John Brandi 9 p.m., Sept. 17
My favorite part about the news that The Master set a per-screen box-office record last weekend (a record previously held by the similarly unusual Moonrise Kingdom) is the thought of Monday morning meetings among studio executives. "Quick! Bottle that lightning! Get us some more films featuring masterful acting that delve into the tortured recesses of the human heart and illustrate universal truths through a relentless focus on just a few characters. Give us soldiers, but no shooting! Give us arrests and verdicts, but no trial! Give us extreme formalism, loaded with visual and thematic bookends! And maybe throw in some naked gray-haired ladies! Better still, let's see if we can get the principals on board for a sequel!"
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