December 04, 2016

Paul Thomas Anderson surprises California audience with “The Master” screening


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The Venice and Toronto film festivals put feathers in their caps by being able to program Paul Thomas Anderson’s highly-anticipated “The Master” into their fall events. But knowing PTA – and his adoration for true cinema fans – he had something special up his sleeve, which was revealed Friday night in Santa Monica.

Anderson screened his film, in full, following a retrospective screening of Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” at the American Cinematheque in Southern California. Patrons attending the screening were told that there would be a second movie screening after the Kubrick classic, according to HitFix, but they had no idea it would be PTA’s drama until it screened.

The AC screening allowed Anderson (who attended with his wife, Maya Rudolph) to screen “The Master” in his preferred format, 70mm. This near-insistence is causing headaches with exhibitors as the film prepares its fall theatrical release. But the film will be opening in limited release on Sept. 14, with a strong push from The Weinstein Company, before it continues to expand.

You have to love PT Anderson for surprising fans at a legitimate cinematic event, taking a little wind out of the sails of the prestigious film festivals but paying tribute to the people he makes movies for … the audience.

It’s not going to stop us from covering the daylights out of “The Master” when it screens in Toronto in September. Stay tuned for our reports on Anderson’s movie, and its trot through the Oscar marathon.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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