1. Posted on 25 July, 2013

    1,216 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from nprmusic

    It’s the first collaboration between Fiona Apple and Paul Thomas Anderson in 13 years and the director’s first music video in 11 years.

    HOT KNIFE is the last song on Apple’s 2012 album, The Idler Wheel... I think the video encapsulates what our music critic Ken Tucker said about the album: 

     ”It’s a measure of Apple’s artistry that she’s labored so intensively to give the sustained impression that she’s alone in a room.”

    Here’s Terry’s interview with Paul Thomas Anderson.

  2. Fiona Apple

    Paul Thomas Anderson

    Fresh Air

    Ken Tucker

    The Idler Wheel

    The Master

  1. Paul Thomas Anderson tells Terry Gross about the first scene he wrote for The Master:

Well, it’s inspired by the actual questionnaire that’s out there as relates to Scientology, but I had changed it and switched it around. And I came to that many years ago, and actually found it was a great way to just start writing. Forget any implications of making a film or story about this — it was really just writer’s block and sitting around. The best way for me to start writing a story is to get two characters talking to each other. And if you got questions from one, you’re gonna have to get answers from the other, and you can start to find out who is coming out of you when you’re writing, if you know what I mean.
So I just started doing it as an exercise, and that’s probably one of the scenes that I wrote first in the movie … working from the middle. But I wrote that years and years ago. [I] didn’t really know who these people were, so I just started discovering who they were by what their answers would be.
View in High-Res

    Paul Thomas Anderson tells Terry Gross about the first scene he wrote for The Master:

    Well, it’s inspired by the actual questionnaire that’s out there as relates to Scientology, but I had changed it and switched it around. And I came to that many years ago, and actually found it was a great way to just start writing. Forget any implications of making a film or story about this — it was really just writer’s block and sitting around. The best way for me to start writing a story is to get two characters talking to each other. And if you got questions from one, you’re gonna have to get answers from the other, and you can start to find out who is coming out of you when you’re writing, if you know what I mean.

    So I just started doing it as an exercise, and that’s probably one of the scenes that I wrote first in the movie … working from the middle. But I wrote that years and years ago. [I] didn’t really know who these people were, so I just started discovering who they were by what their answers would be.

  2. Fresh Air

    Interviews

    Paul Thomas Anderson

    The Master

    Philip Seymour Hoffman

  1. Posted on 2 October, 2012

    97,256 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from vicforprez

    Paul Thomas Anderson on loving the ocean

I remember as a kid going to Pearl Harbor, and they have that monument you can go to and it made such an impression on me. You sort of look down into the water. You see fishes moving around, and you have to think about what happened there and all those bodies … and all these kinds of things that have gone in that water. It’s a thought that always sticks with me when I do go into the ocean when I go swimming — all that’s happened and all that’s beneath the surface, and things coming and going. I don’t know — it gets you in a good place of thinking about things in a wider way.

    Paul Thomas Anderson on loving the ocean

    I remember as a kid going to Pearl Harbor, and they have that monument you can go to and it made such an impression on me. You sort of look down into the water. You see fishes moving around, and you have to think about what happened there and all those bodies … and all these kinds of things that have gone in that water. It’s a thought that always sticks with me when I do go into the ocean when I go swimming — all that’s happened and all that’s beneath the surface, and things coming and going. I don’t know — it gets you in a good place of thinking about things in a wider way.

  2. ocean

    Paul Thomas Anderson

    The Master

    Pearl Harbor

  1. Paul Thomas Anderson on working with Joaquin Phoenix on his character’s physicality in The Master

Kind of early on, Joaquin let me know that actually his shoulder — I think from birth, he has kind of a messy shoulder. And he’s probably spent a lot of time trying to hide it or stand up straight so that he can twist his body around. He said, ‘Do you think it’d be alright if I do this?’ And I said, ‘Sure, great.’

But a couple days into the film, he was feeling more comfortable and just kept sliding into this skin that he was doing — these movements that were so incredible. I just didn’t want to jinx anything and say, ‘What are you doing?’ or ‘What’s going on?’ You’re in the middle of make-believe – you don’t want to break the spell. You just want to watch him do whatever he’s doing.

I have my own theories about it, because [Phoenix’s character] puts his hands on his hips – sort of stuff about his kidneys being torn up from the war. Maybe something happened. Maybe it’s just easier. Maybe it’s comfortable for him to reach back and hold his kidneys and help him stand. But then again, yeah, there’s always that thing — the way someone holds himself is an extension of what’s going with them on the inside. And I buy that too, for sure.
View in High-Res

    Paul Thomas Anderson on working with Joaquin Phoenix on his character’s physicality in The Master

    Kind of early on, Joaquin let me know that actually his shoulder — I think from birth, he has kind of a messy shoulder. And he’s probably spent a lot of time trying to hide it or stand up straight so that he can twist his body around. He said, ‘Do you think it’d be alright if I do this?’ And I said, ‘Sure, great.’

    But a couple days into the film, he was feeling more comfortable and just kept sliding into this skin that he was doing — these movements that were so incredible. I just didn’t want to jinx anything and say, ‘What are you doing?’ or ‘What’s going on?’ You’re in the middle of make-believe – you don’t want to break the spell. You just want to watch him do whatever he’s doing.

    I have my own theories about it, because [Phoenix’s character] puts his hands on his hips – sort of stuff about his kidneys being torn up from the war. Maybe something happened. Maybe it’s just easier. Maybe it’s comfortable for him to reach back and hold his kidneys and help him stand. But then again, yeah, there’s always that thing — the way someone holds himself is an extension of what’s going with them on the inside. And I buy that too, for sure.

  2. Paul Thomas Anderson

    The Master

    Joaquin Phoenix

  1. Paul Thomas Anderson on how to break through writer’s block

The best way for me to start writing a story is to get two characters talking to each other. And if you got questions from one, you’re gonna have to get answers from the other, and you can start to find out who is coming out of you when you’re writing,

    Paul Thomas Anderson on how to break through writer’s block

    The best way for me to start writing a story is to get two characters talking to each other. And if you got questions from one, you’re gonna have to get answers from the other, and you can start to find out who is coming out of you when you’re writing,

  2. Paul Thomas Anderson

    writer's block

    writing

  1. Ann Marie Baldonado’s Review of Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master

    ** Another great review from Fresh Air producer, Ann Marie Baldonado:

    When I go to a film festival (which isn’t that often), and I am seeing sometimes 5 or 6 movies in a day, I wonder if the patterns I see, or the common themes I notice from movie to movie, are real, or if my taxed brain is just making the connections when they aren’t there.  But some of the patterns are true. For example, on my second day at the festival, in almost every film I saw, an adult child was searching for his (or her) real father (On the Road, Stories We Tell, Imogene, A Place Beyond the Pines).  And throughout the festival, so many of the films I saw seemed to be about men unable to control their impulses, be they violent or sexual or both. The film that I found to be most mesmerizing about how this topic and one tries to live with one’s inner demons (and where these demons come from to begin with), is Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master.

    The Master follows the story of Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix), a naval officer returning from World War II, with little idea of what to do with himself.  You get the feeling that he was volatile and twitchy to begin with, but the war has certainly taken its toll; it’s written across his face full of crevices, and his constantly hunched back.  He floats from job to job, taking photographs in one of the country’s emerging department stores, picking cabbage alongside Filipino immigrants, generally wandering around the country, getting into fights, making odd alcoholic concoctions for himself, laced with gasoline and paint thinner, that seem to burn away at his insides, so that something is literally, not just figuratively eating at him. 

    Things change for Freddie when he happens upon Lancaster Dodd (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), an intellectual and religious leader who is the head of an emerging spiritual organization.  The Cause, as the movement is called, tries to help followers master their emotions, leaving their regrets, failures and all mental barriers behind.  Dodd is searching for how humans can overcome their darker instincts and animal behaviors, and he has certainly met his match when he meets Freddie, who seems to be all instinct and animal.

    Dodd’s wife, Peggy (Amy Adams) at first is happy that Freddie has inspired her husband to write, to find new techniques to help this lost drifter.  But Freddie’s violent, erratic tendencies get to be too much for Peggy; Freddie doesn’t seem to be responding to any of The Cause’s teachings or exercises, and she thinks they should just let Freddie go.  But Lancaster still wants to help Freddie because if he can’t save Freddie, who can he save?

    Freddie’s journeys and struggles are beautiful to behold onscreen— whether we are on a naval ship, in a cabbage field, or in a living room where followers of The Cause are meeting; much of this is due to Anderson’s decision to film in 65mm.  This technique was most widely used in the 1950s, when The Master is set, so the look of the film is bright, fuzzily precise, and historically fitting.  As Anderson said, using these cameras and film just “felt right” and it translates on the screen, and will hopefully somehow translate well when shown in 35 mm or digital when it hits regular theaters around the country.

    Anderson has consistently said that while there are similarities between his character, Lancaster Dodd and L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology, the film is not about Scientology, and now after seeing the film, I see that he is right.  The Master doesn’t explain how the religion was started, it isn’t an exposé about how followers were conned or misled.  It’s true that at one point in the film Lancaster Dodd’s son (Landry from Friday Night Lights Jesse Plemons), says “he is making it up as he goes along,” but that is not the point of the story— showing Dodd to be a fraud.  In fact, The Master is almost a sympathetic portrait of a man who is struggling, trying to find a way for himself and for his “followers” to make sense of their pasts and move forward, unencumbered.

    Freddie is such a flawed, flawed man, and one gets the feeling that no amount of “work” can really get to the root cause of his demons and frailties— was it a lost love?  Lack of parental love?  The savagery of war?  We never know, and although there are hints, we are kept at an emotional distance.  I left The Master feeling unresolved and still searching, but okay with that, because the exploration was still so beautiful and thoughtful.

    I noticed in the official press materials about The Master, Anderson says “My father came out of World War II and was restless his whole life.”  I guess I can add another movie to the list of films about a child’s search for his father.

  2. Ann Marie Baldonado

    The Master

    Paul Thomas Anderson

  1. Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master is both feverish and glacial. The vibe is chilly, but the central character is an unholy mess — and his rage saturates every frame. He’s a World War II South Pacific vet named Freddie Quell, played by Joaquin Phoenix to the hilt — the hilt above the hilt. We meet him at war’s end on a tropical beach where he and other soldiers seek sexual relief atop the figure of a woman made out of sand.
- David Edelstein reviews ‘The Master’: Filling A Void By Finding A Family View in High-Res

    Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master is both feverish and glacial. The vibe is chilly, but the central character is an unholy mess — and his rage saturates every frame. He’s a World War II South Pacific vet named Freddie Quell, played by Joaquin Phoenix to the hilt — the hilt above the hilt. We meet him at war’s end on a tropical beach where he and other soldiers seek sexual relief atop the figure of a woman made out of sand.

    - David Edelstein reviews ‘The Master’: Filling A Void By Finding A Family

  2. David Edelstein

    Fresh Air

    The Master

    Paul Thomas Anderson

  1. The Master at the Toronto Int’l Film Festival

    From Fresh Air producer Ann Marie Baldonado at the Toronto Int’l Film Festival:

    ———

    This one goes out to Heidi Saman:

    "Ideally you are just doing something that gives you your best shot at make believe or time travel, that gives you the best opportunity to kind of charm somebody into think they are watching something that happened and everything we were seeing when we shooting with this camera was feeling like that."

    — Director Paul Thomas Anderson at a press conference for THE MASTER on September 8th, 2012, at the Toronto International Film Festival, talking about his decision to shoot the film with a 65mm film camera (which is printed on 70mm film).

    ***Primarily used in the 1950s and 60s, 70 mm film yields a brighter, sharper, smoother image than the commonly used 35mm film (or digital).  THE MASTER is one of only two films from the last decade shot entirely on 70mm.  

  2. The Master

    Paul Thomas Anderson

    Fresh Air at TIFF