The Master marks the second collaboration between Paul Thomas Anderson and highly respected progressive composer/RadioHead guitarist multi-instrumentalist Jonny Greenwood. Back in 2007, There Will Be Blood saw Greenwood compose an orchestral score (Academy ruled it ineligible due to its use of pre-existing material) — he used some already existing materiel from Body songs and his award-winning Popcorn Superhet Receiver was also used in the first wordless twelve minutes of the film. This ineligibility won’t be a liability this year, as Greenwood continues his streak of brilliance in scoring eleven original compositions — eerie and multi-layered, as the film itself, this is potentially the best score we’ll hear all year.
The notion of multi-layered is rather fitting term for an engrossing perplexing beast of a film such as The Master. Who is the master? Even if Lancaster Dodd calls himself one and he acts the part, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he is one. When the misleading statement that human condition can or is above animal condition tries to be justified, there is something eerie about Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character’s need to affirm this belief. But for the animal, who does not need to affirm anything (certainly not its self-consciousness), the world remains wild. In Freddie’s case, his wildness always seems a little strange to the common folk. The song abled-bodied-seaman captu
Despite the continuous disapproval of his actions (department store gaffes included) he remains the master of his own journey. Alethia, is the name of a ship but it is mostly the sound of his daydreaming freedom. Free like the ripples, waves in the open sea, the sounds of harps and woodwinds constantly pulsing true anxiety and carelessness. These two feelings are underlined throughout the film as a whole — two distinct currents. On one side, life has no implicit meaning, other then instinctual impulse and on the other hand, it is trapped in judgement and in the will to uncover and master all of its secrets, as if they where tangible things. The tracks time hole and sweetness of Freddie depict the duality between Dodd and Freddie. What is best? Served cold rationalism or the urge to fuck? Every part of the score travels between the sounds of certainty an uncertainty.
02 Time Hole
03 Back Beyond
04 Get Thee Behind Me Satan (Ella Fitzgerald)
06 Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else but Me) (Madisen Beaty)
07 Atomic Healer
08 Able-Bodied Seamen
09 The Split Saber
10 Baton Sparks
11. No Other Love (Jo Stafford)
12 His Master’s Voice
13 Application 45 Version 1
14 Changing Partners (Helen Forrest)
15 Sweetness of Freddie