The Master (Anderson, 2012)

A self-important movie about self-importance. Incomplete, beguiling, pressurized to the point where any one moment feels entirely combustible. Love this thing when it’s about the failures of communities of all kinds to prepare their members for the world beyond their ideological/philosophical borders. It’s near baffling, abstract melodrama the rest of the time. Every frame feels so extremely calibrated that there’s no room to breath, nothing but suffocation. Joaquin Phoenix is indeed astonishing, but the film around him, like Dodd and the rest of the characters, has no idea what to do with his Freddie. He’s just there, toiling in the ether. Now what?

Best of the 2000’s: Epilogue

The Best of the Rest: Honorable Mentions for the 2000’s

For every beginning, there must be an end. Sadly, our joint venture has come to its waning days, but the experience has been invigorating and therapeutic. So we have a decade nearly in the books, ten personal favorites revealed, and plenty of great Cinema to spare.

As previously stated in the Prologue, a rash of other masterful films deserve mention as best of the 2000’s, and I’d like to consider each in short bursts. I’ve ranked them 11-20 but in truth, they are interchangeable on any given day. To be followed by my Top 10 performances of the decade. Continue reading

Best of the 2000’s: Discussion #9

The following is the ninth of ten planned online discussions between MATCH CUTS and THE FILMIST regarding the best films of the 2000’s. These transcriptions have been slightly edited due to length, but the published content remains exactly as written.

THE FILMIST: Paul Thomas Anderson is one of those filmmakers that people seem to regard purely by his influences, for some reason or another. I think that’s a little fallacious, myself – while his inspirations are obvious, this isn’t a fault. And, with that in mind, I believe that if that is the attitude people are going to take toward his films, then surely we can regard There Will Be Blood as the best Kubrick film by someone who – well, isn’t Kubrick.

MATCH CUTS: Interesting, since most critics reference Altman when discussing Anderson. But Kubrick definitely comes to mind with Blood, especially in the opening moments where it’s just visceral images and sounds, no dialogue. Directors like PT Anderson, even Wes Anderson, always will have their detractors because their films are uncompromising and personal. There Will Be Blood is basically a beast of a film, a shifty, expansive epic that complicates ideas about family, and how religion and commerce fit in with familial relations. Continue reading