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Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!

matt35mm · 271 · 52447

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Reply #255 on: May 03, 2018, 04:22:59 PM
1. During the fireside chat (“. . . you will lose.”) Alma is associated visually with alcohol. Later, the pair kiss before a window advertising “ALES & STOUTS”.

2. When mother appears, an open door is visible, leading to a “world” of clothes. A labyrinth? (Soon Alma “invades” this “world”, at which point the mother vanishes.)

3. “It’s as simple as that.” A significant use of an ordinary phrase: fine writing.

4. Shakespeare employed the word “sour” 35 times in 20 plays. Julius Caesar, 1.2 : “sour fashion”; Richard II, 5.6: “sour melancholy”; Romeo and Juliet, 5.3: “sour misfortune’s book”. . . .

5. New Year’s sketch: notably detailed. (All work and no play . . . ?)

6a. The excess of butter: “This was the most unkindest cut of all.” (Julius Caesar, 3.2)

6b. Her smile just after: full-spectrum psychotic: Norman Bates’s final smile?

6c.  . . . and the rainbow lens flare. (“Where the rainbow ends?”)

7. The last shot is neither the future nor the present, but the past: back to the set-up of 34:32.

8. Alma’s last gesture: “shrugging her shoulders”: a sick joke, a perverse twist on the romantic comedy and screwball genres: “Oh, I’m just a plain old psychotic, me.”


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Reply #256 on: May 05, 2018, 04:12:46 AM

1. A spider and her web: watch the window behind her in the marriage proposal scene.

2. She leaves Cyril's office and leaves the door open -- Alma's character in a nutshell.


3. The automobile camera rig recalls the big wheel camera rig in the hacked-up Grady sisters scene.

4a. New Year's Eve: The lovers gazing wordlessly into each other's eyes for a significant duration recalls (doesn't it?) the first kiss between Redmond Barry and Lady Lyndon.

4b. The dancing scene is crucial for PT to sustain its 1930s screwball undercurrent. Name any fifty lighthearted movies from the 1930s, and most likely 49 of them, if not all 50, will have a dancing scene!

5. Is it just semantics, or -- going on the visual evidence of Woodcock's suggestive comportment -- does it seem as if Woodcock is surrounding himself by, rather than simply getting into, his trousers?


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Reply #257 on: May 07, 2018, 10:16:08 AM
tid bit: last viewing I noticed a boom mic moving in the reflection of a picture frame while He tells Alma about the Black Death.


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Reply #258 on: May 08, 2018, 06:44:44 AM
Great discovery, HACKANUT!

Isn’t that picture beautiful? The “look” is an artful example of fashion genre-splice.

Q: Is the figure draped in at least five different elements of fashion?

1. A jacket with lapels. It looks as if the jacket, theoretically made of wool or of a cotton-wool blend, has no corresponding sleeves.
2. The figure's arms look as if they are covered with sleeves of a loose transparent material (e.g., sheer mesh)—(sleeves from a garment different from the jacket).

3. Starting just above the waistline: a glamorous gown-type piece, with the sweep moving both horizontally and vertically. The look of the material suggests, say, blue silk taffeta. (It is notable that this gown-type section looks to be positioned over the jacket.)

4. The billowy skirt, not colored, looks to be of light, airy material, possibly chiffon.

5. It looks as if, under the jacket, there is a simple shirt.

Extra reflection: Most generally, the line drawing itself has (to me at least) an Ancient Greek mood to it (i.e., the simple, elegant strokes.)

Notes (numbers correspond to the above):

1. Sleeveless lapel jackets were popularised by YSL in, for example, his infamous 1971 collection.

2. Sheer mesh recalls, initially (to me), YSL, this time of the late 1960s.

3. Gown-type piece over the jacket: An unconventional look, but far from unheard-of; a photograph from the new advertising campaign of Prada, for one example of many, features a corset-like bodice piece positioned over a button-down shirt: a juxtaposition of not only two different, clashing elements of clothing, but also of two different, clashing types of fabrics.

4a. Terminology: the waist-down part of a dress is referred to as “the skirt”.

4b. Because the hem looks rounded, the skirt's material will most likely be neither sheer mesh nor tulle.

And regarding the mood of Ancient Greece: To name three examples of many: YSL has Ancient Greece–inspired gowns in his infamous 1971 collection; McQueen has Ancient Greece–inspired looks in “Pantheon” and "Neptune"; and then, very famously, the Delphos gowns of Fortuny.


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Reply #259 on: May 10, 2018, 03:34:11 PM
In the charming I Met Him in Paris (1937), Claudette Colbert delivers the line, "You old so and so"  -- while in the mountains of Switzerland.


Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #260 on: May 10, 2018, 05:12:42 PM
Personally that reminded me of the lyrics in Jon Brion's "Here We Go"...

Because someone can say, "Hello
You old so and so, here we go"

"So and so" is used in other PTA movies too. Does anyone remember?
"Hunger is the purest sin"


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Reply #261 on: May 10, 2018, 05:23:40 PM
"Someone's so and so meets someone else's so and so and so on..."
"Do you laugh at jealousy?"

"No, I don't even laugh at seasickness! I happen to regard jealousy as the seasickness of passion."


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Reply #262 on: May 14, 2018, 11:55:59 AM
"staring contest . . . you will lose."

Two sides of her character:

1. Aggressive one-upsmanship.
2. A compliment (he is attractive to her, easy on the eyes).
3. A meta-moment: PT will outlast us. (EWS: "You haven't changed a bit." "Thanks . . . I think.")


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Reply #263 on: May 16, 2018, 09:10:54 PM
When I interviewed Paul Thomas Anderson about Lesley Manville [https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/16/theater/lesley-manville-long-days-journey-into-night.html] I snuck in an unrelated Phantom Thread question I have wondered about since I saw the film: IS ALMA JEWISH? His answer: "A-HA. YES."


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Reply #264 on: May 17, 2018, 09:11:42 AM
Family resemblance?

Chanel S/S 2015 Couture


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Reply #265 on: May 18, 2018, 12:09:48 AM
"Trying to fit in since 2017."


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Reply #266 on: May 20, 2018, 04:05:13 AM
Family resemblance?

Framing agitation.


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Reply #267 on: May 21, 2018, 08:38:04 AM
Exceptional stuff. Feels like a sister film to The Master at times. Alma is easily one of PTA's best characters, Krieps is absolutely amazing.

Intriguing use of framing device. For a brief moment I thought Reynolds may have been dead, then realised they were using present tense and then they revealed that she's speaking to the doctor in the midst of her and Reynolds's bizarre psychological game- with a brief glimpse into a potential future. Really interesting.

PTA has said a few times that he doesn't use 70s films as models/inspiration anymore and that he draws from older films. It seems very true in this film,  some of the cuts/moments are old school indeed.

Jonny Greenwood is a hero here. Quite different from his previous work and the use of music here differs from other PTA's films. Interestingly, you can tell he has been on a serious piano kick for the last few years, this is reflected in this film and the most recent Radiohead album.

I admire PTA's restraint on this one. Quieter and less in your face than earlier works but also really funny, sinister, sweet and uncomfortable.

Very different and very similar to what PTA has done before, in the best way possible.


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Reply #268 on: May 21, 2018, 03:34:03 PM
Family resemblance?

Distant cousin? -- Scorsese's After Hours (1985)


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Reply #269 on: May 25, 2018, 06:41:26 AM

Fashion facts pertinent to PT from the indispensable book Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire B. Shaeffer:

“typical for a couture design, [a] dress [is] made to fit its owner and cannot be altered successfully for another individual. . . .
          A couture garment fits flawlessly as a result of multiple fittings on the client’s dress form, which has been customized to duplicate her figure, but more impressive than the fit are the subtle ways in which a couture garment is proportioned for the individual client. For an asymmetrical figure, for example, the collar, pockets, and shoulder seam may be slightly narrower on one side. For a full figure, vertical seamlines are moved in or out as needed to create the most flattering line, while for a short figure, all horizontal seamlines are adjusted, not just the waistline and hem.
          The size of the client’s garment also affects the way it is embellished. On a garment with embroidery or beading, the embellished design is scaled to the dimensions of the client’s garment, so that it does not overwhelm a smaller figure or float against the sizable background on a larger one.” (pp. 10–11)

“During the 1940s and 1950s, many clients had their entire wardrobes from a single couturier. Although some clients will order an entire wardrobe from the same designer, many prefer nowadays to patronize several houses.” (p. 22)

“When your garment is complete, you will have your final fitting, and assuming all is well, the griffe (label) will then be sewn in. It is considered bad luck to sew it in before the final fitting.” (p. 23)



Yet another “auditory sighting” of the expression “[the/you] so-and-so!”: the charming MGM short “Love on Tap” (1939).