Author Topic: The Master - SPOILERS!  (Read 72122 times)

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socketlevel

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #165 on: October 03, 2012, 11:49:17 AM »
0
Ya like I could give you a list of first impressions but that's not a great way to do it because I saw boogie nights in high school and at that time it kinda blew my mind. It's also interesting because in a way The Master is his most mature work, but then again the rougher more playful stuff from the past has that charm to it. Something we will never get back because he was a young guy making movies with a raging hard on. In my mind right now it ranks somewhere in the top three, the only films i know I like less are PDL and Hard Eight. Boogie, Magnolia and TWBB either lose or win by a narrow margin.
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©brad

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #166 on: October 03, 2012, 01:36:04 PM »
+2
Like PTA said himself films are living, fluid things and your relationship with them will always evolve (or devolve) with time. I'm always surprised how high PDL is regarded. It's a lot of fun but not in the same league as CWBB or Magnolia. I do echo the notions that it's way too early for a proper Master ranking.

picolas

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #167 on: October 03, 2012, 02:13:17 PM »
+3
i think the critical reaction to this movie has been very interesting.. many of its most outspoken supporters are saying you need to let the 'experience' wash over you or not try to deconstruct it or think about what's happening too much for this movie to work best etc… i'm not saying this is entirely wrong, but i don't believe that's how the movie is intended to be read. that actually sounds more like star trek to me. the master is super malickean in that it's asking the viewer to write their own subtext and actively engage with the imagery/concepts. there are fewer things i enjoy more in a movie than when i can't help but think about what's going on and talk to myself about it as it goes… this movie is loaded with both heavily experiential and intellectual sequences, often colliding into each other. there's an amazing meta-layer happening in the freddie/lancaster dynamic and how it relates to people interpreting cinema in general. freddie is the visceral. lancaster is the analytical. they are extremes. they are both just as crazy and brilliant and bullshit as the other. the beautiful thing about both men is how they are totally open to and in love with each other's strangeness. willing to look beyond their superficial differences. we're all trapped in our own mind-prisons to some degree… this is especially apparent when lancaster and freddie are in PRISON… the bars separate their individual ideas/attitudes/identities, and become clearest and most solid when they're fighting. i also feel like the law enforcement represents the established ideas of how film (or life in general) is interpreted.. we cage and violently defend our ideas about existence because they're the only things that hold our individual worlds together. i'm stunned by the number of people i run into who HATED the tree of life because they couldn't make sense of it, and saw it as an affront to how good storytelling works… i've only seen the master once as of now. i loved the first 3/4 and lost the thread a bit right after the hilarious motorcycle scene. the last quarter is making more sense to me now… i think going back and knowing the structure it'll become clearer. right now my reading is that ultimately freddie is better off because he's able to integrate the master into his personality and continue living in the moment/joyously, whereas lancaster is stuck in his lancastle… i will also say i immediately like the master more than blood.

citizn

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #168 on: October 03, 2012, 06:05:53 PM »
+2
Just wanted to add a few thoughts to the discussion. Like many of you, I returned to see the film a second time. One theme that really stood out in my second viewing was the relationship of Freddie and Dodd as that of a man and his dog. Freddie represents the instinctual/animalistic side of humans, while Dodd represents the intellectual side. Remember Dodd says that man is not an animal and that we stand above the animal kingdom. Because we are intelligent creatures, I would say that we believe this claim and we strive to be better than mere animals. However, at our core, we are still like animals in many ways and Freddie represents this throughout the film (his posture, his sexual urges, his ferociousness, etc).

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

I wrote a lengthier review here:
http://letterboxd.com/citizn/film/the-master-2012-5/2/
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 05:47:45 PM by citizn »

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #169 on: October 03, 2012, 06:18:15 PM »
0
I like to think of Freddie as more of a monkey than a dog. (Freddie literally walks like a monkey toward the end of the Window/Wall sequence.) Also I think someone mentioned PTA describing him as a monkey, but I could be misremembering.

I know what you're getting at with the "master and his dog" view, but I really see it as a complex human relationship.
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Reelist

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #170 on: October 03, 2012, 08:39:14 PM »
0
I think someone mentioned PTA describing him as a monkey, but I could be misremembering.

PTA showed Joaquin the monkey falling asleep in the beginning of Baraka and said "That's you." He nicknamed that monkey Bubbles ( cuz he's in water ) and called Guac that for the entire shoot!
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #171 on: October 04, 2012, 12:37:44 AM »
+5
I saw this again Tuesday night, and I have many thoughts and reconsiderations.

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

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

Moving on...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tying up some loose ends:

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

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

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

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

As for why Master pauses after unearthing his treasure, he seems to be just taking in the moment. I think it really is as simple as that. It's a quirky delight.
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polkablues

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #172 on: October 04, 2012, 01:01:46 AM »
+1
Great stuff.  I think you hit on something that I feel is really important about the film, which is that everything Freddie does is motivated.  What makes the film so great is that we can argue for days over what those motivations are.

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

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

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

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #173 on: October 04, 2012, 01:20:46 AM »
0
I still can't help but feel like there was some degree of unrequitedness between the two of them, or at least that each had a very different sort of love for the other than vice versa.  While Dodd's love for Freddie is very strongly of the romantic variety (not implying homosexual inclinations in the slightest), Freddie's love for Dodd seems different than that.  The giddiness that you described struck me much more as a very young child to a parent, or (yet again) a dog to his master.  That sense of being completely attached to a person while only having the vaguest rudimentary understanding of what they're saying to you.  Dodd loved Freddie, but we need a different word to describe Freddie's feelings toward Dodd.  Piety, adulation, I don't know.

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

When Freddie started believing Master was using him, was that maybe a misinterpretation on his part?
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Cloudy

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #174 on: October 04, 2012, 02:26:16 AM »
0
Really enjoyed your thoughts Jeremy and I pretty much agree for the most part. Like you said, the greatest part of this film is in the subtleties. It's so rich. There are so many moments within moments within moments, layered together so beautifully. Can't wait to see it again. Every time there's something new.

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

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

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

Definitely.

polkablues

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #175 on: October 04, 2012, 02:37:50 AM »
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There's this cool little moment when Freddie's going window to wall, and Dodd moves him a bit so that he doesn't hit the chandelier, just one of those little subtle things.

I love the bit when Freddie slams into the corner of the table and Dodd tries to get the guy sitting next to it to move it out of the way.  When the guy finally realizes he's being talked to, he's only able to shift the table about an inch.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

Sleepless

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #176 on: October 09, 2012, 04:36:57 PM »
+2
So I finally saw it.

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

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

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

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

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

Clearly, this is a film which demands more than one viewing, and one which certainly demands a great deal more thought. But I loved it. Thought it was wonderful. It had affected me emotionally, and these days that's all I really want from a movie. I personally have no desire to over-analyze it, but rather to look deeper and extract more meaning from it - at least, in terms of what it means to myself.

Reelist

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Re: Above All, I am a Thread. An Official Spoiler Thread, Just Like You
« Reply #177 on: October 10, 2012, 05:29:56 AM »
0
http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/the-reel-breakdown/jennifer-neala-page-comes-top-her-sex-scene-170308947.html

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


Here's an audio interview with her

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modage

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #178 on: October 10, 2012, 12:57:05 PM »
+1
Cute.

Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

Reelist

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #179 on: October 11, 2012, 03:05:16 AM »
0
I love the bit when Freddie slams into the corner of the table and Dodd tries to get the guy sitting next to it to move it out of the way.  When the guy finally realizes he's being talked to, he's only able to shift the table about an inch.

So funny when Freddie touches the window and says something like " Out in a field, running around. " wish I could remember it verbatim.
You can go to places in the world with pudding. That. Is. Funny.

 

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