I’m still not sure what to make of these trailers for The Master. They’re wildly unconventional, showing long-ish clips from the movie without really setting up the film’s plot. At the same time, they’re completely unnecessary, because those of us who know anything about The Master made up our minds months ago that we’d go to great lengths to see it as soon as PTA’s ready to screen it. More footage is great, but we’re in. Stop selling it. Just screen it! This latest clip, titled She Wrote Me a Letter, was assembled to promote a special screening of The Master in Chicago. But it’s filled with new scenes, so enjoy:

You heard that right, folks. Anderson’s screening the film in select cities ahead of its pre-destined screenings at the prominent fall film festivals (Venice, Toronto and possibly Telluride). This piggybacks on the surprise Master screening Anderson held in Santa Monica following a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Why? Because he can.

The Weinstein Company’s next challenge will be luring audience members who don’t automatically associate Anderson’s name with brilliant films like Boogie Nights, Punch-Drunk Love or There Will Be Blood. I’m sure as we get closer to the film’s Sept. 14 limited release, we’ll see a more-traditional trailer that establishes the plot and the motivations of the characters. For now, we know that Joaquin Phoenix plays a drifter who finds newfound purpose under the spiritual guidance of a cult leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman). And that, really, is more than enough to get us in the door.

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