Socialist Worker

Reviews round-up

Issue No. 2320

The Master

From the writer of Magnolia and There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master looks at the roots of the contoversial “religion” of Scientology.

Huge fees are charged by the Church of Scientology for a ritual supposed to free followers of their limits and help them reach their “true immortal nature”.

Anderson’s portrayal of L Ron Hubbard—who set up Scientology in 1952—has been compared to Frank Mackey, the disturbed seduction coach who was memorably played by Tom Cruise in Magnolia. Cruise himself became a Scientologist in the 1990s, shortly before Magnolia was produced.

Described as a psychological drama, The Master explores themes of loneliness and the madness that stems from anxiety and alienation. It goes on general release from 14 September

William Morris Gallery

The William Morris Gallery in east London has reopened after a major refurbishment. Morris was a 19th century artist, designer and poet. He famously said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

But he was also a committed revolutionary socialist and a talented writer, orator, theorist and activist. The museum is a place to find out more about his art, life and politics. Go to

Bob Dylan: Tempest

Dylan’s new album is described as a familiar mix of blues, folk, and country. It promises to explore a mood of fury directed at bankers and politicians, and includes a tribute to John Lennon. Tempest returns to political themes, but it has been criticised as not living up to Dylan’s earlier poetic capability.

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Tue 11 Sep 2012, 15:58 BST
Issue No. 2320
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