The Master: Philip Seymour Hoffman

The Master: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Courtesy Warner Bros. Boogie Nights (1997)

The late Philip Seymour Hoffman could explode on a movie screen like no one else. There's the moment in The Master (2012), when his cult figure Lancaster Dodd, fed up with the questioning of a skeptical party guest, unleashes this immortal slur: "If you already know the answers to your questions, then why ask, pig fuck?" There's the classic tirade in an earlier Paul Thomas Anderson movie, Punch-Drunk Love (2002), in which the actor's small-time swindler Dean Trumbell shouts "Shut up!" over and over again on the phone with a disgruntled Adam Sandler. Even one of his last performances, in A Most Wanted Man (2014), caps off two hours of general restraint with an enraged "Fuck!" shouted by Hoffman's Günther Bachmann on a quiet street after his sting operation goes to shit. But the quality that made Hoffman such an important actor — and such a devastating loss, at the age of only 46 — is not the actorly intensity he projected so commandingly, but the ordinary sadness he brought to so many of his roles. MoMI's tribute retrospective, "The Master: Philip Seymour Hoffman," bears this out through a comprehensive program and a bevy of guest speakers, including several crew members for Jack Goes Boating (2010), Hoffman's first (and only) directorial effort; the great Laura Linney, Hoffman's partner in The Savages (2007); and John Patrick Shanley, the author of Doubt (2008).

"The Master: Philip Seymour Hoffman" runs through October 2 at MoMI. Click here for the screening schedule.
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