Trailer Park Art in The Master

We’re all drowning in mediocrity, the new poster for Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master seems to be telling us.  The announcement of “This Fall – 2012” appears as a wine vintage or wedding announcement.

But PTA doesn’t play those “glass half full – glass half empty” games with his audience.  His cup always runneth over…be it with oil as in There Will Be Blood or with…well…other fluids…as in Boogie Nights.  Sometimes he rains frogs on us like he did in Magnolia.

Whatever he does, he wants to overwhelm.  His movies are not to be watched but to be experienced.  Love them or hate them…they are always “something” – or better yet, when compared to other films…”something else.” 

Yes – some people make films for the masses…others are masters of their art and make films like The Master.  I don’t pretend to prejudge the finished product…but you can tell a lot from a well crafted trailer…and if nothing else, PTA’s latest promises to be “something to talk about.” 

On the heels of two cold, clinical character-study teasers, we get the first full-blow trailer for The Master below.  Much ballyhooed as a thinly veiled critique on Scientology, this trailer proves that while some highlights of L. Ron Hubbard’s life may have provided inspiration or jumping-off points, The Master is purely in PTA’s wheelhouse exploring the stress of makeshift/non-traditional families and the deep troubling waters of bonds between delusional father-figures and tortured sons.  And am I the only one who caught a subtle scent of the MacBethian in Amy Adams dialogue – American’s Mormon bred-sweetheart perfectly cast in the role of a cult leader’s wife?  Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams might as well dust off those mantlepieces now – for they’ll be drowning in accolades for sure come year’s end.  And if this trailer is any indication, the themes explored in The Master are far larger than the small-minded scam-artistry of Scientology.

Written by David H. Schleicher

What are you thoughts on the art of The Master trailer?

What are some of your favorite recent trailers or most anticipated films?

What trailers blew you away when you saw them but then the actual film disappointed?

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