New trailer for “The Master” offers new revelations about P.T.A.’s vision

In my recent Comic-Con thought piece, I vowed that we at Critic Speak would never again post marketing materials, including trailers, without a good reason for doing so. Well, I think there are a couple of good reasons to check out this new trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master,” unless you are committed to going in “cold” (an admirable attempt, albeit one that may fail if you regularly read the blogs).

First off, the trailer provides a more concrete look at the hotly anticipated 65mm cinematography than the prior teasers did. Interestingly, even though the negative is in the 2.20:1 aspect ratio (the standard for 70mm releases), this trailer indicates that regular engagements of the film will be masked to 1.85:1 rather than 2.35:1 ‘Scope. It will thereby mark the first time that Anderson has worked in the “boxier” ratio. Nonetheless, the photography looks tremendous — a lot like that of a pioneering, similarly-minded release from the ’70s. Cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr.’s work was the best think about Francis Ford Coppola’s New Millenium efforts “Youth Without Youth” and “Tetro.”

Secondly, after two teasers that emphasized mood over actual plot, this more detailed trailer now makes clear that the story is, as rumored, directly inspired by the origin story of Scientology. It even includes the line “He’s making all this up as he goes along” that reportedly infuriated Tom Cruise when Anderson screened it for him last month. And in a year when the controversial religion has come back into the spotlight due to Cruise’s intensely publicized divorce, why wouldn’t Harvey Weinstein try to sell “The Master” as “the Scientology picture”?

Anyhow, check out the trailer if you’re so inclined. Either way, I’ll see you at the first showing of “The Master” when it opens on October 12, 2012.