The Master (2012), Paul Thomas Anderson

An ambitious trip towards the deep subconscious of Man, Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2012 The Master showcases a gladiatorial battle of wits between a perturbed individual, exacerbated by his animal appetites, and an apparently civilized and yet animalistic man of letters.

the-master-2Don’t be fooled by the presence of the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the supposedly titular character. Although Lancaster Dodd, as the founder of a cult, looks the type, he might not even be the master of himself. Is Freddie Quell, on the other hand, enough of a daring anti-hero to be called an Übermensch? Paul Thomas Anderson – one of the greatest filmmakers of the last twenty year, who seems to never put a foot wrong – looks into the eyes of archetypal America in order to explain the trends of nowadays. Continue reading

There Will Be Blood (2007), Paul Thomas Anderson

A cinematic masterwork of epic and far-reaching scope, Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2007 There Will Be Blood is a film that feeds off legends, allegories and origin stories, to then go on and create its own mythology about the American Century and the end of the dream.

there-will-be-blood-2The analogy between the plot of There Will Be Blood and the socio-economic history of the United States isn’t a difficult one to establish. The development of the country – and the subsequent social, cultural and technological progress set in motion by this – is the result of some morally dubious choices and dishonest manoeuvres. Rather more complicated, however, is to reconcile the negative aspects of such a society with the notion that this is the land of freedoms and opportunities. Continue reading