Friday, December 18, 2009

Best Film Of The Decade: There Will Be Blood

The Gawker website has taken it upon themselves to tally up countless reviewers Top Films Of The Decade lists that have been spreading everywhere to see which film overall was the highest ranked. With 12 votes, There Will Be Blood won top honors. They said:

In its day, Paul Thomas Anderson's oil-drilling epic had to take a back seat to the Coen Brother's nihilist No Country For Old Men. But a few years later, this Blood will not be washed out.
The web has come alive with Best Film of the Decade lists. Unlike Best of the Year lists, where the same dozen or so films appear again and again, Best of the Decades are where a list-making critic can really take wings and fly, revealing their inner soul through their choices. Are you a Lost in Translation type or a Memento -ite? The choice says everything, and nothing, about the list makers.
So what we've done is added up all the Best lists we could find online — from the New Yorker to; anywhere where people had made a list. We gave each film a point for every inclusion on every top ten list. Some lists made it a bit difficult, doing say an unordered top 15's, but we've included as much as we can to try and get an accurate count.
Also in the case of multi-film series, such as Lord of the Rings or the Bourne films, some critics placed the entire series on the list, some cast their votes for the individual films.
And when the votes were all in, by a nose, There Will Be Blood stood alone at the top of the decade, its straw in the whole damn cinema's milkshake.
View their entire list of films by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

"Don't Know Much About The Master," Hoffman

Despite the post's subject, I had to find some other keyword to mix up the banners a little. Last night, someone from New York Magazine caught up with Phil Hoffman at LAByrinth and fished around for further details regarding "The Master." Unfortunately, it didn't really work:

In keeping with our ongoing crusade to bring you all the latest info, pertinent or otherwise, on Paul Thomas Anderson's upcoming Philip Seymour Hoffman–starring The Master, which may or may not be about the birth Scientology, we asked Hoffman about it at last night's last night's Celebrity Charades benefit for LAByrinth Theater Company. "I really don't know much about it. If [you] know anything, [you] know more than I do," he told us, explaining that he's not yet seen a script. Is it about Scientology? we asked. To which he replied: "No idea." 

Thursday, December 03, 2009

New York Magazine Talks 'The Master'

In an article titled "So This New Paul Thomas Anderson Movie Is Definitely About Scientology, Right?," New York Magazine had this to say about his forthcoming sixth feature currently being called "The Master."

Announced last night and already pretty much the upcoming movie we're most looking forward to, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master will star Philip Seymour Hoffman in the title role as a charismatic dude who founds his own religion in 1952. The film's primary action will allegedly revolve around the clash between Hoffman's character and his second-in-command, a twentysomething guy named Freddie who comes to question what his boss is selling. So, even though Scientology's Wikipedia entry makes no mention of any troublemakers named Freddie, can we safely assume that the film will be a thinly veiled, Bowfinger-y slap at L. Ron Hubbard?
We're certainly going to! Despite Hoffman's physical resemblance to Hubbard and that Scientology was also founded in 1952, Variety claims "the drama does not so much scrutinize self-started churches like Scientology or the Mormons, as much as it explores the need to believe in a higher power, the choice of which one to embrace and the point at which a belief system graduates into a religion." But presumably they'd have to say something like that to get this thing made in Scientology-controlled Hollywood (Universal is apparently waiting on a final draft of the screenplay before it okays the film's $35 million budget).
We wonder if, to any degree, the idea for Master was inspired by Anderson's friendship with Jeremy Blake, the visual artist with whom he collaborated on 2002's Punch Drunk Love. As you'll recall, Blake and girlfriend Theresa Duncan took their own lives in 2007 under mysterious circumstances, with Duncan alleging they'd been harassed by Scientologists after the couple's friend Beck told them he was thinking about leaving the religion (Beck, of course, denied this). So we guess we probably shouldn't look for "Devil's Haircut" on The Master's soundtrack.
You can check out the same information but arranged a little different on their website by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Details On New Paul Thomas Anderson Feature!

Variety is reporting the following about the sixth as-of-yet Untitled follow-up feature to There Will Be Blood written and directed by Paul. Here's their update:

“There Will Be Blood” writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson has found religion, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, for his next film. 
Anderson has written an untitled period drama that is set up at Universal. Hoffman, who has played supporting roles in most of Anderson’s past films, would this time be the centerpiece. 
Hoffman will play “The Master,” as in “master of ceremonies,” a charismatic intellectual who hatches a faith-based organization that begins to catch on in America in 1952. 
The core is the relationship between The Master and Freddie, a twenty-something drifter who becomes the leader’s lieutenant. As the faith begins to gain a fervent following, Freddie finds himself questioning the belief system he has embraced, and his mentor. 
Anderson's treatment of religion was cynical in "There Will Be Blood." Here, the scrutiny isn't specifically directed toward faith-based movements like Scientology or Mormonism that are newcomers compared to established religions. Anderson explores the need to believe in a higher power, the choice of which to embrace, and the point at which a belief system graduates into a religion. .  
Universal, which has become very selective about green lighting adult dramas, won’t make a decision on Anderson’s $35 million budget pic until he delivers his finished script. His hope is to make the picture next year, sources said. 
Anderson’s frequent collaborator, JoAnne Sellar, is the producer.  
Hoffman made his breakthrough in the cast of Anderson’s “Boogie Nights,” and has also appeared in the Anderson-directed “Hard Eight,” “Punch-Drunk Love” and “Magnolia.” 
Neither the studio nor reps for Anderson or Hoffman would comment.