Another sublime teaser for the Film Foundation benefit screening. (This time in SF.)
Amazing thing about these teasers is that PTA shot specific scene for eachofthem. None of these appear in the film. And if you think the cinematography looks stunning in a crummy youtube video, imagine what it looks like on a 70mm projection!
Looks like someone posted a link to my P.T. Anderson story in the comment section of Cigarettes & Red Vines. Which in turn caught my attention to this fun bit:
That sound you hear right now is an entire city of cinephiles kicking themselves for not going to check out “Taxi Driver” at MoMI last night. Paul seems to be having a ball showing up with his little surprise all over the country so keep your fingers crossed and your eyes peeled. There could be more to come…
From what I saw, no one knew. And no one just walked in. The people who went to see the scheduled ‘Taxi Driver’, had no idea there’s a secret screening happening afterwards. Even if some of those people did recognize P.T. Anderson (and I don’t think anyone did), for all they know he was visiting the museum and didn’t suspect anything. (Neither did I at the beginning. It’s only during out brief conversation he let me in on it.)
And judging by the people who did show up at 8:30 pm (a very small crowd, 25/30 people at most, of which I spoke to a few) had good reasons to be there (i.e. friends/family member of his and the producers, editors and the museum curator who setup the screening…)
I was probably the one who just fell into it due to sheer co-incidence. And Definitely the only one, who P.T. Anderson himself said to “stick around.”
Who knew my aimless walk around the neighborhood over the weekend, would lead to a chance encounter with none other than P.T. Anderson!
I was doing a casual fly by my favorite museum and there he was! Seemingly out of nowhere, with no apparent reason to be there. Barely gathering myself after the initial stunned state over my incredible dumb luck, I went up to him to speak. The exact content and nature of the conversation deserves a separate post entirely but as it turned out he was planing a private 70mm screening later that night for few of his friends and family members. And the best part? He let me be a part of it!
I got to see ‘The Master’ (something I’d been so eagerly waiting for) with Paul Thomas Anderson - the master himself, ahead of it’s release, for free*.
Let that sink in for a minute. (The sheer amazement and the surreal nature of the whole thing I cannot be overstated.)
As for what I thought of the film itself, it’d be silly for me to try to put into words. You’d have to see it for yourself. But suffice to say it’s easily one of the greatest films to come out in last decade and certainly one of the last great films to be ever cut on film (sadly, as studios phase out film productions in favor of digital.) If nothing else, just the sheer beauty of this film will make you weep.
And since it’d be a crime to claim to have seen the film and not say a word about the performances, let me just say that Philip Seymour Hoffman has never been or looked so good. Same goes for Amy Adams. And then there’s Joaquin Phoenix. His performance in ‘The Master’ will astound you, make your jaw hit the floor and move you to the core. It’s nothing short of electrifying. (There’s someone else too behind the scene: Johnny Greenwood, who you don’t see on screen, but his work permeates seamlessly and masterfully through out the film and gives a lot of it’s sublime beauty and tone. I’d say the score for ‘The Master’ is ever better than ‘There Will Be Blood’.)
And just to get back to P.T. Anderson for a second (that incredibly talented, aesthetically pleasing, sweet man that he is): I never got to experience Kubrick’s ascendance in real time, but P.T. Anderson, he’s starting to become, in his own way, this generation’s Stanley Kubrick. And that to me, is pretty damn exciting.
p/s. If you live near New York, do yourself a favor and seek out the film when it get’s a limited release on Sept. 14th. Rest of you, wait ‘til October 12th.
*not that I won’t be seeing it again when it comes out.