Geoffrey O’Brien, ‘An Intimate Epic of Irrational Need’

In his latest film, Paul Thomas Anderson has taken whatever he needed from the early history of Scientology, drawing freely on its vocabulary, doctrines, and methods, to create an intimate epic of irrational need, an inner history of cultish transactions reconfigured as a sorrowful and distinctively American poem.

Photo: Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master (The Weinstein Company)

Geoffrey O’Brien, ‘An Intimate Epic of Irrational Need’

In his latest film, Paul Thomas Anderson has taken whatever he needed from the early history of Scientology, drawing freely on its vocabulary, doctrines, and methods, to create an intimate epic of irrational need, an inner history of cultish transactions reconfigured as a sorrowful and distinctively American poem.

Photo: Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master (The Weinstein Company)

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