Second Teaser for Director Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master
06.19.12 by Ryan
Last month saw the first teaser trailer for director Paul Thomas Anderson's (There Will Be Blood) upcoming drama The Master. Supposedly based — however loosely — on Scientology, the surreal trailer revealed Joaquin Phoenix as a lonely drifter who is prone to violence and breaking the rules.
Nowhere to be found was Philip Seymour Hoffman's character, the intellectual leader of the faith-based organization who eventually brings in Phoenix as his right hand man. Hoffman does appear in the latest teaser trailer, and quickly shows that the reports of the story being based on Scientology aren't unfounded. Hoffman's character of Lancaster Dodd admits that he is a writer and (among other things) a "theoretical philosopher," which sounds an awful lot like Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, to say nothing of The Master's 1950s setting (Hubbard founded Scientology in 1952). Add to that Dodd's wife, Mary-Sue (Amy Adams, who also appears in the trailer), seems likely named after Hubbard's third wife, Mary Sue Hubbard, and the association is that much stronger. Other than those facts, however, the latest trailer is another excellent exercise in surreal enchantment, alluring the viewer while never fully explaining just what exactly is going on.
Here's the official synopsis of The Master.
Set in America in the years following World War II, a charismatic intellectual (Hoffman) launches a faith-based organization and taps a young drifter (Phoenix) as his right-hand man. But as the faith begins to gain a fervent following, the onetime vagabond finds himself questioning the belief system he has embraced, and his mentor.