Author Topic: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!  (Read 14045 times)

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wilberfan

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #120 on: December 28, 2017, 07:20:37 PM »
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it's nice to fall so madly in love with a movie again.

Boy, howdy.  And it's nice to hear someone able to say that again...
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wilder

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #121 on: December 31, 2017, 05:44:07 AM »
+5
Had an affair with the 70mm version tonight. Some things became clearer.

-Everyone acts with their whole faces and posture. I bet you could run this thing like a silent movie and just watch the juxtaposition of faces and retain the story. Do they match? What do they want? How is each face reacting to the other? It’s amazing how much the faces express in this film. They speak as loudly as the lines. It reminded me of Chaplin, that way. This all comes to a crescendo during the New Year’s Eve party when Reynolds goes to retrieve Alma. They exchange no words. It’s all beautifully played out as if in charades, and burns its images into your mind's eye like the movements of a ballet.

-The sound effects are also mixed LOUDLY, and most often have the effect of grammatical punctuation, becoming an added way for each character to express his will. And they all act out their emotions as if with props. Most obvious example: the final scene after Alma has served Reynolds his omelette. She pours two glasses of water - a slow, medium-height pour for Reynolds, and a longer, even higher pour for herself, establishing dominance. The communication with sound effects is so rampant I’m wondering if you could run the film without the image and still follow along, just listening.

-Foreshadowing for the later evolution of their relationship happens early on, as does a veiled allusion to what’s going to happen with the mushrooms. Was surprised how early the mother element is woven into the narrative. It’s literally the second conversation Reynolds and Alma have, and it occurs on their first date, underlining the romantic context of his maternal feelings.





And this, I believe the first time they’re having dinner out with Cyril:



-We often see Reynolds from the point of view of Alma, but not Alma from his own. She often secretly admires him while his attention is directed elsewhere, but he almost never looks at her the same way, the exception being when Alma is seated next that socialite’s son (Dr. Hardy), and Reynolds is made privy to what a good time the two of them are having talking to each other. Here we see Alma from Reynold's point of view on the far end of the table, but it’s under the auspice of ownership, or desire coupled with it, at least. I thought this was telling. The movie is still about them both, not purely from Alma’s perspective. We see Reynolds alone as he readies himself in the morning, and then also when he’s sick, hallucinating. When Reynolds is alone, he concerns himself with himself, whereas Alma always behaves (or is shown) relationally.

-When Alma poisons Reynolds the first time and he falls ill while examining a dress, his shoe polish ruins the fabric during his fall. As Reynolds falls sick, his work is sullied as well, his art being an extension of himself, intrinsically connected.

-The shot structure is so varied and creative. How many ways can one shoot inside the same rooms?


And have we discussed Reynolds' aggressive style of driving yet?   I'm taking it as a 'release' for him.  A way to (unconsciously?) blow off the contained, controlled environment of the House of Woodcock.  Other thoughts?

Probably true. It’s also pretty clear that this is an on-the-button metaphor for who’s “steering” (COUGH) the relationship. When Reynolds is feeling weak/exhausted following the showing of his dresses to the social elite, Alma insists she drive (they get in the car in their “original” positions and then switch places), coinciding with her gaining agency, learning the ropes of his business, ascending within his company to a role of helping assemble the dresses (taking over his life).




i don't believe he's a man who could win his fights alone (there isn't evidence of that).

One thing that was front and center this time is how Cyril is always on top because Reynold’s mother was always on top and continues to be in his own mind, and upon her death she (Cyril) immediately stepped into his mother's shoes. Then Alma comes along and the torch is again transferred. Towards the end, when Reynolds becomes sick and the doctor visits the house, upon leaving, Cyril and Alma walk him to the door. “Goodnight Mrs. Woodcock” he says, and “Goodnight Dr. Hardy” both Cyril and Alma reply in unison. The dots connecting. Cyril never loses an argument, either. The one time she relents, when Alma requests time alone for her surprise dinner, it's to let Alma see she was right all along.


as aforementioned, the exploration of romantic love is the context with which i personally view the whole thing

Yes, this was more evident this time.

the thing that really struck me this third time is the film's leanings toward screwball comedy among its many many facets

Double yes.

wilberfan

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #122 on: December 31, 2017, 11:53:52 AM »
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Well, that was insightful!  Will definitely inform my 2nd viewing.   And pray, tell:  From whence came the screenplay pages...?  (And how hearty is your scanner?)
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wilder

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #123 on: December 31, 2017, 03:31:04 PM »
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Ha, I don’t have a scanner (it’s bound, anyway). There are some awards consideration copies up for auction. If you don’t want to go that route, I’m sure a PDF will surface online eventually.

wilberfan

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #124 on: December 31, 2017, 07:22:28 PM »
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Ha, I don’t have a scanner (it’s bound, anyway). There are some awards consideration copies up for auction. If you don’t want to go that route, I’m sure a PDF will surface online eventually.

And you're unwilling to start an informal lending library, sir?
"There's shadows in life, baby."

wilder

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #125 on: December 31, 2017, 07:29:54 PM »
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Vehemently opposed.

wilberfan

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #126 on: December 31, 2017, 08:42:22 PM »
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Happy New Year anyway.
"There's shadows in life, baby."

wilder

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #127 on: January 02, 2018, 09:11:47 PM »
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^ Happy New Year

Saw it a third time. A couple more thoughts and then I promise I’ll shut the fuck up for a while.

The whole thing feels like a symphony. Like it's one movement into another and into another.

It really does. It’s as if scenes are conceived starting from a place of “up” or “down”, born from the emotional place the relationship is at at a specific point in time instead of being traditionally linear setup and payoff sequences. The sort of arbitrary order of those moments of joy (modeling Reynolds’ dress for the first time) or annoyance (interrupting with tea) mirror the unpredictable pattern of Reynolds’ moods, making the movements of the relationship feel very true to life, not necessarily a logical (which would be unnatural) progression.

The overall story is big but the individual scenes are built around exchanges that are extremely small, each character giving and taking in small ways. For example, when there are set ups and payoffs, they often follow micro exchanges that speak to much larger dynamics:

When Princess Mona arrives at the House of Woodcock to have her wedding dress made, she walks down a line of the house staff and shakes everyone’s hand. Alma stands on the right in the middle of the line, waiting to be greeted, but the Princess turns away from her, inadvertently shunning her right before she's reached, and focuses on the other side. The camera slowly zooms into Alma’s face. During the following scene, after the Princess’ wishes for her dress design are recorded by Reynolds, Alma, seething, crosses the room to confront her as she’s being measured. “I wanted to wish you good fortune on your wedding day.” Then: “I live here” (I'm important. Know that).

Two scenes built around these mini moments to convey that Alma is feeling her place in Reynold’s life is threatened, that she’s replaceable, that she’s unacknowledged, that their relationship is precarious and could go to shit. A complete relationship dynamic communicated this way. And it’s a totally relatable, recognizable slight we’ve all gone through at some point or other. Or it’s 'I’ve done something nice for you to show my love for you by bringing you tea' / 'I’m not going to recognize your kindness and berate you for it instead, or make you feel awful about buttering your toast', etc. etc. I suspect the movie feels so naturalistic and lacking contrivance partly because of this, even though the dialogue is stylized. It’s not bending over backwards to make things dramatic, but blows up small dramas as if seen through a microscope.

Also, when Reynolds and Alma are taking their first photographs together against that white backdrop, there’s someone off screen babbling at Reynolds, suggesting he sit on the floor. Reynolds is characteristically not having it, barely audibly mumbling about not wanting to sit on the floor and bend to this guy's will. Bahaha. I was wondering if those buried, sort of throwaway moments rife in so many other PT movies "Change your hair, change your life" were missing here, but I think there are still a few.
 

WorldForgot

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #128 on: January 02, 2018, 11:10:47 PM »
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^ Happy New Year

I was wondering if those buried, sort of throwaway moments rife in so many other PT movies "Change your hair, change your life" were missing here, but I think there are still a few.

Without a doubt. How about Alma's retort to the 'shifty-eyed' doctor? "How do you know how my life has been?" Sums up the inability to pierce into the dynamic from the outside.

eward

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #129 on: January 02, 2018, 11:26:05 PM »
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I love the moment when the Boy-Doctor greets Alma face to face for the first time with smoke spilling out of his mouth.
"Do you laugh at jealousy?"

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

WorldForgot

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #130 on: January 03, 2018, 12:24:32 AM »
+2
The way the score hits on "Kiss me, my girl. Before I'm sick." FLOORS me.
That swell feels like the danger of love.

wilberfan

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #131 on: January 03, 2018, 12:46:40 PM »
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"There's shadows in life, baby."

Drenk

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #132 on: January 03, 2018, 05:30:26 PM »
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I haven't read it, but I suppose there are spoilers in it. I like the writer.

Love, After a Fashion

https://www.filmcomment.com/article/paul-thomas-anderson-phantom-thread-love-after-a-fashion/
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csage97

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #133 on: January 05, 2018, 05:01:30 PM »
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There are a few new/not-shown-before short clips in this segment. The segment focuses on the dress design for the film: https://twitter.com/WhoWhatWear/status/949021189736824832

As a side note, I still haven't seen the film as it looks like it'll open where I am on the wide release date of the 19th. I decided to keep up with the press, trailers, spoilers threads, etc. for this film, so it's been an interesting experience. I've seen the limited shots and scenes from trailers and such, so I've gotten a small taste for the cinematography and feel of the film. I've read and listened to the available articles, interviews, and most of the reviews that don't seem redundant to what I've already read, so I have an idea for the general story and some limited plot details. That being said, I still haven't seen the film, so I just don't know how all the scenes and things that critics have mentioned are actually executed. I've heard it's really funny in a certain way, but I just haven't had the experience of witnessing it yet. I've heard that Vicky Krieps gives a wonderful performance to rival DDL's and Lesley Manville's, and that she may even have the best performance, but again, I haven't seen it, so I have to use my imagination and don't actually have any idea of the execution.

It's an interesting position to know about the performances, have a few short scenes and trailer bits to go off, have a general outline of the story, but still be totally in the dark about how these things will actually be fleshed out on screen. I'm really excited for it and it's not spoiled for me. At this point, I'm wondering how the details will be filled in and how all the plot points and scenes will look and feel. I'm wondering about what the tone of the movie will feel like when I'm watching it.

For The Master, I wasn't yet a major PTA fan and went to see it with a friend because I knew Jonny Greenwood did the score. I had no idea what to expect. For IV, I read a bit about critics' and audience responses during the festival period, but nothing surprised me and I'd already read the book, so the anticipation there was based on how the plot of the book would be adapted to the screen, and I knew what to expect from the comedy because it presumably would come right from the book. Phantom Thread is different than both of those for me. I'm still in the dark about how all the things I've read will actually manifest on screen. For example, I just don't know how PTA and the actors will execute the funny scenes that reviewers have mentioned. I don't know the details and intricacies of the relationships in the story, but only have a very general idea of what it'll be like.

Anyway, I thought I'd share that. Still a couple weeks to go until I see the film. Ugh ....

jenkins

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #134 on: January 05, 2018, 05:17:46 PM »
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i read your whole post and got into it. i think you have a good amount of remaining mystery and a healthy perspective. the movie's tone is something that's far easier to experience than describe. the tone isn't like Rebecca or any of the classics he mentions, you know. what i can elaborate upon is its humor, and i'll refer back to a PTA quote, when he said it was obvious to him that PSH was hilarious in The Master, since anybody with that type of perspective is hilarious. what DDL does in PT is he says shit so harsh you can't help but immediately see he goes too far, and overblown people are funny.

 

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