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PTA's 'The Master' Had a Surprise 70mm Screening in LA on Friday

by
August 4, 2012
Source: TheFilmStage, Playlist

The Master

"Is it really all so he easy that he just came across us?" Ohh I have a feeling it's going to be a good year for Paul Thomas Anderson. There's word going round the internet that last night, acclaimed filmmaker PTA held a surprise, sneak peek screening of his new film The Master at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica in LA. The Aero is one of a few still working 70mm projection houses and they were showing a screening of The Shining. Guests were told "there would be a mystery 70mm movie... as a second feature" and a few noticed PTA "lurking" in the back of the theater. When they came back they were shown the over 2-hours-long 70mm version of The Master, and reactions have come pouring in on Twitter. Of course, they're glowing.

Ever since news of the surprise screening first hit late on Friday night after the Shining screening, critics and fans have been abuzz like no other. Each time someone would wake up and see see the news, their reactions would be amusing to see, everyone wishes they were there (yea, I admit I do too). However, while some are calling this a "premiere", I would instead refer to it as a pseudo PTA test screening. He wanted to show a surprise public audience in 70mm, and there are few places to do that. Perfect. The buzz this is going to create will be tremendous, even though we all wish we were there, that's only going to help - especially when the reactions are this good. Thanks to The Film Stage & The Playlist for collecting many of these.

I understand the buzz for The Master is so wild right now for two reasons: first, the release of The Master got moved to mid-September (more info here), meaning it's coming up very soon, and second, it has a lot of awards buzz/potential, and everyone is anxious to see it. Combine those two and you've got everyone who loves film and PTA salivating to see this right away. In the meantime, we can impatiently read these early reports from those lucky enough to catch The Master screening last night. Here's a few of the best tweets:

I love these reactions. They just make it more painful for those of us who weren't able to be there. But now I'm even more excited to see it. I'm glad to see there were a few critical replies, but the rest make me confident that PTA has indeed put together another extraordinary film, as the trailers make it out to seem. No one knows what kind of wild marketing plan The Weinstein Company, or maybe PTA himself, has for this movie. So far its unraveled with early footage in Cannes, those two fantastic teaser trailers, an even better theatrical trailer, now this screening out of nowhere, plus the release date shift from October to September. The film will play at TIFF and Venice this fall, maybe even Fantastic Fest, possibly Telluride, but who knows where else - maybe it could pop up at your local 70mm cinema! We'll just have to wait and see.

Paul Thomas Anderson (the man behind films like Boogie Nights, Magnolia, There Will Be Blood) wrote and directed The Master. The film follows Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) a charismatic leader who creates a new religion in the 1950's and his main disciple (Joaquin Phoenix), an alcoholic drifter named Freddie Sutton who becomes Dodd's closest follower only to later break away from his teachings. The Master was previewed at the Cannes Film Festival and will be hitting limited theaters on September 14th.

Note: Speaking of 70mm! PTA has been trying to rally local grassroots campaigns to find 70mm venues around the country. Early reports said "the idea of showing the film as widely as possible in 70mm has met with 'blowback' from the Weinstein Company's end," surrounding buzz that Chicago's only 70mm venue The Music Box would not be showing the film (see Time Out Chicago). Time Out has now added to their post, stating that "Team PTA wants to hear about venues that are 70mm-capable, and about how close they are to being ready, in terms of the labor of getting a projector up and running." So if you know of any, make sure to sound off and let them know, as it sounds like 70mm is ultimately the best way to experience this.

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  • Cody W
    Every once and a while theres that film that fellow movie buffs and critics praise as an one of the best movies ever made....and I couldnt disagree more, think this may be one of those times. Not that Ive seen it or anything but there basically nothing about this movie that piques my interest besides PTAs name attached to it.
  • tzarinna
    Huh, I hope we're able to see it in this format. AFI sometimes screens films in 70mm, so there's a possibility.
  • http://twitter.com/davide_coppola Davide Coppola
    I'd give anything to have a chance to see that movie right now! Glad everyone loved it!
  • chaos1979
    haha i was out watching Total Recall instead FML
  • Rodney
    Why not convert it to IMAX 70mm, I'll bet it would look fantastic.
  • Johnny Neat
    P.T. Anderson is a wunderkind and has done no wrong in film. All of his films have been brilliant. Can't wait.

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