By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 20, 2012 at 2:12PM
Make that two more sneak screenings for Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master." The film, which releases September 14, sprung up in New York on August 18 for two screenings, the first at the Film Forum and the second at the Museum of the Moving Image. Cigarettes & Red Vines reports that the director was spotted but did not do any Q & As.
This continues the Weinstein Co.'s masterful promotion efforts ahead of the film's arrival at the Venice and Toronto fests.
On August 16 the film played at a single benefit screening at Chicago's Music Box Theatre (the last 70 mm facility in the Chicago area). It may be the first and last time Chicagoans are able to see the film it its 70mm form, and -- as the Chicago Tribune's Michael Philips puts it -- "Once is Not Enough for 'The Master.'" There's a chance the Music Box will screen it again in 70mm around the holidays, according to the Weinstein's Eric Lomis. So who else will get to see the film in 70mm? Lomis tells Phillips that audiences in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Washington D.C. and Austin, Texas are the lucky ones. Minneapolis, Denver and Ann Arbor, Michigan are also possibilities for 70mm runs.
Local Time Out critic Ben Kenisberg is to thank for the Music Box benefit, which sold out less than two hours after it was announced. He lobbied for the showing online. Meanwhile, Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert wants to show the film in 70 mm as part of Ebertfest in Champaign, Ill. in 2013. The Toronto International Film Festival program (which will play the film next month) writes that the effect of the film being shot in screened in 70mm is "cumulative, and ultimately shattering." Cigarettes & Red Vines has release details.
The film's initial sneak outing was in Santa Monica, which we reviewed. While the movie was shot in 70 mm, most playdates around the country will show the film in 35mm (which many cinemas will stop doing in the next year), if not digitally. The movie stars Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. The latest trailer is below.
UPDATED early reviews are below:
"Even amongst its most wrenching scenes of unfettered anger and broken loyalty, a volatile sensuality nonetheless invades every frame of Paul Thomas Anderson’s arresting 'The Master.' Populated by characters certain in their sexual and loving instincts yet stubborn in claiming responsibility for them, the film holds an unseen, persuasive force just off-screen to keep each on edge, never fully comfortable in their own skin. However, while the film’s narrative may point to faith as a cause and cure, the end result focuses instead on the reverberating pain in one’s past, and the oblique, often-maddening ways it manifests in the present through incredible performances and direction."
"It’s that aggressively enigmatic type of storytelling that makes The Master the most cryptic film Anderson has made yet. It’s often an electrifying move, removing us from scene-to-scene concerns that Freddie clearly gives no mind to, and powerfully distilling the volcanic emotion of the situations. But it is, too, a rather frustrating quality of the film,..Above all, I think, the movie’s power to arrest and unsettle comes from Phoenix,..I’m not sure there’s any way a completely sane person could possibly build a performance of such delusional, deranged commitment and precision. It’s a physical performance, more than anything else, Phoenix tweaking his joints and limbs so pungently that his Freddie almost comes to resemble a wild ostrich, his elbows always sticking out like sharpened knives."