue uniforms looking half dead, is a total homage to this. Also the "interview scene" in the first teaser mirrors Jack nicholson's being interviewed here)

The passenger (Antonioni, Jack Nicholson... The line "what are you running from?" is borrowed from here. Also some aforementioned shots borrowed)

Wise Blood (Brad douriff again, Directed by John Huston. Just watched this a couple days ago. Weird as fuck. Lots of Dark humor. Guy comes back from the war and tries to start a religion)

Day of the fight (A Stanley Kubrick short film from the 50's, I see some similarities... Btw Scorsese "borrowed" a shitload of stuff from this for "Raging Bull". It's only 12 minutes long.)

The shining (Enuff said)

Lost in Translation (Couple shots that seem to have inspired PTA. The Bill Murray elevator shot being the most obvious one. PTA loves this film)

Badlands (Shot of Phoenix in the woods kinda looks like the shot of Martin Sheen when he's fishing)

2001: A space odyssey (Enuff said)

Thin red Line (Shots of Joaquin at the beach)

I am cuba (Shots of Joaquin at the beach with the Machete... Fish Eye Lens also very predominant in I am Cuba)

Let there be Light (John Huston AGAIN... "Are you mixed up?" line comes from here. Certain elements are borrowed for the "interview scene")

Barry Lyndon (The sailors fighting)

Silence of The Lambs (The shot where JP and PSH are framed between the jail cell bars)

Gulliver's Travels (Joaquin on top of the Ship....)

Double life of Veronique (Shot of Joaquin and the girl kissing under the Green-ish lighting... Same angle and everything. Also the shot of Phoenix with his face pushed against the window)

Elmer Gantry (Haven't found The Master references in it yet, but there are some there will be blood references and I'm sure after I watch the Master, I'll find some. Burt LANCASTER plays the lead)

Punch-Drunk Love (Phoenix does the Barry Egan run.. It's pretty similar)

Melvin and Howard (Shots of them riding bikes in the desert references the opening scene of this. There's also sooo much "Hard eight" and "Boogie Nights" in this movie, is a MUST WATCH for any PTA fan)

Reds (Really the only thing I found in this is that Phoenix running at full speed through the misty beet fields reminds me of that shot of  Warren Beatty running at full speed here)

Taxi Driver (Shot of Phoenix playing with the revolver)


Possible Book Reference: (Via Twitter): "PTA is a self professed fanatic of John Steinbeck. Page 303 of The Grapes Of Wrath, a preacher is referred to as 'The Master'." - Joseph McDonagh


And that's really all I got for now... After I watch the whole film a couple times, I'm sure I'll find some more. I've been trying to go through every movie Nicholson made during the 70's - 80's because it seems that's a HUGE inspiration for the character Phoenix plays. Also trying to go through Brad Dourif and John Huston's whole catalogue, among other things. I got so much shit to sit through.... But I'm lovin it  :yabbse-grin:.


EDIT:  I'm also planning to watch lots of movie about "The sea".. Like: Das boot, Papillon, swept away (1974 original one, not that Madonna shit remake), Moby Dick 1956 (John Huston), Pirates (Roman Polanski), the old man and the sea (John sturges) and stuff like that...

admin edit: removed script spoilers, see post below
« Last Edit: August 11, 2012, 06:06:27 AM by Pubrick »
Fuck this place..... I got a script to write.

HeywoodRFloyd

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Great list InTylerWeTrust

I'm also going to add that the Taxi Driver reference of Joaquin playing with the revolver is a sort of a combination with the Apocalypse Now opening scene of Martin Sheen in the hotel room.

Ps: I went into the personal message section, however I can't find where I can attach the Photos, any idea how to do it?


admin edit: removed reference to script spoilers, see post below
« Last Edit: August 11, 2012, 06:07:55 AM by Pubrick »

InTylerWeTrust

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Great list InTylerWeTrust

I'm also going to add that the Taxi Driver reference of Joaquin playing with the revolver is a sort of a combination with the Apocalypse Now opening scene of Martin Sheen in the hotel room.

ALSO Phoenix jerking off on the beach?? Did I miss some footage or something? Where did you see that

Ps: I went into the personal message section, however I can't find where I can attach the Photos, any idea how to do it?

Yeah, to that shot with the revolver, one could also add: Johnny Depp in "Fear and Loathing in las Vegas".

Actually now that I think about it, that HILARIOUS shot in the trailer of Amy adams turning around looking at that guy (the guy that's talking shit about "The cause") with anger/disgust reminds me of Johnny depp doing the same thing when they pick up Tobey Maguire in "Fear and loathing". I might have to watch that movie again, Haven't seen it in a couple years. I'mma put it in my "to watch" list for tomorrow to see what else I find.


* As far as the pictures go, I have no idea man... If I were you, I would just upload them to this thread so I can download them easily and also so we can discuss them.
Fuck this place..... I got a script to write.

Reelist

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trying to go through Brad Dourif's whole catalogue

Amy Adams' character is a direct reference to Chucky from 'Child's Play'
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Pubrick

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Tyler I had to edit your post as you blatantly posted a script spoiler (albeit with warning) and Heywood unknowingly asked about it.

There is one simple rule in this thread and that is we are not talking about things that PTA has not made officially available. I want everyone to be able to participate in or follow this discussion without getting spoiled any more than you would get from watching the trailers or staring at the posters for a few hours.

That script for all we know is bullshit.
endless 'nothing is what it seems'-isms

InTylerWeTrust

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Tyler I had to edit your post as you blatantly posted a script spoiler (albeit with warning) and Heywood unknowingly asked about it.

There is one simple rule in this thread and that is we are not talking about things that PTA has not made officially available. I want everyone to be able to participate in or follow this discussion without getting spoiled any more than you would get from watching the trailers or staring at the posters for a few hours.

That script for all we know is bullshit.

Actually, I've only read the first 20 pages of the script. That doesn't happen within the first 20 pages. The reason why I "Know" that "spoiler" (which is not really a spoiler to be honest), is because that's one of the main things people talked about after it was shown within the 4 minutes of the footage revealed in Cannes.

So, to be honest that shot I'm talking about might not even be of him doing that... But after seeing Phoenix do the "sand nipples" and then that Close-Up of his face and him falling back (which is the shot that looks like River Phoenix getting a Blowjob in "My own private Idaho"), I GUESSED that that might be the moment where it happens. But I really don't know....
Fuck this place..... I got a script to write.

velociraptor

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The "dirtied frame" is clearly a bit of a motif too. Recall that streak of Dodd's red robe in the shot of Phoenix by the door (from second teaser). It's so simple but so effective. I definitely agree with Tyler on the second favorite shot choice: the way the lighting just seeps down through the trees makes it look/feel like a painting. then it pans right and becomes a kick-ass long take.


It definitely seems to be the case that PTA is creating images here that are just a little bit different from what we've seen before, as there is that classic look, but very modern technique (that sort of over-the-shoulder shot would not have been done in a 1950s film, at least not composed with the shoulder bleeding over the face), with the resulting images being full of organic side effects that wouldn't be seen in an 1950s or a modern film. It will be a very interesting hybrid of two very different kinds of sensibilities, but that has become something to expect of PTA, who has always been an old-fashioned guy in some ways and very modern and radical in other ways. You can see the theme of the old clashing against the new in all of his films (except for maybe Punch-Drunk Love, although even that film has what I feel is a very old-fashioned and sincere love story with a very modern visual sensibility), and this idea is present in his technique as well.

Love the "hybrid" comment, think that is very true and a big reason as to why PTA is so consistently impressive.

 

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