Monday, June 27, 2011

A Conversation with There Will Be Blood

Where's Christopher this week? Well, he isn't that far away from where he was last week talking to No Country for Old Men. This week, our dear Christopher has taken to talking to There Will Be Blood.

(Newbies: this 'conversation' is completely made up through my bad characterisation of a movie. Christopher isn't based on anyone living or dead either, I know plenty of Christopher's but this Christopher is named after what I want to name my cat. My Mum won't let me have another cat, so I'll just name my fake interviewer Christopher to tide me over until I leave home.)

CHRISTOPHER: I've been holidaying in Texas of late, and what do you know? I just happened to come across There Will Be Blood. How are you?
THERE WILL BE BLOOD: You were talking to No Country for Old Men last week, weren't you?

C: Yes.

C: I'm sorry?
TWBB: I bet you he told you that Anton Chigurh killed me in order to get the Best Picture Oscar, yes?

C: I think I can recall him saying...
TWBB: WELL HE WAS LYING! Anton tried to kill me. He came into my bowling room, so I offered him a steak. He declined that offer. I tried to interest him in my story of how I got to have a character that got very rich from being an oil prospector, even though he was a bit of a cold one. He was not interested. Instead, he pulled out a coin and said "What's the most you've ever lost on a coin toss?" So I replied "You're making a huge misstep." Now I had heard through an aquaintance of some man I've seen that this Anton fellow uses a cattle gun as a weapon. Which is when I realised that he had come to kill me. What else was he going to use that cattle gun for? The closest thing to a cow was the steak I was eating. Anyway, I digress. Anton got exasperated, so I quickly grabbed a bowling pin, knocked the gun out of his hand and then proceeded to smash his head to pieces. I succeeded in that. I killed Anton Chigurh.

C: So, how did you lose Best Picture?
TWBB: To this day I simply don't know. The Oscar is simply a false prophet. I did find out that Anton had killed the other competitors before he came to me...they were small in comparison to my epic stature. I killed Anton, but No Country for Old Men came out scot-free. Soon after they figured out that Anton was missing, they quickly hired a lookalike to tide them over awards season. It turns out that lookalike was better than the original Anton, and he also won his own Oscar. Those Oscars are just lucky I didn't take a barrel of oil and a lighter to their little ceremony.

C: You can't be too bitter though. Many people have named you as the 'film of the decade'.
TWBB: That's because I am. I am a masterpiece. I am a monumental piece of modern cinema. I'm gonna bury every movie underground.

C: Wow, modesty isn't one of your strong points.
TWBB: Neither is a little bit of femininity. Not all of us can be perfect. Even though we look perfect.

C: You "look perfect"?
TWBB: Have you not seen me? I am filled with marvellous performances, especially the central one from the best actor ever Daniel Day-Lewis, along with an interesting turn from Paul Dano. The cinematography is nothing short of beautiful. The music...well that is frightening. Especially when the first thing you hear is something that sounds like the world's entire bee population buzzing together. And the direction from Paul Thomas Anderson? Sublime. I am a technically brilliant film.

C: What about your story/script?
TWBB: That isn't so bad. My central character, Daniel Plainview, was once a miner who turned into an oil prospector. He gets an offer he can't refuse...a land with a lot of oil for real cheap. He brings change to a small county, but he also manipulates landowners into selling their properties to him so he can get more oil. But with wealth and popularity comes hatred on everyone and even more ambition to rise above his competitors.

C: It sounds like you are a very layered portrait of a time gone by.
TWBB: That would be a perfect way of summing me up.

C: I would like you to explain one thing to me: the final scene.
TWBB: Ah, my final scene. That seems to be the only thing which people associate with me. Well, I do admit that it is very over the top. But to be honest, isn't it nice to see an actor like Daniel Day-Lewis just go all out? This scene shows just how easily Plainview gets ticked off, and how driven he is to seek revenge and feel like the bigger man. There is such a unique madness in Plainview, and that is absolutely on show on this scene. Oh, and if you are one of those people who tilted your head sideways at the merit of the line "I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!", remember that an actual person said that. I must say, I feel a little bit giddy when people use that line in times of anger.

C: I think the end scene makes you even more unique.
TWBB: I am glad that you think so. Unique is what I aim for.

C: I feel that you will have a long and successful life, and will definitely be regarded as a 'classic' in the years to come.
TWBB: I believe I will too. After all, not many films can reach my fearlessness, brilliance or originality. After all, I have competition in me. I want no one else to succeed. I hate most people.

C: Any last words for our readers out there?
TWBB: You're a bastard from a basket! A bastard from a basket!

C: Well that was...rude.
TWBB: Like I said, I hate most people.

C: You're finished?
TWBB: I'm finished.

My rating for this film:


  1. Nice. I had Daniel Plainview's voice in my head as I was reading this. That adds a lot to the experience.

  2. This was great. Brilliant film. Silly Oscars...even though Juno and Ratatouille were my greater favourites, There Will Be Blood was the better dramatic one.

  3. I don't particularly love this one, but it's made with gusto and with flair and that's what longevity comes down. It'll definitely endure.

  4. The whole thing with No Country vs. TWBB is that for a lot of people, it's impossible to choose between them. They're so clearly both masterpieces, and who even wants to choose between masterpieces? Great interview, by the way, although it seemed at times to be more of an interview with Daniel Plainview than the actual film as a whole, but you did very well. I might recommend you interview a David Lynch movie, perhaps Mulholland Drive or Inland Empire. I'd be interested to see how that plays out...

  5. I think you could take this a mile further and interview specific characters from movies to get their point of view ;) I liked but didn't love TWBB, I thought it was overlong and badly sags about 2/3 of the way through until the milkshake ending.

  6. @Castor: I'm gonna pretend you didn't say that.

  7. Unwieldy fellow, isn't he...

  8. 100 Years of Movies - I had Daniel Plainview's voice in my head while writing this. Next thing you know I'll be an oil prospector.

    Nikhat - Thanks. I think that this should have won best pic, even though I liked No Country for Old Men better. This, I feel, will last longer.

    Andrew - My sentiments exactly.

    magnoliaforever - I can't choose between the two when it all comes down to it. And I tried so hard to make this not be just about Daniel Plainview. But it's so hard when the whole movie is Daniel Plainview! I feel like I failed with this one!
    Oooh, David Lynch movies. Aren't I too young to watch those?

    Castor - I should have done that with this one. I've failed! But this movie is so Daniel Plainview, through and through.
    I'm the same as you, but upon a second viewing I enjoyed it a lot more. The milkshake ending was...interesting.

    Simon - Indeed he is.

  9. @Stevee Age has nothing to do with it. Black Swan has countless references to Mulholland Dr. (least of all the lesbian sex scene) and if you can handle Black Swan (and Requiem for a Dream, no less) then you can certainly handle Mulholland Dr. It's my recommended starting point. Be prepared, though, if you're gonna watch his movies (with particular emphasis on Inland Empire), you'd better bring your thinking cap and be prepared to watch them more than once. Enjoy!


You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


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