Movies Watched in 2014 - #118
The Master (2012)
9/10 - My fourth time watching PTA’s latest, and it was a vastly different experience than any other time. This man makes very different movies. He’s always developing and experimenting—questioning his own method and changing it if the project calls for it. The Master wouldn’t work if was shot with all the whip pans and fast paced steadicam work of Boogie Nights. There’s a lot of just face shots in this too, it didn’t need the land-hungry scenery of There Will Be Blood either.
I noticed with this viewing that PTA doesn’t use universal sex symbols to play love interests. They’re either kinda likable or kinda not. In The Master specifically, Paul highlights the desperation of Freddie, and even the state of his mind.He listens to Dodd say “Man is not an animal” while he writes “Do you want to f—-? :)” on a napkin. Dodd then goes on to characterize Freddie as an animal twice, great irony at work.
During the informal processing scene, Dodd asks Freddie to think of a word—he answers “flowers” as he recalls his time with Doris. During the second half of the film, I think I saw three more times where flowers are right behind Freddie. Wonderful subtlety across the board, there’s lines I had no remembrance of from previous viewings. The film deserves to be listened to and re-watched. You get something new every time.
I loved seeing Freddie and Lancaster’s relationship unravel. One man needed a storyteller, the other needed a drink. It also reminds me of those weird relationships in life of people who just come and go, despite their importance in your life at that time—I think that happens more to us than we care to realize.