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Picture of badcopnodonut!!
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quote:
Originally posted by Ripley:
Finally found time to watch my dvr'd "There Will Be Blood".

Early on I was struck how some of the locations seemed straight out of "No Country For Old Men". Oh, THAT's why. Smile

The pacing as well as the long gone and proper use of language paralleled "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford". Not slow but instead riveting and impossible to look away.

Speaking of that, DDL has never seemed more in control. You can't not focus on him in every scene, even doing nothing, he dominates. Hard to believe such a strong character can also be so subtle and measured.

Knowing Upton Sinclair's views, am I to assume that that Plainview was the avatar of capitalism? We get hints of where Plainview came from, no full understanding of who he became, competitive to a fault, only willing to compromise on his terms. As I understand, in Sinclair's "Oil", the primary antagonist was a socialist, not a strong Christian, for what that's worth. Obviously, the movie has the loosest of connections to the book, yet the lesson remains?

Finally, what's with sleeping on the floor. OK, Plainview is passed out drunk but not always. Early on at the assayer's office, on the floor. Not a coincidence, it means something I'm missing.


I think his sleeping on the floor came from his hard life. Mining by himself in a harsh setting with very little comforts was something he was accustomed to and the idea of a bed was completely foreign to him.


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Posts: 2926 | Location: sunflower state | Registered: January 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Plainview's misanthropy seems to be his defining characteristic. If that is the book/film's point, it is also the "humanist's" definition of the capitalist for over a century. It doesn't make their view point any less valid, without straw dog, oppressive, other-than-humans, they have nothing. But in their world, such creatures exist, must exist or will be created if need be. They believe.

It's hard for me not to see it this way, even from my 2018 viewpoint. Lines were clearly drawn a hundred years ago, they become more and more distinct again today.

As mentioned, a truly compelling film but, yeah, the floor sleeping. Penance? Challenge? Punishment? It has to be some key element to Plainview's existence, no?




Set the controls for the heart of the Sun.
 
Posts: 6204 | Location: Columbia, Illinois | Registered: December 25, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Excitable Boy
Picture of Dan the man
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Originally posted by Ripley:
Early on at the assayer's office, on the floor. Not a coincidence, it means something I'm missing.


Been a while since I saw it, hadn't he just broken his leg in the shaft? I took it to mean that cashing in his stash was priority over tending to his injuries.

Loved every minute of this movie. It's always easy to see who the true movie fans are versus the eye candy and explosions crowd whenever it's discussed.



China is Asshoe
 
Posts: 2225 | Location: Michigan | Registered: March 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
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Picture of parabellum
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Yes, he had a broken leg in that scene, but there are at least two other instances in the film where Plainview is seen sleeping on the floor. One was when Plainview was awakened by his foreman at Little Boston to tell him that a man on their crew had been killed. The other was at the end of the film, where Plainvew was sleeping on a lane of his bowling alley, passed out drunk, no doubt.
 
Posts: 90898 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Excitable Boy
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Agreed, yes even after achieving the wealth and power he so craved, living in an opulent mansion, physical comfort was a meaningless concept to him.

Notice in the movie you can see him favoring that leg for the rest of his life. Just one of many details...



China is Asshoe
 
Posts: 2225 | Location: Michigan | Registered: March 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Get my pies
outta the oven!

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I had read that he sleeps on the floor all the time because he's so used to drinking heavily and passing out wherever he is.


 
Posts: 26678 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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He wasn't passed out drunk at Little Boston. He was merely asleep.
 
Posts: 90898 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Ripley
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quote:
Originally posted by PASig:
I had read that he sleeps on the floor all the time because he's so used to drinking heavily and passing out wherever he is.


Maybe. It's not evident he was drunk at the assayer's office early on, coulda been. We see him with drink in hand throughout the film but the fact that he was a true drunk was never driven home. Not an ongoing element to the story as such.

I'm trying to tie the floor scenes with what came before or after, some tie-in? We don't always know directly before or after. If we can accept he is more than an individual character but rather a symbol, that may help explain his sleep habit.

FWIW there was a scene about a third or more way in where Plainview ran (trotted, jogged) in the desert pretty much normally. I'd call it an oversight or continuity error, no meaning. In fact, his limp seemed to get worse with time.




Set the controls for the heart of the Sun.
 
Posts: 6204 | Location: Columbia, Illinois | Registered: December 25, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Excitable Boy
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Symbolism in books and movies is nearly always lost on me. I take fictional stories at face value and judge them that way. It's usually afterword in discussions such as this that I am made aware of deeper intended meanings.

One thing I did notice about this one (starting with the title) was a repeating theme of sacrifice then profit. He breaks his leg and bashes his head then finds gold. The crewman dying and then a strike and the gift of a child. His adopted son deafened and nearly killed during the big strike.

Or maybe I'm trying too hard to see something.



China is Asshoe
 
Posts: 2225 | Location: Michigan | Registered: March 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Ripley
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Originally posted by Dan the man:


Or maybe I'm trying too hard to see something.



Not at all, an interesting observation. Sometimes it's the work producer that tries too hard with the symbolism and allegory. When it requires more education than insight, it can border on pandering and elitism.

I do think there's more to this work than one man's story. That said, Sinclair made his name looking at subjects pretty literally from what I can tell.




Set the controls for the heart of the Sun.
 
Posts: 6204 | Location: Columbia, Illinois | Registered: December 25, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Chip away the stone
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I haven't watched TWBB in years, so maybe I'm confusing it with another movie, but was there a flashback scene where Plainview was a boy, and his family home burned down one night, or was at least ablaze? If yes, might that be related to his aversion to sleeping in a bed?

(I know there is a scene where his "son" loses his hearing in an accident - I'm visualizing a different scene from that.)
 
Posts: 11562 | Registered: August 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
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H.W. set the cabin on fire after Henry showed up. Plainview then had him sent away to a school for the deaf.
 
Posts: 90898 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Chip away the stone
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^^^^Ah, OK, thanks. I'd forgotten the details.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by parabellum:
quote:
Originally posted by Ripley:
Finally, what's with sleeping on the floor. OK, Plainview is passed out drunk but not always. Early on at the assayer's office, on the floor. Not a coincidence, it means something I'm missing.
Plainview cares not one wit about comfort. He is indifferent to being comfortable and to making others feel comfortable. He has no desire for women or to be in love. His one driving motivation is just as he tells Henry, the imposter; he wants to make enough money to get away from everyone because he hates most people.


He is also very competitive and cannot stand anyone else to succeed.

I love the scene where he threatens to cut the guys throat for telling him how to take care of his family.


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Posts: 5284 | Location: Hampton Bays, NY | Registered: October 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have seen only the end of the film, which left me unenthused. Motivated by this thread I read many reviews which, frankly, were not helpful. Fortunately, I did find a really good review. The author makes an excellent summary and explanation via Nietzche's Beyond Good and Evil.

The review is by Terri Murray at https://philosophynow.org There Will be Blood.


"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye". The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, pilot and author, lost on mission, July 1944, Med Theatre.
 
Posts: 5300 | Location: Central Texas | Registered: September 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Paul Thomas Anderson uses cinematographer Robert Elswit on all his feature-length films. Anderson purchased a Pathé motion picture camera made in 1910 and used it to photograph some scenes in Magnolia. There's a lens designer by the name of Dan Sasaki and Elswit uses a range of custom lenses built by Sasaki. In addition to that, Anderson had Sasaki create a lens around the optical elements of the 43 mm lens of this 1910 Pathé camera. This new/old lens was used for some scenes in There Will Be Blood.
Here's a still from one of those scenes. Kinda flat and soft, the colors aren't what you would call vibrant. If you look at the far left of the image, you can see some chromatic aberration- some smearing of colors- and what's known as barrel distortion can be seen in the way the window frame is curved and not straight. Another scene in which this lens is used is the shot of the first well coming in- the one that blows a hole in the roof of the shack as men run out.



It's just so cool that they would do this. Very few viewers would pay any mind to such subtleties. Anderson and Elswit are true craftsmen.

BTW, Anderson says this is a horror film and he modeled Daniel Plainview on Count Dracula. I'm not kidding.


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"Similarly, the Romans enslaved the British for 400 years. So, are we due reparations from the Italians?" - John Cleese
 
Posts: 90898 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I might think a 1910 camera might give up very little mechanically, if anything beyond versatility and adjustment. OTOH lenses are worlds apart. Certainly large format still cams from a century or older produced some amazing images, time stamped by their unique tonality and contrast characteristics.

So like Dracula, Plainfield sleeps on wood, just not constrained/protected by a box? The notion of Dracula with a long straw is a mind bender. Smile




Set the controls for the heart of the Sun.
 
Posts: 6204 | Location: Columbia, Illinois | Registered: December 25, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of parabellum
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Originally posted by Ripley:
So like Dracula, Plainfield sleeps on wood, just not constrained/protected by a box? The notion of Dracula with a long straw is a mind bender. Smile
Yes, the oil/blood metaphor. Plainview draining the Earth of its blood, so to speak.

And yes, Dracula without the coffin. I found this to be interesting reading:

Fossil Frontiers: American Petroleum History on Film

Bottom of page 317:
quote:
Daniel Day-Lewis’s archaic mannerisms underline Plainview’s repression and guardedness – which are partially modeled on Count Dracula’s, as suggested by Anderson himself, who refers to his picture as a "horror film" (Pizzello 2008: 36). As if to support this classification, he includes a scene in which the holy-roller fundamentalist Eli Sunday (Paul Dano) performs a spectacular exorcism on the oilman – who is fittingly "given to death-like sleeps on wooden floors (like a vampire in a coffin)" (Newman 2008: 157) when he isn’t haunting his own house or pacing up and down his tracts on long, spidery feet that buckle under the weight of his rotten core


____________________________________________________

"Similarly, the Romans enslaved the British for 400 years. So, are we due reparations from the Italians?" - John Cleese
 
Posts: 90898 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by NavyGuy:
Like the movie a lot. It came out at the same time as "No Country for Old Men". Both were shot simultaneously in West Texas near Marfa, and both were up for best picture with No Country winning out.

Same here. It's been more than 10 years now, but I distinctly remember going to the theater to see both of these films.



"Ninja kick the damn rabbit"
 
Posts: 4269 | Location: Oklahoma | Registered: October 11, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I know he probably doesn't read SigForum, but I found it interesting that Kevin James suddenly decided to do this movie as his latest "Sound Guy" YouTube short. Maybe he just watches TCM too:



One thing that some YT commenters usually point out, which I also find interesting, is that Kevin and his team have been nailing the lighting for these bits. The one he did for "A Star is Born" (latest remake) was hilarious and looked great.




“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.”—H.L. Mencken
 
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