There / Will / Be / Blood
"The wonderful thing about it is that it's like being on a ship, where you've got no idea where this ship is going" - Mark Kermode, BBC Radio 5live
Mark Kermode enjoyed it very much - one of a clutch of four films (the others being No Country For Old Men, The Diving Bell And The Butterfly and Juno) released at the start of 2008 that made him very happy indeed. No wonder he was so disappointed when 2009 started with Bride Wars.
The Wittertainment audience engaged in many discussions around the film. Exactly who Day-Lewis' Daniel Plainview sounded like was one. (A cross between former Canadian Premier Brian Mulroney and Hugo Weaving's Agent Smith from The Matrix was the conclusion). Another involved the ideal conditions in which to see the movie - it being such a full-on spectacle, Mark wanted listeners to go in fully prepared. The perfect routine therefore involves cleaning your ears out, watching Punch-Drunk Love, and then buying five seats for the screening - one in the middle for the viewer themselves, then two either side, one in front and one behind, to ensure they would not be disturbed. One listener bumped into Mark at the station and told him that they had come out of their screening to find Camden on fire, and that this had really enhanced the experience. Mark thought this was great but conceded it was probably not possible for everyone.
Mark developed a whole thesis about how the film redefined the grammar of movies; an hour in, he had no idea where it was going, and it took him three goes at it until he really got it. Listener Christian emailed to say "I've no doubt you're right, I just don't know what you mean." Mark explained it was like having to train the right-hand-side of the brain to understand music in a mathematical way, but ended by saying that by the third go it was like Hits On 45.
We've parsed the film's title this way on Witterpedia to reflect the discussion, started by listener Rob, on where the emphasis on the words in the title should go when spoken aloud. Was it the attention-grabbing demand of THERE Will Be Blood? The existential There Will BE Blood? The Biblical promise of There WILL Blood? The debate was finally settled some months later when Rebecca Miller, the wife of Day-Lewis, was on the Daily Mayo and Simon was able to ask her how she would pronounce it: she opted for There Will Be BLOOD.