Esquire had a chat with actor/filmmaker Mark Duplass (from FX's "The League" and the very underrated "Safety Not Guaranteed") who spoke about his favorite film of 2012, "The Master." Duplass had some very kind words for the film and financiers Annapurna Pictures (who also produced "Zero Dark Thirty" where the actor appears briefly).
"I'm a big fan of Joaquin Phoenix, and I feel like he unfortunately took a little bit of a beating after I'm Still Here. I love that movie. And I think maybe he went a little crazy, too. I've been waiting for his return, and I just loved his physicality, the gnarled shoulders. He has that really brute sensitivity to him that I just really appreciated."
"I went in headlong for The Master this year. As a filmmaker, I'm getting more and more picky about what I like, which is probably why I watch more documentaries than anything else. But there's something about movies like The Master. I knew that movie wasn't going to 100-percent add up. I expected this really inspired, almost tone poem of a movie with fantastic performances, and that's exactly what I got out of it. The plotting was subordinated to the tone and the performances, which in general, I think, makes for a bad movie, but for some reason, in this case, I was like, Oh, this really works. It's a true mood piece, and I just love it.
"It's the antithesis of how I make movies, which is great. All I'm doing is trying to get an ugly-looking close-up. As long as that person is emoting and giving me something funny and sad at the same time, I'm happy. Literally paying zero attention to the picturesque beauty of the scene.
"I am obsessed with Megan Ellison. She runs this company, Annapurna Pictures, and what she is doing for movies right now... She's making true upscale adult dramas, which nobody's doing anymore: Killing Them Softly and Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty and The Master. I'm very, very thankful for Annapurna Pictures this year. The Master is going to lose money, and she doesn't give a shit. She's going to make more movies like that. And that sort of punk-rock spirit with the power that she has is exactly what we need in cinema right now."Amen. We will remind you now that Annapurna will also be financing "Inherent Vice" as well as 2013 films by Spike Jonze, Bennett Miller, David O. Russell and Harmony Korine and are pretty much the bees knees all around. Duplass & Annapurna are both on Twitter, so follow them if you're so inclined.
We also posted two new interviews with PTA from the last few weeks that slipped through the cracks including brief chats with Deadline and Le Point (the film opened in France this week). Speaking of France, Richard Brody in the New Yorker has posted a fabulous essay about the film and how its more ambiguous aspects will probably play better for French cineastes than they did for American general audiences. Definitely worth a read.
Pre-order "The Master" on Blu-ray or DVD.
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