Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Trailerspotting looks at the first full-length promo for The Master

The new trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master is with us. Let me say two things first. These things are true. They are irrefutable. Number one: this film will kick bottom. Number two: if PTA really wants us to …

Tue, Jul 24, 2012, 02:44

   
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The new trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master is with us. Let me say two things first. These things are true. They are irrefutable. Number one: this film will kick bottom. Number two: if PTA really wants us to believe that the picture is not based on the life of L Ron Hubbard then he’s propagating his case in most eccentric fashion.

Don’t worry. I understand that the film might not kick bottom. I am not going to start behaving like one of those Dark Knight Rises fanatics who firmed up their opinions six months before the film actually emerged. But it certainly does look very promising. As you will be aware, Philip Seymour Hoffman is playing a character (not based on L Ron Hubbard) who lures disturbed veteran Joaquin Phoenix into a cult that (Hoffman’s character is not based on L Ron Hubbard, remember) has absolutely nothing to do with Scientology.

Everything about this trailer hits the right buttons. It is edited with the same busy energy that flung audiences breathlessly through There Will be Blood and Punch-Drunk Love. Even in these few brief minutes, you sense the director leaning his shoulder against the narrative and grinding it forwards. The period detail seems beautiful and the performances look fairly extraordinary. Hoffman is sinister and Phoenix appears absolutely crazy. Those of us who saw I’m Still Here (a film that you have to remind yourself existed) know that he is very good at playing (or possibly being) nuts, but there really is something superhumanly freaky about his delivery here.

Yes, I am very hopeful that this will work out to our satisfaction. Sadly, we must wait until November to see the finished project.

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