The Master - SPOILERS!

Started by polkablues, August 18, 2012, 01:41:45 AM

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Frederico Fellini

What I got from the ending is that it leaves us with this question:

"Is Freddie really free?"

Think about it. Freddy is essentially a slave to his "animal side", he thinks that by doing what he does he is being free. But actually, all the alcohol, all the sex and all the violence are in control of him. Those feelings and those urges are his MASTER.

The motorcycle scene is a metaphor for this. Dodd can be wild and have fun with it and go fast and enjoy it, because he knows he can always come back, he is in control of himself, he has Mastered his emotions. On the other hand, Freddie doesn't enjoy it at all! You can see in his face that he actually hates it. That wild side of him is like a monkey on his back that he has to carry, he tries to get rid of it but he can’t, it’s a part of him. Also as you can see, he is not in control of his emotions, he doesn’t even think of stopping or coming back , he simply keeps on going.

On another note,  I would love to know which parts do you guys believe are “Fantasy” and which parts are “real”?. I think it’s safe to say that the theater scene is an obvious fantasy/Dream. But I wonder, if Freddie had this dream of Lancaster calling him and him going to England and finding him (obviously projecting that he wants to go back to him, now that he doesn’t have Doris),  but if he wanted to come back, then why did he say NO to Dodd at the end?  Was it that Freddie was giving Dodd one last shot to convince him to come back and Dodd failed? And if so,  how exactly did Dodd fail?


Aside from the obvious similarities between "The Master" and the novel "Masters of Atlantis" by Charles Portis (who also wrote "True Grit"), I noticed what could have been a direct reference to the book. I was wondering if anyone else who's familiar with the novel took this as a direct reference too.

"Masters of Atlantis" is about a young corporal who meets a strange man claiming to belong to a group called the "Gnomons", who've amassed secret knowledge over the centuries. The strange man is clearly full of ****, but the young man sees an opportunity and a sense of purpose and runs with it. The tone of the novel is a lot more lighthearted and humorous than "The Master", but there are similar themes going.

The part that made me think the film referenced the novel is when Freddie and Dodd are having their last talk. Freddie says he dreamed that Dodd finally remembered where they first met, in a previous lifetime. Dodd says he remembers, and claims they were both soldiers in France, working with a balloon corps.

The very first line in "MASTERS of Atlantis" is:

"Young Lamar Jimmerson went to France in 1917 with the American Expeditionary Forces, serving first with the Balloon Section, stumbling about in open fields holding one end of a long rope..."

In the book, the young man (Lamar) meets the leader of the "Gnomons" there in Paris. Does anyone think this has to be a reference or is it just an odd coincidence?

And also, is this PTA just referencing a novel... or is it that Dodd is so full of shit that he takes this "story" from a book in order to convince Freddie to come back? or is it both? So Many Questions.
We fought against the day and we won... WE WON.

Cinema is something you do for a billion years... or not at all.

Champion Souza

Quote from: Freddie on November 02, 2012, 07:59:37 PM

Dodd can be wild and have fun with it and go fast and enjoy it, because he knows he can always come back, he is in control of himself, he has Mastered his emotions.



first viewing gut reaction:

it's ridiculous how much PTA loves making the same movie over and over again.

this was a variation/remix/refocusing of his most persistent themes and in the process was able to discover and blow up some new ones. i think he is weary of people noticing that he makes the same movie all the time, so he is intentionally guiding them along another direction in inteviews by giving a blatant super liminal clue that this movie is a love story.

this film made me revisit what is up with the father and son business. but it also made me focus on the subject of LOVE, which CMBB almost did away with completely. or so we think? the explanation from this film is going to come from a satisfying reason for why the master loves freddie and why freddie loves the master. the energy between them is almost the opposite of what PTA was trying to achieve with Dano and DDL in CMBB. the energy is the point of the movie.

Eli Sunday and Daniel Plainview were mortal enemies. but if we're to take the master's predictions at face value, that this would occur in the next life, this doesn't add up chronologically, in real life or in fictional world. we must think of it a different way, as an acknowledgement of a future return.. a constant return. CMBB and this are visions of the future. CMBB was even more futuristic than this film, it is the "END" that PTA constantly avoids. it is a vision of dark ambiguous majestic dream state, did he kill him didn't he dream it is this real is he there why is his butler not acknowledging him why is the title all of a sudden delivered upon in the last moments of the film why is plainview saying he's finished we don't see him though so is he thinking it are those his words or PTA's words.. the precedent for this was set early.. pta is ALWAYS talking to himself at the end of his films, his characters are either in the mirror, looking at the camera, using one voice to speak for two characters, etc. his cards have always been on the table, his first film even showed what's up his sleeve.

minor things like DCF are not really of any concern, the structure of the film, the visual games, that final encounter -- the master's OFFICE --  even that itself is more important and revealing than weird non-sequiturs. i loved the movie, obviously, because PTA has made the same movie yet again. and i always love the movie he remakes. that movie is his nature, it is the truth, it remains to be continually revealed as he revisits it again and again.. he's hypnotised by it, like the waves we see repeatedly (jeremy blake comes to mind in that recurring motif).. it is something that i will not ever get tired of watching.

after next viewings i will come back and fight samsong like a mortal enemy to the death.
under the paving stones.


Does somebody know the title of the story that PTA mentions here:

I read a story about a guy who came back from the war and met this girl of his dreams and she turned out to be 15 or 16, I don't remember how old she was. And she was going to visit her family in Norway and all that stuff was in the story I read and that's where it comes from basically. Liked it, liked that feeling, getting it in there.


QuotePTA explains that there was a scene near the end of the film that he eventually cut out, which showed Quell retracing his steps to a park bench where he had once been happy. Quell lies down on the bench, trying to travel in time; to cast himself back to a golden moment before the war. Damn it, says Anderson. He should never have cut that scene.

Damn, Paul...WERE YOU DRUNK ?  :doh:


Quote from: Ghostboy on October 20, 2012, 07:37:54 PM
I definitely thought it was an error the first two times but the third time revealed it to be a trick of light.

Are you sure? I noticed this the first time I watched it, the second time I saw it, I concentrated on the wall for the trick of light that you mentioned, I couldn't catch it.
The wall seems to have broken on his punch, then in the next scene it's perfectly fine

Maybe it wasn't a continuity error but rather a conscious decision, when Freddie punches the wall, he hates what he's doing, doesn't see how it would help, the wall breaks. Towards the end he finds an affection in the wall & window, he has broken out of his mold, and he has healed the wound on the wall, just as the exercise has healed Freddie. We see and feel many warped things from Freddie's mental perspective, this might be one of those moments.
Maybe I'm reaching.


Dodd took the How To Fake Like You Are Nice And Caring Class, and then he created the Cause with his Sci-Fi inspiration. He's a charlatan, but he's also so...He looks like a child. He's not the Master, his wife is. He has charisma. He looks like he's nice and caring, yes. But he's not.
Then, he met Freddie and cared. When, arrested, he says, scared: "Freddie", it's almost heartbreaking.

Oh, the window to the wall sequence is just...Waw. Joaquin kills everything. The music is wonderful. The shots...Perfect. When Peggy asks to Freddie: "How are you?" and Freddie is so LOST, he says "I don't know" and you see that, really, he doesn't know...Fuck. Intense.

Frederico Fellini

I came across this clip this morning...

^ It's pretty much the entire "What do you do?" scene... It's short but amazing.
We fought against the day and we won... WE WON.

Cinema is something you do for a billion years... or not at all.

Frederico Fellini

Someone already uploaded the clip to Youtube.. It's some shitty quality though. Still it looks amazing, can't wait to see what the Blu-ray's gonna look like.

"You're aberrated."
"No, I'm not"
"You know what that means?"

We fought against the day and we won... WE WON.

Cinema is something you do for a billion years... or not at all.


He held on. The dolphin and all the rest of its pod turned and swam out to sea, and still he held on. This is it, he thought. Then he remembered that they were air-breathers too. It was going to be all right.

Frederico Fellini

Is it true that Paul Thomas Anderson asked you to be in Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood?

Ah, who knows?

So, there's this quote from Baudelaire …


The French poet.

Oh yeah, the guy who invented the bicycle.

Oh, did he? I don't know.

I'm fucking with you.

OK! It's hard to know.

I'm sorry.

LOL That was a good interview, even though he didn't answer one fucking question. I like how he changed the subject when the interviewer started to talk about awards.
We fought against the day and we won... WE WON.

Cinema is something you do for a billion years... or not at all.

Frederico Fellini

SCENE FROM THE MASTER......... It's in ITALIAN though. But we all know what they're saying anyways.

Fuck Dicaprio... Give Hoffman the Oscar for "Best supporting actor".

We fought against the day and we won... WE WON.

Cinema is something you do for a billion years... or not at all.