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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:37 am
Saw it in 70mm. Surely, it's a spectacle. It might have the best film score I've ever heard, along with Hermann/Hitchcock ones.

Has anyone felt a minor lag at around 1:30? I did. Compared to most everything else, except Twin Peaks, it's wonderful, but I think there are some script holes, which are mostly compensated for by the image and sound. The Krieps character (and the actress) is my minor reservation.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Normally I could care less about motivation, but why she gives up her life doesn't come across for me.


The Master is still his best film--the love story (between two men) the most powerful.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:15 pm 
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[Reveal] Spoiler:
fulcanelli4 wrote:
why she gives up her life doesn't come across for me.


This was my question too, which I posed on the previous page. I get that love causes people to behave irrationally in all sorts of ways, and I love that the motives of PTA's characters are so often inscrutable, but I wish we got to see more of what she got out of being with him and vice versa. It would have been nice to see more joy and pleasure balancing out the combativeness and inevitable petty annoyances.


Last edited by ianthemovie on Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:40 pm 
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Hate to be nitpicky fulcanelli4, but perhaps you could follow ianthemovie's lead and use spoilers. Particularly as this is the most anticipated movie right now (particularly on this board) and has yet to even get a wide release...


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:47 pm 
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ianthemovie wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
fulcanelli4 wrote:
why she gives up her life doesn't come across for me.


This was my question too, which I posed on the previous page. I get that love causes people to behave irrationally in all sorts of ways, and I love that the motives of PTA's characters are so often inscrutable, but I wish we got to see more of what she got out of being with him and vice versa. It would have been nice to see more joy and pleasure balancing out the combativeness and inevitable petty annoyances.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
She is a clumsy waitress and he brings her into high society. Pretty obvious to me that's what she gets out of it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:41 pm 
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Drucker wrote:
ianthemovie wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
fulcanelli4 wrote:
why she gives up her life doesn't come across for me.


This was my question too, which I posed on the previous page. I get that love causes people to behave irrationally in all sorts of ways, and I love that the motives of PTA's characters are so often inscrutable, but I wish we got to see more of what she got out of being with him and vice versa. It would have been nice to see more joy and pleasure balancing out the combativeness and inevitable petty annoyances.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
She is a clumsy waitress and he brings her into high society. Pretty obvious to me that's what she gets out of it.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
Totally agree with Drucker. Not wanting to be a waitress anymore is enough of a motivation. Plus, she ends up with the control. Reynolds knowingly ate a poison mushroom omelette because he needed not to lose her. And Cyril pushed around the baby carriage. And Alma ends up being involved in the business. To me, that said she became the controling figure by the end of the film. Whether Alma intended for that to happen from the outset of her relationship with Reynolds or it developed over time (more likely) is open for interpretation.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:17 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:37 am
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Too obvious to me. (And if it is because she's a waitress, why would Woodcock, who is so particular about everything else, want her?)I mean more, What is her past? All we know is she had a mother. I didn't need her whole history, but a small sense would have helped.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:26 am 
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Calvin wrote:
Unless there's been a change, Glasgow Film Theatre told me they'd be showing it from 70mm in March


The Picturehouse Central in London now has bookings open for Phantom Thread in 70mm, for its first week at least, so launchingfilms clearly has it wrong. (Though I wouldn't be surprised if there were 35mm prints in circulation as well.)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:02 pm 
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I caught this at the Music Box yesterday afternoon and thought it was magnificent. The look, the score, the rigor of the entire production are stunning. Anderson's gift for using unique and/or peculiar objects, scenarios, and characters to create bespoke, cohesive frameworks for substance and meaning is always an incredible treat, and I remain in awe of his ability of clearly "cite" his cinematic influences (Rebecca, for example) while still managing to outstrip them to make blisteringly original and beautiful work.

As with the last couple PTA films I've seen theatrically, I was a little underwhelmed by the audience; I was surprised by the amount of (sometimes, though not always, nervous) laughter from the crowd. Other than the occasional clearly wry moment or line of dialogue, I didn't find the film to be remotely funny, and especially not unintentionally so.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Alma
I'm still processing, as usual, but to add on to some of the thoughts about why Alma chooses not to simply leave her relationship with Reynolds: in addition to the explicit or implied benefits to being with Woodcock--social status, the glow of his attention, a sense of agency and scale that her life may not have previously allowed for--I think the moment where she explains that Reynolds is more authentically tender and open when he's burned out or forced to slow down is important to note when considering what follows.

The scene with Barbara Rose's green dress also instructive because it's one of several scenes that give viewers insight into how seriously Alma takes Woodcock's work and, by extension, her relationship with him; it's Woodcock who's blind to it, and her resultant choices could be taken as her increasingly, uh, forceful efforts to make the fact that she loves Reynolds clear him.

When I watch the film again, I plan to more carefully track how the conversation between Alma and the young doctor relates to the chunks of the film it's intercut with. It wasn't obtuse, and I feel like I got most of it, but it may be more illuminating now that I'm familiar with the overall shape of the film.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:40 pm 
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fulcanelli4 wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Too obvious to me. (And if it is because she's a waitress, why would Woodcock, who is so particular about everything else, want her?)I mean more, What is her past? All we know is she had a mother. I didn't need her whole history, but a small sense would have helped.

I don't think any of this necessarily constitutes a spoiler, but I'll tag it as such anyway since that's how the rest of the discussion is going:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
I may be reaching here, but I came away feeling that all this ambiguity about her was one of the film's most interesting strengths. When the story begins, I think one is predisposed to sympathize with Alma just because she has a very warm, inviting demeanor compared to Woodcock's rather cold and distant attitude. By the end of the film, however, Woodcock's psyche has been pretty thoroughly deconstructed (by the film and by Alma herself) and he seems like a very simple creature with predictable, rudimentary motivations, however gifted he may be artistically. Alma, on the other hand, has become profoundly mysterious. I understand why some might feel she is just thinly sketched, but I think she is left enigmatic by design (though of course no one is obligated to like that design). The film seems to me intentionally constructed to give us a deeply disquieting version of a "happily ever after" ending, and part of that disquiet is in not understanding Alma's desires.

That being said, I think this is yet another Paul Thomas Anderson film that I admired more than I loved. I don't have anything to say against it, really—there's just something about his films that prevents them from really landing with me emotionally. It's really exquisitely made, though, full of wonderful aesthetic pleasures. It shines especially brightly in its costume design—obviously—and in Jonny Greenwood's score, which sounds like it was dropped in from some slightly off-kilter dream of 1950s melodrama. He has really proven to be an ingenious and versatile composer, and I have to give kudos to Anderson for giving him the opportunity to flourish like this.

Feiereisel wrote:
I was surprised by the amount of (sometimes, though not always, nervous) laughter from the crowd. Other than the occasional clearly wry moment or line of dialogue, I didn't find the film to be remotely funny, and especially not unintentionally so.
Interesting, I found the film surprisingly funny (the audience I saw it with was laughing, as well). Obviously it's not going for "jokes," but I think humor rises naturally from many of the situations in the film. It's important to remember that laughter is also a way for the body to release tension, and I think Anderson is playing in very tense territory here that often seems like it could tip over into comedy or outright violence at any moment. Laughter seems to me like a natural response to that.

Incidentally, PTA was on Jimmy Kimmel the other night, and seemed to approve when Kimmel said he was surprised how funny the film was.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:34 pm 
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Excellent point about what kind of "creature" Woodcock is. I appreciated how clearly Anderson established those rhythms in the early scenes of the film.

As to the laughter, I didn't think it was a wholly inappropriate response. Much of the chuckling was prompted by Woodcock's petulant responses to things going on around him, which followed because it was derisively directed at the character's pettiness, but I was surprised that it continued after the first few outbursts. I found myself on a much different wavelength; the petulance and obsessiveness was too barbed and spiteful to make me laugh, even nervously.

Anyway, still better than the gentleman who stood up and burped, "What was that?" following my screening of The Master.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:30 am 
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I thought this was fantastic - moving, fierce, funny in a very organic way, and eventually oddly uplifting. This almost feels like a perfect inverse of The Master.

Feiereisel wrote:
Anyway, still better than the gentleman who stood up and burped, "What was that?" following my screening of The Master.

We had a burper at our screening - right in the middle of that wonderful first fitting scene, someone let out a rolling belch like it was nothing.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:40 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:37 am
Good measured words, Kirkinson. I'll see it again, sometime. Who knows? It just felt like I was ahead of it as I watched. His last three films--I did not have that feeling. Interesting about admiring but loving. Can someone love a Kubrick film? I don't know. In a bloodless way I do--Barry Lyndon perhaps because it brings out emotion in me, rather than The Shining or 2001 which are both hypnotic experiences--the awe of the story presented in the visuals he chose decimates emotion and makes into something else. I get high thinking I'm seeing reincarnation or eternal recurrence--things I believe rule our lives.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:16 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:46 am
Saw it in 70mm at the Castro in SF.

Brilliant score (if Desplat wins over Greenwood this time, it will be truly shameful), Vicky Krieps is a find.

Seemed to start off mimicking a certain kind of costume drama perhaps partially for laughs, and then became progressively more ethereal and strange.

My companion and I both noticed how claustrophobic the film seemed since it almost all takes place inside a handful of rooms. It makes the scene on the coast have power.

To me the high point of the film was the visions of DDL in bed. On paper, nothing much happening, but the score was overwhelming me at that point (in a good way) and it was emotionally quite striking.

There are several lines from the trailers that weren't in the film I saw. While this is not atypical, I'm curious if it was because of the print he brought or what. They seemed like they would have been from scenes that might have helped fill things out a little more - for example, I don't remember a scene between Alma and Cyril discussing Reynolds in that way, which seemed an odd omission. I might also have possibly missed something.

PTA did a Q&A afterwards - the person doing it with him was having a hard time getting his trousers off and there was a lot of silence and stammering and not getting to the point. PTA went with it but because it was dragged out for so long, they didn't get through many questions. One thing PTA spent a great deal of time on was describing how obsessively DDL chose every single detail about his clothing and what was on the walls in the house, etc. I know everyone respects his talent and all but damn it sure sounded like he must be a huge pain in the ass, especially if you're a talented set decorator/wardrobe artist and realize you're not going to be able to do your job with him around. I love PTA though, such an unassuming guy.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:44 am 
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I too thought there was a lot of intentional humor. Certainly the stuff with the eating noises. And the line:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
"Kiss me girl, before I'm sick!"


seems designed to bring down the house.

If I revisit the film, I may approach it as a comedy going in.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:37 am 
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When someone asked Anderson during his Twitter Q&A yesterday when he was making another comedy (not even sure what the person meant by that but he was being very generous with some of the more inane questions being asked) he replied "I just did" or something along those lines


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:12 am 
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I saw this alone in my hometown theater tonight and really like this. Someone more proficient than I could tell me what format it was but grain was most certainly present. I was told this week that faulty projection was responsible for a bad image of Darkest Hour and that issue certainly didn't appear here.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
What's remarkable to me is that at any point this film could have veered off into melodrama or even sheer nonsense but Anderson not only kept it together but he subverted my expectations. I was under the impression that I was going to see a film about where the woman was the object but was that was readily subverted. It's a film about passion for a great many things but it all feels very three dimensional. I've seen some of you say the film feels cramped but I'm not sure that's what I'd call it (Perhaps it's the mood Reynolds himself that creates that feeling?). There's a great deal of attention made to the characters faces (The 180 rule is even broken early on in the film). Every little twitch is noticeable and every restrained barb of venom is seen. This doesn't look like any other film made last year and it's a real treat. I look forward to revisiting this in the future.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:19 am 

Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 1:43 pm
Finally got an opportunity to see this last night and I loved it. It was my favorite PTA movie since There Will Be Blood (I liked The Master fine but I've never understood what makes it stand above the rest of his oeuvre in so many people's minds). I doubt I have anything revelatory to add to the discussion, but my experience seeing it was rather odd.

I found the film to be a great and
[Reveal] Spoiler:
unsettling
stately character drama but there were a gaggle of women in the audience who apparently found it to be an uproarious comedy as they would laugh--and I don't mean quietly chuckle--but boisterously cackle their heads off during a few key scenes (in particular
[Reveal] Spoiler:
both scenes in which Woodcock was unnerved by Alma's eating habits which to me were gravely disturbing subjective looks at Alma through the eyes of a man who must control everything but they were apparently the greatest physical comedy gags since the Three Stooges to hear these women laugh
).

Did I miss something? Am I stick in the mud? Should I have been peeing myself with laughter? I admit, I chuckled a little when
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Woodcock told the young doctor to fuck off and Alma repeated it in deadpan
but that scene seemed to have a very different tenor from the others.

I imagine the women just didn't realize what kind of a film they were in for and were trying to make the best out of it when they could as when they were leaving , I overheard one of them say, "It was so boring, and I don't get
[Reveal] Spoiler:
the ending. Was she dreaming or was that for real? (I have spoiler-tagged this not because it's really a spoiler but because its ludicrousness may suggest more of a spoiler than what is actually here and I suppose it does spoil the fact that a somewhat surprising ending does exist)
.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:30 am 
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There are certainly comedic moments there intentionally but just how and why they're comedic depends on you I think.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
The scene where Alma is putting something on her toast is comedic sure but it reveals something about Reynolds' character. It's a man so hell bent on routine that even this comically minor disruption sets him off. I certainly thought it was funny but what's great about the scene is that it informs you as well. How many of us could be so disturbed by such a minor act and have our entire day ruined (Cyril states that a bad breakfast ruins his entire day.)? We laugh sure but there's a great insight into character here and I feel that's it's not something to overlook just because we may laugh.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:37 am 

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Big Ben wrote:
There are certainly comedic moments there intentionally but just how and why they're comedic depends on you I think.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
The scene where Alma is putting something on her toast is comedic sure but it reveals something about Reynolds' character. It's a man so hell bent on routine that even this comically minor disruption sets him off. I certainly thought it was funny but what's great about the scene is that it informs you as well. How many of us could be so disturbed by such a minor act and have our entire day ruined (Cyril states that a bad breakfast ruins his entire day.)? We laugh sure but there's a great insight into character here and I feel that's it's not something to overlook just because we may laugh.


Fair enough, maybe I'm just like
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Woodcock because I was so unsettled by the women's laughter and wanted them to stop. Meta moment. But seriously, I get what you're saying and agree, but I think it was more the style and volume of laughter than seemed out of place to me with this particular crowd.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:39 pm 
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The funniest scene to me - the one that actually had me physically laughing - was
[Reveal] Spoiler:
the breakfast scene after the one that Reynolds blows up at Alma. In that scene, Alma is taking great pains to demonstrate that she's buttering her toast and eating it as quietly as possible, all while Reynolds blows up at Cyril for telling him that he'll probably be invited to the wedding. The truth about Reynolds is made pretty plain in that scene - it's not that disruptions at breakfast ruin his day by breaking his routine, it's that ruining breakfast is actually the routine.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:34 pm 
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I laughed out as well..
Brian C wrote:
The funniest scene to me - the one that actually had me physically laughing - was
[Reveal] Spoiler:
the breakfast scene after the one that Reynolds blows up at Alma. In that scene, Alma is taking great pains to demonstrate that she's buttering her toast and eating it as quietly as possible, all while Reynolds blows up at Cyril for telling him that he'll probably be invited to the wedding. The truth about Reynolds is made pretty plain in that scene - it's not that disruptions at breakfast ruin his day by breaking his routine, it's that ruining breakfast is actually the routine.
and this scene as well...
[Reveal] Spoiler:
When he railed against the idea of being "Chic"
I always find humor and laughs in all of Anderson's films. His humor is built within the drama. And that's just the way Anderson writes his characters. Nothing forced. Everyone knows someone who is funny without trying. Just the way they say things, the facial expressions they have, or their physical movements (like the way someone might butter toast). And he acknowledges that there is much humor in his films.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:41 pm 
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Soderbergh listed a double-feature of this and Modern Romance on his 2017 seen-read list, and rewatching Modern Romance, I'm now convinced it was specifically on Anderson's mind when he was making this. Hell, a minute in, Albert Brooks orders
[Reveal] Spoiler:
"a mushroom omelette, cooked with very little butter"
and then has lipstick wiped off his mouth with a restaurant napkin.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:50 pm 
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The same sort of connective tissue that exists between Melvin & Howard and The Master!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:33 pm 
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HitchcockLang wrote:
I imagine the women just didn't realize what kind of a film they were in for and were trying to make the best out of it when they could as when they were leaving , I overheard one of them say, "It was so boring, and I don't get
[Reveal] Spoiler:
the ending. Was she dreaming or was that for real? (I have spoiler-tagged this not because it's really a spoiler but because its ludicrousness may suggest more of a spoiler than what is actually here and I suppose it does spoil the fact that a somewhat surprising ending does exist).
Now I feel like a dotty old woman because I missed any indication that
[Reveal] Spoiler:
the ending is imagined by Alma. I see the Wikipedia entry for the film also states quite authoritatively that the ending is imagined. Is that everyone’s interpretation? What did I miss in the film that indicates this?

Also, I want to make an apology for questioning the value of a 70mm presentation of this film. I saw it with an extremely lousy DCP presentation (lines on the screen) and wished desperately that I was seeing it in 70mm where, regardless of the necessity of the large format, some care at least might have been taken with the quality of the image. I plan to see it again soon somewhere else. It’s awfully sad that I have to look forward these days to Blu-ray releases of films so that I can watch them in a viewing environment better than most local cinemas.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:24 pm 
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My condolences that you had to experience the film in such a poor quality projection! As for the ending

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I see it as much more ambiguous whether it is a fantasy sequence or not. It's triggered by Alma saying something like "I see our future...", so it's possible that we are seeing what she hopes will happen. I especially love the idea of Cyril being forced into the role of spinster aunt, minding the baby while Alma gets her much-desired alone time with Reynolds, which I suppose really would be Alma's fantasy! I read somewhere else that there is also the hint, building off an earlier shot where Alma suggests adding a bow to one of Woodcock's dresses, that Alma has taken a more creative role in the House and maybe becomes a designer in her own right. But it seems to me impossible to say whether we are seeing the actual future, or just what Alma imagines.


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