the master

i was fortunate enough this past weekend to see paul thomas anderson’s newest picture, ‘the master’.  loosely based on the origins of scientology (or at least the provocative nature and bullheadedness of its leader) this film explored paradigms from angles that i truly have never seen.  in a sense, it is anti-climactic—not in comparison to kubrick, but in the way that there truly is no outcome from the religious journeys that are depicted, and the characters develop, but in a stagnant and unsatisfactory manner.  there are no likeable characters in this film, at least, not to me.  there are paramount performances by joaquin phoenix, philip seymour hoffman and amy adams, but their characters as a whole are lacking human traits.  phoenix gets as close to being an animal as i have ever seen; his grunts, his feral behavior, they are monumental.  what the film does do, is beautifully depict a 70mm world of 1950 and captures the essence of a father/son, owner/dog, highbrow/lowbrow thematic endeavor.  once again teaming up with jonny greenwood (of radiohead) for the score, anderson has just added another gilded film of merit to his already stunning repertoire.  it makes me happy to know that something real in the world of cinema does still exist.  there are visionaries out there, PHEW. by sv