Mike Eisenberg on “The Master”

Joaquin Phoenix stars in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master.” Courtesy of Phil Bray/The Weinstein Company.

Sometimes you just happen to be at the right place at the right time. On the evening of August 15th, I happened to be on Facebook when the announcement was made that the Music Box would be screening “The Master” a month ahead of its Chicago release in 70 mm as a one-time-only event the next night. Since Paul Thomas Anderson is my favorite modern American filmmaker, I naturally couldn’t resist the invitation, and managed to snag a ticket before they sold out. I later discovered that filmmaker Mike Eisenberg, who previously appeared on my podcast, was also in attendance that night (his post-screening tweet ended up on Indiewire), and since we had such an impassioned discussion before about Wes Anderson and Terrence Malick, I thought he would be an ideal cinephile to join me in discussing PTA’s latest work. On this latest podcast, he makes several fascinating observations, including the parallels he noted between “The Master” and the work of Francis Ford Coppola (which is appropriate, considering the film was lensed by Coppola’s recent collaborator, Mihai Malaimare Jr.).

Though “The Master” has received divisive reactions, it is easily one of the year’s most audacious and brilliantly crafted achievements. Now that it has literally opened “everywhere” today, I highly suggest that moviegoers seek it out. And make sure to see it with a friend because–as this podcast proves–you’ll have plenty to discuss afterward. Another must-see moviegoing event in Chicago is The United Film Festival, which will screen Eisenberg’s excellent short film, “Stitches” at 7pm on Wednesday, September 26th, at the gorgeous Music Box Theatre (where Eisenberg and I both viewed “The Master”). To view the trailer, click here.

The program was produced at Columbia College Chicago. Technical producer was Rebecca Nystedt. An Indie Outlook Production.

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