The Master - SPOILERS!

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

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That's just her publicist at work.  But that last scene is remarkable in that Freddie is flipping the processing sessions into how to get pussy sessions.  I don't know why people think they ending changed dramatically. Was it not the original ending from the early leaked script?  I remember reading it and thinking it was kind of romantic and sad just like any good love story should be. 
"look hard at what pleases you and even harder at what doesn't" ~ carolyn forche


Quote from: samsong on September 16, 2012, 04:58:39 AM
no one's got any idea about the desert manuscript?  or even the motorcyle scene?

he believed he buried treasure from past lives to find in other lives. perhaps he was thinking the manuscript was best kept buried in case it was to be discovered in another life???

the motorcycle piece was just another excersise for freddie to move forward done with some good ol pt humor.

these are just a couple pennies from my bank.


I had a different read on the desert scene. We already know Dodd has been up writing all night with Freddie so if that's book 2 that he's been working on, what the hell is he digging up? What's interesting is in the following scene, you see him addressing the crowd in Phoenix AZ and Freddie's eyes are on him intently but when Dodd mentions the secret is laughter (which seems like something he came up with when Freddie farted, and said it's good to laugh) you can see Freddie kinda break his gaze and look off to the side, like he's realizing something. Perhaps that the buried manuscript doesn't contain all this wisdom because Dodd is making this shit up as he goes along. But ironically when ol' Kevin J. O'Conner calls Dodd's new book out for being a piece of shit, Freddie freaks out on him. It's like he WANTS to believe in something and even if he has his doubts, he still doesn't want to hear them expressed by someone else, especially not someone with a face as punchable as O'Conner's.

One of the things that's hardest to track in the film is at what points Freddie seems to be "a believer" and when he's disillusioned with The Cause cause he seems to bounce back and forth a few times without there ever being clear motivations as to why.

Believe in the script the England stuff is supposed to be a few years later, so can we assume he rides off on his motorcycle and goes more or less directly to Doris's place in Massachusetts? Or do we think that that takes place year(s) later too. Cause even though it's not explicit in the film, pretty sure that the England stuff is a few years later. Mary Sue isn't preggers anymore and how creepy is it that Val, always the skeptic, is now seemingly rolling with the program.

I'm also now 90% sure that the phone call is a dream but the last sequences in England are not. It seems like they're treating him like this because he has just shown up out of the blue because he dreamed this phone call. The only thing that would point towards this not being the case is: how did he know Dodd was in England in the first place then? And when he tells Dodd he dreamed that he knew where they first met Dodd doesn't argue with him and seems to go along with it making up some BS about Prussian forces.

But holy shit you guys. Joaquin. In This Movie. ESPECIALLY in the last sequences where he's even thinner and just looks hollowed out, fragile, a shell. A broken man. It's so fucking sad.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.


I went back and read the script after my second viewing of the movie. It's fairly close to the finished film, moreso than I remembered.

A few things in that draft that maybe sorta kinda shed light on some questions:

They talk about how he's already written Book 2, but everyone who read it died or went insane. So he's been trying to rewrite it in a way that people can understand. What they go to dig up (in the script it's buried under Dodd's house and the government is trying to find it) is presumably the original incindiary text.

The movie theater scene is noted as a dream sequence (and also specifies the Casper cartoon). There are other dream sequences on the page, including one during the speech in Phoenix where Freddie cuts Master's head off.


my girlfriend did the same. while i think its definitely interesting to read the script after the fact (i was glad i forgot things that ended up in the film) i'm not sure what it says about the film. pt's obfuscating certain elements and plot points that could have been made clearer - sometimes its feels purposeful, and part of creating a distinct narrative voice, but at other points it seems like its just trying to be under three hours.

does the "manuscript" scene skate by on its atmosphere alone? there's a moment that feels important toward the end of the scene when hoffman takes a moment to pause and consider his surroundings, but beyond that i'm hard pressed to figure out why its there. if they are going to cut out everything else that has to do the manuscript, then why is that the scene that remains?

its really a small criticism overall, but part of me wishes the movie just let itself be three hours or longer. in a lot of ways it feels like a mid-20th century american novel, both in its structure and in its hyper-masculinity. but the philip roth and pynchon it seems to be invoking are marked by a total freedom - they can go anywhere at any moment, and they often do. after its first hour, the master loses its shaggy charm.


I thought Hoffman taking a moment to adjust to his surroundings was just more of his bullshit showmanship like he expected someone to pop out of the wilderness to try to steal it. All part of the act.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.


I didn't see The Master, but I read the script. And I wanted to know if the last scene from the script (the one with the woman) was in the movie. I thought it was a fucking good ending, and I don't want to wait for it if it's not in the movie.


Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.


The man has taken his biggest leap forward yet with this one. I keep imaging Tarantino watching this thinking "fuuuuuuuuck." PTA is simply operating at a different level than his peers. In fact his actual peers are all dead. I asked Mod on instant message right before I saw it something like "what am I in for? Is it what we expect?" He said hell no and he was definitely right. I think this is his most successful film by far.

Quote from: Cloudy on August 22, 2012, 03:26:38 PM
The film just washed over me like a "hazy fever dream" as somebody else put it. It was angry, it was drunk, it was dark, it was hilarious (HILARIOUS), it was brutal, it was dreamy/hazy, it was beautiful, it was endearing, it was a concoction of's a film that needs to be viewed so many times. It is EASILY PTA's most DENSE work to date. EASILY. This one is for the analysts, for the intuitionist...the scenes are so thick. Some of the greatest sequences ever put on film. THIS IS A FUCKING EXPERIENCE.

This really sums it up best. The entire theater I was in stumbled out of this in some hypnotic stupor almost drooling. Forgive the clunky and obvious metaphor but finishing this movie really feels like awaking from a dream and trying to piece it together. I kept asking my friends "that happened right?" We all seemed to remember different scenes that stood out. Samsong you make some good points but I wasn't really bothered with the "how" of the 3rd act. I think "why" is the more pertinent question, which for me you nailed here:

Quote from: samsong on September 15, 2012, 03:06:17 PMthinking about it now though, lancaster and peggy aren't exactly thrilled or sure of the prodigal son's return, but i wonder if that has to do with freddie's self actualization (peggy storming off saying he doesn't want to be helped, a reflection of freddie's actual state of mind.  whether he's beyond help and insane, or the process is a fallacy, he no longer wants to be helped, at least by them), and that the scene essentially ends with the master absolving him gives closure to freddie's struggle against himself.  he's free to be the animal he is.  that the master's last gesture is to serenade him recalls the first processing scene where freddie's gateway into opening up is remembering doris singing to him.  i would totally buy that hearing about doris's life without him is a form of catharsis for him, and the first thing he does when he emancipates himself from the master is goes to a bar and finally gets laid.  it's a dubious triumph but it, for me, is like the end of raging bull.  he's come to terms with himself.

I think we're all struggling to sustain conversation because this movie really is hard to define, and we're not used to that. It mimics the paralyzing feeling you get after Kubrick or Von Trier, and like them it demands repeat viewings.

And now for some randoms:

- Good god how about Freddie and that wall/window sequence! I can't wait to see this again just for that.
- I understand why Phoenix is getting more attention as he has the showy performance but I think PSH is the standout here. I kept thinking of how JB always marvels at how he's able to create unique human beings with each character he plays. He brings just the right charisma and showmanship paired with some car salesman sleaze that is so perfect. I think it's his best performance yet.
- I felt like this borrowed more from Boogie Nights than CWBB. A loner in need of family.
- The score was much more subdued than in CWBB. Not a criticism, just surprised me.
- I genuinely have no idea what or where the motorcycle scene came from. Any theories?

Quote from: RegularKarate on September 10, 2012, 11:10:57 PMAnd I just realized what I assume was an obvious parallel between Freddie making a concoction that he completely improvises each time yet people seem to drink it and enjoy it and come back for more and The Cause.

I love this!


A question for folks who've seen the film: is The Master dedicated to someone in the closing credits? Punch-Drunk Love was dedicated to Ted Demme, There Will Be Blood to Robert Altman. Thanks!


Quote from: Ulivija on September 20, 2012, 12:48:06 AM
A question for folks who've seen the film: is The Master dedicated to someone in the closing credits? Punch-Drunk Love was dedicated to Ted Demme, There Will Be Blood to Robert Altman. Thanks!

I feel like it was dedicated to his lady and kids and some other people, but I can't remember.


I feel like it was dedicated to his lady and kids and some other people, but I can't remember.

Thanks a lot for the reply. Boogie Nights and Magnolia were dedicated to PTA's father, so it's cool that he's dedicating movies to his family again. I can't wait to see The Master!


Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.


What terrible coincidence that PTA's former girlfriend gets arrested at the same time as The Master is opening in the US:

Fiona Apple was inspiration for Magnolia, maybe she was also inspiration for Freddie? At the end of the article below, they say PTA might have gotten the idea for "Slow Boat to China" from Fiona?