Author Topic: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!  (Read 38912 times)

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Something Spanish

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #180 on: July 08, 2017, 07:15:01 PM »
+1
2 1/2 years later, still never loved a film as much as IV.

WorldForgot

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #181 on: July 19, 2017, 07:48:11 PM »
0


short video essay compiling pynchon clips into an unofficial bildungsroman.

Just Withnail

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #182 on: October 05, 2017, 04:17:35 AM »
+9
Bringing the Inherent Vice conversation here, from the other thread.

A lot of you talk about IV's plottiness as a negative, but the overabundant plot was the heart of IV for me, and it’s convolutedness made me feel for our little man Doc. The mood of the film was of constantly having to realign yourself to new information, eventually just succumbing to it as a texture (though it has logic if one wants to solve the puzzle). It’s a film that shows the constant process of change, of constant newness, and nostalgia as an alluring drug to dampen the frustations brought on by it. I can understand the wish to maybe get even “closer” to Doc, but I felt the plottiness put me right in his shoes. A barrage of newness all the time, and he just wants his ex-old lady.

Invoking entropy can be a tired critical trope, but the film certainly invites it. Eggs break, chocolate melts. Girlfriends become ex-old- ladies. Experience lost to the past, continuously. These continuous push-ins on people’s faces as they tell their intricate stories just highlight the loss of the moments immediately before. Can you keep the plot in your head? You just heard it. It slips away. Does it ever end? Of course it does. It did. Unavoidably.

Entropy is there in the rhymes of visual motifs (the parking-lot becomes the dentist office years later), in the grain, and the constant invasion of new new new. And in this film the “new” has a very sinister quality, felt through an overwhelmed Doc, as a perhaps inevitable contrast to the idealism of the very recent old. Things looked so great for a second, how could they look anything but bleak right now?

In the beginning Doc has seemingly succumed completely to entropy, just flowing away with the heat-death of the universe, no real sense of purpose and drive, dreaming of the past. The one thing that cuts through the entropic haze, the thing that makes him try to muster up some energy and counteract the slipping away of everthing, is, ironically, something old. “Shasta. Find Shasta Fey”. Maybe the most heartbreaking moment for me in the film is when Coy slips sideways and whispers this to Doc, and the way you see the name cut into him like a razor. As he goes on his mission and the intricacies pile up and the haze returns, he’s posed a question that cuts through everything again: “what’s gonna keep you up at night?” And the haze of solving a mystery and finding patterns in the chaos is supplanted by a relatively simple action: get Coy home.

There’s another counterforce to the haze: the compressed energy of Bigfoot, this low-entropy, quite literal, square. No straight lines in nature but Bigfoot’s hair sure is close. Like all of PTA’s other “low-entropic” characters like Mackey, Plainview and Dodd, it’s a tightly organized structure that hides chaos (or, maybe rather: it’s so tightly organized because the oppositional forces are so powerful).

In the end Doc’s “back” with Shasta, seemingly where he wanted to be, living in “the past”. Except of course it isn’t. The newness, strangeness, of the situation just seems to bring home the fact that this isn’t the past at all. This doesn’t mean we’re back together. It’s still something new, and always will be. Something’s off, and you can see it in Doc’s eyes. What’s wrong here? And in the end, of course:

Any day now I will hear you say "Goodbye, my love"
And you'll be on your way
Then my wild beautiful bird, you will have flown, oh
Any day now I'll be all alone, whoa


Unavoidable loss, the inherent vice itself.
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WorldForgot

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #183 on: October 05, 2017, 08:47:41 PM »
+1

Invoking entropy can be a tired critical trope, but the film certainly invites it.

Thank you for a fantastic write-up. IV is my favorite film, but I've yet to sit down and bottle lightning. What you posted just now, well, it came close.

Maybe the most heartbreaking moment for me in the film is when Coy slips sideways and whispers this to Doc, and the way you see the name cut into him like a razor.

Doc's expressions throughout the film seem, to me, instantly recognizable for anyone in the haze of heartbreak. This moment confirms the thread Doc holds onto SO TIGHT he might be ignoring all the rest. He knows this, and yet, it unspools into a yarn of epic Los-Angeles scope. This is much a film of lovers, the spirals and trails they leave behind. Doc thought he had the thread, but she's flitting across his life, within and without.


Fuzzy Dunlop

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #184 on: November 27, 2017, 02:24:57 PM »
+2
Jena Malone talks briefly about working on IV, apparently thinks Owen Wilson is Clive Owen:

https://www.avclub.com/jena-malone-on-the-hunger-games-and-why-being-cut-out-o-1820683102

Inherent Vice (2014)—“Hope Harlingen”

JM: That one is sort of—when a baseball player’s been playing the game for a long time and they finally get to play with one of their heroes. It was like the whole thing was butter. It was heaven, getting to collaborate with Paul Thomas Anderson as an actor. And I say “collaborate” because he really does respect the process of acting and upholds it to the highest and really allows the actor to work and live and recreate and rewrite and understand and interpret a role. It was incredibly freeing and easy. He puts you at ease. It’s the type of thing where, afterwards, you’re like, “Oh my God. I will never get on the steam train again. I’m going to be taking bullet trains from now on. There is no need to spend 18 weeks going across the country when I have bruises all over my body when I can do it efficiently, smoothly, and incredibly well with a well-built machine,” and that’s what a Paul Thomas Anderson film feels like for me.

AVC: It was such a sprawling cast. Were there people you found yourself unexpectedly spending time with while you were shooting?

JM: Joanna Newsome was someone that I didn’t realize I had met—well, I mean I did realize we had met previously. An ex-boyfriend of mine that was from where she grew up, we had met and then forgot and we reconnected and got to spend some time together. Not necessarily on set, but through the press campaign, because on set it was just Joaquin [Phoenix] and I. I didn’t really work with anyone else. Clive Owen, very briefly.



Drenk

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #185 on: November 27, 2017, 02:52:30 PM »
0
But she knows with which Anderson she worked!
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Just Withnail

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #186 on: December 06, 2017, 12:17:55 PM »
+4
So, I couldn't stop writing after posting that thing above, and ended up expanding it quite a bit and posting it on my blog, with tons of little giffies.

Read it here if you wanna!

It's been loading a bit weirdly for me here, probably because of all the silly gifs, please shout if it doesn't load well for you guys.
My short WORLD WIDE WOVEN BODIES is now online:

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Drenk

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #187 on: December 06, 2017, 01:51:54 PM »
0
It doesn't load for me. Or it takes a lot of time? I'm keeping the page open.

EDIT: Okay. It loaded. It just takes time.
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Just Withnail

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #188 on: December 06, 2017, 02:12:33 PM »
0
Ah, I should probably take off a few images and see if it goes faster...
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wilder

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #189 on: December 06, 2017, 02:17:13 PM »
0
Takes slightly longer than most pages but it does load. Keep the images!

WorldForgot

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #190 on: December 07, 2017, 03:33:35 AM »
+1
Just Withnail... I think you are a fantastic writer, and possibly our imaginations share many of the same proclivities. Thank you for writing this piece. I will be re-reading it tomorrow morning with some coffee. I'm especially glad you highlighted this film's use of architecture. After seeing it for the first time, my mind was turned-on to texture and spaces (and production design) in a way it hadn't been before.

For now I'd like to highlight how much of your thematic observation is essentially bottled lightning in the film itself.

Quote
All we see of Shasta and Doc’s former relationship is filtered through his rosy fantasies, so we never quite know what it was like, but it's clear that those fantasies have little to do with their relationship as it is now

It is as you wrote, this film is about flux and flow. In the scene where Shasta has shown up to Doc for a drink and a tryst we are treated to one of the film's most elusive duels (and this is a film composed of one-on-one sparring scenes). Joaquin and Katherine take us through the entire arc: Flirting, contention, aggression, climax, denouement. They do so while serving each other hearty doses of lust, so coated it's tough to see the love yet impossible to miss the chemistry. Then their climax is almost painfully resentful to any notion of "romance" even including a tear, and its angle excludes most of Doc's emotion, instead focusing on Shasta. Anyway you spin it, they're just as heartbroken as the other.

Quote
We simply can't contain the world in our heads, so it will always suprise us.

Although I know many friends who found the film's structure impenetrable, I've found that the best advice for IV first-timers is this: Do not try to "understand" the mystery, and do not try to remember each character. May seem strange, and even contrary to the point, I know, but it seems to work. When I tell people going into this film for the first time to prepare themselves to be confused, and that most characters won't appear more than once, they take it as the comedy, rather than an LA Neo-Noir or arthouse-thriller. It removes the expectation of "neatness" and ties into the chaos that makes this film so infinitely rewatchable/engrossing.

I may steal one of your screengrabs for my first 2018 Avatar.

Just Withnail

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #191 on: December 08, 2017, 06:51:00 AM »
0
Thank you! I'm very happy to hear that.

I really like your thoughts on Shasta's seduction scene, I left that out completely as I didn't really know where to start with it - and it's certainly one of the central scenes in the film. It sticks out in every way.
My short WORLD WIDE WOVEN BODIES is now online:

Watch it here!

 

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