Paul Thomas Anderson is my favorite living director not named Scorsese. For almost half my life, from age 15, I have had connection with Paul Thomas Anderson's films that is hard to describe. I still remember watching that opening shot of Boogie Nights for the first time and feeling like I was just smacked in the head, from that moment on I was as passionate a Paul Thomas Anderson fan as there is. I used to talk about him so incessantly that for my 19th birthday, in 2001, my buddies in the dorm(furthest thing from cinephiles you could get) gave me Magnolia and Boogie Nights for my shiny new DVD player with a fake note written from Anderson to myself. I don't know how, but Anderson's films speak to me on an almost primal level, it's like he has direct access to my mind & soul and is able to create films that perfectly speak some universal truth to me. This may sound like hyperbole to you, but I can say without qualifier that Anderson has never made a less than perfect film, and three of his movies are timeless masterpieces. The only film-makers I can think of who have that type of track record are Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese and Orson Welles. Needless to say, when a movie from Paul Thomas Anderson is on the horizon it's hard for me to overstate the anticipation that I feel.
That's why I have a big smile on my face when I say that, Cigarette & Red Vines was able to confirm with Megan Ellison, the producer of Anderson's next film, that we can expect to see PTA's latest opus this fall. The news about the film(tentatively titled The Master) came as a tweet in direct response to Cigarettes & Redvines:
@cigsandredvines I know you guys are waiting on a release date for 'the Master', and it's still a bit early, but I'd keep my eyes on October
This is extremely good news because the film has been constantly dogged by problems and it has been extremely murky as to when when the movie would be finished. At one point the film didn't look like it would even be made and more recently rumors were circling that the movie wouldn't release until mid to late 2013. So a mid-fall release for the movie seems like a pleasant surprise.
The film, which will star Philip Seymour Hoffman, is about a man who upon returning from World War II is so disgusted by the horrors of man starts his own religion in response. While it has been a topic of speculation how much the film is directly telling the story of L Ron Hubbard(the founder of Scientology), I think it would be safe to assume this could be PTA's Citizen Kane. Just as Charles Foster Kane was and was not William Randolph Hearst, one way or another I'm sure this movie will be an exploration and discussion of the idea and spirit of the man regardless of it's "historical significance".
As you can tell I am an unapologetic PTA admirer and am over the moon about this news. But, I want to know what you guys think. Do you take this as good news, or are you shrugging your shoulders right now? Are you Looking forward to The Master, or are you not a Paul Thomas Anderson fan? Make sure to leave a comment below and let your voice be heard!