Full disclosure: I’ve seen There Will Be Blood three times and none of what you’re about to read makes me not want it to win the Academy Award for Best Picture of 2007. It is the best movie I saw in 2007. But making a movie is a complicated thing to do. Mistakes are sometimes made.
OK. The second time I saw There Will Be Blood, I had to reluctantly admit to myself that I had seen a red-orange flag in the deep background of one scene. Looked like the sort of flag you’d see sticking out of the hole on a golf course. I barely even believed, at the time, that I believed I had seen it. But on Viewing #3, I pointed it out to Becky (seeing the film herself for a 2nd time). She agreed. That did look one hell of a lot like a flag and its flagpole, both utterly out of place in the movie’s turn-of-the-century California. It might be one of those stakes they’re hammering into the land….but it’s just really not. Take a look.
Yeah, obviously the evidence I’m submitting above and in the larger linked image isn’t gonna scandalize anyone or prove that Paul Thomas Anderson and/or Dylan Tichenor (the editor) weren’t quite careful enough that day. But my arrow points to just about where I saw the flag; it’s not very orange-red in my screenshot but it was, emphatically, in the theatre. And on the DVD. And the setting around the actor (Kevin J. O’Connor as Henry Brands) pretty much screams “21st century golf course.” Doesn’t it?
And that’s all I’ve got for you. Are we the only ones who noticed this? I mean I’d really like to find out that it was some other red-orange flag-like object sitting there in the distance. But I don’t have any convincing theories about that. Anyone?