Author Topic: there has been blood (and now QT's review of CMBB)  (Read 65121 times)

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Pozer

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Re: there has been blood (and now QT's review of CMBB)
« Reply #150 on: January 09, 2008, 01:07:44 PM »
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that is the best written reaction to the film ive heard and will hear cuz it is so true and honest. 

i actually think of myself as weak for not illustrating my initial thoughts like picolas did here from my first encounter w/the film.  when it ended, i felt that same sinking feeling.  i walked out of the theater and felt i had seen something grand, but the other side of the coin was ringing loud in my ear... was it a bad film?  wait, did i even see the film? 

it wasnt til the next morning when i woke up w/it (still heavy hearted) and carried it w/me throughout the day.  then on may way home from San Francisco, i wanted to spread nothing but hype here.  i wish i had just done exactly what picolas did cuz that was exactly my reaction.  i went straight to my goo-gaw over the painting.

what is it about the following day?  it is so kubrick w/to me.  i imagine this is how i wouldve felt w/his films as they progressed.

either way, strange movie.     

modage

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Re: there has been blood (and now QT's review of CMBB)
« Reply #151 on: January 09, 2008, 01:13:18 PM »
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when i left the screening i still felt like i hadn't seen it.

parts of it were undeniably incredible, but part of me was shocked and unable to process elements of it.. i figured this came from how different it was from what i thought i was going into. having the trailers and interviews and clips and spoilers swimming in my mind for the last long while i had committed the inevitable sin of having a kind of movie made in my head. it was totally unintentional. and i consciously tried not to because i remembered feeling that way a tiny bit after the first pdl view, taking a while for me to understand what it really was. i felt like that part of me was just grasping it.. and i would full-on love it in the viewings and days to come, when i had washed the old idea of it from my mind. i thought of the incredible parts for a while, trying to replay every detail from the final scene in my head, read a lot i couldn't read before, and went to sleep.

this is exactly how i felt too which is why not only did i not review it or write up any thoughts at all after my first viewing, when the screening ended and cinephile asked me what i thought i didn't really answer.  i never thought it was a bad film but it's SO different and after so much buildup and creating your OWN film it takes a while to reconcile it.  but unlike Life Aquatic which i tried to qualify after i saw it, this film really sat well with me.  its all i thought about for a few days.  the 2nd viewing is where you can try to accept the film for what it is and as i said earlier 3rd viewings better than the 2nd because you can really take it in. 

i know that i will never love any of his movies as much as i love magnolia, and thats okay.

seeing it a 4th time tonite, i wonder how it will go...
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

Ravi

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Re: there has been blood (and now QT's review of CMBB)
« Reply #152 on: January 09, 2008, 10:07:59 PM »
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The milkshake bit was absolute genius. It's a lot like the Boogie Nights firecracker scene.

Reminded me of Burns Slant Drilling Corporation.

MacGuffin

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Re: there has been blood (and now QT's review of CMBB)
« Reply #153 on: January 09, 2008, 10:56:53 PM »
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“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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modage

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Re: there has been blood (and now QT's review of CMBB)
« Reply #154 on: January 09, 2008, 11:01:39 PM »
+1
seeing it a 4th time tonite, i wonder how it will go...
here's how it went.

we got to the theatre a half hour early and were the only ones there.  by the time the previews ran, not a seat was empty (seriously!  even the front row). 

i love how pta gets away with no opening credits.  and how the title card comes up at the beginning and the end.  the hum over the opening title is especially unnerving. 

i like how both HW and Fletcher are introduced.  they're both being completely covered by someone in the frame and then are finally revealed. 

when Fletcher asks if Daniel is bringing Henry to meet with the oil company you get just a hint of the jealousy that might come from no longer being Daniel's #2.  i wonder if there was any more material here. 

i love Daniel fighting back tears when he puts HW on the train.   as i said before, i would completely disagree with anyone who doesn't think A. Daniel doesn't care about anyone else or B. that his character does not change throughout the film.  there is a clear change when HW goes deaf and is sent away.  'henry's' betrayal is the last straw.  he definitely loves his son.  he wants to love his 'brother', but is betrayed.

i love when daniel puts the napkin over his face when he's talking to Tilford in the restaurant.  i'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet but how crazy is that?

i never noticed the song being sung in the initial "are you an angry man" teaser is actually sung in the church when daniel is baptized. 

at the end of the film daniel tells eli that he paid paul $10,000 cash in hand and that paul now owns his own drilling business.  he's lying, correct?  he only paid paul $500.  i wonder what the falling out was between eli and paul so that they have not had contact in many years.  its also interesting that the actions of eli at the end directly mirror paul at the beginning. 

the final sequence with eli all being a dream/hallucination/death theory could also be bolstered by the "wake up mr. daniel" of his butler right after he heads down the stairs.

there are a billion cross dissolves in this movie. 

the music really IS incredible.  every sequence is elevated by it.  not just jonnys stuff either.  all of it.

why does daniel pick out mary and decide to be kind to her?  stepping in and making sure she isn't going to be beaten by her father any more and just the way he treats her throughout the film makes him a compelling character.  more than just a villain. 

after 4 viewings the film really really still holds up.  i think it's great.  there is no qualifier.   i don't think its flawed or too harsh, i think its amazing.  i love pta. 
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

JG

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Re: there has been blood (and now QT's review of CMBB)
« Reply #155 on: January 10, 2008, 12:54:29 AM »
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saw it for a third time. things:

telling moment comes when h.w. and daniel first approach the sunday ranch: daniel swiftly moves forward, pressing on toward his target, pauses for a moment, and waits for h.w. he holds h.w. close, but oil closer. he prioritizes the things he holds dear.

everyone is right, its when h.w. goes deaf that daniel begins to unravel. a breakdown in communication. i would like to argue that the major theme twbb, prolly pta's career, is communication. i would like to elaborate on this soon, maybe i'm too lazy i don't know. in the very least, this movie certainly runs deeper than any political message. i also think there are benefits in approaching this movie in relation to his other movies.

baptism scene is one of the best acted scenes ever.

no one laughed at this screening.

Mesh

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Re: there has been blood (and now QT's review of CMBB)
« Reply #156 on: January 10, 2008, 11:24:17 AM »
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I thought that Paul and Eli were the same person until the very end of the movie

Don't you agree that's a huge miscalculation on the part of PTA? I can't believe something like that would even happen. I'll be seeing the film again obviously, and I'm sure that will be clearer, but basically the entire audience was just scratching their heads at this. It's a major blow in my opinion. It's one of the main reasons I will never call this film a masterpiece.

I'm sure this has already been covered, but the confusion about Paul/Eli may have been intentional. It plants seeds of distrust and suspicion about the Sundays in the minds of the viewer, which makes them a more potent metaphor for religion.

BTW, I've seen it twice, and I was thoroughly confused about Dano's character(s) the first time through.

This film is about dirt blood and spit.

I don't think it's about dirt or spit at all.  It's about greed and religion, which is why I said what I said above.

The Plainview = impotent theory is interesting, but there is a moment in the baptism when Eli accuses Daniel of "lusting after women."  He might still be impotent, but that at least shatters the idea that women aren't a concern for him.

I would also argue that the identity of H.W.'s real father is left slightly ambiguous by the film.  We see the baby held by the worker who is struck by the derrick equipment. We assume they are father and son.  They may not be.  I agree that the strong implication is that the child is orphaned, but it's not conclusive. So much about this movie is left unresolved. Empty, unresolved things are a major theme, in fact.

polkablues

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Re: there has been blood (and now QT's review of CMBB)
« Reply #157 on: January 10, 2008, 12:50:43 PM »
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The Plainview = impotent theory is interesting, but there is a moment in the baptism when Eli accuses Daniel of "lusting after women."  He might still be impotent, but that at least shatters the idea that women aren't a concern for him.

Unless Eli was making this up, which is a reasonable assumption since we see nothing in the movie to make us suppose it to be true.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

modage

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Re: there has been blood (and now QT's review of CMBB)
« Reply #158 on: January 10, 2008, 01:25:39 PM »
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Paul Dano Talks 'Blood' In-Depth, Answers Key Plot Questions
Source: Cinematical

One of the best moments in There Will Be Blood comes when oilman-misanthrope Daniel Plainview first meets preacher Eli Sunday, after having already met and done a business deal with Eli's identical twin brother Paul earlier in the film. The camera lingers on Plainview's face as he examines Eli, trying to ascertain whether this is some kind of scam and if the person he's talking to is really Paul, passing himself off as the new brother for some nefarious reason. Some have speculated that this scene and the whole identical twin device P.T. Anderson uses has a lot of resonance because it shows what a disadvantage Plainview typically finds himself in when trying to know the mind of another person. (It's a problem that he deals with again in the film when a man arrives claiming to be his long-lost brother.) But it seems that we may be reading too much into it -- in a new half-hour Fresh Air interview, Paul Dano, who plays both Eli and Paul, says his casting in the roles of both brothers had a much more mundane genesis -- another actor was originally cast as Eli and then let go.

"Somebody else was cast in that role and replaced with you?" the NPR interviewer asks Dano, to which he replies "Yeah. For what reason I'm not sure. I don't care to know, or I didn't want to know." Dano says that the unknown actor had already been filming for a short while when Anderson approached him about taking over the role and he had less than a week to prepare for the part. "We looked at some scenes and talked about the part a little bit and he said 'I'd like you to do this part' and they'd been filming for a little bit already, so I said 'Okay, that's great. It's a little bit of a shock.' And he said 'And why don't you still play the Paul part and we'll just make them twins?'"

Dano also talks at length about how he views Eli, saying that "he's somebody who I think made himself up. He invented himself. I think he's quite a bit of an actor. He created this persona at a very young age once he saw what religion and his curiosity with religion could do for him." If you want to hear the rest of the interview, and I recommend it, get yourself to NPR and click on the recent Fresh Air programs.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17926946
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Mesh

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Re: there has been blood (and now QT's review of CMBB)
« Reply #159 on: January 10, 2008, 01:35:51 PM »
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The Plainview = impotent theory is interesting, but there is a moment in the baptism when Eli accuses Daniel of "lusting after women."  He might still be impotent, but that at least shatters the idea that women aren't a concern for him.

Unless Eli was making this up, which is a reasonable assumption since we see nothing in the movie to make us suppose it to be true.

Possible, but I have to reject that theory without more evidence. Could Eli get away with a lie like that in front of a small-town congregation of people who obviously know each other's dealings very well?

More on Daniel's relationship with women:  Has this forum considered the possibility that part of Daniel's all-out rejection of the grown/married H.W. stems from an unfulfilled lust he may harbor for Mary? She's the only female who ever touches him; Daniel names the first derrick after her; she's the one female he defends, not so subtley warning Abel never to hit her again; at Daniel's baptism, she rushes to console him in his new "acceptance" of faith; and she can communicate directly with H.W. and is the only person close to him who does so.  Sorry if this repeats what's already been posted.  I'm not done reading the thread yet.

Outright heresy:  I do believe I may've seen a golf course flag in the deep distance of one shot. It's during Daniel and Henry's surveying expedition for the pipeline. There's an obvious neon red/orange area just to the right of the frame's dead center. At first I thought it was one of their red-tipped metal stakes, but no. Impossible to prove or disprove, really, until we've got a DVD or, better, screenshots from a Blu-ray DVD.

w/o horse

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Re: there has been blood (and now QT's review of CMBB)
« Reply #160 on: January 10, 2008, 08:57:41 PM »
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why does daniel pick out mary and decide to be kind to her?  stepping in and making sure she isn't going to be beaten by her father any more and just the way he treats her throughout the film makes him a compelling character.  more than just a villain. 

Or like how arbitrary it nears makes him more of a villain.  And I think that TWBB has obvious personal god themes (and my opinion has always been that Magnolia's foundation is cinema-as-god).  So if you take DDL as inhabiting blasphemous values, i.e. here the quality of isolated values (not culturally or socially derived), and more drastically in the end the ability to control an individual's happiness, life's direction, and ultimately a person's right of living, and DDL as a smart man building an empire (a god would have to have an empire to control or what would make him a god) then there would be indications of growth in the treatment or release of these desires as he becomes more powerful.

It's a hint of what's in him.  You can extend it into places that it needs to go:  you can point out that this specific incident is intended to disrupt a particularly confrontational (to DDL) family, his main competitors in the judiciating of moral values, that it isn't some random action or mission, but another throwing-of-the-gauntlet.  It directly follows the scene that is one huge statement of autonomy:  his rejecting of Eli's request to bless the oil drill.  You can begin to see that DDL will be doing things his own way.  It should be said that Eli attempt to be the mouthpiece of an unseen god (this is what preachers are called I think) while DDL becomes his own mouthpiece, and that Eli's conduit is religion and DDL's is capitalism.  They both seek control, and respect and authority and they're obvious parallels to each other and you can see that in the end (there's good evidence to support that the end is possibly an illusion but the whole film is symbolic enough that I don't see why it'd matter anyway, like if the whole film was an illusion it wouldn't really matter.  You'll probably feel one way or the other depending on how logical what DDL seems to you, how possible or in-character etc, which is a great way for PTA to do something risky and have everyone rationalizing it in different ways.  Again, I think it's trivial).  Eli is unable to supercede DDL's role in the community and DDL essentially replaces Eli.

I don't think there's enough to support a view of a failed Holy Trinity in DDL's family.

And has the thread yet explored the resemblances between this film and contemporary politics?  GW as his own personal god is right there.  What DDL expresses is the capitalistic urge to a)  suppress outside influence for maximum control and easier growth and b)  becoming the person who gets to do this.  Eli isn't the Christian religion:  he's the eccentric, harmful and power hungry side of the religion.

I started writing more about that but man are there a lot of places you could take it.  It's all in there.
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Ghostboy

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Re: there has been blood (and now QT's review of CMBB)
« Reply #161 on: January 10, 2008, 11:49:33 PM »
+1
For anyone who's interested, I expanded upon my comparison of the film and Sinclair's novel over at my blog - the post can be found here.

Mesh

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Re: there has been blood (and now QT's review of CMBB)
« Reply #162 on: January 11, 2008, 03:52:55 PM »
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I love what David Edelstein does with the Plainview/John Huston thing here:

Quote
...[the] voice of Plainview’s is something to hear: cadenced, deep-toned, a plangent rasp. Day-Lewis sounds like John Huston, and his Plainview could be the up-and-coming Noah Cross from Chinatown. Except Plainview sublimates his dark sexual impulses. He sinks his drill into the virginal land.

Read more: http://nymag.com/movies/reviews/42087/

pete

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Re: there has been blood (and now QT's review of CMBB)
« Reply #163 on: January 11, 2008, 10:19:28 PM »
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love me, XIXAX!

I put it here 'cause it's got some spoilers.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 12:18:14 AM by Jeremy Blackman »
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Pas

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Re: there has been blood (and now QT's review of CMBB)
« Reply #164 on: January 12, 2008, 08:36:35 AM »
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If even PTA fans aren't getting this movie, imagine how mainstream America is going to accept it.

Mini spoilers that everybody on this thread knows.


I believe mainstream america will love it more than too-cool-for-christmas-people because unlike PDL or Magnolia, liking this movie isn't about bein cool. This is a classic epic movie with no attempt at being a wiseass or proving you understand things more. Your grandma and your sister will like this.

And I seriously think the people who critic the 'lack of change in Daniel and Eli' are really searching for something that isn't there.

1)People in life don't change, they reveal themselves. There is no redemption. There is nothing that will change your roots.
2)That is exactly what Plainview does. The character evolves on the basis of his initial envy and anger.
3)The (stupid) people who critic the fact that the character doesn't change mean that they wanted Daniel to get all crazy and evil and then come to terms with his life, get friends with Eli, share a drink with HW and live merrily ever after. Or the exact opposite, being all nice and become all evil. I hear there are still some good Meryl Streep movies out there so go out and rent one.


This movie has made me a PTA fan, which I wasn't before (don't ask me what I'm doing here).

The only word for it is Epic. I think it's one of the best movie I've ever seen.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2008, 08:48:13 AM by Pas Rap »

 

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