Paul Thomas Anderson has directed five feature films. They have all been rated R. And guess what? “The Master” will be too.
The MPAA has come down with the decision, officially bestowing the film an R due to “sexual content, graphic nudity and language.” The first two elements may not seem initially like things that would be featured in a film about the founding of a cult/religion/following (or actually, maybe they would) but if you notice in the first teaser (see below or image above), Joaquin Phoenix‘s character is building a sand castle of a nude woman. And in the footage we saw at Cannes, there is another shot from same sequence where we witness him masturbating (though it’s not quite clear) from behind.
Co-starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams, the film, as you know, follows Lancaster Dodd — clearly modeled on L. Ron Hubbard — who starts a faith-based organization in the 1950s, and his relationship with Freddie Sutton (Phoenix) who becomes his right-hand man. The film is notable a few things, among them being shot in 65mm (hence the framing of the teaser spots thus far) and apparently upsetting Tom Cruise for suggesting that Scientology (or whatever) is completely a work of fiction.
No word yet on where it might premiere — Venice and the New York Film Festival seem to be possibilities — but you won’t have to wait too long. “The Master” opens October 12th. [RopeOfSilicon]