Author Topic: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!  (Read 36445 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 »
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Just Withnail

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #182 on: October 05, 2017, 04:17:35 AM »
+8
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.


 

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