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Paul Thomas Anderson Addresses Controversy Surrounding ‘The Master’
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The Master

The Master is proving why its one of the most highly anticipated films of the year with each and every new teaser release. Not only that, but select cities have been able to see advanced screenings of the film, and let’s just say they are overwhelmingly positive. But before the film can make its official debut to the public next month, the film’s director, Paul Thomas Anderson, shared a few thoughts on his latest directorial effort. There’s also a new clip that has been released and it reveals the newest city to get an advanced screening of the film.

Check it out below.

In an interview with NewsWeek magazine (via Collider), Anderson acknowledges the rumors he’s heard about The Master being about Scientology. Although the film’s key character (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is based on L. Ron Hubbard’s founding of Scientology and the influence it has on its followers, the film is not about the religion entirely. In fact, it wasn’t his intention to create the real life story of L. Ron Hubbard.

According to him, people who have exited the theaters having just watched the film agree that The Master is not about Scientology. Although Anderson says the film is based on the infancy stages of the spiritual movement after the war, but those who strike up a conversation about the subject of Scientology and The Master, the director says he finds himself “much more defensive and protective of [Scientology] than I would have thought.”

Anderson admitted that he had no idea what he was doing when writing the script for The Master early on. He said,

“I was first writing scenes that didn’t have a home. I do that a lot, and then finally they come together. I like to write every day and keep working and not wait around for something to happen. Richard LaGravenese [the screenwriter] once said that writing should be like ironing a shirt: you keep going over the same spot, and you go a little deeper and a little deeper. I don’t want to sound all mumbo jumbo, but it gets to a certain point, if things are going well, where you’re not writing it; the character is going where he’s going.”

The character that Anderson is talking about in particular is Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix). The character is somewhat of a mix bag of emotions, going from job to job and boozing while trying to figure out what to do with his life after the war. Apparently the character was based on the unused scenes in There Will Be Blood and the stories Jason Robards told him while on the set of Magnolia.

There is a lot to be said about this film, and Anderson does his best to try to address some of the rumors and concerns surrounding his film. As we get closer to the films debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, there is no doubt that the director and cast will have a lot to say about the film and the controversy surrounding it.

In addition to the interview, The Film Stage has uncovered a new clip that reveals the next city to get an advanced screening of The Master. According to the clip below, The Castro Theater in San Fransisco will get to see the film in its 70mm format for just $10. All proceeds will benefit The Film Foundation.

The Master officially opens in theaters on September 14.

Video

[Source: NewsWeek via Collider | The Film Stage]

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