I will say it's probably the most impressive Phillip Seymour Hoffman performance I've seen, and Synechdoche, NY is amongst my favorite films ever.
Absolutely. I knew Phoenix would be stellar, but PSH was just flawless. The best role I've ever seen him in. And yeah, a lot to process. Jonny's score was incredible once again.
Overall, I had very high expectations, and they were met. Not necessarily exceeded, but definitely met.
Added note: Packed theater and a smattering of unconfident applause when the film ended.
Last edited by ivankay; 09-15-2012 at 05:11 PM.
My feelings on The Master are similar to what you all have expressed, with one major point of dissent - for me, the film contained almost none of the usual surface pleasures of his other films. It's a natural progression from the menacing, unnerving There Will Be Blood, and a further rejection of his bombastic, photographically demonstrative and big-hearted (though no less lived-in or thematically developed) earlier movies. But even TWBB had the familiar elements of a restless camera and a narrative arc that felt, for lack of eloquence, satisfying in the way that I expect from PTA, and thus it was easy to walk out of the theater and feel like it was the best movie I've seen in a decade.
I think it's entirely to the credit of The Master - and a mark of its unimpeachable integrity and thematic rigor - that it resists even that impulse. For the first time, PTA has set aside his desire to show off his directorial flourishes, and chosen to focus on a mentor-protegee relationship that has absolutely no way to be easily resolved. There are plenty of elements to enjoy - the performances are so good that even hyperbolic adjectives fail, and the 70mm photography is hypnotic even though about half the film is shot in close-up - but it feels to me like many people exit this film not entirely sure they're in love with it, and I think that's by design; PTA knows that his audience wants to be wowed, and by restraining those impulses he's made a film that demands the level of careful consideration that its many thematic tributaries (man's animal nature, the duality in the mentor-protegee relationship, the complexities of psychological control on both sides of the exchange) demand. It's a remarkable act of courage in an era where the instant reaction carries more weight than ever. I wanted to convey that idea as a way of helping people who don't feel 100% in love with it initially; I was in that category when I left the Dome last night, even though I couldn't come up with a single criticism apart from Jonny Greenwood's amazing score being perhaps a bit too similar to (or at least, employed in a fashion that felt reductive of) There Will Be Blood. It's okay to have ambivalence about this movie; what's not okay is to accept the snap judgement as the final one.
Otherwise, I will not be diving into this one at great length today. In spite of a productive unpacking session with Jen on the way home, I'm also going to need to see it again before I can address it in a meaningful way. And I'll be seeing it in the Dome at least once more this week.
Yeah, seeing it again for sure. An absolute experience in the dome. Stunning print. But thats pretty much all I'm sure of at this point. Swimming in ideas over it.
Took a trip to late 30's cinema last night with a double header of "The Adventures of Robin Hood" and "Stagecoach". Good times.
That is awesome night of adventure.
11/23/13 Deltron 3030 - the Fillmore
01/30/14 Ash - Rickshaw Stop
02/21/14 Pixies - Fox Theater
Anyway, I agree with you on that print. It was comforting to see the cue points (or cigarette burns, for those of you who remember that part in Fight Club) on the print. Looked amazing. Fearless performances from the leads. I agree with everyone about seeing it a second time. I also thought the more recent print ads for the movie kinda gave away the ending of the motorcycle scene. I got the feeling that a lot of people in the audience were either stunned or disappointed, like it was going to be the ultimate scientology take-down or Boogie Nights: the Prequel, or both.
Also nice? Going to the dome, and having the movie screening there not being a damned 3-D eyesore. Seriously, the Arclight needs to stop booking 3-D movies in that place. Thankfully, they offer 2-D screenings of 3-D offerings, but damn. Thankfully, Dark Knight Rises and the Master have helped to rectify this.
Yeah, that Lincoln trailer was pretty much what I expected. The older Spielberg of late seems to switch from doing stuff that you'd expect him to do and then every once in awhile doing something actually really great, like "Minority Report" or "Munich." Personally, I would like a lot more of the later. Thankfully, a lot of his best work is coming out to blu-ray this fall.
December releases, Following and Brazil on Blu! Yessss!
Heh. I actually just watched Following for the first time on Instant this past week amidst my sick time movie marathons and thought it was pretty unremarkable. There was a lot of room to explore deep issues about voyeurism and invasion of privacy and other skin crawling subjects, but instead it was just a bunch of lamely executed plot mechanics leading to a groan worthy twist. At least Godard's Weekend is finally getting the Criterion release it deserves.
I fucking hate trailers, even when PTA is cutting them. But you have to remember they arent made for the cinephiles who will see something just to have an opinion. They are for those on the fence and the motorcycle shots definitely look inspiring/powerful etc.
Its a shame it was framed by the whole scientology aspect and Tom Cruise PTA friendship bit. A few people have mentioned that to me and Ive tried to steer them away from that expectation.
A tough movie for me 3 days later now. I dream of making something of this stature someday but I need to figure out what exactly it captured first.
FUCK YES BRAZIL CRITERION LETSGO!