4 August 2012 5:39 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

You have to hand it to Paul Thomas Anderson. Five years ago, the director unveiled his last film, "There Will Be Blood," as a surprise at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, skipping the established festival circuit entirely for a film that turned out to be the best received of 2007. It seemed, briefly, that his follow-up, "The Master," might have a more conventional release strategy for an awards-type film, with news leaking out that the film was set to premiere at Venice before going on to Tiff, perhaps suggesting a more conventional type of marketing push from distributors The Weinstein Company. But trust Anderson to pull a surprise somewhere down the line. Rather than a glitzy red carpet premiere at an international festival, the first public screening of "The Master" took place last night, unannounced, after an American Cinematheque screening of Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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