Philip Seymour Hoffman: The Actor, The Philosopher, The Master, The Wrestler

Hoffman - Doubt

I feel like I've been hit by a truck this morning, trying to absorb the reports that drug addiction has apparently taken the magnificent actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from us. … [Read more...]

“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...]

Father-Figuring It Out: “Margaret,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” and More

Margaret - poster

What does Moonrise Kingdom have in common with The Master, Sinister, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Margaret? … [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...]