Take a good look at the picture above. What do you see?
I see a very vaguely drawn individual, probably in need of a shave, sitting with a hefty, similarly sketchy camera that has apparently been marked 2001. How mysterious.
The image is not invented, but copied from a photograph that Paul Thomas Anderson fansite Cigarettes and Red Vines have been sent. While they’re happy to run this doodle, they won’t share the actual image. Perhaps because it gives too much concrete information where they see it more appropriate to be wishy washy. They say:
It seems as though one of the two projects we keep hearing rumblings about is getting substantially closer to coming to life. A photo, we unfortunately cannot publish, was sent to us showing PTA shooting tests and operating a 65mm camera used by Kubrick on 2001: A Space Odyssey on the backlot of a place we also cannot mention.
These two projects are The Master, a drama about Scientology; and Inherent Vice, an adaptation of the novel by Thomas Pynchon. Both seem to be making steps forward, with Robert Downey Jr. attaching himself to the latter in February of this year, and Joaquin Phoenix even more recently negotiating himself a role in the former.
If we assume that Anderson would only shoot one of those two films in 65mm – and I don’t know why we’d do that, but let’s for sake of argument – then I’d plump for Inherent Vice. It’s a noirish mystery film set in the late 60s, and is therefore likely to be the more overtly production designed.
The bad news, perhaps, for the Anderson faithful is that, along with the photograph, the fansite received an e-mail full of information. The last sentence engaged with who might be the cinematographer on the 65mm film, or rather, who might not be:
The last line of the e-mail also gloomily claims that whichever film Paul is shooting camera/format tests for will not be shot by Robert Elswit.
Somebody will probably lose sleep over that tonight. It won’t be me.