“The Master”: Too Much Art for Oscar?

Philip Seymour Hoffman The Master

I'm grateful to David Dark, author of one of my favorite books — The Sacredness of Questioning Everything — for highlighting this article by Tyler Sage on Paul Thomas Anderson's film The Master, published at The Los Angeles Review of Books. It is so refreshing, after reading a storm of hasty reactions, wild accusations, and complaints about this "difficult" work of art, to read such a thoughtful, patient, studious consideration of this film. Here's how it starts... … [Read more...]

“The Master”: So Many Thoughtful Examinations and Interpretations, So Little Time!

The Master poster

Do you feel the tremors? Yeah, that's the new Paul Thomas Anderson movie in theaters. In-depth reviews are popping up everywhere. Craig Detweiler at Doc Hollywood has begun a three-part series called "The Master in Context." It's well worth your attention: Part One, Part Two, Part Three (coming soon). I'll offer several more thought-provoking links, but first, here's what I wrote in response to Detweiler's piece... … [Read more...]

The Master (2012) – A Long Post-Viewing Conversation

JOAQUIN PHOENIX and PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN star in THE MASTER

October 2012 Update: I have written two commentaries about The Master. The first is posted below. The second (which is much shorter) was published later at Good Letters, the blog hosted by Image. Both are written as conversations between moviegoers. - Imagine three moviegoers — Mr. Judge, Fangirl, and Mr. Long-winded — emerging from a screening of Paul Thomas Anderson's new movie, The Master. They're quiet at first, as they find their way to the lobby and sit down with their … [Read more...]

Religion, Fuel, Fathers, Sons, Egomania, America: A Look Back at “There Will Be Blood”

therewillbeblood1

Five years ago, on September 27, Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood screened for the first time. And a sure-thing Best Actor Oscar-winner came into... plain view.  Daniel Plainview, to be precise. Playing the ferocious "oil man," Daniel Day-Lewis lived up to his reputation. Some thought the film might win Best Picture — it was easily my choice at the time, only recently surpassed by In the City of Sylvia — but it lost the award to another nightmare about evil in America: No … [Read more...]

Paul Thomas Anderson and Philip Seymour Hoffman: Together again.

My heart rate is elevated, and I'm typing as fast as I can. My favorite American filmmaker is working with one of my favorite American actors, and the film looks like just the thing to stir up an exciting conversation. … [Read more...]

Brian Volck Discovers “There Will Be Blood”

Brian Volck saw There Will Be Blood for the first time on DVD. That's too bad, as it was a riveting big-screen experience. But Volck does not appear to have suffered much. He was, to borrow the term my friend Brandon Fibbs employed when he first saw the movie, "gobsmacked." … [Read more...]

Specials: Coppola on Great “Young Directors.” Nick Cave Raises Lazarus. Performances We Won’t See.

Coppola's Favorite Young Directors Francis Ford Coppola on his favorite "young directors": Q: With the caveat that you can't name anyone related to you, are there any young directors out there whose work feels to you like the stuff that you and your chums were making back in the day? A: I know this is gonna sound funny, but the one young director I really admire is Woody Allen, because he writes 'em, and he makes 'em, and he goes on undaunted and just does it, and every film he makes has … [Read more...]

Seitz on Paul Thomas Anderson

Matt Zoller Seitz is still writing about There Will Be Blood. Here he is in The New York Times celebrating Paul Thomas Anderson. … [Read more...]

There Will Be Blood (2007)

there will be blood1

This review was originally published in an abridged edition at Christianity Today. - In Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, detective Jake Gittes became suspicious of a devious California millionaire named Noah Cross, played by the great John Huston. Dazzled by Cross’s fortune, which he’d acquired through laying irrigation pipelines across Los Angeles, Gittes asked why such a rich man would want to get richer. “How much better can you eat? What can you buy that you can't already … [Read more...]

LA Weekly critics hail "There Will Be Blood" as a film of historic significance

LA Weekly critics love Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood: As for There Will Be Blood, about which you will be reading much more in the pages of the Weekly over the coming weeks, I will say only this: There are great films (like No Country For Old Men) and then there are films that send shock waves through the very landscape of cinema, that instantly stake a claim on a place in the canon. Often, such vanguard works fail to be fully understood or appreciated at the moment they first … [Read more...]


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