I’ve been watching a lot of Paul Thomas Anderson lately.
There Will Be Blood. Punch-Drunk Love. I had never seen any of his films. And then there’s The Master which came out of John Huston’s Let There Be Light.
What an experience.
Watch this movie again. The ending is what makes it for me. The interviews and hypnotizing portions are absolutely amazing of course, but when it ends, I wasn’t sure if I should be depressed or feel some bit of hope, much like with PTA films. They drive away from the hospital, everyone waving at them… Everyone still there.
There’s a shit ton of people still there! Of course the military didn’t want this thing released, what would people think?! I didn’t feel beaten over the head with some sort of “War is Hell” message of anything. I felt like I was watching these men try to gain back something they had lost. War was the cause of it, yes, but it was so moving. And then it’s over and there is nothing to do but think of all those rooms still filled with men trying to reclaim something they have lost.
PTA films deal with loneliness. John Huston narratives usually deal with isolation as well. The connection is only natural, and quite engaging from masterful filmmakers of different eras.