Thursday, March 26, 2015

Film as Literature: Thursday, 3-26

Good morning, class. Please complete the following tasks by the end of the block. Submit your work as a comment to this post. Each question demands at least a well-composed paragraph.


1. Describe the point at which Daniel Plainview pivots as a character. In which scene does he begin his transformation from dedicated entrepreneur to a full-fledged miscreant?

2. Why does Plainview leave his son? How does the scene with the Standard Oil men help characterize Plainview's persona?

3. Describe why Plainview becomes suspicious of Henry and how he handles him thereafter.

4. Describe the convergence of religion and capitalism/nihilism in the film. How are these forces integrated and negotiated?

5. Visit our Edline pay and locate the Distillation Rubric. We've mentioned and dealt with this (briefly) before, but the document has been modified recently. Please read through the rubric and samples carefully. Then, compose a distillation (follow the Literature and Film protocol) for There Will Be Blood. Take your time- it's only a 4 sentence analysis, but it requires thought, development, and refinement.

6. Click here to access some critical reviews of the film. Choose 1 to read. Offer a synopsis of the critique and a response to its claims as a paragraph here.

6. If you should finish early, please make up any work that you've missed.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. I believe that Daniel Plainview undergoes his transformation for entrepreneur to miscreant as one major scene, that scene is when the oil mine explodes. he discovers his true feelings and greed when he see's all the money he can make from this oil he even forgets about hiss son to pursue the life of an oil man.

2. I think that Plainview leaves his son for a couple reasons. the first is he just found a major amount of oil and doesn't want his son to have any profit as crazy as that sounds it is true. next he does not want to care for his son anymore because he is too much work for him now that he has all the money he needs. finally HW wasn't even his son in the first place he just has him because he wants a cute face to convince people to buy oil, now that he has all the oil he needs he doesn't need his son anymore. towards the middle of the film the scene with standard oil does a good job at characterizing Plainview, he act's like he is very emotional and cares for his son but the reality is he just left him, this shows how cruel and greedy Plainview is.

3. At one point in the film Daniel becomes suspicious of Henry. when this occurs it is almost awkward for Daniel but he also notices how odd Henry reacts to Daniels jokes and that is how Daniel knows he isn't his brother.

4. This film merges to unlikely things religion and capitalism. when Daniel comes with an offer to buy the land of the religious group and start mining for oil this angers the priest (he didn't know what he was getting into)but he was persuaded into this by Daniel who made many promises to the church and never kept them. to summarize the church was promised many things by persuasion but were never kept. this is an example of how these two things Oil mining and Religion don't go together.

-Connor Binegar

Eric Sanford said...

1. Daniel Plainview pivots, in the mind of the audience, when he abandons his son on a train, unknowingly heading to San Francisco for help due to his loss of hearing. Daniel’s cold attitude about leaving his son alone changes the audience’s opinion of him greatly, showing his true colors as a hardened and uncaring man without compassion, hidden by a fa├žade of entrepreneurship and dedication that slowly withers away to reveal how detestable he really is.
2. Plainview leaves his son because he does not know what to do with him now that he has gone deaf. Because of this, Plainview no longer sees H.W. as useful to him, but as a nuisance and a burden. Rather than try to communicate with H.W. more effectively, Daniel sends him off without alert, abandoning him for months. The scene with the Standard Oil men characterizes Plainview as defensive and belligerent, not wanting to be questioned by the men about how he “raises his family,” and accept his own shortcomings as a father.
3. Plainview becomes suspicious of Henry because of his lack of enthusiasm r even comprehension when Daniel tries to talk to him about the Peach Tree Dance, which should have been a prominent memory had they actually grown up in the same place. After discovering that Henry had lied to him, Daniel kills him and buries his body.
4. In this film, nihilistic capitalism, represented by Plainview, conflicts with religion, represented by Eli, to convey that capitalism will use religion to the extent that it is useful, but once that usefulness wears out, it will be cast aside or destroyed. The symbolism of Eli entering Plainview’s luxurious house at the conclusion of the movie, as Eli is in desperate need of help due to the failing economy, is representative of how, after religion is used and discarded by capitalism, it becomes weakened. Eli’s cry for help is, however, crushed by Plainview as he forces Eli to “confess” to being a “false prophet” before revealing that there is no hope for him and murdering him.

Anonymous said...

1. The scene in which Daniel changes from a dedicated entrepreneur to a full-fledge miscreant was when H.W. got hurt during the oil geyser. H.W. was laying on top of the oil rig and something happened and it exploded into a huge gusher of oil shooting out of the ground. He was flung off of the top of it hitting his head on the roof of a building losing his hearing and going deaf. This caused Daniel to be upset and it made him even more upset when the other men came to buy him out but did so unsuccessfully, this made him mad because they said he could spend time with his son, but he couldn’t because he had just sent him away to San Francisco. He continued to flip out on the men about how he wanted to drill for oil himself.
2. Plainview left his son on the train because he was deaf and it would have been best for him to learn sign language. He was very upset with leaving H.W. but he knew that he had to do it even though H.W. doesn’t want to leave and he goes running toward the window yelling at his dad to get him. The scene with standard oil helps characterize Plainview as a man who takes pride in what he does and would rather drill himself than take part in the selling of his land to Standard oil. He flips out on how they insulted him saying he could spend more time with his son, he took that as an insult about him not raising his son correctly.
3. Daniel Plainview gets suspicious of his “brother” Henry after he said they should “get liquored up” and take girls to the Peachtree dance. When Henry didn’t answer him he became suspicious about Henry and didn’t believe that he was his brother. He then woke up in the middle of the night and questions Henry about things in Wisconsin. After henry admitted to not being his brother Daniel shot him in the head and buried him.
4. Religion and Capitalism constantly run into each other in the movie. Eli represents the Religion in the story, the thing that people believe in and the force pushing people to do things. Daniel represents Capitalism and wealth in the country by drilling for oil and making a life for himself. These forces are negotiated throughout the story by constantly having Daniel and Eli bump heads with each other and creating tension between the morals of religion and the influence of money in capitalism. Capitalism makes Daniel do some things that he wasn’t proud of for money. Although later on in the story they learn to live together until someone the great depression hits the US in 1929 forcing Eli to go to Daniel and ask for money and to drill another well. He then gets killed by Daniel because he knows that Eli has been lying about his religion the whole time and he gets him to say he was. He then continues to tell him that his brother Paul was the smart one because he told Daniel about the oil and he continued to chase him around and throw things at him until hitting him in the back of the head with a bowling pin killing him.
-Camden Cleathero (to be continued)

Anonymous said...

5. Over the course of the movie Daniel Plainview goes through many emotional and physical changes, from where he was a young prospector mining for gold to the wealthy charismatic Oil man who changed the town of Little Boston to a boomtown of oil drilling to his hatred of Eli a priest of the town’s church. Although the Eli and Daniel have their differences they are both fighting for power of the people in the town, however Daniel goes through many more hardships than Eli for he has to get rid of his son and kill a man who claimed to be his brother while Eli just yells about demons being inside of people body. Toward the end of the movie Daniel changes from a proud Entrepreneur to a violent drunken miscreant taking his rage out on Eli when he shows up at his house for the facts that he lied about being the prophet he said he was during the story and he shows Eli what a bad person he is and he how he took advantage of the people in his church, this caused a reaction of fury toward Eli killing him with a single bowling pin. All in all the character of Daniel Plainview constantly changes his emotional reaction and feelings toward how he works and what happens over the course of the long rollercoaster of a story line throughout the course of the long twisted plot of There Will Be Blood.
6. The critique called the movie “a searingly intense and artful tale that grabs hold of the viewer from its jarring and wordless opening scenes and doesn't let go”. The critic’s point is very strong and doesn’t let go of the viewer until the end when Daniel Plainview lets his adopted son know he is adopted and then he kills Eli. The story is captivating and intense and makes everyone questions the oil business in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s because of the violence in the movie and the scrutiny of the murderous savagery of Daniel Plainview.
-Camden Cleathero

John Cormier said...

1. Though Daniel Plainview has a few moments before the pivot where he shows signs of “going over the edge”. The most notable of these moments would be when he leaves his son on the train to San Francisco and his sudden heated interaction with Standard Oil. However it is not until the scene where HW Plainview announces that he is leaving to start his own drilling company that Daniel is finally done trying to hide his true nature. He drives away is son per mentally, and reveals that the only reason he even had HW with him was to give his company a pretty face. He has become consumed by money he now owns and is no longer seeking to create new drills. Thus he is not an entrepreneur but a crook trying to keep as much wealth as possible for himself even if it means competing against his own son.
2. It is because HW is no longer useful to him after the accident. A deaf HW is simply a burden to Daniel especially after HW tries to burn the building in which all the Plainviews were sleeping. Yet he is unsure of whether or not he made the right choice. The scene with the Standard Oil men shows this as Daniel becomes very angry when one of the oilmen mentions the absence of HW. Daniel even goes as far as to shout at them to “not tell him how to take care of his son” when no such advice was offered this shows some of the guilt Daniel feels over his decision to send his son away.
3. Daniel becomes suspicious of Henry when Henry does not react properly to the Peach Tree Dance reference. Daniel, as one can imagine, is not happy about this and decides to question Henry. While holding him at gun point in the middle of the night, you know like how two normal brothers talk. Daniel proceeds to farther quiz Henry about his past. Henry not really being Daniels brother of course fails but explains both how, and why he come to pretend to be Daniel’s brother. Daniel handles it like a completely rational human being kills Henry and buries him in a shallow grave.

Emma Sudduth said...

1. The point at which Daniel Plainview pivots as a character is when he sends away his son. Once he sends away his son he loses his humanity. As he walks away we see his emotions shut off because even as his son is screaming his name he never turns around to say goodbye. The exact scene in which he transforms from a dedicated entrepreneur to a full-fledged miscreant is when he promises an investor that he will come to his house and slit his throat because he mentioned taking care of his son rather than run his oil business.
2. Plainview leaves his son because he becomes deaf and Plainview doesn’t have the time to care for him rather than make more money with oil. Daniel Plainview feels his son is weak which makes him look weak, so he gets rid of him. The scene with the Standard Oil men helped characterize Plainview because it shows his son is his weak point. It shows that Daniel is obsessed with money, and that he pushes people away with threats. The Standard Oil men make Daniel remember H.W., but all he wants to do is forget him.
3. Plainview becomes suspicious of Henry when he mentions the Peachtree Dance and Henry doesn’t seem to recognize it. This dance was a big thing when Plainview was growing and everyone knew about it. Since Henry was posing as his brother than he should know the Peachtree Dance and he should be very excited about it. Thereafter Daniel at first contemplates if Henry was lying about being his brother, and then he holds him at gunpoint to tell him the truth. When Henry tells him that he wasn’t his brother but that he had known him from prison, Daniel shoots and buries him in the woods.
4. The convergence of religion and capitalism is made to be a war in the film. Daniel is a capitalist and believes strongly in nihilism, while Eli Sunday is a huge preacher in the community where Daniel is trying to find oil. Daniel doesn’t believe in religion so he doesn’t care about the people’s beliefs, but he needs the people to first lease their land to him and then be workers for him. Eli wants Daniel to become a religious man so he constantly forces situations on him where he has to go to the church or do something for God. The two battle through the whole movie on how the oil will be taken up, and in the end Daniel murders Eli. This is to symbolize capitalism killing religion because the people don’t care about God when money is so abundant without it.
5. In the film, There Will Be Blood, the director, Paul Thomas Anderson, utilizes misleading music, deathly foreshadowing, and the symbolism of the devil in Daniel Plainview to illustrate how capitalism drags businessmen into a world dictated by greed. Through the suspenseful music at calm moments, Eli Sunday’s prophecy of having to bless the well, and having Daniel Plainview kill the religious figure, Anderson displays that money is a drug that tries to ruin a person’s sanity and drive in life. Anderson makes Plainview a despicable oil man focused on only himself no matter the case in order to have the audience make a connection that giving into capitalism leads a person into making gluttonous choices. This film describes through Daniel Plainview’s greedy decisions how capitalism is killing humanity and the drive for religion in Americans focused only on money and their own selfish desires.
6. The critique of There Will Be Blood, in Newsweek, by David Ansen, focuses on the movie having small hints to capitalism and Daniel Day Lewis’s acting of Daniel Plainview. Ansen writes, “There will be no argument about Day-Lewis's staggering performance.” The review illustrates how the actor expertly portrayed an oil man dedicated only to himself. The author talks about how the film does have some parallels to the greed in men, but its main focus is characterizing Daniel Plainview. I agree that Daniel Day Lewis gave a realistic impersonation of a greedy oilman, but I don’t believe that the film wasn’t highlighted on religion and capitalism and the war between them.

Skylar Daley said...

1. The character Daniel Plainview in the beginning of There Will Be Blood and the man at the end of the movie are two very different characters. The pivot point of this transformation from a dedicated entrepreneur to a full-fledged miscreant was when Daniel Plainview abandoned his son on the train. It is the first instance when his humanity is questionable. He is not concerned about the well-being of his son, nor does he want to help him cope with the traumatizing loss of his hearing. As long as he does not have to worry about it, then there is no problem. This is disturbing to experience as a viewer, because it is apparent that Plainview is beginning a transformation from a loving father to a sinful man.
2. The reason Plainview leaves his son is a major sign of the metamorphosis his character undergoes. He does not abandon H.W. for his wellbeing. Rather, he leaves him for the sake of his company and making a profit. Plainview’s only concern is gaining wealth and success, and since H.W. would stay in the way of that, what with his debilitating deafness, he had to removed from the equation according to Plainview’s logic. The scene where the Standard Oil men mention his son defines his character because he became so defensive about his absence, and it shows that Daniel feels no remorse whatsoever about his actions.
3. Henry “Plainview” came into Daniel’s life one day, claiming that he was his half brother. Daniel believed him, until one day the two of them were reminiscing about the town they grew up in. He mentioned the Peachtree dance, an event that took place in their hometown when they were children. However, Henry did not have the reaction Daniel was expecting. In fact, he had almost no reaction at all, as if he had no idea what he was even talking about. This sparked suspicion in Daniel because if they had grown up in the same town, of course Henry would have had a nostalgic memory of the Peachtree dance. After the realization the he had been lied to, Daniel shoots Henry and buries him.
4. In the film, there is a strong religious belief within many of the characters. However, many of these same people abandon the principles that come with such religions for the sake of making money or advancing himself in business. Daniel especially seems to practice nihilism, quitting moral values and a belief that there is other purpose to life than making profit. They are integrating with one another because the men who believe in these religions really are not committing practices that comply with them, such as murder.
5.
6. In the review by the Christian Science Monitor, Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance as Daniel Plainview is praised. This is accurate in my opinion because Daniel Day-Lewis’s portrayal is so convincing that at times I believe he is not an actor, but in fact an oil baron. They explain that while it may not have been the best movie of the year, it was certainly the strangest. I agree with this claim wholeheartedly. It was not the best movie I have ever seen, in fact it is probably not in my top twenty favorite movies. However, it is one of the weirdest and chilling films I have viewed.

Rachel Brunault said...

1.
I believe the scene where Daniel Plainview’s character reaches a pivotal transformation into a cruel human being is when he abandoned his son on the train to San Francisco. Everything up to that point I found at least somewhat justifiable up until that act; that is so sickening that he would do that to a child, especially when he was the boy’s only parental figure growing up. But was the most heart-breaking was the way he pretended not to hear his son yell for him while the train was leaving.

2.
Plainview abandons his son HW due to an accident at the oil well where there was an explosion and HW’s ear drums are blown out. Plainview, unable to communicate with his son, ships him off to be educated in the city. I feel the scene immediately following this one with Standard Oil shows a lot about Plainview’s character through his quickness to snap to the mention of his son and continues to act very defensive and aggressive when asked about it. I think it shows that there is still this small piece of him the regrets that decision and in his own demented way does love HW, but his response also mimicked that of someone afraid of being looked at in a suspicious manner and does not want to be interrogated.

3.
Plainview becomes suspicious of Henry because at the mention of things from Plainview’s child and teenage hood like the Peachtree Dance, Henry reacts blandly and without much commentary as though he had no recollection of such things. Henry deal with this by confronting him, and then once Henry admitted he was lying, Plainview killed him.

4.
Religion and Capitalism collide the moment Daniel Plainview makes his way to Little Boston, and the small, church-centered town life is introduced to a world of money and power. Eli Sunday, the head of the Third Revelation Church, finds even himself swallowed by the wretched predator that is greed among people, becoming more harsh and aggressive the closer to such temptations he gets. Eli ultimately finds himself by the end of the story begging at the feet of Plainview, so desperate in his acts for wealth, he goes as far as to call God Himself a superstition. And ultimately, Plainview brings upon the death of Eli, as he has with the others fallen victim to sin.

5.
Adopting Upton Sinclair’s anti-hero and conflict inducing characters, There Will Be Blood directed by Paul Thomas Anderson uses contrasting characterization, unsettling imagery, and poetic symbolism to illustrate the immense power of capitalism and greed when thrust upon mankind. In the midst of roaring, rattling oil wells on the empty, dry fields of a Little Boston, the dark and aggressive Daniel Plainview grows in power before his son HW, his quiet “half brother” Henry, and the young, local priest Eli Sunday, ripping something from each of them. Plainview introducing greed and capitalism corrupts the lives of the two men mentioned, ultimately leading to their demise at his hands, with HW being robbed of his hearing and abandoned by Plainview whose greed catalyzed such grief to his own son; this is done in order to express the effects of capitalism and greed upon people and how much damage they can do. The film is used to reflect that such powers may be tempting, but do not lead to a positive ending, and that people should be aware to these dangers.

6.
In the article on There Will Be Blood from Time Magazine, the journalist expresses their personal opinion of the movie, stating that they found it to be a very well done film with great acting and a very dark and haunting plot, also not bothered by the length and frequented silence. I agree with this opinion of the movie and also found it very dark but also very good and entertaining.

Anonymous said...

1. At the start of the movie the main character Daniel Plainview began as a dedicated entrepreneur but transformed into a full-fledged miscreant. This transformation began when Daniel Plainview ditched his kid on a train. When his son became deaf, he did not want him anymore, so he left his son of a train because he didn’t want to deal with him. This was the starting point to a lifetime of lawlessness. After this scene, he beat the preacher Eli, he killed a man who was pretending to be his brother, he disowned his son, and ultimately killed Eli for no real reason. This one action of abandoning his son caused a chain reaction of evil doings that turned Plainview into a full-fledged miscreant.
2. Daniel Plainview leaved his son H.W. on a train because he didn’t want to deal with his son being deaf. Because the explosion of one of the oil drills made his son deaf, he figured that his deaf son would be useless to the business. All Plainview cared about was good business and money so having a deaf partner was useless to the goal of success and riches. The scene with the scene with the standard oil men did help characterize Daniel Plainview because it showed that he did regret leaving his son. When the oil men brought up his son he got really man and screamed at him not to tell him how to raise his family. Through this scene the viewer can obviously tell that he feels remorse for leaving his son.
3. During the course of the movie a man named Henry Plainview comes and claims to be Daniels brother. Daniel goes along with it and believes him until a point on the beach. Daniel makes a joke about a Peachtree dance and doesn’t get the reaction from Henry that he was looking for. This caused some suspicion because if he really was his brother he would have known what that was. Then one night he confronts Henry and asks him a simple question of “What was the name of the farm next to the hill house?” This must have been a question that anyone in the Plainview family would have been able to answer and this pretty much confirmed that Henry was not who he says he is. Then Daniel Pulls a gun on Henry and asks him who exactly he is and he tells him. He says that he knew his brother but the he died and he figured that he could make some money off of it so he pretended to be Daniels actual brother. Daniel Plainview chooses to deal with this by killing the impostor. Once he found out what he wanted to know he killed just killed Henry then and there.
4. In the movie “There Will be Blood”, the ideas of capitalism and religion collide and are displayed through the different characters. The religious side of the movie is represented by Eli. Capitalism is represented by the main character Daniel Plainview. They both have two different views and wants for the town. Capitalism and religion disagree in most things. Daniel Plainview is trying to make himself wealthy and make the town prosper from oil. Eli wants to prosper the already religious town in their religion and do everything with a religious view on the matter. An example of this is Eli wanting to bless the well but Plainview wanted to just start and he didn’t need a blessing of the well. These two side eventually met up in the end and capitalism ended up destroying religion and breaking its own view on itself.
Ryan Wheeler

Anonymous said...

5. In the movie “There Will Be Blood”, the director Paul Thomas Anderson utilizes thoughtful characterization, the transformation of an entrepreneur, and harsh violence to depict the effects of the convergence of religion and capitalism. Through the difficult decisions that were needed to be made by Daniel Plainview, Anderson displays the true colors of the oil man by seeing his reaction to many different events that happen to him along his life. Anderson shows the conflict between Plainview and Eli in order to display the never ending disagreement of capitalism and socialism. This entire film depicts just how different the ways of religion and capitalism are and ultimately results in the brutal murder of a once passionate preacher.
6. In the review of the movie “There Will be Blood”, by New York Daily News written by Jack Matthews, the film was praised and given an 88 on Metacritic. This review talked about how the movie is based on the novel “Oil!” by Upton Sinclair. The review stated that “The narrative focuses on Plainview's attempts to con California landowners out of cheap leases so he can tap the oil under their feet.” This review praises the past works of Daniel Day-Lewis. Overall this review was very positive but failed to state the flaws that caused the movie to not receive a higher score.
Ryan WHeeler

Gianna Larson said...

1. The scene where Daniel Plainview pivots as a character is when he abandons his son on the train. Daniel acts like he is going to return to his son when in reality he is leaving him so that he won’t have to focus on his son being deaf. As we see in the film, Hw is screaming for his dad and Daniel is acting like he is deaf. Daniel doesn’t want to carry the burden of his son with him everywhere he goes.
2. Plainview leaves his son mainly because he wants to make more money. Plainview does not want to have to live with his deaf son, he wants to focus on his career. The scene with the standard oil men help to characterize Plainview because it shows that Hw is Daniel’s weak spot. When the oil men ask about Hw, Daniel screamed about his son and tried to say how he is sick and ill. This scene just comes to show that Daniel is sensitive about his son and his son is a part of him that really hits home.
3. Plainview becomes suspicious of Henry because he pretends to be Daniel’s half-brother. When Daniel shares the memory of getting all liquored up at the peachtree dance with Henry, Henry had no reaction. Daniel had expected more of a reaction from Henry and he was getting hints that Henry could not be his real brother. Also Daniel was talking to Henry about a house that they grew up in their childhood. Henry acted confused and really gave no reaction. Daniel questioned Henry and who he was and Henry explained that he had met his real brother who was poor and trying to find Daniel. Daniel had had it with Henry’s lies, and he just shot him.
4. Daniel doesn’t believe in a religion, his friend who is the head of a church does believe in God. Eli Sunday has a big effect on Daniel throughout the movie. Eli finds out about Daniel’s sin that he had committed by leaving his son. Eli made Daniel worship and say that he committed a sin in front of many people. Daniel almost felt humiliated that people had found about about what he had done to his son. Daniel is a capitalist, who clashes with a religious worshiper. Towards the end, Daniel turns the tables and being the capitalist he is, he makes Eli say that God is not even real. Daniel chases him around the room throwing things and wanting him to feel defeated by saying something he didn’t believe in like Eli did to him.
5. In the Film There Will Be Blood, the director Paul Thomas Anderson utilizes misleading music, foiled irony, and vivid characterization to portray how capitalism will lead to one’s evolving greed for wealth. Through the atmospheric lens of Daniel’s insanity, Anderson portrays the enclosing theme of greed and how it will destroy ones persona, further leading to hasty decisions. Anderson’s display of a thriving entrepreneur quickly fades to a gluttonous oil miner that makes bad choices. Through the character of Daniel Plainview, the film describes how ones greed can affect the decisions of themselves and the emotion of the people around them.
6. The critical review that I chose to read and write a synopsis on is by Village Voice, J. Hoberman: “This is truly a work of symphonic aspirations and masterful execution.” Daniel DayLouis portrayed a character who is so into his career and really striving for success. Daniel masters his role for the movie, and even off screen he portrays the character. Being fully devoted to a film is what makes Daniel fulfill the credentials to play the role in There Will Be Blood. What makes this movie an example of the American movie, is the devotion and passion Daniel has to nail the acting and execute it well.

Amanda said...

1.) In the movie, There Will Be Blood, Daniel Plainview’s character drastically changes after specific events happen. During the course when he was forced to send his son away he transformed from a dedicated entrepreneur to a full-fledged miscreant. After an accident at the oil system, one of the men was killed and left his orphaned son with Plainview. He and Plainview shared a connection that made it difficult for him to let go. He was a changed man after he lost his son that caused him to become violent towards others.
2.) After an incident at the oil system which causes Plainview’s son, HW, to go deaf, he has a hard time copping with it. HW has a disability that Plainview cannot control or heal. Henry Brands appears later in the movie claiming to be Daniel’s half-brother. The son read Brands diary and attempted to light his bed on fire, but he was unable to and failed. Daniel could not control him and decided to send him off to a school for the deaf. When Plainview met with a family from another town that claims they have plenty of oil, they mentioned his son and he got upset. This showed that he gets sensitive about his son and that is his weak point. Once his son got sent away, that turned him to go insane.
3.) Daniel Plainview was approached by Henry Brands who claimed to be his half-brother. Plainview refused to believe it at first, but Brands proved he was who he said he was so he allowed them to work together. After Brands was unmindful of a communal local joke, Daniel becomes suspicious of him and questions if they are actually half-brothers. Once they are deep in the woods, he starts interrogating Brands at gunpoint on questions about their hometown and he admits he is just a good friend of his actual half-brother who died. Daniel, frustrated, shoots him and buries him deep in the woods.
4.) The convergence of religion and capitalism/nihilism is different among the characters. To Eli, religion is superior to him and the money comes second, but to Daniel, he only cares about the money. Religion is not as important to Plainview compared to Eli. Daniel owns his own oil production company and manages it himself. He integrated the oil system to a much larger company and bought more land to produce more oil. These are the differences between the religious theories among the characters.
5.) Portraying the struggling life of an oil miner, Daniel Plainview, and the hardships he has dealt with, Paul Thomas Anderson exploits characterization, theme, and mood to demonstrate the drastic change in Plainview’s character due to occurring events.
6.) According to one of the reviews, they feel the movie had a clear but hollow ending. They mention how the ending falls short due to the rest of the movie and has its weakest point. Paul Thomas Anderson depicts Daniel’s life view and has well written character study of him. The critique agrees that Daniel Plainview is uninteresting and a bit psychotic because a turn of events that happened to his son. I would mostly agree with the writer that the main character is psychotic and uninteresting, however, I would not agree with their opinion on the ending of the film. The ending left you with wanting more and finding out what happened to him afterwards. The turn of events was in the middle of the film but it tied it well to the ending.

Colleen Murphy said...

1. Daniel Plainview transforms as a dynamic character throughout the film. Initially, he is a dedicated entrepreneur, then pivots into a full-fledged miscreant. When Daniel sends his son away to live with another family, he no longer has the responsibilities of being a father. Without these responsibilities, he can now focus on his company. Without his son, Daniel can be a tyrannical leader of his oil business, without the “worries” of his son.

2. Daniel Plainview decides to leave his son when he loses his hearing. Daniel becomes frustrated with H.W. and as a viewer you can tell he can no longer stand the fact that this tragedy happened to his son. He tries so much to help his hearing, but he only ends up hurting him. When Daniel is trying to make a deal with the Standard Oil men, they mention H.W. This bothers Daniel on an emotional level which shows that he must somewhat care about his son, but he still does everything with money on his mind. The deal is still made, giving him more money, and adding to his ego. This shows that Daniel makes hast decisions when faced with a problem.

3. During the movie, a man named Henry claims to be Daniel’s brother. Throughout the movie, they stay together and bond, until Daniel becomes suspicious. He becomes suspicious after Henry does not know about the Peachtree Dance. The Peachtree Dance was something very significant about Daniel’s childhood, and if he did not remember what he was talking about the only possibility is that Henry was lying. After Daniel figures this out, he ends up killing him. He makes a hasty decision after being manipulated by someone. Daniel does not like being the manipulated, he likes being the manipulator.

4. Religion, capitalism, and nihilism all are represented through the film “There Will Be Blood”. Religion is represented through Eli’s church. Eli is a strong believer in a greater god and is always thinking of the church. Daniel however, is how capitalism and nihilism come into play throughout the film. Daniel gets all the profit from and has total control of his oil company. He does not care about work laws, or any laws for that matter, or religion, as long as he gets the bang for his buck with the best deals and the most money. When Eli and Daniel clash, nothing goes right. These two are constantly bickering about money and land. Eli wants money for his church and his people, while Daniel wants the land for his oil company. Throughout the movie, these two characters clash.

5. Introducing an oil farmer in the film “There Will Be Blood”, Paul Thomas Anderson uses misleading music, familiar irony, and deadly symbolism to illustrate that Daniel Plainview is a greedy, money driven man. Through the deceptive music, Anderson portrays Daniel as a hypocritical “family man” by abandoning his son, and the devil through the eyes of the church as he is a sinner. Throughout the film, Daniel’s money-mindedness is illuminated through his greed for more land not caring about anything other than himself. This film displays how money can turn a man into an ego driven, selfish capitalist who will do anything to become bigger.

6. In the summary, the critic has very strong views. The critic believes that Daniel Day Lewis’ performance of an evil protagonist was amazing. In the article, the critic describes how the film touched base on some different topics like politics and psychological which allowed it to show the “grand Western landscapes and its tycoon protagonist” that Anderson was trying to depict. THe critic describes how after HW lost his hearing, Eli was able to calm his spirit through religion and was able to connect with Daniel. Overall, the critic saw the movie as “both beautiful and terrifying” and saw it as the psychotic classic it really was.

Colleen Murphy said...

1. Daniel Plainview transforms as a dynamic character throughout the film. Initially, he is a dedicated entrepreneur, then pivots into a full-fledged miscreant. When Daniel sends his son away to live with another family, he no longer has the responsibilities of being a father. Without these responsibilities, he can now focus on his company. Without his son, Daniel can be a tyrannical leader of his oil business, without the “worries” of his son.

2. Daniel Plainview decides to leave his son when he loses his hearing. Daniel becomes frustrated with H.W. and as a viewer you can tell he can no longer stand the fact that this tragedy happened to his son. He tries so much to help his hearing, but he only ends up hurting him. When Daniel is trying to make a deal with the Standard Oil men, they mention H.W. This bothers Daniel on an emotional level which shows that he must somewhat care about his son, but he still does everything with money on his mind. The deal is still made, giving him more money, and adding to his ego. This shows that Daniel makes hast decisions when faced with a problem.

3. During the movie, a man named Henry claims to be Daniel’s brother. Throughout the movie, they stay together and bond, until Daniel becomes suspicious. He becomes suspicious after Henry does not know about the Peachtree Dance. The Peachtree Dance was something very significant about Daniel’s childhood, and if he did not remember what he was talking about the only possibility is that Henry was lying. After Daniel figures this out, he ends up killing him. He makes a hasty decision after being manipulated by someone. Daniel does not like being the manipulated, he likes being the manipulator.

4. Religion, capitalism, and nihilism all are represented through the film “There Will Be Blood”. Religion is represented through Eli’s church. Eli is a strong believer in a greater god and is always thinking of the church. Daniel however, is how capitalism and nihilism come into play throughout the film. Daniel gets all the profit from and has total control of his oil company. He does not care about work laws, or any laws for that matter, or religion, as long as he gets the bang for his buck with the best deals and the most money. When Eli and Daniel clash, nothing goes right. These two are constantly bickering about money and land. Eli wants money for his church and his people, while Daniel wants the land for his oil company. Throughout the movie, these two characters clash.

5. Introducing an oil farmer in the film “There Will Be Blood”, Paul Thomas Anderson uses misleading music, familiar irony, and deadly symbolism to illustrate that Daniel Plainview is a greedy, money driven man. Through the deceptive music, Anderson portrays Daniel as a hypocritical “family man” by abandoning his son, and the devil through the eyes of the church as he is a sinner. Throughout the film, Daniel’s money-mindedness is illuminated through his greed for more land not caring about anything other than himself. This film displays how money can turn a man into an ego driven, selfish capitalist who will do anything to become bigger.

6. In the summary, the critic has very strong views. The critic believes that Daniel Day Lewis’ performance of an evil protagonist was amazing. In the article, the critic describes how the film touched base on some different topics like politics and psychological which allowed it to show the “grand Western landscapes and its tycoon protagonist” that Anderson was trying to depict. THe critic describes how after HW lost his hearing, Eli was able to calm his spirit through religion and was able to connect with Daniel. Overall, the critic saw the movie as “both beautiful and terrifying” and saw it as the psychotic classic it really was.

Anonymous said...

1. While I believe that the movie was trying to get across a slow transformation of Plainview’s character, the pivot of his character development seems to be when HW was deafened in an explosion. After this, Plainview’s actions become more and more desperate (i.e. murdering Henry), until he’s devolved into the drunken, violent man at the end of the film, in 1927.

2. Plainview leaves his son so HW and his disabilities can be properly cared for at a faraway school of some sort. While Plainview dismisses the Standard Oil men, almost callously, and the audience thinks for a moment that Plainview cares nothing for HW, until we see him crying over HW’s picture (though he does become callous toward HW in the late 1920s).

3. Plainview becomes suspicious that Henry isn’t actually his brother, and is just using him for money and oil. He confirms this by asking Henry about his hometown and, when Henry gives the wrong answer, Daniel kills him.

4. The convergence of religion and capitalism/nihilism in the film is personified by Daniel and Eli, with Daniel’s climb up the ladder in the oil business, and Eli becoming a religious fanatic. The scenes between the two symbolize the contrast of the ideologies, whether they’re getting along or clashing violently.

5. Transporting the audience back to the early twentieth century, writer and director Paul Thomas Anderson utilizes unsettling music, dark colors, and a haunting mood in his 2007 film There Will Be Blood. As the audience witnesses the main character, Daniel Plainview, rise through the ranks of the oil industry, the events of the film weigh on Plainview’s conscience, and his psyche becomes a darker and darker place. Anderson’s purpose is to use the harshness of time period in order to portray the mind of a man growing increasingly corrupt, disturbed, and power-hungry. This tumultuous movie shows the sacrifices that men will make to gain power and money through Plainview’s eyes.

6. Film Threat’s Zack Haddad praises the movie the best character study since “Citizen Kane.” I agree that, while the movie is an interesting look at Plainview’s psyche, the movie had a hard time supporting the weight of this artistically. The other parts of the movie were too plain or too jarring to keep it’s most engrossing bit and it’s purpose afloat.

-- Laine Parker

Kaleala KF said...

1. Daniel’s character pivots when the oil mine explodes and H.W. goes deaf. I believe after watching all “his” money going to waste, he began to get greedy. Once H.W. needed more caring and tending too, Daniel turned his back on him and abandoned him on a train. It is that scene when he turns into a monster.

2. Daniel leaves his son because he became too time consuming. Daniel became greedy and didn’t want people dragging him down. As time draws on and Daniel comes to terms with what he did, he begins to get more violent as shown through the Standard Oil scene where Daniel threatens to cut one of the men’s throat. Daniel becomes a cruel, greedy, murdering monster and i’m glad that he left H.W. because H.W. can’t grow up to think that all of that is ok.

3. Daniel brings up the Peach Tree Dance and Henry didn’t seem to either remember or react to it. Usually if something happened and someone brought it up, the person would have a reaction to it. Henry didn’t have any reaction to the mention of the dance. Daniel then holds Henry at gunpoint when Henry falls asleep and asks him who is really his brother and once he learns that he did indeed have a brother and Henry wasn’t him, Daniel executed him.

4. Daniel drills in a highly religious town and many of the negotiating factors have to circle the church. Daniel has to give money to the church which is literally a wooden box, then later in the movie he has to get baptized in the church. The highly religious priest says that God doesn’t want oil drilling here because so many misfortunes happen that people begin to question Daniel’s integrity.

5. Over the course of the movie, the viewers begin to see how well Daniel’s character adapts to his surroundings. He begins as a kind, loving father/entrepreneur and ends as a selfish, cold blooded murderer. In There Will Be Blood, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel is portrayed as using people to get his way, shown through Eli Sunday and H.W.

6. I read David Anson’s review on the movie and he was thoroughly entranced and thrilled with the movie, he says “...filmmaking that can make your jaw drop,”. He goes on in this review about how well cast Daniel Plainview was and how all the character’s developed over the course of the movie. Anson does offer some criticism though. He says, “....he seems incapable of composing a prosaic shot,”.