‘Master’ awaits ‘Church’ response
We haven’t yet seen Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, but the word from the Venice Film Festival is very strong. It seems that Michael Mann and his jury wanted to hand every gong in their rucksack to the film (starring Joaquin Phoenix as an ex-sailor in thrall to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s mad guru) but rules prohibited such promiscuity. They settled for sharing best actor between the two stars and handing the Silver Lion for best director to Anderson. Kim Ki-Duk’s Pieta ended up with the Golden Lion.
Many reviews have argued that the supposed allusions to L Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology, are not as explicit as expected. Anderson did, however, confirm that this “is a character that I created based on L Ron Hubbard”.
The New York Post has claimed that, worried about responses from the “Church”, Harvey Weinstein, who is distributing The Master, has increased his personal security. The story might even be true.