Author Topic: The Master - SPOILERS!  (Read 68426 times)

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HeywoodRFloyd

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #210 on: October 26, 2012, 09:41:40 AM »
+2
I'm jumping straight to the last page on this thread as I, like most if you, want to discover the meaning of the film on my own (via several viewings) before delving into analysis here. I'm taking Kubrick's saying to heart, "The essence of dramatic form is to let an idea come over people without it being plainly stated. When you say something directly, it's simply not as potent as it is when you allow people to discover it for themselves."

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

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



What do you guys think? Am I trying to make a connection or is there a connection

polkablues

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #211 on: October 31, 2012, 11:39:43 PM »
0
one question about a minor detail.  when freddie asks peggy about elizabeth, she says, "dfc."  (dcf?)  what the shit does that mean?

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

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

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

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

Makes sense, with Elizabeth's wild-child tendencies, that somewhere along the way she would have gotten herself in trouble to the extent that they needed to send her away for a while.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

modage

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #212 on: November 01, 2012, 07:32:07 AM »
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It's DCF. Someone on Twitter speculated it means Dept of Children & Families. Which makes sense to me.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

polkablues

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #213 on: November 01, 2012, 11:19:24 AM »
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How does that make sense, though? If that's what it means, in what sense is it an answer to his question?
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

modage

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #214 on: November 01, 2012, 12:04:25 PM »
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She's working in a Cause center for DCF?
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

polkablues

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #215 on: November 01, 2012, 12:13:56 PM »
+1
Except that Department of Children and Families is a governmental agency.  Moreover, it's not such a commonly used abbreviation that Peggy would use it rather than saying the full name, or that Freddie would just automatically know what she was talking about without further clarification.  It makes more sense to me that it's Cause-specific terminology that PTA left purposefully vague to the audience, but that the characters would be immediately familiar with.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

socketlevel

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #216 on: November 01, 2012, 01:09:15 PM »
+1
Exactly, Polka's got it spot on, and sorry but i don't understand why this is even in question.

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

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

just imagine you saw a film full of this:

Freddie
Where is Elizabeth?

Peggy
She's DFC.

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

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

You get the point, right? PTA respected us enough to not do that, and moreover I'd argue it creates a great intrigue in the film. It's like a puzzle the audience investigates, and in turn, learns a lot about cults and terminology in the process. It's a jumping off point, rather than a neatly packaged narrative.
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modage

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #217 on: November 01, 2012, 01:14:20 PM »
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Maybe it means the same thing? I dunno. It's def DCF though.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

socketlevel

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #218 on: November 01, 2012, 01:22:39 PM »
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Maybe it means the same thing? I dunno. It's def DCF though.

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

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

I can't find my original screenplay file to see if the DCF was used to replace squirrel. if so, question answered in my mind. I actually wouldn't be surprised if it was, to take it one step back from being a Scientology movie, as squirrel is a very cause-specific term by them.
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Reelist

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #219 on: November 01, 2012, 03:30:17 PM »
+1
all of you couldn't be more wrong. Peggy is letting Freddie know that her daughter is:


You can go to places in the world with pudding. That. Is. Funny.

malkovich

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #220 on: November 01, 2012, 04:15:35 PM »
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PRECISELY

It's like the meaning of "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" went over everyone's head.

AntiDumbFrogQuestion

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #221 on: November 01, 2012, 11:21:24 PM »
0
If we had hand-holding dialogue all the way around, especially the acronyms for governing agencies, we wouldn't have things like "The Wire."

samsong

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #222 on: November 02, 2012, 04:13:43 AM »
+1
dcf is minute but it's one in a series of details that come up specifically in the third act that cause counterproductive questioning.  not holding the audience's hand and being outright confusing are two separate things.  the dcf line is alienating, and what drives me nuts about it is it's entirely unnecessary.  why not just have her give a straight fucking answer?  where else in the movie does she, or anyone else in the cause speak in abbreviations?  i've seen it a third time and my qualms with the third act were re-aggravated.  still think it's a piece of work and a very good film, but i think the flaws should be assessed as such instead of justifying them as PTA's deliberate artistic choices.  the flaws can be a virtue, sure, but what you guys are praising as audience defying genius are fairly fundamental mistakes.

malkovich

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #223 on: November 02, 2012, 11:15:05 AM »
+2
Personally, it's not that I see it necessarily as audience defining genius as much as it doesn't bother me that I don't understand the context or details of everything that happens during the third act. I do think it's intentionally obfuscated, though. It's not as if the film STARTS being alienating at that point. Throughout the film we're thrown from scene to scene without any real explanation as to what's going on and why, so we're forced to interact more with the film as we have to project meaning or interpretation to make sense of it. I mean, that's what you do with every film you see, but you don't have to work for it. We see Freddie asking the store model when she has a break, and then we see him in the back preparing his signature concoction before meeting her. We can assume that it's now during her break or whatever. But the point is that throughout the film, there's no easy through line that strings it all together, and it gets vaguer and harder to easily make sense of as it goes along, but i don't think that's a 'flaw' that PTA just started getting sloppy in the editing room. Either way (I feel like this might have been brought up already, but I've been thinking about it a lot,) the viewer is implicated as Freddie the moment we see all those naked girls dancing in his fantasy, so why wouldn't the narrative extend that feeling? It's almost like the film is drunk in itself. All the confusing parts to the audience, jumping from scene to scene, the jail, the return, the desert, digging up the manuscripts, the motorcycle, the movie theater, london, are almost like we, or Freddie, blacked out. I think that the fact that there's a lot of playing with the depth of focus in the film aids this idea as well, things becoming blurry then clear than blurry again.

socketlevel

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Re: IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MASTER TALK ABOUT IT HERE - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
« Reply #224 on: November 02, 2012, 05:03:38 PM »
+2
It all makes sense to me.

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

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

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

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

The only thing I'm not 100% sure on, from everything I just said, is the last bit. Who knows how fucked or not fucked Freddie is, but without question the moment at the end is infused with hope. maybe it's a twisted hope, but it's hope nonetheless.
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