The Master - Spoiler-Free Thread

Started by MacGuffin, December 02, 2009, 10:12:15 PM

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yeah i agree but not the point i was making pt did care that he lost that year just like im sure he'll want to win if he's up for this year. i think he cares as most people do. we seem to like to be recognized  for are work.


Quote from: Jeremy Blackman on September 09, 2012, 11:11:38 AM
Quote from: noyes on September 09, 2012, 09:18:40 AMAcademy got that one wrong.

Yeah, but that tends to happen a lot. At least Old Country is a good movie.

A Beautiful Mind

I could go on...

Ha, very true.
south america's my name.



Joaquin Phoenix takes unpredictable path in 'The Master'
The actor adds a violent war veteran to his string of roles about troubled, dangerous men.
By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times

Johnny Cash in "Walk the Line," the ruthless emperor's son Commodus in "Gladiator," and now a violent, wayward World War II veteran, Freddie Quell, in Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master": Does Joaquin Phoenix play dangerous, intense and troubled so well because it's not much of a stretch?

The actor has blurred the boundary between difficult professional and personal personas for years, cutting off photo shoots and appearing disdainful of interviewers. Most notably, there was his long dive into performance art in 2010 — in which he grew a shaggy beard, went monosyllabic in TV appearances and pretended to quit acting, delving into a world of debauchery to transform himself into a rapper for the film "I'm Still Here."

So it was a bit of a jolt to find Phoenix, 37, light, open and impish on the Chateau Marmont patio on a recent Saturday morning. Dressed in a rumpled light blue dress shirt, dark blue cords and heavy black boots that seem inappropriate for an 80-degree day, Phoenix came armed with a pack of American Spirit cigarettes, a lighter and a surprising sense of mischief.

"I don't want to disappoint you, so I'm going to smoke," he joked, moments after the Hollywood retreat granted special dispensation to the Oscar-nominated actor to light up.

Perhaps Phoenix's buoyancy has something to do with the mounds of early praise and Academy Awards talk already being heaped on "The Master," which opens Friday. Though some early viewers have found the film mystifying and frustratingly complex, Phoenix's unpredictable performance opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman has been roundly lauded.

Hoffman plays Lancaster Dodd, a.k.a. Master, a man with a controlled, erudite air who in the late 1940s pens a book not unlike L. Ron Hubbard's "Dianetics" and starts to amass a following verging on cultish. Into his orbit comes Phoenix's Freddie, a giant ball of impulse who seems to be perennially fighting or fornicating. A kinetic, dangerous man-child, it's unclear what has left Freddie so profoundly unable to function well as a human being — perhaps it's the horrors of war, a turbulent childhood or the toxic amounts of homemade moonshine he's constantly consuming.

An early, intense scene sets up their dynamic: The Master wants to assess Freddie's personality by asking him a series of questions, and orders Freddie not to blink when answering. At one point, the Master asks: "Are you unpredictable?" and Freddie's reply is supposed to be a scream.

But Phoenix fretted that it would ring false.

"I was worried about it for months," he recalled. "This is horrible. I'm stuck on this little piece. I'm just going to have to do something that feels unexpected for me. Of course, then I'm just like a little 8-year-old. Paul and I are both stupid, little 8-year-olds that love potty jokes and things of that nature."

Phoenix's solution? Ask the prop guy to acquire a flatulence machine (yes, they make such things) to alleviate the tension during the moment.

"I was just going to do this for me, for the first couple of takes, to kill the expectation of the scream, because I felt this pressure to do this thing that I couldn't do."

Hoffman delivered the line, Anderson cued the machine and everyone cracked up. "We did it, we laughed, and then we just kept doing it and we never went back to the screaming thing," said Phoenix, whose improvisational flatulence made the final cut. The scream was killed. "It's certainly not the scene where we finish and everyone is saying, 'Ooh, brilliant.' We were little stupid 8-year-olds laughing at each other's fake farts."

"The Master" is Phoenix's first film to arrive in theaters since "I'm Still Here," but it's not the only thing he's been at work on. He's made a movie with director Spike Jonze's called "Her" in which he plays a lonely writer who falls in love with his personal computer's new operating system. And he will appear in "Nightingale," a new film from frequent collaborator James Gray.

Last week, Gray showed a short clip of "Nightingale" at the Telluride Film Festival; it features Phoenix as yet another dark, complex character and stars Jeremy Renner and Marion Cotillard.

The films are a welcome opportunity for Phoenix, who initially found Hollywood giving him a bit of a cold shoulder when the bizarre fake documentary premiered.

"For some time, people didn't know if [the gag] was continuing in some way. I would go in for meetings and they were not sure if I was [messing] with them or not," said Phoenix. "There was a noticeable drop in quality from things that I had looked at before 'I'm Still Here.' I thought, 'Wow, I've certainly limited myself in terms of the kind of work I can do. I can still get a job, but it's not the job I want to get.'"

Yet Phoenix says he doesn't regret the year and a half he spent on the film with his close friend and brother-in-law, Casey Affleck. The whole process required the very private actor, who lives in Los Angeles, to do many things outside his comfort zone. He spent hours online reading about himself to track his "character's" public demise, and he had to make a spectacle of himself, a challenge for someone who relishes that he can "cruise through" life rarely getting recognized.

As it turned out, "The Master" — and Anderson's meditative filmmaking style — proved to be a superb segue back into more traditional projects, the actor said.

"I was so fortunate to make this film after 'I'm Still Here' because in many respects, there were a lot of unknowns that we could discover in the moment. That was very similar to where we would go" in "I'm Still Here," he said. "With 'I'm Still Here' we threw all the rules out the window. That was so exciting. It was so much fun to make. It was horrible, but it was great. And I was so nervous about what it was going to be like to be back on a movie set."

For Anderson — whose "Magnolia," "Boogie Nights" and "There Will Be Blood" have earned him five Oscar nominations — Phoenix was the actor he had been looking to work with for years. Anderson offered him parts in "Boogie Nights" and "Punch Drunk Love" only to have Phoenix turn them down. Finally he landed him for "The Master," knowing that putting him up against Hoffman would make for some kind of actor's master class.

Anderson admits that there were times when he didn't really write much for Phoenix to do, but that wouldn't stop him from creating something original.

"It's like giving away a bit of a magic trick," said Anderson, speaking by phone from Paris, between his promotional duties for the film in Venice and Toronto. "I would hate to expose something, but I'd be lying if I said he wasn't incredibly methodical and thoughtful about what he was doing but probably only in service of being able to then be completely unpredictable."

While the two never discussed at length what Freddie should look like, it quickly became clear to Anderson that Phoenix was losing a significant amount of weight to play this alcoholic fresh from the war. Phoenix also maintained an awkward gait, where he pulled his pelvis back, sucked in his stomach and placed his hands on his waist — a walk Anderson loved but never questioned.

"It's like when you are playing make-believe with your kids and you are so tempted to ask them what they are thinking or why they are doing something but the last thing you want to do is break the spell," said Anderson, who realized in the editing room that Phoenix was perhaps holding onto his kidneys because they hurt from either a war injury or from all the booze. "You just sort of hope they will keep doing it and they won't stop. Whatever he was doing, it felt so right and looked so good, the last thing I wanted to do was stop and break the spell of make-believe and ask questions of why."

According to Phoenix, Anderson doesn't worry about continuity. The writer-director is open to improvisation and often scenes that might take up one-eighth of a page can shoot for a day and a half.

"Paul just really let me waste film," said Phoenix, who began acting at age 8 and was first recognized for his role as a sullen teenager in 1989's Steve Martin comedy "Parenthood." Yet until he starred opposite Nicole Kidman in Gus Van Sant's "To Die For," he was best known as River Phoenix's younger brother and the person who called 911 when the popular actor overdosed in 1993 at the Viper Room. "Sometimes we would do three takes and they would all be completely different. I like that. I feel like everything you learn as an actor growing up is wrong. You're supposed to hit your mark, find your light and know your lines. Those are all things that just make things wooden, dull and boring."

Because Freddie is such an impulsive, dangerous character — and Anderson never tells the audience why Freddie is the way he is — Phoenix wasn't able to put him together in what he calls the traditional way: analyzing the character, understanding why he did certain things, studying the time period.

"There were a lot of times when we asked ourselves why he did certain things he did and we couldn't really come up with an answer. And that's OK," Phoenix said. "Once I accepted that he was just a dog, just a monkey who is ruled by instinct or impulse is when I was able to let go and stop trying to force my ideas on it."

'He's incredibly shy'

Gray, who worked with Phoenix on "The Yards," "We Own the Night" and "Two Lovers" before "Nightingale," describes his close friend as extremely dedicated and introverted. "He's incredibly shy, which you wouldn't believe. People don't believe that. They think it's an act or something," said Gray, adding that once before a television interview he was doing with Phoenix, the actor vomited in the green room because of nerves.

Yet the director is constantly surprised by what the actor will do for a part. "He will do anything that the film requires. He'll do anything the character requires. He'll do anything you ask of him. He doesn't suffer fools gladly, of course, which is to say that he's constantly yelling at me and calling me an idiot, but his dedication is second to none."

Phoenix's transition from performance art back into traditional films feels completely natural to Gray. "I think he's driven by things that other actors are not driven by," said Gray. "He's driven by the experience he thinks he will have in exploring a side of human behavior that is not frequently explored. I don't think he thinks much about the end product."

One thing Phoenix said he didn't do to prepare for "The Master" was to delve into Scientology, the body of beliefs and related practices that was created by Hubbard and whose adherents including a number of Hollywood personalities, most notably Tom Cruise. The actor said he and Anderson spent no time discussing cults or the celebrity-centric religion.

"I thought, 'Well, it's something that my character is not familiar with, so it's not something that I really want to understand.' I don't think Freddie is involved with them, has given over to them and has bought it. I don't think he understands it at all," he said.

Though much of the chatter surrounding the film has focused on its parallels to the often-controversial Scientology, Phoenix says he doesn't see it as a movie about religion. "Even if Paul felt inspired by something, I think it was just inspiration, and I don't think it's fair to the film or fair to Scientology," he said. "I don't think the movie is about Scientology. I don't even think it's about a cult or religion. I think it's more about a relationship between these two men and this love affair that they have."

Yet even after the months of preparation and the lengthy production schedule throughout California, Phoenix is not convinced he understands Freddie more clearly than when he first read Anderson's script. That uncertainty may explain some of his discomfort to this day.

"To be honest, I don't know if I know more about the character then I did when I started. I don't know if I ever understand things in that way. It's something I always struggle with in interviews. You want these concrete answers to things that I don't think I have nor do I want."

And with that, he dropped a $20 bill on the table, offered a firm handshake and a sly grin. Slipping on his Ray-Bans, Phoenix escaped out a service entrance to reclaim his private life once again.
"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

Skeleton FilmWorks

P Heat

Quote from: malkovich on September 08, 2012, 03:24:14 PM

THE MASTER Press Conference | Festival 2012

over 30 glorious minutes of satisfaction seeing this. Amy Adams there as well was a plus
Quote from: Pubrick on September 11, 2012, 06:33:41 PM
anyway it was after i posted my first serious fanalysis. after the long post all he could say was that the main reason he wanted to see the master was cos of all the red heads.


If anyone is interested The Master Soundtrack has been released online (not legally)

I won't post the link here because I don't now if it's allowed, but if you do a simple google search with the right keywords it'll be on the first page.



Quote from: noyes on September 09, 2012, 09:18:40 AM
Quote from: coke on September 08, 2012, 08:12:21 PM
Yeah he didn't seem to give a shit about the oscars but thats a change because remember when the coens won for directing  in 07 they showed him and you could see the ah fuck look on his face he cliched his teeth and it looked like he said shit. which was kinda funny actually i think i wouldve said the same thing. dammit thought i had this one.

With all due respect to the Coens, TWBB is far superior to NCFOM. Academy got that one wrong. Then again, films like TWBB don't fit the mold anymore, it seems, so it makes sense.

I know this site is Paul Thomas Anderson centric, but to say that twbb is "far" superior to ncfom, strikes me as absurd, and a bit on the fanboy side. Truth be told, they are extremely close. Ncfom is as close to a perfect movie as you can make.


Fuck this place..... I got a script to write.


Quote from: martinthewarrior on September 10, 2012, 09:04:58 AM
Quote from: noyes on September 09, 2012, 09:18:40 AM
Quote from: coke on September 08, 2012, 08:12:21 PM
Yeah he didn't seem to give a shit about the oscars but thats a change because remember when the coens won for directing  in 07 they showed him and you could see the ah fuck look on his face he cliched his teeth and it looked like he said shit. which was kinda funny actually i think i wouldve said the same thing. dammit thought i had this one.

With all due respect to the Coens, TWBB is far superior to NCFOM. Academy got that one wrong. Then again, films like TWBB don't fit the mold anymore, it seems, so it makes sense.

I know this site is Paul Thomas Anderson centric, but to say that twbb is "far" superior to ncfom, strikes me as absurd, and a bit on the fanboy side. Truth be told, they are extremely close. Ncfom is as close to a perfect movie as you can make.

Admittedly hyperbolic, but neck to neck I still think the Academy went with the wrong film. TWBB is superior imo.
south america's my name.


I've been busy with shit all weekend, but if I hadn't been, I would have come to here to post about how fucking excited I am to see this tonight.

Also.... 99% chance of some three initial badasses showing up.


Quote from: RegularKarate on September 10, 2012, 02:02:35 PM
I've been busy with shit all weekend, but if I hadn't been, I would have come to here to post about how fucking excited I am to see this tonight.

Also.... 99% chance of some three initial badasses showing up.

Why didn't you buy me a ticket?
Safe As Milk


So glad I'm seeing this tomorrow (and Friday  :saywhat:) so I can finally stop worrying about which articles I can read and which interviews/press conferences I can watch.


Rolling Stone `The Master`Is The Best Movie of 2012 So Far

Say what you want about Travers but he likes our boy. Doesn`t give too many 4 star reviews.  Hardly a bad thing to say about the film.

But, like everything else at this point, Read At Your Own Risk cause there`s definitely some stuff I skipped once I realized where he was going.



Amy Adams Talks THE MASTER, Shooting in 70mm, Working with Paul Thomas Anderson

By Phil Brown  (

Since her breakout Oscar-nominated role as the desperately happy mother-to-be in Junebug, it’s almost seemed as though Amy Adams has put together two separate acting careers. Sometimes she’s an impossibly perky comedienne perpetually waiting to burst into song in films like Enchanted or The Muppets. And then almost as if suffering from acting bi-polar disorder, she’ll turn up in quiet and pained dramatic performances as a character actress in films like The Fighter or Doubt. Her latest turn in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master slots firmly into the latter category. As the coldly manipulative wife Peggy to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s twisted religious leader Lancaster Dodd, Adams delivers another one of her wonderfully dark turns and should inevitably receive plenty of attention along with the awards-bound film.

Collider got a chance to speak with Adams at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (as part of a group interview) and she talked about delving into her interpretation of the complex role, the challenges of shooting in 70mm, and working with talents like Anderson, Hoffman, and Joaquin Phoenix. Plus, we also got around to asking her about that little movie she made this summer called Man Of Steel and what it was like to put her own stamp on Lois Lane. Hit the jump for all those details and even more tasty info nuggets.

Question: How did you react when you were first sent the script for The Master?

Amy Adams:  First off, when I just saw that “Paul Thomas Anderson is going to be sending you a script” I was like, “what just happened to my life?”  So that’s where I started.  Then I read the script and I was definitely interested in playing the character.  It just grew from there.  Just his name and then everything else just kept coming.

Is there anything that surprised you about working with Paul Thomas Anderson?

Adams:  How funny he was and how much we laughed on set.  I thought it was going to be a very serious experience.  Although we definitely delved into serious subject matters in the scenes, the experience of working with him was a lot more fun than I expected.

How about Phillip Seymour Hoffman or Joaquin Phoenix since they are known for their eccentric senses of humor as well?

Adams: I turn into Peggy around them.  I’m fiercely loyal, I am protective, and I will kick anyone’s rear end if you are one to say anything negative.  I’ve worked with Joaquin twice now and I feel like I have started to see his humanity through his process.  So I am very loyal to him and I have worked with Phillip several times as well.  I think they are just very open and honest people, and so it is hard for them to sit in a room and be looked at.  It is hard for anyone.  I have said it before that I think I am more of a people pleaser.  So this is where I am all good.

There is so much manipulation in this movie.  How much do you think was your character in control of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s character?

Adams:  I didn’t feel that I was in control.  I think there are definitely control mechanisms within our relationship that I relied on.  I think she has the eye on the prize and she can definitely see that his eye has been taken off.  I think that she is very suspicious and that she is very…she is a lioness, you know?  Bat away anything and she will attack.

She was tough.

Adams:  Thank you.  I loved her.

What do you make of the L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology connections that people are seeing in the movie?

Adams:  I guess that is for people to discover on their own.  I didn’t think about it a lot nor was it something that I explored at great length while going into it.  It ‘ funny, I’m assuming you’ve seen the film?  I always say, “See the film, and if that is something that you are interested in , and finding the parallels in, then you will find the parallels.”  I see it more as a character study.  I don’t think that Paul was trying to make a movie about…you look suspicious

I was thinking that it is open to interpretation and I guess people who want to see it as a Scientology inspired film will see it that way and maybe others won’t.

Adams:  Yeah.  No, I was being silly.  I didn’t mean to call you out.  I apologize. [laughs]

You were talking about your character’s protectiveness and having her eye on the prize.  There also seems to be, I think, a certain amount of jealously when Freddie (Phoenix) comes into your life and how that changes the dynamic

Adams: It’s so…I am trying to go back and be in that moment.  It wasn’t something that I acknowledged or where I was like, “Here I am playing that she is jealous…”  But the feeling that Freddie really does inspire something in my husband; I want my husband to be inspired but I just want to make sure that it is the right influence.  So it is not…I am just protective.  I think it is more protection.  I think the jealously comes from it being more protective in thinking about it.  Maybe she is a little?  I think she is more jealous of women and the attention he gets from the other girls.

Did shooting in 70mm affect the production at all on your end?

Adams:  Only that the takes are slightly shorter.  So sometimes in the middle of scenes they would have to switch over the film more often.  That was the only thing since the mags are bigger.

How particular is Paul as far line readings are concerned?  Is he very meticulous?

Adams:  He is very open. If he doesn’t like it he will just cut it out or reshoot it.  So he is more experienced.  He didn’t say, “I’m more experienced!” so I hate quoting, but my impression was that he is more interested in what happens organically between two actors when left alone. He will definitely direct a scene , but he is not giving line readings.

Does he do a lot of takes?

Adams:  I don’t remember there being an absurd number. It’s very strange.   Sometimes it would be 2 takes and sometimes it would be Joaquin walking back and forth for 12 hours.   It didn’t all end up in the film, but I feel like we did that for 12 hours.  It started in the daytime and it was after midnight by the time we were done.  It was pretty intense.

Maybe in the DVD extras?

Adams:  Sure, it will be 12 hours of Joaquin walking back and forth.  It is pretty intense.  The commitment that Joaquin and Phillip had during that was amazing.

I have two questions about one of the most memorable scenes in the movie, which is when Joaquin is looking at the crowd and suddenly all of the women are naked and dancing.

Adams:  That was one of the weirdest nights of my life because I was right at this level. [laughs] The reason it was so surreal for me was because typically when we see women naked in our society, aside from in life, they are acting like they know they are naked.  But here the idea is that we are all acting like we have clothes on.  So to see women of all ages and body types jumping around and dancing and very unselfconsciously presenting themselves – that was so surreal because you just don’t see that.  So that was part of it.  It was just “we are naked” but everyone was acting like they had clothes on.  It was very bizarre.

That’s what I wanted to ask you, What do you think is happening in that scene? and You were seated in that scene but your character is pregnant.

Adams:  I had a prosthetic belly on.  We had to glue it to the sides and sit in a certain way because we didn’t have time.  Originally I wasn’t written into the scene.

You weren’t meant to be in it?

Adams:  No.  Then Paul said, “Would you sit there if we could come up with something ” and I said, “Sure.”  I think it adds to a great effect.

Do you have any thoughts about what is happening in that scene?

Adams:  I would imagine that he is sort of plagued by things.  Be it a sort of a tendency towards being overly sexualized or being very unpredictable.  I guess you would have to ask Paul exactly what it meant.  A lot of the process of making this film was me not trying to decide what a scene meant and really just participating.  I will let Paul decide. 

I noticed that you stayed for the entire movie at the premiere.  Had you seen it from start to finish before?

Adams:  I had.  But I hadn’t seen it with an audience and everybody kept saying, “You need to see it twice.” Because I’m typically too self conscious to watch films that I participate in.  But the first time through – I have to be honest – I did not clock my performance.  Not that I was so caught up in my own performance but it was so much more about where the film took me than sort of how I felt about what I was doing.  It was a lot to think about when I walked out of it the first time.  So I wanted to see it again and really be able to see it in a different light.  There was some stuff that I hadn’t noticed the first time around.  There were some genius shots that I noticed but, of course, I didn’t clock them.  This time, I was really able to see and appreciate them and like, “Oh, my gosh.  They did that in one take.  It is the two on them on the same screen in one take, and it is flawless.”

Like the jail scene, which they could only film once?

Adams:  Last night, I started laughing.  I was just so blown away like, “I can’t believe what I am seeing here with these two actors, Paul, what they are creating right now in this moment, and this juxtaposition of these forces of personality.”  It was just amazing.

Fuck this place..... I got a script to write.


I took screenshots of the Film Comment article so you guys can read it.