Xixax Film Forum

The Director's Chair => Paul Thomas Anderson => Topic started by: itwasgood on November 10, 2021, 10:03:41 AM

Title: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on November 10, 2021, 10:03:41 AM
Paul Thomas Anderson on 'Licorice Pizza' and Moviemaking: 'Anyone Who's Done This Knows That Confidence Is an Illusion'

https://variety.com/2021/film/features/paul-thomas-anderson-licorice-pizza-alana-haim-cooper-hoffman-1235107853/

Paul's interview with Variety!
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on November 17, 2021, 08:29:03 PM
Short interview on video with Florencia, Michael and Andy.

https://deadline.com/2021/11/licorice-pizza-michael-bauman-andy-jurgensen-florencia-martin-contenders-los-angeles-1234872594/

(And, yes, I think Andy is 15.)   :wink:
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: pynchonikon on November 20, 2021, 03:18:28 PM
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: pynchonikon on November 22, 2021, 02:39:54 PM
New York Times interview with Kyle Buchanan

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/22/movies/paul-thomas-anderson-licorice-pizza.html?partner=IFTTT (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/22/movies/paul-thomas-anderson-licorice-pizza.html?partner=IFTTT)

QuoteDoes it surprise you how some people are reacting to the age difference between Alana and Gary?

There's no line that's crossed, and there's nothing but the right intentions. It would surprise me if there was some kind of kerfuffle about it, because there's not that much there. That's not the story that we made, in any kind of way. There isn't a provocative bone in this film's body.

QuoteThere's at least one provocative bone in this film's body. I'm thinking of the scenes with a white restaurateur, played by John Michael Higgins, where he talks to his Japanese wife in an accent so offensive that my audience actually gasped.

Well, that's different. I think it would be a mistake to tell a period film through the eyes of 2021. You can't have a crystal ball, you have to be honest to that time. Not that it wouldn't happen right now, by the way. My mother-in-law's Japanese and my father-in-law is white, so seeing people speak English to her with a Japanese accent is something that happens all the time. I don't think they even know they're doing it.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on November 23, 2021, 07:10:39 AM
Time magazine interview with PTA and Alana https://time.com/6122812/licorice-pizza-paul-thomas-anderson-alana-haim/
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: pynchonikon on November 23, 2021, 12:40:39 PM
Vanity Fair interview: https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2021/11/paul-thomas-anderson-licorice-pizza-interview?utm_source=twitter&utm_brand=vf&utm_medium=social&mbid=social_twitter&utm_social-type=owned (https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2021/11/paul-thomas-anderson-licorice-pizza-interview?utm_source=twitter&utm_brand=vf&utm_medium=social&mbid=social_twitter&utm_social-type=owned)
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on November 23, 2021, 01:01:26 PM
Awesome.  I enjoyed that.   I wish we could sit in his backyard (it's in  the low 80s today) and just talk movies with this guy for a few hours...

One day.  One day...
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on November 23, 2021, 01:05:23 PM
Interesting that he wanted this to come out in the summer. That's something I thought would be a good idea.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on November 23, 2021, 01:10:01 PM
I found that interesting, too.   I wonder if you could have gotten industry/voter types to see it in the summer, or at least to as effective an extent.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: pynchonikon on November 23, 2021, 01:12:44 PM
Quote from: Drill on November 23, 2021, 01:05:23 PM
Interesting that he wanted this to come out in the summer. That's something I thought would be a good idea.

Without having seen the movie yet, for some reason I always thought a summer release would be the most appropriate for this (and I don't mean that as a bad thing). On the other hand, MGM is really treating it as the most precious arrow in their quiver for this season, so I'm not complaining.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Alma on November 23, 2021, 02:43:52 PM
That Vanity Fair interview is the most interesting one so far, I think. Glad that Benny Safdie got a shout out - I was looking forward to him in this but he's barely been mentioned at all so far.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Lewton on November 23, 2021, 03:01:01 PM
This part in the Vanity Fair interview is just spot on:

QuoteBut I think that it's the nature of the game right now and I don't mind it. The only thing that I'm trying to not get upset about is that I have seen some writing about films that becomes dismissive, as if it's a beauty contest. Talking about a film as if it's a woman, like, "Yeah, she's never going to make it—hips too big, a little squat." That kind of stuff. It's not healthy for anybody and it makes my skin crawl a tiny little bit. It starts to get unnecessarily icky, in terms of a judgment on a film about its chances in terms of an award ceremony. We can be excited by it and it can be a privilege to be there, but when it starts to turn into a Miss America beauty contest, that stuff starts to give you a sour taste. Like, hmm, this doesn't feel right to me, the way people are talking about someone's work.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on November 24, 2021, 09:37:14 AM
Why Paul Thomas Anderson Chose to Film Part of 'Licorice Pizza' at My Childhood Home
https://www.thrillist.com/paul-thomas-anderson-interview-licorice-pizza-movie

Paul's interview with thrillist.com. He talked with the former owner of Jon Peters' house in the film, most of the interview is about the Valley and its great places and memories. An interesting one!
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on November 24, 2021, 10:01:32 AM
You beat me by seconds.

As a Location Nerd, as a Proud Valley Boy, I fucking loved that interview.  God bless the Internet. 

(And for extra resonance, I sat at the bottom of the driveway to this place during only my 2nd set visit.   Just me, a security guard, and a PA....  I had no idea in that moment that it was the beginning of an amazing 3 month adventure.)

QuoteI grew up in the Valley in the '90s and 2000s, and I have to admit I have a fondness for it, but I didn't love growing up there. After I saw the film, I was immediately Googling all the locations to place them in my mind. Tail O' the Cock is now a mall with the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and the Western Bagel right where I went to high school. Where do you see the connection between the old and new Valley?

Well, every generation has something that connects them to the past, right? I'm 51 years old. Look, let me put it to you this way. I lived in Studio City. The woman that lived across the street from me, who was an older woman, was named Mary Brian. Mary Brian was in silent movies. As a 7, 8 year old, I would get cookies from my next-door neighbor who was a silent movie actress named Mary Brian, whose husband had already died. And her husband was George Tomasini, who was Alfred Hitchcock's editor. I grew up in Studio City in a quiet suburban neighborhood, but across the street from an 80-year-old woman who had been in silent movies. So I've touched the deep past. Now here I come along, and I'm going to make a film about my childhood. And it's remembering the Tail O' the Cock at Coldwater and Ventura, which to you is the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and the gas station. It's funny.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on November 24, 2021, 10:17:43 AM
We should be "On the Lookout" (sorry), for the Jan 2022 issue of Empire Magazine.

Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Alma on November 24, 2021, 10:31:29 AM
That's out here tomorrow, I can get it and post it.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on November 24, 2021, 01:00:00 PM
https://twitter.com/TheAVClub/status/1463571869655871488

Alana's interview with The A.V. Club.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on November 24, 2021, 01:18:09 PM
And more Alana! Alana's interview with APnews

https://apnews.com/article/entertainment-lifestyle-arts-and-entertainment-movies-music-videos-051bb5bda93707e2c55259f0ec0495bb
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on November 24, 2021, 01:49:45 PM
I love that Paul kept Bradley a 'secret' from Coops and Alana--and that literally their first scene on the first day was having him come at them in a hallway!
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on November 24, 2021, 08:39:55 PM
https://twitter.com/kcrw/status/1463696446633517059

Podcast interview
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on November 24, 2021, 09:36:43 PM
The KCRW audio is up (https://www.kcrw.com/news/shows/greater-la/licorice-pizza-la-city-council).
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on November 25, 2021, 12:00:45 AM
Love that they played HAIM's Los Angeles at the end of this interview.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: modage on November 26, 2021, 08:59:27 AM
A day in the Valley with Paul Thomas Anderson
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2021-11-26/paul-thomas-anderson-licorice-pizza-san-fernando-valley
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on November 26, 2021, 10:22:10 AM
Dammit, I enjoyed that.   My favorite Paulie LP interview to date.   Got me juiced for my 4th rewatch in a few hours.    :bravo:
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: pynchonikon on November 26, 2021, 10:53:06 AM
I loved it when Whipp mentioned Dazed&Confused and PTA immediately turned the discussion to Everybody Wants Some!!  :yabbse-grin:
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on November 26, 2021, 11:50:53 AM
Quote from: modage on November 26, 2021, 08:59:27 AM
A day in the Valley with Paul Thomas Anderson
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2021-11-26/paul-thomas-anderson-licorice-pizza-san-fernando-valley

For the archive:

Paul Thomas Anderson explains 'Licorice Pizza' on Valley tour - Los Angeles Times

by Glenn Whipp

Paul Thomas Anderson is behind the wheel and we're headed north on Balboa Boulevard to the Van Nuys Golf Course, a nice little pitch-and-putt that the filmmaker knows, like just about every nook and cranny in the San Fernando Valley, quite well.

Back in the day, he'd come out here and play a round with friends in the early evening, then walk over to the bar at Billingsley's steak house, sip a beer or three and watch the Dodgers game on the little TV mounted in the corner.

Billingsley's closed in 2004, but the building — and the red leather booths and low bar inside — remain. Anderson shot a scene here for his audacious, operatic, Valley-set 1999 drama "Magnolia" — the dinner date with John C. Reilly and Melora Walters where they promise to tell each other the truth — and he returned again for his latest film, "Licorice Pizza," re-creating, with loving care, another defunct Valley restaurant, the landmark Tail o' the Cock. (Perhaps "landmark" is a bit much, but not if you celebrated your uncle's birthday with a prime rib dinner there or heard the great stride pianist Johnny Guarnieri play on a Thursday night.)

It's a warm autumn day, absolutely perfect unless you're into the whole four seasons thing, and Anderson and I are roaming the west Valley, an idea that neither of us wants to claim ("I heard this was your idea," I tell him. "I thought you wanted to do this," he responds, laughing) because it could easily deteriorate into a conversation between a couple of old-timers whining about how a beloved Ventura Boulevard coffee shop has been demolished and turned into a Sephora.

"This is a dangerous one, isn't it? You start getting into nostalgia. You just teeter. It's this edge of sounding cranky," Anderson, 51, says. "Don't forget, it wasn't that long ago that nostalgia was considered kind of a medical condition, something that dissuades you from moving forward or living in the present. But it's pretty hard not to be nostalgic these days — even for last week, for that matter."

He starts laughing. "I'm not nostalgic for the '70s. But I am nostalgic for at least let's say ... I don't know ... five years ago."

Yet it's 1973, not the recent past, that's the setting for "Licorice Pizza," a laid-back, loose and thoroughly lovable coming-of-age story that finds Anderson returning to his home turf ("Boogie Nights," "Punch-Drunk Love" and the aforementioned "Magnolia" were also set amid the Valley sprawl), a choice, he says, that was "not on his bingo card," but the writing — begun while he was stuck on another project — took on a joyful momentum that he had no inclination to fight.

It's the story of a 15-year-old hustler named Gary (played by Cooper Hoffman, the son of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was a dear friend and frequent collaborator of Anderson's), a showbiz kid and gifted entrepreneur who meets the older Alana (Alana Haim of the sisters band Haim, another Valley institution) on his school picture day and insists she join him for dinner at his favorite restaurant, Tail o' the Cock.

She shows ("This isn't a date," Alana informs him), setting into motion a love story that also encompasses gas shortages, waterbeds, Hollywood producer Jon Peters, chaos in the hills of Encino and summer nights spent listening to Vin Scully on the transistor radio.

As we're driving around the same streets Anderson traveled by bike as a teenager, he's telling me about this biography he's reading about Billy Bitzer, D.W. Griffith's groundbreaking cinematographer. A transplanted New Yorker, Bitzer complains about the same things Angelenos gripe about a century later: out-of-place palm trees that provide no shade, eucalyptus trees dripping sap, what the Santa Ana winds do to his sinuses.

"Nothing changes," he says. "A hundred years from now, all those grievances against L.A. will still be there."

We arrive at the golf course, park and, once I figure out how to open the passenger door ("That button there ... the one you have your finger on," Anderson tells me. "It's for millennials only ... like myself. An old-timer like you can't figure out how to get out of a Tesla"), we head to the pro shop, such as it is, to see if we can get the keys to open the old Billingsley's. The guy behind the counter obliges without asking any questions.

Soon enough, we're inside the space where Gary and Alana (not to mention Claudia and Officer Jim from "Magnolia") first get to know each other. "Good memories in here," Anderson says, walking over to the bar. When I mention that if the place was open today, there'd probably be a TV in every corner of the room, he responds, "Don't get me started! Do ... not ... get ... me ... started," but, really, it's too late. He's off. "It just destroys the ambiance. Spaces should not be lit by televisions!

"I loved the whole vibe of the Tail o' the Cock," Anderson says of the Studio City restaurant, which was on Ventura Boulevard near Coldwater Canyon. "It was my version of Hollywood royalty. But that royalty was not the Clark Gables and Spencer Tracys at the bar. It was Hanna-Barbera animators, commercial directors, writers and voice-over artists, mixed in with families and grandmas."

"Licorice Pizza's" version of royalty dine here too, in the form of a William Holden stand-in played by Sean Penn, who takes Alana to the Cock for drinks and dinner not long after she auditions for a role in a movie modeled on "Breezy," the 1973 May-December romance starring Holden and directed by Clint Eastwood. In the middle of their evening, the Holden character is talked into doing a motorcycle stunt on the golf course, an incident that Anderson took from a hazy memory.

"There was a place near here that I never went to on Ventura and Petit called the Ram's Horn," Anderson tells me as we head back to the car. "Sonny and Cher went there a lot. It was a place where [local news anchor] Jerry Dunphy would always sit at the bar and then split to do the Channel 9 news. The legend is he'd leave his drink, say he'd be right back and go do the 9 o'clock news and be back by 10 to finish his drink.

"But the real story, which we stole and twisted around for the movie, is that I remember hearing as a kid that [motorcycle daredevil] Evel Knievel came in there one night and jumped 10 cars on Ventura Boulevard. And somebody was like, 'I was there. I saw it. He was so drunk, he never made it out of the parking lot. He slammed into a parked car.' And that always stuck with me, that legend of Evel Knievel at the Ram's Horn."

Another thing that stuck with him ended up being the opening scene of "Licorice Pizza," the photo day encounter between Alana and Gary. One day "forever ago," Anderson was walking through his Tarzana neighborhood, passed Portola Middle School and saw all the kids lined up on the blacktop to have their pictures taken. He noticed a young boy pestering a uniformed girl. It was just enough for him to say, "That's a good premise for a movie."

Then, over the years, Anderson's friendship with producer Gary Goetzman, a former child actor who, yes, opened a waterbed store in Encino called Fat Bernie's Environmental Living — which, as in the film, later became Fat Bernie's Pinball Palace — gave him stories that he took, polished and embellished. There was indeed a waterbed delivered to Peters' home in the Encino hills, though the real events weren't nearly as dramatic.

"Classic selfish writer mode," Anderson says, smiling. "You steal like a vampire what you need and leave the truth laying on the floor somewhere behind you."

The final and most defining piece was Anderson's friendship with Haim, the woman, the band, the whole family. The three sisters and their parents are all in "Licorice Pizza," featured, most memorably, in a scene that illustrates the dangers of bringing an atheist to a Jewish family dinner.

If anyone loves the Valley as much as Anderson — and, aside from a brief stab at NYU film school and a brief spell living in a Santa Monica apartment ("What am I doing here? What's that smell? Fresh air? I've got to get back to the smog"), he has spent his whole life here — it's the Haims.

As we crisscross these neighborhoods, I ask him how it feels to have all those decades of memories stacked up.

"Well, Glenn, let me tell you," Anderson says, adopting a heightened tone, like he's speaking with Barbara Walters, "I remember at a certain point, at a certain point," and Anderson breaks up laughing because he's self-conscious about answering questions like this.

And yet he's completely genuine in the way that he embraces the Valley — shortcomings and all — as his home, so he finishes the thought. "I remember at some point thinking, 'You know, I am not going to be like my dad shuffling my kids up and down Ventura Boulevard to Little League practice.' And yet here I am, and I'm so happy doing it."

We're back on Balboa Boulevard and Anderson can't resist taking me through Encino Village, the neighborhood that sits on the old RKO lot where "It's a Wonderful Life" and countless westerns and TV shows were filmed. (He later sends me a link to a spooky "Dragnet" episode that was shot there, just before it was bulldozed.) John Wayne built a beautiful house nearby, which Anderson toured before it was torn down around 2003. "Everything was oversized for the Duke," Anderson says. "You stood at bathroom and kitchen counters and they were like chest-high!"

Turning on Ventura Boulevard, we soon arrive at the old storefront where Goetzman opened his waterbed store and, later, pinball palace. It's now a tanning salon, though Rudnick's, the kids clothing store next door, is a holdover from the old days. "I asked Mr. Rudnick if he remembered Fat Bernie's and he said, 'I do. I just remember those f— bikes out front!'" Anderson says.

"Licorice Pizza" was a family-and-friends project. Anderson's wife, the great Maya Rudolph, is in it. So are their four children, playing a variety of parts ("They're everywhere," he says. "Give them a different haircut and they're an extra over here"), as well as many of their neighborhood friends. Because everyone knew each other, it fostered a warm, intimate camaraderie that can be felt in the finished film.

"I kept thinking, 'Why haven't I done this before?'" Anderson says. He laughs at the memory. "It's hard to imagine doing it any other way now."

When Anderson shot the scenes with his kids and their friends, particularly the grand opening at Gary's pinball palace, he noticed the looks of astonishment on their faces when they arrived on set. "You really had this?" they seemed to be saying.

"That ability to hang out and get some free Pepsi and let it spill into the parking lot and find the corners where you can maybe make out, maybe meet somebody. It felt like a wonderful bridge between being a kid and being an adult," Anderson says of the vibe. "It's not a bar. It's not a coffee shop with the fussiness and poetry that go along with that. It's your own personal safe place — or even dangerous place — to go."

We're now sitting in the Balboa Golf Course parking lot off Burbank Boulevard in Encino. The clubhouse makes the best grilled cheese sandwich in L.A., Anderson proclaims. (That's what his kids say, at least.) Which makes me think of "Licorice Pizza." I know Anderson had trouble coming up with a title for the film. Southern California natives of a certain age know the Licorice Pizza chain of record stores, which had locations all over the Valley. But why call the movie "Licorice Pizza"?

"If there's two words that make me kind of have a Pavlovian response and memory of being a child and running around, it's 'licorice' and 'pizza,'" Anderson says. "It instantly takes me back to that time. And it's somewhere between that and just absolutely giving up the search for something that makes sense. It's a hard film to title.

"We called it 'Alana and Gary' for the longest time, but I thought I'd had my fill of two given names for titles. I'm happy with it now. It feels good. You think of titles like 'American Graffiti.' 'Fast Times.' 'Licorice Pizza.' Good. All right, let's stick with that company. Those are films that I thought about so much when I was making it."

"'Dazed and Confused,'" I offer.

"'Dazed and Confused,'" Anderson affirms. "You know what's a great title: 'Everybody Wants Some!!' You like that film?"

"Oh, I love that film," I answer, because if you've seen this 2016 Richard Linklater comedy, you'll probably say what Anderson is about to say: "F—, what a good film! And so underrated!"

"It's such a great hang movie, just like all those other ones you mentioned," I say. "You know, the weird thing is, I've only seen it once."

"Me too!" Anderson says. "And I think about it all the time. I think about seeing it again, like once a week, 'C'mon, it's time to watch "Everybody Wants Some!!" again.' I remember it being very long and this absolute slow burn and working its way to its ending. When it comes to the light touch of my contemporaries, Richard Linklater is the king."

Anderson opens his door. We've been sitting in the car for a while and we're starting to bake because it's autumn in the Valley. But I'm still thinking about the light touch. "Would you say that's what you were going for in this film, that kind of feeling? Would you say ..."

"C'mon let's get out!" he pleads. OK. I find the magic button that opens the door. He looks at me. "Would you say ..."

"Would you say that's something you're known for as a filmmaker, the light touch? Because I don't know that people think, Oh ... a Paul Thomas Anderson film ..."

"The light touch?" he answers, laughing. "No!"

"As a film aficionado, your memory goes to what Billy Wilder was always able to do, which was very f— little, or at least making it appear that very little was being done," Anderson says. "And that the accumulation of all these things ends up having, hopefully, some weight or resonance. But throughout it, you also, hopefully, don't feel any of that at work. That's the heavenly place that you aim for, particularly with a story like this, a story of young love."

It's too hot for grilled cheese. We order a couple of iced teas and start talking about the movies we've seen lately and what it's like to put out a movie right now. "Licorice Pizza," which opens today, will play in L.A. exclusively at the Regency Village Theater in Westwood for a month. Anderson tells me I'd be shocked to learn how few Angelenos know where Westwood is, even people living on the Westside. ("'Is it playing on the Promenade?' 'No. It's in Westwood.' 'Is it playing Century City?' 'No! Westwood!'")

For those on the fence (or in the dark), an empty store nearby has been transformed into a Fat Bernie's Pinball Palace. Bring your quarters.

"We're trying to have fun," Anderson says. "It's easy to have fun when there's so many people involved who've never been in a movie before. Whatever crusty ,old man vibes you might have about the logistics of putting a movie out disappear when you look at their faces: 'We've got a movie coming out!' 'Yes. we've got a movie coming out.'

"It's true. And I've got the waterbeds in my garage to prove it."
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Alma on November 27, 2021, 07:22:52 AM
Empire interview:

(https://i.imgur.com/CElnBC3.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/mT08o7U.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Lf73ARq.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Uj6nU4d.jpg)
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: pynchonikon on November 27, 2021, 12:14:38 PM
Based on the Empire interview, he doesn't look really interested on doing sth contemporary anytime soon. (In fact, I would even say he has already made up his mind on what the next one will be, but maybe it's a bit too early for that)
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on November 27, 2021, 02:27:25 PM
Thank you for sharing that, Alma
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Alma on November 28, 2021, 10:59:57 AM
Quote from: Yes on November 27, 2021, 02:27:25 PM
Thank you for sharing that, Alma

:yabbse-thumbup: :yabbse-smiley:
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on November 28, 2021, 12:48:00 PM
Wow, I think that's my favorite interview yet from this release cycle. 
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: pynchonikon on November 29, 2021, 12:02:54 AM
Was this Q&A ever posted here? SPOILERS ahead.

https://dailybruin.com/2021/11/23/qa-director-paul-thomas-anderson-reflects-on-real-life-inspiration-for-licorice-pizza (https://dailybruin.com/2021/11/23/qa-director-paul-thomas-anderson-reflects-on-real-life-inspiration-for-licorice-pizza)

QuoteQ&A: Director Paul Thomas Anderson reflects on real-life inspiration for 'Licorice Pizza'

Daily Bruin: Was Alana Kane's character inspired by the real-life Alana (Haim) or any other real-life person?

Paul Thomas Anderson: She was inspired by the real-life Alana, which might horrify Alana (Haim) because she isn't as unstable. Alana Kane is very sporadic. She gives the appearance of being grown-up, but underneath it, she's very emotionally immature. That's why it's an interesting relationship because Gary first appears like an annoying teenage hustler, but he turns out to be quite emotionally mature. But then again, he's also 16 so he's kind of an idiot. Alana's character is a shadow of the real Alana. She has a very ferocious protectiveness of the people she loves – that is a very similar quality.

Pasadena City College Courier: What did you do in order to be sensitive towards (the age gap) but also portray it in such an artful way?

PTA: It's a terrific dilemma. It reminds me of what you would see in the old screwball comedies – this insurmountable thing between two characters that keeps them apart. Once you know that's the playing field, you can have fun with it because they're never going to be together. It's a line you do not cross. It's inappropriate. It's wrong. That's not happening.

What's fun is now seeing Gary continue to try. You get to witness, in all of his teenage perversion, thinking he might have a chance and her just shutting it down. This creates endless comedic and dramatic opportunities. It's a premise for a film where the two people who feel completely bound to each other cannot be bound to each other in a romantic way.

The Panther Newspaper: Did you approach directing the first-time actors (differently) than those veterans?

PTA: The first two or three days, (Haim) and (Hoffman) were so nervous they couldn't stop shaking. My job was to settle them down and make sure that I was explaining what was happening with them. The first thing that we shot was the scene with Bradley Cooper, so it makes sense that they're nervous. They're getting screamed at and berated and intimidated by him. Once they got that scene under their belt, they had formed a bond. They had survived Bradley Cooper as Jon Peters, so they felt more confident going into the next sequence that they had to do.

The Valley Star: How do personal relationships with locations help frame your stories?

PTA: There's an emotional connection to these places, so that's very important. You're making a film, you're asking the audience to care about it. I care about it. I care about where I come from. I care about these people. I care about these locations. I care about this place that I live in, where I'm raising my kids. I want my love for it to be evident on screen and hopefully for an audience to feel that.

It was a combination of great joy and great melancholy as we were looking for locations because many of them aren't there. Many things in the Valley have changed and that makes you melancholy, but you're always thrilled when you find pockets that haven't changed.

Pepperdine University Graphic: After the romantic ending, what is your hope for Gary and Alana's future?

PTA: If I imagine a future for them, there's no way that they're not stuck together in some way as friends. I can imagine watching Alana dropping her possessiveness of him and helping him navigate a genuine romantic relationship with someone more appropriate for him. I can imagine him continuing to be jealous about whatever entanglements she finds herself in. I could imagine the relationship not changing too much but slowly becoming more mature.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on December 01, 2021, 08:02:32 PM
Starting at 2:14, Maya talks about Paul and the kids and then a little about LP:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9r2O0qiLa4
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on December 01, 2021, 08:19:56 PM
That was really sweet
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 03, 2021, 11:39:00 PM
Licorice Pizza: A Conversation with P.T. Anderson About his new Slice of Nostalgia - LA Weekly (https://www.laweekly.com/licorice-pizza-a-conversation-with-p-t-anderson-about-his-new-slice-of-nostalgia/)

This week's L.A. Weekly cover story featuring a conversation with P.T. Anderson about Licorice Pizza, the 70s and the enduring allure of the San Fernando Valley, appears in edited and condensed form in our print edition ("A New Slice of Nostalgia"). This version contains the full Q&A as well as more thoughts on the director's work, the film, its subject matter and more.

By definition, nostalgia is about wistfulness, warmth, and fond feelings for the past. But evoking it needn't always be driven by reliving simpler times. From the awkward innocence of childhood to the hormonal discovery of teenhood to the promise and scary freedom of finally becoming a grown-up, nostalgic cinema aims to reflect the personal and relatable complexities of life within a particular time period.

The best movies do it visually and viscerally. Sets, costumes and props can recreate an era (and depending on the wardrobe department, some do it better than others) but it's the story and the director's approach to telling it that make or break it. Paul Thomas Anderson has become known for making it more than once, conjuring the past in a dynamic and immersive way. In particular his mastery of atmosphere no matter the era, from the smoky casinos of his debut Hard Eight, to the coked-out pool parties in Boogie Nights to the rainy car rides of SoCal in Magnolia, stands out and puts him on the shortlist beside contemporaries (Quentin Tarantino, Cameron Crowe) as well as his own influencers (Robert Altman, Jonathan Demme) in terms of transportive filmmakers.

With Licorice Pizza the award-winning writer/director returns to his beloved San Fernando Valley, Reseda in 1973 to be exact, to chronicle the misadventures of Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman, son of Philip Seymour Hoffman), a 15-year-old former actor trying to find his way after gigs start to dwindle. Based on the experiences of Anderson's pal Gary Goetzman (and Tom Hanks' production partner), Valentine's entrepreneurial spirit manifests into a waterbed business and later a pinball parlour, but it's his infatuation with Alana (Alana Haim, of the rock group Haim) that's at the aspirational heart of the movie. She's 10 years his senior so a romance is not in the cards but she's drawn to him nonetheless. The film follows the pair's friendship and individual struggles to find their callings.

Alana ends up getting involved with local politics in the last act, a not too surprising development coming after the film's audacious highpoint, when the gas shortage of '73 ends up putting both lead characters in peril. After an encounter with a spastic Hollywood producer (Bradley Cooper) leads to a wildly dangerous in-reverse ride in a U-haul, you really wonder what's coming next. It's a nail-biter in an otherwise slow-burning slice of life movie.

By the way, Pizza is no Boogie Nights and those expecting it to be may be disappointed. It's set a bit earlier, and it's a much more innocent film in general. Nevertheless it has a similar subtext– about families, friends, and finding one's purpose in life, all while growing up in proximity to the entertainment industry. Before Valley Girl (the film) highlighted the contrast between Hollywood's mystique and the suburban sensibilities "over the hill," those of us who grew up in Los Angeles in the 70's lived it, and many were inspired by it. Ultimately the setting is as important as the story, and Licorice Pizza captures it so beautifully, it's worth seeing for this reason alone, especially for L.A. natives (even if those who remember the record store it's named after will miss actually seeing it in the film).

In recent years Anderson has worked with universally acknowledged acting greats like Daniel Day Lewis (There Will be Blood, The Phantom Thread) and Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice, The Master) but his casting choices have mostly varied, from familiar powerhouses (Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Julianne Moore) to unexpected career-changing choices (Mark Wahlberg, Adam Sandler, Burt Reynolds).

With his latest, he takes the biggest risk of all, casting leads who had never acted in a feature length film before. He worked with Haim on music videos and shorts previously, and Cooper, a family friend via his dad (who died in 2014), is a novice save for P.T.'s "home movies." Both pull off what's needed here, bringing touching realism as well as a Sonny & Cher-like chemistry to the screen. Sean Penn, Tom Waits, local dance legend Ryan Heffington and Haim's real-life family add delectable texture to this simple tale of self-discovery.

It's not always easy to pull off a vintage-vibed movie. The lines between authentic recreation, sizzling (or fizzling) satire and cheesy farce are thin and maintaining tone can be tricky especially if flamboyant characters are involved. Beyond the polyester frocks and shaggy hairdo's, the people and the places have to ring true, no matter how weak or strong the narrative might be or how seductive the situations seem on paper. After a tough year, Licorice Pizza's bittersweet California-dreamy journey is a refreshing flashback for movie fans and it signals an auspicious new phase for Anderson. His latest may be (once again) set in the past, but its climax suggests a hopeful future. And as the writer, director, husband and father shared in our thoughtful and unfiltered conversation, he's enjoying himself more than ever doing what he does, or at least he's trying to.


LA WEEKLY: To start off, I thought it might be enlightening to discuss reviews and the critical reception your films have received. Do you care about what the critics say and do you think about the reception at all before a film comes out?

P.T. ANDERSON: It's one thing when a writer takes the time to use their skill to describe things they felt from the film– that really gets you going and it makes you feel something. I've gotten very good reviews generally over my career. There's definitely been moments where films have been more challenging. But you appreciate the writers that you care about, or writers that clearly put their heart into it, being right there with you, even if admitting that they struggled with the film. Because there's lots of reviews out there. I mean, fucking reviews, sometimes, they're boiled down to how many stars or thumbs up or thumbs down, or like a quick capsule 'hot or not' kind of thing.

The world is so strange, because we used to really depend on reviews. If you make a film that's slightly more challenging, you're at the mercy of having good reviews because you don't have the marketing budget to promote the film in a traditional blockbuster way. It's a double edged sword; you're dependent on and at the mercy of having good reviews to sort of create awareness.

You're vulnerable when you put a film out. You've spent a lot of time making it, a lot of time dedicating yourself to this insane pursuit of a vision that you have to see through and you can put an armor up just in case somebody wants to kick you. And so when you find out that you don't need that armor, it's like dropping something to the ground, and it's this huge like, 'huh, okay, what was I so worried about?'

Have you  felt that way with Licorice Pizza?

There's so many people involved in the film that have never been involved in a film before. And so my concerns and my thoughts are about them. And you know, whatever jaded cynicism and protection I might put up around myself, I'm working with people that have none of that. And I want the best for them and I want to protect them. I don't want anything harmful to come to them. You know, the reception for the film so far– I feel like I'm kind of lifting off the ground a tiny little bit. The other thing is I've had some successes before and I've just been too paranoid to enjoy it. I feel like it's something that can distract you from your job or you have to keep your head down and stay humble and get back to work. I do think that's important. But I also think at this point, it would be stupid not to lift your head up and enjoy the good will that comes towards you. It's healthy. Fuck, if you can't enjoy it, you need to see a doctor. It's like. 'enjoy it, come on, enjoy it.' So I'm trying to do that.

That's great. You should! Let's talk about L.A. and specifically the Valley in the 70's- a decade you capture so well.  We're both part of Generation X and L.A. natives, so we have a certain perspective on things. I think our generation is the most enamored with nostalgia. We don't get enough credit for our influence on the present either. Do you have any thoughts on why that is and why so many of us are almost obsessed with recapturing the past?

You remember the generation before us talking about the 60's and how great they were. I think we probably just sort of rolled our eyes. I mean, a bunch of dope smoking, peace signs and things we probably dismissed. You ask yourself, 'Am I getting old? Am I delusional or was it better?' I don't think it's that simple. I think it's both. I think, obviously there's no mystery anymore. And I think that's a bad thing. That becomes apparent in the film– two friends trying to find each other, they only have their wits about them to run to the streets or to visit the restaurants that they shared together, the landmarks of their relationship... this kind of thing couldn't happen in a film set today. By the way, we've had this acceleration of the past few years. If our innocence had been lost before, I mean, it's way in the rear view mirror now after everything we've all been through. I'm too nervous and too hopeful about the future to be a fuddy duddy saying, 'Yeah, we had it all and it was great back then,'... but it was great.

I agree. I'm a parent, as you are, and I think you have to stay positive about the future when you have kids. But there was something special about the era before computers and technology as it is today.  We lived through that transitional period of the internet changing everything, which is pretty crazy if you really think about it.

I'm just remembering how the emergence of the internet felt so optimistic initially. It felt like this socialist platform everyone could contribute to and everything was going to be equal and wonderful in the same way that people thought about the 60's as a revolution – how magnificent it was going to be and everything was going to change. And then it only took a few years before it was all completely fucking ruined.

It's true, but I think we stay optimistic and maybe try not to be like our own parents, bitterly boasting about the good ol' days. And yet, your films are proof to a lot of us who grew in the '70s that they were. From the clothing to the music to the simplicity of just hanging out with friends on a summer day. You really recreate it all so beautifully and I think that it's alluring to watch even for someone who didn't live through that time, especially backdropped by neighborhoods that look familiar no matter where you're from. Can you explain a bit about the way you shoot and think about the look of your scenes?

The allure is probably a freedom that was afforded kids and adolescents that I don't think is afforded them now. If you imagine this story in current day, Alana would be running down the street with a phone shoved in her back pocket, you know, in her short shorts. She'd probably have to hold the phone in her hand because her jeans are too tight. Now the phone is like a chain around young people and they know it, but they are powerless to do anything against it.

But, you know about the look, when we were filming this movie we started last August and shot through November. Many, many days, unfortunately, there were fires. And there was sort of a light red and it was constantly diffused with smoke. And I was remembering – we'd be standing there and it looked exactly like it looked in the early '70s with all the smog. We look back and we reminisce about how wonderful that time was, but let's not forget, there were days we weren't allowed to go outside and play because there were smog warnings. The air quality was so bad, particularly in the Valley because it gets trapped between the Santa Monica Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains.

In general the film has an authentic, almost documentary-like feel. These people seem real as do the situations. Can you comment on the things you did to achieve that?

Obviously, we kind of make a lot of noise about shooting on film. So that's a very strong leg up in terms of authenticity. But here's the thing I think that you're touching on – you can use a camera from 1972, you can have filmstock from '72. Okay, you can do all that if you're lucky enough to round all that up, and that can help, but it's the people that you're looking at more than anything in a movie, right? And no one has any makeup on.

Right. You actually see the acne on the characters, and the freckles. That's how people actually look and looked. So that was very intentional then?

I think it's probably the most important thing that we did in terms of achieving some version of authenticity. It would be impossible to justify wearing makeup for Alana's character. She's a 25 year old girl, she's running around the San Fernando Valley in the summer of 1973. If she wears makeup it's gonna melt. It's just not realistic. So when you expose that and you expose what her skin really looks like, which is what everyone's skin looks like, then you are instantly creating a more realistic situation. I think the benefit of that is that the audience relates to this character. They can see themselves. They see somebody that is not fake and isn't like a movie star pretending to be somebody that they're not. And what's interesting is, the situations where Alana is supposed to wear makeup, like when she's going to a job interview, she did her own makeup and she didn't do it that well, and that's perfect. That makes her vulnerable.

It does. It's pretty striking.

We generally don't have a large budget and I think early on, like with There Will Be Blood, I soon figured out if you can get the costumes right, it adds a lot. Because with There Will Be Blood we were outside for most of it, and in the desert, so we didn't have big elaborate sets to try and sell you on the period. All we had was the actors and their costumes. I realized you absolutely have to get the costumes right because that's what's draping on the actor and that's the main portal into the past.

With this one, there was always something that I was basing on my real life. Somebody that I knew, or somebody I knew once removed. My older sister had this friend and she used to always wear this t-shirt that said "I'll try anything once." So I was like, let's get one of those.

The classic 70's statement t-shirt... Like her "You've Come A Long Way Baby" tee (seen in the promo posters), which was the Virginia Slims cigarettes slogan. I love that. As a vintage clothing collector, I must say the research and references are spot-on. The stylist did such a great job, especially with Alana's outfits.

Mark Bridges was a costume designer on every film with me and he can do everything, from the clothes in Phantom Thread and There Will Be Blood to 70's t-shirts, equally as well.

Seeing the film in Westwood [where it's screening exclusively until worldwide release] I was reminded of Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, when Margot Robbie's Sharon Tate goes there to watch herself. That was another epic movie that got it right with costuming and recreating historic L.A. locales. What did you think of it? 

I saw it many times- Quentin is a friend of mine, and I absolutely love that film. I loved it so much that there was a moment when I thought, 'do I really want to make a film that takes place at the same time.' Well that's set in the 60's, but it may as well been the 70's. I'd been there before with Boogie Nights and Inherent Vice. You don't want to repeat yourself and you don't want to be anywhere near a piece of work that you feel got it right. But you shake those feelings off because you have to follow your own rhythm. Quentin got so much right in that film, particularly in Brad Pitt's performance. I think that's going to be something that people talk about forever, what he did in that film.

Well Alana's performance is similarly impressive, especially for a novice actress. She really embodies the period. The whole ensemble makes for such a varied cast of characters. It was a pleasant surprise to see Tom Waits and even choreographer Ryan Heffington on screen. Of course, you have big stars like Sean Penn and Bradley Cooper. Can you tell us a little bit about your thought process in assembling this cast?

Sean Penn I've been trying to work with over the years and I wrote something that I thought would be delicious for him to play. I always fantasized about giving him a nice haircut, putting a suit on him so that he could really inhabit that kind of character that I grew up loving, the William Holden older actor type.

Ryan Heffington was doing a lot of these dance tutorials during the beginning of the pandemic and Maya, my wife, was watching them. I would see them and I thought, 'oh, I wonder if he would ever come play the part of this sort of dancing man servant to a Hollywood producer.' If you've ever seen the movie S.O.B., a great Blake Edwards film from 1978, Stuart Margolin plays a very similar part. And I modeled the character after that. I was so excited to have him come and do it. That was our first couple days of shooting and he was terrific to work with.

Sean suggested Tom and I was so angry that I hadn't thought of it first. I was salivating at the prospect he would do it and we asked him and he said yes. That'll go down as one of my great memories of ever shooting anything – the weeks with Sean Penn and Tom Waits and Alana and Cooper at the Tail O' the Cock restaurant.

The Bradley Cooper as Jon Peters scenes are so good, too. Definitely the funniest part of the film.

He's an incredibly dynamic actor. He's got incredible range. He can do it all and I've been wanting to find an excuse to work with him for quite some time. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to let him grow his hair, grow his beard and away we go. That's one component of it that I think is pretty clear. But I think what added to it, and what made it really achieve a different kind of lift-off is that it was the first thing we shot, and we only had five days with him. And so he got to set the table for these two young actors who've never done anything before. And I can remember we consorted, we schemed, and I told him, 'you're going to give these two an entrance into movie acting.' He got to come out and chew the scenery and completely intimidate them. Which was right for the scene.

Cooper Hoffman is very endearing as Gary. You obviously knew him as he's Philip Seymour's son. When you offered him the role, was he into it right away or were there concerns because it was such a big part?

He was very hesitant and wanting to know more details. This is a very, very good indication of a strong, intelligent young man. It would not be a good sign if he had just suddenly said, 'Yeah, sure. What are we doing?' His response made me feel really good. But it didn't take long after we read it with Alana, and did some practicing and improvising, that he was hooked.

Was he pursuing or studying acting at all before this role?

He never said I want to be an actor. He showed an aptitude for it in home movies that we would make so I asked him if he thought it would be something he'd be interested in talking about or trying. And he reluctantly said yes.

Wow, that's incredible. Do you think he'll continue to act? I think about Mark Wahlberg and how you put him front and center in Boogie Nights. People mostly knew him as Marky Mark and he became a big movie star afterward. Do you see these two going on to become big movie stars? 

I would never say 'my crystal ball says'... but what I will say is that their natural talent is enormous. In Alana's case, she has a day job at the moment. So what's wonderful about that is that she doesn't need it. Cooper is still young and wants to pursue his studies. It's there for him if he wants it, and it's not going anywhere if he wants it, but there's no rush.

And talking about Mark – there's so many good actors, and there's not that much great material. Actors get a role and then they're asked to play that same role the rest of their lives. This is a very common thing. And it's a drag because most actors have a lot more to offer than just one thing. So sometimes you're casting a person, not on what they've done, certainly not on their experience or on the roles that they played previously, but based on who they are as people when you meet them.

Many times you can tell a lot more in an audition from a conversation that you're having with somebody rather than how they actually read the scene. At this point, I'm interested in working with people that I know personally or that I'm able to get to know personally. I can't imagine working with somebody who just comes in, and I don't have a social relationship with outside of work. You can forge that if you like their work and you want to get to know them. But the work is too intimate to just be shared with somebody that you only know on the set.

So with Mark, you didn't have a relationship before casting him in Boogie Nights ?

I didn't. I formed that relationship in a much more traditional way. We met and talked about the part. We read the scenes a bunch, we hung out, we spent time talking together. That was much more accelerated than I would do it now. We spent a couple of weeks together, getting to know each other. And then it was clear that it would be a good working relationship. Now I have a different approach.

At this point in your career, you have the luxury to choose people that you feel comfortable with and you know. You obviously like working with certain actors repeatedly. After watching a bunch of your movies together recently, including Inherent Vice, I noticed that your partner Maya Rudolph has a cameo in that and she has a cameo in Licorice Pizza as well. Do you guys consult each other on your creative endeavors and projects?

Probably far less consulting than you'd think, but only because we have four children. The majority of dialogue that happens in this house revolves around four children and the inner workings of this family. So at a certain point, dialogue about each other's work is kind of an afterthought.

You can't abuse the time that you have with somebody. I don't want to share a script that I'm writing with Maya if I'm halfway done, you know, I want to share when I'm done so that I can get a well rounded opinion about it. We don't have the time to get involved in all the nooks and crannies of what each other's doing. But when it comes to the big mile markers, that's when you're really checking in with each other. So much of our life is taken up with the day to day, you know, we're like doing our own production here. Our production, and the greatest work, is not even the work that you're seeing– it's the work with this family.

Well she is great and it's really nice to see her in your films.

I know. There's a particular moment that I like very much in Inherent Vice. When she has a scene with Joaquin Phoenix and something is mentioned about his 'ex old lady Shasta Fay' and right as the scene ends Minnie Riperton's song Le Fluer comes on. Minnie was her mother. There's a good 15-20 seconds where you get to see Maya on the screen with her mom singing. It's one of those magical moments. I kind of remember doing that in the editing room late at night and coming home to tell her about it.

Music is so important to your films. Every song choice in Boogie Nights is perfect and of course, Magnolia  (also set in L.A.) has music from local musicians Aimee Mann and John Brion setting the tone. Everyone from Suzi Quatro to Wings to David Bowie are highlighted in Licorice Pizza. Can you talk soundtrack choices?

The basic rule of thumb is you use music from that year or around that time. You have to balance things out with a song that will fit the story; a song that the characters would be listening to or that would emerge from a radio. But you have to be OK with cheating from time to time. Meaning our story takes place in 72-73. But the Suzi Quatro song is '75. You have to be open if the song helps your story. I think that one, which is heard about 8 minutes in, tells the audience this is what the film's about. 'Our love is alive' and we're 'stumbling' into this thing and we're wandering into either a brick wall or a yellow brick road and we have no idea which....

You can't depend on music to tell your story. If you don't have the foundation of a strong script or the actors aren't delivering, music is not going to save you.  You can't make the mistake of using a song in lieu of respect for your characters. There was an Onion headline I read the other day that I thought was hilarious– 'Young screenwriter realizes he can play "Cherry Bomb" as a substitute for female character development.' Exactly. Rather than really care about this character, let's just play that; that'll mean she's a tough, badass girl. That kind of shit ends up feeling empty.

Speaking of music, Licorice Pizza is a record store chain that older Southern Californians remember fondly, but there are no references to it in the film. Did you have trepidation about using it as the title?

I mentioned it to a friend when I decided on the title, and he said, 'yeah as long as you don't mind answering the fucking question over and over.' At a certain point, you realize that about .0001% of us know what it is. So there's a regional component that might be upset. But then I thought, 'well what does it do for me?' It reminds me of my childhood which is kind of good enough. You reverse engineer some justification, meaning, well, she's kind of like licorice and he's kinda like pizza and they do not go together, but somehow it just kind of works. At a certain point, I felt like I had to go with something instinctual that felt right. Anything else seemed overly simplistic. I thought, 'Does this feel like the film?' Yes? OK, then do it. I don't regret it. I've seen it pop up in the theater with an audience and I've felt a sense of relief, like, 'I think we got that right.'

There's a great scene where Peters (Cooper) is freaking out backdropped by a billboard of now-defunct L.A. FM radio station KMET. Those were everywhere in the 70's and that along with other landmarks and settings (the Teen Fair at the Hollywood Palladium, Tail O' the Cock, Cupid's Hot Dogs) felt like indirect references to what the record shop meant to Southern Californians back then.

You know, you'd be surprised at how our collective subconscious works. We're all connected and even if all we're talking about is record stores and radio stations from the 1970s, I dare say that when this film shows in the center of London for people 20 years old, they'll feel something authentic and that will in turn relate to their enjoyment of the film, even if they can't quite put their finger on it.

P.T. Anderson's Licorice Pizza is showing in 70 mm exclusively at the Regency Village Theater Westwood, 961 Broxton Ave. regencymovies.com. There is a "Fat Bernie's Pinball Palace" recreation pop-up nearby (more info here). The film opens nationwide on Dec. 25.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 04, 2021, 12:00:42 PM
One of the best interviews so far! I love how this film is constantly talked about with homely warmth and comfort. And good for Paul to learn to enjoy more the good will and success coming his way. You deserve all this!
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: pynchonikon on December 04, 2021, 12:45:23 PM
Fantastic interview, a true masterclass.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 05, 2021, 09:53:33 AM
Paul Thomas Anderson turns to youthful merriment for latest movie, 'Licorice Pizza (https://www.npr.org/2021/12/05/1061600397/paul-thomas-anderson-turns-to-youthful-merriment-for-latest-movie-licorice-pizza)
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 06, 2021, 10:28:15 AM
Alana Haim Surprised Everyone With Her Movie Debut. Even Herself.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/06/movies/alana-haim-licorice-pizza.html

New interview with Alana with Paul throwing in some nice words.  :)
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 06, 2021, 10:37:49 AM
That's a sweet photo of her, too.

Alana Haim Surprised Everyone With Her Movie Debut. Even Herself.
When Paul Thomas Anderson asked her to star in "Licorice Pizza," the musician had zero acting experience. Now she's winning rave reviews.

Alana Haim said yes immediately to "Licorice Pizza." A few hours later the doubts crept in. "What if I'm just terrible?" she remembers thinking.Credit...Josefina Santos for The New York Times

Dec. 6, 2021, 11:00 a.m. ET

One summer night in 2019, Alana Haim was jet-lagged, tossing and turning in a London hotel bed, when her phone pinged with an email from the acclaimed filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson.

This was not particularly out of the ordinary: Anderson had become a close friend of the family in the years since he'd started directing music videos for Haim, the Grammy-nominated rock band Alana is in with her two older sisters, Este and Danielle. (Their mother, Donna, was also Anderson's beloved elementary-school art teacher — a fortuitous coincidence he realized only after having already met her daughters.) When the band is on the road, Anderson will occasionally send the Haim siblings affable emails: a silly YouTube video, an article that might inspire them. But this message was different, and a little mysterious: Just an untitled Word document.

"All of a sudden, a script opens up," Haim said over a video call from her home in Los Angeles,

"And the first name on the script is Alana." Save for a few appearances playing herself in music videos, Haim had never acted before, and this was the first movie script she'd ever read. "It was like 'EXTERIOR,'" she recalled, giddily. "I was like, here we go. We're reading a script. This is the movies."

As she read the screenplay for what would become "Licorice Pizza," Anderson's warm and nostalgic ninth feature, Haim thought he had sent it to let her know he had named a character after her. "I was honestly just flattered that he was using my name," she said. "Because when you think about Paul Thomas Anderson movies, the names are so incredibly iconic," she said, citing the porn star Dirk Diggler of "Boogie Nights" (1997) and Reynolds Woodcock, the tempestuous fashion designer that Daniel Day-Lewis portrayed in "Phantom Thread" (2017). "I mean, I like my name, but do I think my name is iconic? Not when you put it next to, like, Reynolds Woodcock. But I was flattered. I was like, 'Paul's going to use my name in a movie.'"

When presented with Alana's version of events over the phone later that same day, Anderson sighed and then laughed for a long time. "Wouldn't it have been completely rude and insane of me to send her a script with a character named Alana, only to say, 'Thanks for reading it, I appreciate your notes, I'm going to go hire an actress to play a woman named Alana? Oh and by the way, she has two sisters named Este and Danielle and there are multiple situations that have come from your life.' What kind of friend would I be? That's terrible."

But that would have been about as plausible as what was actually happening: A famous auteur was asking Haim, who had never been in a movie before, to carry his next feature. Later that night when they spoke on the phone and Anderson clarified his request, Haim — in a torrent of "word-vomit" — said yes immediately. A few hours later, the first doubts set in: "What if I'm just terrible? I was like, 'I don't even know where to look. What if I look at the camera?"

Miraculously, she pulled it off in spades. "Licorice Pizza" establishes Haim as a revelatory and magnetic screen presence, a unique amalgamation of daffy, Carole Lombard screwball, early Sissy Spacek fresh-faced guilelessness, and an offbeat cartoon character's nervy, can-do energy. Even when she's sharing the frame with Sean Penn, Tom Waits or Bradley Cooper, it is her face — freckled, elastic, unpredictable — that commands the viewer's attention. Critics have raved about the performance; David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter called it "one of the most exciting screen debuts in recent memory."

Anderson said he knew Haim would be good but "I didn't know she was going to be that good. I've worked with the same guys for like 20 years, and I just kept looking around at them for verification. Like, you have to tap me on my shoulder to make sure I'm seeing what I'm seeing. Don't let me be delusional. And everybody collectively on set was seeing what I was seeing — her skill and the way you can photograph her."

It helped that her co-star, the effortlessly charismatic Cooper Hoffman (son of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was a frequent Anderson collaborator) had also never been in a movie before. Anderson cast him late in the process, after auditioning a number of young actors who felt too mannered and formally trained to match Haim's naturalistic style. Hoffman and Haim had met briefly through Anderson five years prior, never thinking their paths would cross again, but as soon as they read together, Haim recalled, "It was like, oh, we're a team. We can take on the world together."

Despite the characters' relatively chaste relationship, the age gap between them has caused some controversy. In real life, Haim, who turns 30 this month, is 12 years older than Hoffman (they bonded so much during the shoot that she still calls him "one of my best friends"), though in the movie her age is a little ambiguous. At one point the character says she's 25, but there's a pause between the two numerals that suggests she might be rounding up. "There was never really a conversation between me and Paul about how old Alana was," she said. "Somewhere in her early 20s. I say some ages in the movie, but you don't really believe Alana. She kind of doesn't even know how old she really is? She's very secretive. But really, it's about her and Gary's friendship more than anything."

When we spoke on a late November afternoon, Haim was battling a sinus infection she blamed on the Santa Ana winds. As a Southern California breeze tickled the curtains of her open living-room window, she occasionally paused our conversation to blow her nose with humorous theatricality. ("Oh, that was a lot!") She wore a white T-shirt, jeans and, around her neck, her most prized possession, a "Sisters of the Moon" pendant given to her by one of her idols, Stevie Nicks. In conversation Haim is garrulous and ebullient, occasionally clipping the ends off her sentences in an excited hurry to get to the next thought.

As they were shooting, Anderson found that the actor Haim most reminded him of was Joaquin Phoenix, whom Anderson directed in "The Master" (2012) and "Inherent Vice" (2014).

"She can throw herself into something, a lot like Joaquin," Anderson said. "You cannot tell if they're completely out of control, or if they're so in their body that they're able to make it look like they're out of control. They're very similar. It's weird. They're both feral, you know? You're not really sure what's coming next."

Her years onstage playing guitar, keyboards and percussion certainly taught her how to ground herself amid the chaos of a film set. "Being in Haim, I'm doing so many different things and there are so many different distractions that you have to tune everything out and just be very present in your body," she said. "And I think that really helps with shooting a movie."

Seeing herself in close-up on a huge screen for the first time was, she admitted, a bit uncomfortable: "Look, for my future boyfriends that I'll maybe have, would I love to see less acne and maybe more glamorous vibes?" Haim asked rhetorically. "Of course. But it wouldn't be truthful to the movie. Because growing up in the Valley where it's 100 degrees outside, you would look worse if you wore makeup, because it would melt off and you'd look insane."

But those supposed imperfections — and her contagious brand of self-acceptance — are at the core of Haim's refreshing onscreen charm. "I feel like there's this whole thing where everybody has to be perfect in all these movies," she said, candidly admitting that the only reason her skin looked "impeccable and lovely" on our call that day was because she was using a Zoom filter. "But, I have acne, and there's nothing I can do about it — and that's OK!"

Raised in the San Fernando Valley, the Haim siblings all took up instruments at a young age and formed a family band. What they lacked in social capital, they made up for with sisterly camaraderie and humor. "We all wanted to be Barbra Streisand in 'Funny Girl,'" Haim said. "That was our Bible growing up. Like, 'Oh, we might not be the most gorgeous person in the seventh grade, and no one wants to make out with us, but we could be the funniest!'"

The sisters had their first gig as a trio when Alana was just 10, at Los Angeles's storied Jewish institution Canter's Deli. Their breakthrough came in 2013 when they released their debut album, "Days Are Gone," a collection of sleek, percussive pop-rock songs. They've since collaborated several times with their former tour-mate Taylor Swift, and their best and most recent album, "Women in Music, Pt. III" (2020), was nominated for the album of the year Grammy.

Even though the siblings all harmonize and trade instruments, Alana is still known in the band, as in the family, as "Baby Haim." Danielle is the de facto lead singer and guitarist, while the bassist Este is known for the gloriously over-the-top "bass faces" she makes onstage. Alana sometimes falls through the cracks. "I'm the baby, so that's how I grew up with my siblings: 'I'm just happy that you guys want me to hang out,'" she said modestly. "That was my whole upbringing."

All the members of the Haim family appear sporadically in "Licorice Pizza" — their father, Mordechai, is a bona fide scene-stealer. But Alana is the movie's beating heart, and her star turn feels like her long-delayed "Funny Girl" moment. That was apparent from her very first day of shooting: she was not only driving a vintage moving truck that required her to learn to operate a stick shift, but also improvising hilariously alongside a deliriously entertaining Bradley Cooper, who plays a manic version of Streisand's onetime boyfriend, the producer Jon Peters. "At the end of the day, once I got the hang of it, I felt like a badass," she said. "I was like, not only can I drive stick — but a '70s U-Haul with a movie star and my best friend in the truck."

She'd love to keep acting — and working with Anderson — if the right projects arise, but she's also happy to have a day job to fall back on. "After this chapter is over with 'Licorice Pizza,' I go back on tour with my band, and I'm back to my other job that I love so much," she said. "Nothing has changed. I'm still the baby."
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: pynchonikon on December 06, 2021, 02:32:14 PM
THR interview with Alana: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-features/alana-haim-interview-licorice-pizza-paul-thomas-anderson-1235054951/ (https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-features/alana-haim-interview-licorice-pizza-paul-thomas-anderson-1235054951/)
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 06, 2021, 04:49:01 PM
[Let me know if I shouldn't 'transcribe' these here.]

'Licorice Pizza' Star Alana Haim Calls Paul Thomas Anderson Her Biggest Supporter
The musician, who makes her acting debut in the director's new film, says Anderson wrote the lead with her in mind: "He knew I could do it way, way before I knew I could do it."

Alana Haim is best known as one-third of the pop group Haim, which also features her sisters, Este and Danielle. Now, she can add movie star to her résumé after her film debut in MGM's Licorice Pizza — something she didn't think she'd ever do. But writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson, the eight-time Oscar nominee who has directed music videos for the band, saw something in her that she wishes she "would've seen in myself" and made her the lead of his latest movie alongside Cooper Hoffman (also making his acting debut), son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

"No other director could have gotten the performance that he got out of me because I trust him," says Haim. "He knew I could do it way, way before I knew I could do it."

How did you get involved in the film?

This journey started after Coachella. Paul [said to me], "I'm going to put you in a movie one day." [That was maybe] four years ago, and throughout that time, I'd heard that Paul was working on different things — I started hearing stories about a water bed, a pinball palace, little stories about this guy [producer and former child actor] Gary Goetzman. I didn't really think anything of it other than the fact that they were incredible stories. My siblings and I had just made the "Summer Girl" music video with Paul. We traveled to London to show our label; we landed, and I was super jet-lagged. I remember staying up super late, and I got this email from Paul that was untitled. ... It was a script. I read it, and the first name on this page was Alana. I was like, "That's crazy. My name is in the script!" I was honored that he even wanted to use my name because I never thought that it was particularly amazing. All of Paul's movies have these incredible names, like Reynolds Woodcock or Dirk Diggler.

I knew every place that he had [written] about — it was my home. I grew up in the [San Fernando] Valley, and I fell in love with the story. It was like 4 or 5 in the morning; I called Paul, and he was like, "Why are you up? I sent you the script for you to read in the morning." And I was like, "I was fucking jet-lagged and I read the script so many times, and I'm still in love with it." And then he asked, "Would you ever consider playing Alana?" I of course said yes. I was shocked that he would even consider me for something like this. I had [performed] in front of him in music videos, but [that's] not acting. I was just honored that he thought that I could do it. I've always wanted to branch out and do other things, but fear always held me back. And Paul saw something in me that I always wish I would have seen in myself ... years before I could.

When did your relationship with Paul Thomas Anderson actually begin?

We met six years ago. Six years sounds like two minutes compared to how close our families are at this point. ... My siblings and I have been circling Paul in this weird universe for years because my mom, when she moved from Philadelphia to California in her early 20s, got a job assisting the art teacher at a private school in [Sherman Oaks] called the Buckley School. And then the teacher had a heart attack in the parking lot and died at the school. The school just offered my mom the job. One of her students was Paul. And my mom loved him — my mom always said that he was so creative, and everything that my mom gave him, he always did what he wanted to do. Growing up, every time one of his movies would be on TV, my mom would always say, "I taught him." We never fully believed my mom because it just seems so crazy to me.

One day, we got a call from my friend: "Paul Thomas Anderson really wants to get in touch with you. He gave me his email to give to you, will you just email him?" It took us a long time because we didn't know what to say, but we emailed him not telling him anything about my mother. He invited us over to his house for dinner with [his partner] Maya Rudolph, whom we're huge fans of. We made a sisterly pact: "If it comes up naturally, we'll tell him about Mom." But my eldest sister, Este, could not keep it in and just introduced herself [with], "Hi, I'm Este Haim, my mother taught you at Buckley." He immediately hardened: "Oh, God. Who was your mom?" Este said, "Ms. Rose." He lit up, and he went into his son's room and brought out this canvas of the mountain from Close Encounters of the Third Kind that he painted with our mom. That was the beginning of our relationship. After that, we started working together on music videos.

How did your real-life family end up playing your family in the movie?

That's all Paul. To be fair, who else could play my siblings and my parents? There was no way that there was going to be an audition process to hire me a new family. Paul has been to so many dinners with my family, and my siblings and my parents make Paul laugh. My dad is by far one of the funniest people I've ever met, and Paul definitely saw that. I just love the fact that he gave my dad a little bit of time to just show his comedic self. ... We were shooting during COVID, so I couldn't really see my family unless they were getting tested every day, and we were in an intense bubble. It was a scary time — I hadn't seen my parents at that point in person in almost six or seven months. ... Every time I see that [Shabbat scene], I'm so thankful that we have this snapshot of the time that we had together in this movie that I can always watch forever.

When you first read about the main characters' age difference in the script, what did you think?

Cooper and I met two years before we had even shot this movie, just by chance. ... We were about to shoot this music video, "Little of Your Love," with Paul, and we had a week to do it in true Haim fashion. Paul was editing Phantom Thread at this editing house in the Valley. I showed up [there] and saw this little 13-year-old boy in this big chair. And I was like, "Who is this kid?" Paul had gotten called away to do something and Cooper was hungry. Paul said, "Can you take Cooper to get food?" And I was like, "What do kids like? Do you like sushi?" We brought him to the original Katsuya in the Valley, and it was like I was having dinner with the real Gary Valentine. He worked the fucking room, ordered for us, was asking us questions — he was so competent as a 13-year-old kid. I was so shocked to the point where I never forgot about him. ... To bring it back to Alana and Gary, when they meet for the first time, it's this thing where you have no idea that the people that you meet in life can actually change your life forever. When Gary and Alana meet at [his school's] picture day, they don't know yet [that] their lives are forever changed. And the obstacles they have to go through in life — where the universe is pushing and pulling them constantly — they realize that their friendship and their connection [means] they can overcome the obstacles better together than they can alone. They might try to separate. But they'll always come back together.

How did you both build rapport for the screen?

Once Paul and I realized we were going to do this, the last missing piece was finding a Gary, which are very big shoes to fill. I had auditioned with lots of amazing actors that wanted to play Gary, but every time I read with someone, I just didn't get that overwhelming feeling of like, "You are my Gary. We will be able to take on the world together." Because that's really the relationship Alana and Gary have. That was really scary for me because I knew if we couldn't find Gary, then this wasn't going to happen. One day, Paul turned to me and said, "What about Cooper?" And I instantly knew that it's going to be him. Paul and I flew to New York [for] me and Cooper [to] read. Within the first five minutes, I was like, "This is a done deal. He has to play my Gary." After spending so much time reading through the script, we would talk constantly, read through the script, talk about things, got to know each other. By the time we got to set, it was like, we're a team. It was very comforting to have someone like Cooper be Gary because we both haven't done this before. Every day we would call each other and go through the day and just be like, "Are we terrible? I fucked up today," and he'd be like, "No, I'm the worst, it was my fault." And I was like, "No, it was me." And then we would come back to set and do it all again.

What was the most challenging part for you?

The first week, it was a lot of truck stuff. I had to learn stick shift, I had to go to truck school. I was really driving that truck, which is insane when I look back [on it]. My parents were so mad. They were like, "I cannot believe that you drove that truck and survived." That was challenging in the physical sense. But the first time Cooper and I actually acted together where it was just us, there weren't any other actors that could help us through. Maybe five days after we started [shooting] was a fight scene [between Alana and Gary] ... Paul, Cooper [and I] got together and it was like, "Now we actually have to act." That was the day where I was like, "It's the three of us against the world."

Would you have done this movie if it had been any other director?

It goes back to trust. I trust Paul with everything. Paul has always been my and my siblings' biggest cheerleader. I've been in the music industry for the past 10 years, and it's so rare to find somebody who wants to support you and makes you feel like you can do anything. Paul is the only person other than my family that has ever done that for me and my siblings. Look at Paul's legacy of films — to have me carry on his legacy was a huge deal for me. To have someone like him tell me over and over again, "You can do this." ... I'll cherish that for the rest of my life. No other director could have gotten the performance that he got out of me because I trust him. And he knew that I could do it way, way before I knew I could do it.

Interview edited for length and clarity.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on December 07, 2021, 12:00:06 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GbWrjr6w6A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SERpLuBwCzk
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 07, 2021, 12:28:06 AM
Man, look at those giant curtains...didn't realize how much I missed those until just now... 
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 08, 2021, 10:25:25 AM
Paul Thomas Anderson: "I would put Alana Haim in the category with Daniel Day-Lewis and Joaquin Phoenix"
https://www.gamesradar.com/paul-thomas-anderson-licorice-pizza-alana-haim
Not exactly the full interview, just a snippet of it, with a new still.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Shughes on December 08, 2021, 05:10:52 PM
Here's the Sight & Sound Interview.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: WorldForgot on December 08, 2021, 05:32:34 PM
Dang, hell yeah! Thanks for sharing that.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 09, 2021, 06:05:55 AM
Tim Conway Jr.'s interview with Paul
https://www.iheart.com/podcast/139-kfi-featured-segments-28319069/episode/conwayshow-writer-director-paul-thomas-90263654/
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: PaulElroy35 on December 09, 2021, 08:53:46 AM
Quote from: itwasgood on December 09, 2021, 06:05:55 AM
Tim Conway Jr.'s interview with Paul
https://www.iheart.com/podcast/139-kfi-featured-segments-28319069/episode/conwayshow-writer-director-paul-thomas-90263654/

Hey pal is there a link for people  in the UK to listen?
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 09, 2021, 09:56:20 AM
Quote from: PaulElroy35 on December 09, 2021, 08:53:46 AM
Quote from: itwasgood on December 09, 2021, 06:05:55 AM
Tim Conway Jr.'s interview with Paul
https://www.iheart.com/podcast/139-kfi-featured-segments-28319069/episode/conwayshow-writer-director-paul-thomas-90263654/

Hey pal is there a link for people  in the UK to listen?

I uploaded the audio. This should work.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/14U2ecxPhA2nFcZNlSLf3FObc0r-Q6Pwr/view?usp=sharing
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 09, 2021, 10:00:48 AM
Or, YouTube.

https://youtu.be/TM7WuSuffBA
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 09, 2021, 10:38:12 AM
An interview of Alana and Paul with Rollingstone, nothing we haven't know from previous interview though.

https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-features/licorice-pizza-alana-haim-p-t-anderson-1268796/
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 09, 2021, 12:10:22 PM
Another Q&A from Monday night's (Dec 6th) Village Theatre.

https://youtu.be/IkPBoL2Uak0
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: pynchonikon on December 09, 2021, 02:35:17 PM
Wow, that was wild  :)
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 09, 2021, 11:20:17 PM
New talk with Bill Simmons.

https://open.spotify.com/episode/3CSBhbtxgJ31vqkP7H4pXh?si=HAZr3ftHSbGCTWhZziCsTA&nd=1

(Haven't listened yet, but starts around 55:50?   Don't know yet if there are any non-Spotify options. )

[edit]  Maybe here (https://traffic.megaphone.fm/GLT1375983143.mp3)?
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 10, 2021, 08:03:28 AM
Thank you for uploading it!! :bravo:
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 10, 2021, 11:10:27 AM
Quote from: wilberfan on December 09, 2021, 11:20:17 PM
New talk with Bill Simmons.

https://open.spotify.com/episode/3CSBhbtxgJ31vqkP7H4pXh?si=HAZr3ftHSbGCTWhZziCsTA&nd=1

(Haven't listened yet, but starts around 55:50?   Don't know yet if there are any non-Spotify options. )

[edit]  Maybe here (https://traffic.megaphone.fm/GLT1375983143.mp3)?

Guys, do NOT miss this interview....
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 10, 2021, 09:03:49 PM
The New Yorker Radio Hour (https://www.newyorker.com/podcast/the-new-yorker-radio-hour/paul-thomas-anderson-on-licorice-pizza) with David Remnick
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 10, 2021, 09:08:29 PM
PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON ON SAVING MOVIES (https://deadline.com/2021/12/paul-thomas-anderson-licorice-pizza-oscarsn-events-again-1234888327/)  -  Deadline

Speaking of contenders, I did a recent Zoom conversation with Paul Thomas Anderson whose latest film Licorice Pizza is making waves in more ways than one. Already it has received Best Picture and Best Director honors from the National Board of Review, taken the Best Screenplay prize for Anderson from the New York Film Critics Circle, and this week was named as one of the ten films on AFI's prestigious list of Top Movies of 2021.

Oscar buzz is getting louder, but Anderson is no stranger to awards and already has 8 Academy Award nominations to his credit including for such disparate films as There Will Be Blood, Boogie Nights, Inherent Vice, Magnolia, and The Phantom Thread.

Licorice Pizza may be his lightest work tonally, but it is no less brilliant. It focuses on the off-the-wall relationship between a 15 year old wunderkind kid and a 20-something girl (NBR breakout stars winners Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim) who becomes the object of his pursuit. It is pretty wild and opens wide on Christmas Day.

Beyond the considerable merits of Licorice Pizza, Anderson is contributing mightily to a cause near and dear to all of us movie theatre lovers who are rooting for the full-fledged return of pure theatrical exhibition and the movie-going experience after the devastating Covid shutdown. After four-walling the historic Village Westwood theatre for three weeks of industry screenings in November, MGM and UAR — which is releasing the film — have platformed it at the single screen iconic Village which in its heyday of the 60's and 70's was the exclusive cinema home for box office sensations that ran and ran for months before going out to citywide releases. (The film also opened on three other screens in NY).

This sort of move was quite common before the industry went all multiplex on us, and especially before streaming became part of the game plan for so many films that seemingly disappear into the "larder" of the algorithm. Proving that you can revisit past practices and apply them to the right kind of movie, Anderson championed the idea. Thus when Licorice Pizza opened its commercial run on November 26th in a good old fashioned 70mm film print (blown up from 35mm) it became the highest grossing film at the Village in a quarter century and set records with numbers certainly not seen for limited releases in the Covid era.


"You have no idea how it warms my heart hearing you talk about it because it has been something we have been talking about in endless meetings, and just how to do this and how to pull this off in this day and age. To see what happened with people really coming out and turning out to support a film in that way at this beautiful, beautiful theatre, you're right, it is innovative, but not even remotely innovative," Anderson told me in explaining it's all part of the industry's lineage and DNA. The filmmaker wasn't born until 1970 but is clearly a student of the lost art of finely tuned motion picture exhibition.

"It is just a huge step backwards. It is really just reaching into the past and asking, 'what if we just had one place where we could really make it work, get people to pay the money, pay the parking and to put on a show and made it really worth their while?' It's been incredible to see the response. I couldn't have hoped for more. I remember looking at old ads for The Exorcist back around '74 and it played in two theaters in Los Angeles for a year — The National and the Fine Arts — and it still grossed a hundred million dollars, one of the highest grossing films of all time. Oh and by the way I saw that at one point the ads said 'it must end soon' at the National because Chinatown was the film that was coming in behind it!"

Anderson is holding the torch for more successes that also champion the classic exclusive theatrical experience.

"The absence right now of the (Hollywood) Arclight and Cinerama Dome and whatever other cities there are in the country, it just speaks to the preservation of our older cinema houses, keeping them alive, keeping them fed with good films and good presentations, because if you do that they will come and they will support it and there's a way to do this that keeps that theatrical experience alive, the proper theatrical experience," he said. "I am not talking about the experience of the 25-Plex. I am talking about single-screen cinema houses that are our history that we must preserve and feed. There is just no question about it. That is what we have to do."
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: jviness02 on December 11, 2021, 01:43:08 PM
The Conway interview was great. Hearing all the old stories.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 12, 2021, 09:55:23 AM
Basically a transcript of The New Yorker podcast interview.

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-new-yorker-interview/paul-thomas-anderson-on-what-makes-a-movie-great
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 13, 2021, 10:34:20 AM
Paul Thomas Anderson and his timeless "Licorice Pizza"
https://carrollnews.org/186115/arts-and-life/paul-thomas-anderson-and-his-timeless-licorice-pizza/

QuotePaul Thomas Anderson and his timeless "Licorice Pizza"

Claire Schuppel, Arts & Life Assistant Editor
December 13, 2021

The trajectory of independent cinema changed the day Paul Thomas Anderson stepped into the public eye. His break came in 1997 with "Boogie Nights," premiering when he was just 27-years-old. From then on, he has created timeless masterpieces that revolutionized film. I had the opportunity to talk with Anderson after seeing his latest 1970s period piece "Licorice Pizza," which opens in theaters everywhere Dec. 25.

Anderson's body of work is filled with impressive pieces, with Academy Award Nominated titles, such as "There Will Be Blood," "Magnolia," "Punch-Drunk Love," "Inherent Vice" and the aforementioned "Boogie Nights." His collaborations are just as iconic as his work, frequently directing Hollywood's biggest names: Daniel Day-Lewis, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix, among many others. While his films are often bleak, dramatic slow burns, "Licorice Pizza" strays away from his typical style and ventures into the timeless story of growth between adolescence and adulthood.

"Licorice Pizza" fits the same mold as a lot of Anderson's previous works, as it takes place in 1970s Southern California. He said in a Vanity Fair interview that he loves the way the atmosphere looks and feels, so he commonly uses that as his story settings. The film stars fresh-faced actors Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman, son of Philip Seymour Hoffman. The story follows the two as they flirtatiously navigate their lives — Haim as a young woman struggling through her mid-twenties, and Hoffman as a creative teenager. Add in the elements of impressive cinematography, a well suited soundtrack and established stars in secondary roles and you have an exceptional film.

We discussed the technical aspects of the film in our conversation. Anderson talked about the soundtrack, saying, "the majority of it is figured out beforehand in the writing process. But certainly for the major sequences: the David Bowie song (heard in the trailer) was always planned to be there...this helps determine camera movements and cutting, storytelling, shot selection, all this sort of stuff." The soundtrack of the movie helps set the atmosphere just as much as the wardrobe, set design and other world-building devices. Names like Bowie, Nina Simone, Paul McCartney and the Doors appear on the film's soundtrack, along with the original score done by Jonny Greenwood.

Anderson emphasized the importance of character appearances when asked about what specific details were most important to him in recreating the era. "...[N]o one is wearing makeup, and no one is wearing makeup because that would be unrealistic," Anderson said. "The San Fernando Valley, where the story takes place, is incredibly hot. You would only wear makeup maybe at night, you'd maybe wear makeup to go to a job interview or something like this."

He also mentioned his continued use of film cameras in a digital age, which helped to enhance the seventies experience. "A technical challenge to me would have been to not shoot on film because I don't know how to do that," he says. "So, we have a whole infrastructure in place that was built around how we do it, whether we were shooting a feature film or shooting a music video for Haim or Radiohead...." Decades of learning the nuance of shooting with film certainly worked to his advantage in creating the authentic look of the 1970s.

The lead characters became the topic of conversation when Anderson was asked about navigating their platonic romance as a writer. He highlighted the emotional maturity of Hoffman's adolescent character, which was paired against Haim's instability and how she is "stuck firmly in her adolescence and not anxious to grow up, even though she might say she is, she's doing everything she can to stay young." Anderson also noted that these differences further emphasized how they could not be together. This dynamic supplemented the comedic element of the movie for him, as the roles of immaturity and maturity do not correlate with their respective ages.

Anderson's talent can partially be attributed to the influence his father, Ernie Anderson, had on him. His late father's presence was well known in Cleveland, as his Ghoulardi character was the biggest media sensation on local Channel 8 from 1963 to 1966. His character was an announcer for grade-B horror and science fiction movies, along with being the face of a few different programs on the channel. Anderson commented on his father's influence in his work, saying, "He had a very strong sense of tempo and how a story would move, and I can remember that making a very strong impression on me. I can't say it really got into my work until just now because generally the films I make are long and slow." The pace at which "Licorice Pizza" moved compared to the rest of his work was much faster, as his typical style would not have matched the high energy of the story. He was glad to hear that his father's influence was still so grand in Cleveland, as he could not verbalize how much his father did for him in life.

Pairing the "Licorice Pizza" viewing experience with the director's perspective on the process of making the film strengthens how heartfelt the story is. He said in our interview that this film "verified this belief that you really don't need much more than the desire and a handful of friends and a handful of your family and you can make a great film." "Licorice Pizza" is a passion project, as it intimately portrays blossoming adulthood. Anderson's works before have had levels of heart, as he focuses his stories around humanity, but nothing can compare to the tenderness and personal element rendered in "Licorice Pizza."

So much goes into the film to create this world, from the shot composition and the use of color and light, to the natural chemistry between the lead actors. Every aspect reinforces "Licorice Pizza" as one of Anderson's best, along with one of the best movies released in 2021.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: jzakko on December 13, 2021, 12:04:29 PM
I swear to god all interviews should be in q&a format, this interview had so many quotes that would be gold if there were more context.

It feels like a summary of an interview rather than an actual interview.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 13, 2021, 12:07:44 PM
I had the same reaction...  :saywhat:
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: pynchonikon on December 14, 2021, 02:15:33 PM
https://mndaily.com/270256/arts-entertainment/qa-paul-thomas-anderson-talks-licorice-pizza/ (https://mndaily.com/270256/arts-entertainment/qa-paul-thomas-anderson-talks-licorice-pizza/)

Q&A: Paul Thomas Anderson talks "Licorice Pizza"

Between debut performances, the complexities of platonic romance and the logistics of shooting a 70's era film, the director's latest is cementing its spot among coming-of-age classics.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 14, 2021, 02:49:36 PM
Quotethe David Bowie song playing was always planned to be there, the Paul McCartney song was always planned to be there, Nina Simone singing "July Tree" was always planned to be there.

I find that fascinating.  I always supposed that music was chosen during editing in most cases.

QuoteThe great thing about releasing a film right now is that movie studios are looking at what it means to make a film and release it and they've thrown their hands up and said, "We have no idea what to do." Now in the land of unintended consequences here, that's very exciting. That means that there is room to do things differently and in a new way. So we're trying a lot of actually not revolutionary but very old fashioned techniques to get the movie out there. What seemed to happen recently with films is they would just kind of get carpet bombed into existence and then forgotten about within two days. So we were trying to sort of raise people's awareness over a long period of time instead. We're so used to consuming things so rapidly that to stop and to give audiences a chance to breathe, or at least present the film in a more respectable way, in turn gives respect to an audience.

:bravo:

QuoteThere's an old light called an arc light — literally a carbon arc. Using it was like resurrecting an old '57 Chevy Bel Air that had been sitting in a garage for 30 to 40 years that had never been turned on again and trying to fire it up and having it run the Indy 500.

A couple of people proudly mentioned this to me in Chatsworth.  Excitedly commented that "one of the lights was used on 'Gone with the Wind'..." [or 'Singin' in the Rain'--I've forgotten exactly at this moment]  I snuck a peek at it a couple of times (from across the small side street)....
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Lots of Bees on December 14, 2021, 03:02:11 PM
What scenes was that used in? Was that the rotating light outside the waterbed/pinball store?
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 14, 2021, 03:25:35 PM
No, that one was a 'conventional' movie-premiere-searchlight kind of thing. (I saw one just like it--unless it was the same one (!)--outside the 'family-only' premiere in Westwood.) 

The one they were referring to was behind the Waterbed/Pinball store when it was pointed out to me.  My memory is that they likely used it (the vintage arc lamp)--at least in part--for one scene (one of many that didn't make the film!) of Gary back-lit walking into his 'palace' in his white suit for the first time.  That was my impression at the time, anyway...  It's possible they might have also used it to film 'daylight' scenes at night...
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 15, 2021, 12:57:10 AM


Alana on The Tonight Show.
There's also a clip from Licorice Pizza.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 20, 2021, 10:15:40 AM




A couple of junket interviews for LP with HAIM girls.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 20, 2021, 12:06:42 PM
Paul Thomas Anderson talks about his dad, Ghoulardi, 'Licorice Pizza' and growing up in the San Fernando Valley (https://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/2021/12/paul-thomas-anderson-talks-about-his-dad-ghoulardi-licorice-pizza-and-growing-up-in-the-san-fernando-valley.html)
Updated: Dec. 20, 2021, 11:40 a.m. | Published: Dec. 20, 2021, 11:40 a.m.

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Never forgetting your first love is what Academy Award-nominated director Paul Thomas Anderson ("Boogie Nights," "Magnolia," "There Will be Blood," "Phantom Thread") is exploring in his new film "Licorice Pizza," which opens Christmas Day in theaters.

Set in the San Fernando Valley during the early '70s, the coming-of-age comedy-drama stars first-time actors Alana Haim (of pop-rock band Haim fame) and Cooper Hoffman (son of Phillip Seymour Hoffman), as well as Sean Penn, Tom Waits and Bradley Cooper.

We caught up with Anderson recently to talk about the continued popularity of his dad Ernie Anderson's mid-'60s late-night television character Ghoulardi, working with first-time actors and how being a father of middle-schoolers led to "Licorice Pizza."

Hey Paul, congrats on the film. Before we get into "Licorice Pizza," let's talk about your dad and Cleveland. What kind of ties do you have to Northeast Ohio?

I have this deep, deep, deep connection to a place I've only been to once in my life. It's so odd because it's not just that my father was Ghoulardi but my mother is from Cleveland, my uncle -- who I'm very close to -- and my grandmother and grandfather were there. And yet the only time I've ever been there was as a child. I stepped off the flight from Los Angeles and I watched what happened when my dad, who was not famous to me at all, walked through the airport. Before we got to the exit, it was as if The Beatles arrived. And it's amazing how long this has lasted.

Despite the fact more than 50 years have passed since Ghoulardi was last on television, your father's impact on Northeast Ohio Baby Boomers still lives on today.

I was so fortunate a few years ago to meet Chrissie Hynde. It was for an event we did for "Phantom Thread." I was in awe of Chrissie Hynde, always. She made her way across the room and came over to me. My ego perked up. I said, "Wow, Chrissie Hynde is coming to tell me just how much she loved 'Phantom Thread.'" And she arrived and said nothing about the film and everything about Ghoulardi. It was great. The same thing with Jim Jarmusch. The reach of the impact of this thing is so far and long-lasting. It's wild, isn't it?

Regarding "Licorice Pizza," is this the San Fernando Valley of your youth?

It's not directly my youth but it's more of the youth of my friend (film and television producer) Gary Goetzman, who is a little bit older than I am. It's all essentially the same stuff, the same locations. Tale O' the Cock was a restaurant my dad went to all of the time. He loved it there. I imagine there's an equivalent in Cleveland. It's the red-leather booth. It's the martinis, either on the rocks or straight up. It's a great piano player. It's the prime rib, mashed potatoes and salads. It's Shirley Temples for the kids. This is somewhere I went all of the time as a kid with my dad. When my dad moved out of Cleveland, the valley is where he landed. I think everybody's idea of Hollywood is like mansions in the hills, this kind of overblown thing. That is certainly true for some people but Los Angeles is very large and the majority is occupied with suburbia. So that's where we lived and what I grew up around. This is a pretty accurate portrayal of what it looked like and smelled like at the time I was growing up.

Whether rooted in idealism, capitalism, ego, desperation or finding a sense of purpose, the film depicts the art of the hustle across all age groups and various characters.

I think we're all kind of inherently mostly selfish. We're just sort of taking care of ourselves or our immediate family and that's what we're doing most of the time. So each character is really doing their own thing. The more you think of characters that way the more dramatic the possibilities. For example, Jon Peters, played by Bradley Cooper, has one mission to go out on a date with Barbra Streisand.

Speaking of Jon Peters, writing for that character, a famous film producer in the '70s, must have felt like low-hanging fruit.

I don't know if it's even accurate to Jon Peters at all. I met an older, much more mellow version of Jon Peters. It's really kind of a creation of every one of those types of characters that we heard of over the years -- the crazy Hollywood producer type, particularly in that era. So was it fun to write? Yes. Was it even more fun to watch? Absolutely. It's the kind of gift that keeps on giving. It's pretty fun and endless to come up with stuff for that character.

What were the challenges associated with having first-time actors Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman in lead roles?

Here's where it would have been a challenge: If they had not understood emotionally what was happening in this story. That's a problem, but they understood this story. They understood these characters. They understood the dynamics of each other and the rest of the world. That's what was so wonderful about them. They had enough confidence and insecurity that you felt comfortable going to work with them because that's how everyone feels. You don't want to go to work with actors who are over confident. The things you have to supply to people who have never done it before are so mundane -- teaching how to read a schedule, emotionally bide their time or physically with a 65-day shooting schedule. Making a movie, it's like the worst jet lag that you've ever had. It's so weird, you step into this whole alternate reality out of your normal life. You're doing the same thing over and over again multiple times. It's enough to really mess with your head and then 65 days after skiing down this mountain it's all over.

How exactly did a zygote of a story idea 20 years ago lead to "Licorice Pizza" coming to fruition this year?

It really kind of comes down to when a certain amount of things line up. It was a kernel of a story 20 years ago. I have a few of those but it had nowhere to go until some other piece comes in. Alana was a key component -- meeting her, working with her, seeing her ability and thinking she should be a great vehicle for this story. Added to the mix is that I'm a father of four kids -- ages 16, 12, 10 and 8 -- so I traffic in this world. I'm surrounded by middle schoolers, teenagers. They're in my life so these things lined up being able to feel an opportunity to tell a story and one that you try to talk yourself out of, actually. A way to find out how serious you are, you try and count off all of the ways why you shouldn't do something. Then when you're empty-handed you make the movie. That's what you do.

Nice chatting with you. Let's hope we get you back to in Cleveland soon to shoot a Ghoulardi movie?

Oh my God, one day. Wouldn't that be a great, great film.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: d on December 20, 2021, 12:41:56 PM
Not exclusively about LP but an interesting interview with Greenwood about his scores. Do not think it has been posted before.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.newyorker.com/culture/the-new-yorker-interview/how-jonny-greenwood-wrote-the-years-best-film-score/amp

I have not seen LP yet but was wondering before: in that deleted tweet JG mentioned only few pieces yet there is only one his track on OST. Here the question: "But, especially toward the end, I felt like you were pushing the film a little bit in terms of emotional direction. . . ." also suggests there is more than one? Or am I reading too much into it? Is there more than one piece by Jonny in the film?
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 20, 2021, 01:02:29 PM
Technically, probably--but my sense is that they'd be very small morsels.  You'd probably have to go thru the film with one of these to spot them.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 20, 2021, 03:06:28 PM
[MILD SPOILERS.  And this is by the woman that grew up in the house they used for Jon Peters place. (She also interviewed Paul early in this cycle.)]

Alana Haim Is the Ultimate Valley Girl (https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/nation/alana-haim-licorice-pizza-interview)
The musician and actor talks 'Licorice Pizza' and her go-to spots in the San Fernando Valley.
alana haim


Alana Haim and I were both in New York when we met over Zoom last week, but spiritually, we were in the San Fernando Valley.

I was quick to establish that I'm from the Los Angeles area where Haim's new movie Licorice Pizza is set, and she, of course, is also a Valley girl, a title I think it's fair to say we both wear with pride. (She was also aware that the house I grew up in is featured in the film, and wanted to know if I had ever crashed my car in the very steep driveway. I didn't, but I explained I got into accidents elsewhere on Ventura Boulevard.)

Haim is best known as one-third of HAIM, the Grammy-nominated band she formed with her older sisters, Este and Danielle, but she makes her film debut in Licorice Pizza as Alana Kane, a role Paul Thomas Anderson wrote with her in mind after directing a number of her band's music videos. Alana is an aimless twenty-something working for a school photographer when she meets Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman), a teenager aging out of being a child star and into a consummate entrepreneur. Despite repeatedly rebuffing Gary, Alana eventually gets into business with him selling waterbeds, all the while wondering why they are still hanging out.

As the movie heads into wide release over Christmas—and Haim celebrates her 30th birthday—we linked up to talk about our shared hometown, Jewish girl tummy issues, and her read on the ending of Licorice Pizza. Some light spoilers do follow.

Thrillist: What does the Valley mean to you? What does it mean to travel back in time in this place?
Alana Haim: Being from the Valley, I don't know where you hear it first, but it's just like a feeling where you're like, "Oh, everyone thinks that we're uncool in LA." We're the uncool kids, but it's weird because no one ever sat me down and was like, "Oh, the Valley is uncool." It was just this thing that you kind of grow up knowing, but weirdly it makes you proud of it because, I mean, as you know, going to some party not in the Valley and then you're looking for your Valley kids. And then you'll meet someone that's like, "Yeah, I'm from Studio City." And you're like, "Oh no, no, no. Now we're best friends." Like, "What middle school did you go to? I went to Millikan."

It's just like this unspoken thing. And I think that was one of the main things that me and Paul connected on when me and my siblings met him, we've always loved the Valley because we were always proud of living there. I mean, even though now, funnily enough, people seeing the movie are like, "I want to go to the Valley," and I'm like, "It's a suburb." I guess I'll take you to the Fashion Square? But yeah, I just always loved it because everyone thought that it was uncool. And I was like, "Well, if it's uncool, then I don't care. Then that makes me feel cool because I think it's cool."

And being in this movie: All of the points of reference, I knew exactly where they were. And if I didn't know where they were, I knew what had taken over after it was a thing. It was a little bit farther down Ventura, but when Du-par's closed I mourned that for a very long time. The facade of Du-par's is still there. They haven't changed the sign or anything. They just painted over everything and it's a Sephora and you're like, "The amount of memories I have at this place," because that area was basically where I grew up. So, that was my place. Late night, you go to Du-par's.

It was great being in the Valley and knowing it because it helped with my character. I mean, I'm a Valley girl, and Alana Kane is a Valley girl. I grew up the same way as Alana Kane. I lived with my parents until I was in my twenties. And I'm still so close with my parents. I call them every day. And they come visit me every day at my house, even though I don't want them to, but it's okay because that's a Jewish family for you. We can't get away from each other.

What are your current Valley spots? What are your favorite places that are still in the Valley?
It's so hard because COVID really did kind of switch things up. So I don't know if these places are even open. Going to Disco Saturday Night at Oil Can Harry's was my Saturday night. And it's weird because it felt like overnight the secret was over. Like, someone let the secret out that Oil Can Harry's was the place to be because I would go there and there would be just the regulars. You know what I mean? I would see the same people every week. And then it kind of felt like one night I went and there was a bachelorette party or something. And then the next week, it was like, "Oh, wait, I can't even get in?" I mean, every night is amazing at Oil Can Harry's, but Disco Saturday Night was always super fun because I'm such a fan of the '70s music. But I loved Oil Can Harry's. There's a rumor that it's coming back, but I don't know. It might be Valley folklore.

Art's Deli was my deli. If it wasn't Canter's, it was Art's. If I couldn't make it over the Hill, it would be Art's. And Casa Vega was the thing. And also, funnily enough, the first Menchie's ever opened up down the street from my house. And that was the craziest technology, where I'm like, "Oh, you do the... " [gestures pulling a frozen yogurt lever]. I remember I desperately wanted to work there because I think they opened around the time that I was 14 or 15. And they never gave me a job. I didn't even get interviewed. They were like, "No, you can't work here." And I was devastated. I worked at Crossroads Trading Company on Ventura Boulevard. That was my job when I went to Valley College. And what else? Oh, More Than Waffles in Encino. I'm sure you knew that. And everything came with a fucking waffle. What more could you ask for? Those were my Valley hangs for sure. I mean, I have 50 million more.

How did you approach where Alana is in her life in this movie? She's in this middle ground of being an adult but not feeling like one.
I feel like every single person on this planet has gone through that point in their lives where they have no idea, where you're in that in-between. I mean, I talked to my mom the other day. My birthday's tomorrow, so me and my mom always have this—

Happy birthday!
Thank you. We always have this call every year, where she tells me the story about how she sneezed and her water broke. That's how I came into this world, with a sneeze. She was like, "I can't believe you're turning 30." And I was like, "I know. I can't believe it either. I still feel like I'm 16." And she was like, "Me too." You know, everyone goes through this time where they feel so young. They don't feel like an adult, but they're considered an adult, but you weirdly are like, "Okay, I have to act like an adult, but I don't know how to act like that."

To know that your parents felt like they were 16 when they had you,  they were very much flying by the seat of their pants, was also weirdly comforting and also kind of scary because I look at my parents being like, "Oh, you guys had all the answers," and really, they had no answers. Especially with someone like my older sister, they really were like, "We have never done this before." The amount of first-time parent mistakes that you make. I feel like every single person on this planet goes through that time where they're looking at their life and they're saying like, "Okay, I'm in this in-between. What do I do?"

That's very much where Alana Kane is. I think she's super willing to work. I think she really wants to succeed. And she has all the tools, but doesn't have someone. Like, her siblings are not helping her through this time. Her parents are not helping her through this time. If anything, they're like, "You'll get into the family business," and that's it. And she has bigger dreams for herself. She wants to do something on her own. When she meets someone like Gary who's like, "I want to start a water bed business." She's like, "All right, then let's start this water bed business." She's up for it. That's what I admire about her so much is that she's super willing to do the work, but she just doesn't have any direction.

I'd love your take on the ending of the movie.
You know, I laugh about this all the time because the thing that I love about Alana and Gary's friendship is that they're constantly at each other's throats, but the universe pulls them apart and brings them back together. My take on the ending is, probably, they're running and it seems like, "Oh, they figured it out." And then, in my mind, Gary pulls Alana too hard and she falls forward and gets scabs on her knees. She doesn't talk to Gary for another three weeks, and then is like, "All right, fine. I'll talk to him." He'll probably chain call her and she won't answer. And then finally, she'll be, "All right, fine. I'll talk to you." And then it's like a never-ending rollercoaster. They'll never get it together, but that's the funny part of it. They're two pieces that are trying to fit, but it's like you never know where it's going to go with that. But I do have this vivid image of Alana falling and then never talking to Gary again and then being like, "All right, I'll talk to you. Fine. Let's go to the Pinball Palace. I'll meet you there."

There's a lot of running in this movie for you.
So much running. So much. And I'm not a runner.

What was the importance of the Jewishness of Alana and the Kanes for you?
It's no secret that I'm Jewish. I mean, I have the nose. I have the name. I grew up doing Shabbat dinner every Friday. My humor comes from my Judaism. My stomach issues come from my Judaism. As we all know, every Jewish girl knows, our tummy issues are very... it happens. And that's okay. And we grow up with it. And that's fine.

But especially with the Shabbat dinners. I mean, the funniest moments in my life have always come from Shabbat dinner. That story that's in the movie is true. It wasn't Shabbat, though, it was Passover. Not my boyfriend, but my middle sister's boyfriend had come to Passover, and we're reading the Haggadah, as you do, you know, you take turns. You sing the songs. You take turns. And then you eat matzah for the next week, which prolongs your tummy issues. Let's talk about matzo brei all that time. You're fucked.

I do love matzo brei though.
Oh, my mom makes an incredible matzo brei. It's insane. But it literally fucks with my stomach for the next three years. I'm still dealing with all the Pesachs through the years. This whole interview is just going to be about my tummy issues. I'm really going to get a lot of dates through this interview.

But yeah, it was my middle sister. She brought her boyfriend at the time to Passover. And it got to him, and he refused to read the Haggadah. He refused to read this little paragraph. It was incredibly awkward. And I remember telling Paul that story years ago, and while he was writing the script, he was like, "What was that story again? There was a guy that Danielle brought over?" I told him the story. And then when I read the script, it was in the script. Honestly, shooting that scene—I feel like all of us, because my family, my dad, my parents have never acted, obviously, just like me.

Your dad is so good in the movie.
He's incredible. He's literally Robert De Niro. I'm like, "Who are you?" But while we were shooting it, we were laughing so much that, after the day was over, I think we all got on a family conference call and we were like, "There's no way Paul is putting this in the movie. This is going to be on the cutting room floor." Now, seeing it in the movie and having people laugh... Because that's the thing, especially me and my siblings, but my whole family, we love making people laugh. That was my upbringing. It's like, if I can make a dude in seventh grade laugh when I was in seventh grade, I thought that he would have a crush on me. I was wrong. Very wrong. But that was my strength, like, "I'm funny. I'm funny. Come on. I'm funny. Why don't you want to make out with me?" But yeah, we love making people laugh. So, watching the movie and having people laugh at my dad, it's just so funny. We find it amazing. It's my favorite part of the movie, for sure, other than being with everybody else, like Sean Penn and Bradley Cooper. But, you know, my dad's pretty great too.

You mentioned the Sean Penn scene. Can you tell me about being on the back of that motorcycle with him and falling off?
I mean, it was so great. I think the thing that Paul kind of quickly realized working with me on music videos is the amount of crazy things that we did on music videos—I say this all the time. This is LA. This is not the Valley. But I'm a Sagittarius. So, I know my star sign. I'm obsessed with my star sign. I'm very LA in that way. But I'm a Sagittarius. And Sagittarians love new adventures. They're up for anything. And something like the sentence, "You're about to get on a motorcycle with Sean Penn and then fall off," was like, thank you. I'm so ready. I've been preparing for this moment my whole life. Something completely out of my comfort zone and never thought I would ever do to a Sagittarius is like, "Let's go. Of course." And so, it was just fun. I mean, what can I say? Being on the back of a motorcycle with Sean Penn. There's worse things that I could do on a Saturday night. There was nothing wrong with that image. It was just so fun to be able to try things that I would never in my life ever think that I would ever try. Again, Sagittarius. If anyone's like, "Do you want to jump out of a plane?" I'm like, "Yes. I would love that. Let's do that. A hundred percent." If you ask that to Danielle Haim, who's an Aquarius, no, she would not do that. Me? 100 percent.

What were your first moments of bonding with Paul, where you sort of realized that like, "Okay, this is going to be a really, really fruitful, creative relationship in my life"?
I think about it all the time. I say it all the time also that I felt like my whole life, me and my siblings and Paul were kind of just in this weird orbit waiting for us to collide. And I always kind of secretly knew, I'm like, "If I ever met Paul, I really do think that we'd be friends," because of just the Valley connection and just his movies are so fucking incredible and I'm such a big fan of his that I just like felt like we have so many points of reference that we can connect on. I didn't think we were going to become family. I felt like we were going to be friends, but not family. There wasn't a moment where I was like, "Oh, we're going to be family," but it was just this thing of he understood, we both understood where we came from.

He's always just been so supportive of my siblings and I. It's very rare to find someone like that in your lifetime, someone like Paul, because all he wants is for everybody around him to succeed. It's very rare to find, especially—I mean, I hate to say "in this business," because I mean, I've been in the music industry for a very long time and that's basically my connection to Paul. But it is true. I haven't found anybody like Paul in my whole life that just genuinely supports you. It's just endless. He wants you to succeed. And he makes you feel like you can succeed. Especially even with this movie, the amount of doubts that I had, and he never made me feel like I didn't belong. He supported me and constantly reassured me that I could do it, even when I didn't think I could. And that's rare. When you're in Paul's crew, when you get to call Paul your friend, you're a very lucky person. And that's how I feel. I feel very lucky to consider him a friend and also to consider him a part of my family.

Did you have a favorite Paul movie before meeting him?
I wasn't really allowed to watch Boogie Nights until later in life. But my siblings, we have this tradition in our family. Este started it. So, when Danielle turned 16, Este went to Second Spin on Ventura Boulevard and bought [Danielle] ten CDs that were going to be like her Bible for the next chapter of her life because when you turn 16, I mean, you're in high school. It's a big deal. You're going to discover heartbreak. You're going to discover going to parties. And Este bought her ten CDs. You're getting a car, so you need CDs. Este and Danielle shared a car for a very long time. So, she got her these CDs. And one of the CDs was the Boogie Nights soundtrack because Este was obsessed with Boogie Nights, and it's one of the best soundtracks of all time. And so that's how I was introduced to Paul. I thought that it was like a Now That's What I Call Music! for the '70s. I obviously saw the cover and it looked like a movie poster, but I didn't fucking know. And so, just knowing Paul through music, funny enough, I was like, "This is sick." That was the first time I heard "Brand New Key" by Melanie. I would listen to it constantly. I would steal Este's Walkman CD player from Costco. And I would listen to that soundtrack constantly. So, that's how I was introduced to Paul, through his music taste, which is impeccable.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: jzakko on December 20, 2021, 07:36:02 PM
Quote from: d on December 20, 2021, 12:41:56 PM
Not exclusively about LP but an interesting interview with Greenwood about his scores. Do not think it has been posted before.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.newyorker.com/culture/the-new-yorker-interview/how-jonny-greenwood-wrote-the-years-best-film-score/amp

I have not seen LP yet but was wondering before: in that deleted tweet JG mentioned only few pieces yet there is only one his track on OST. Here the question: "But, especially toward the end, I felt like you were pushing the film a little bit in terms of emotional direction. . . ." also suggests there is more than one? Or am I reading too much into it? Is there more than one piece by Jonny in the film?

I doubt it.  When he said 'cues' that doesn't necessarily mean there's more than one piece, it can just appear multiple places.

I'm pretty sure the piece in the album appears twice in the film and that's it for Greenwood music,
Spoiler: ShowHide
once at the beginning after their first date, and again when they're running to find each other at the end.
The latter instance is certainly what the interview is referring to.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 20, 2021, 09:02:52 PM
Director Paul Thomas Anderson discusses Licorice Pizza (https://www.dga.org/Events/2022/February2022/LicoricePizza_QnA_122119.aspx) (DGA)

"I can remember being a young writer and thinking that everything I wrote was so wonderful and so important but there's a certain point when you realize the most exciting scenes are when people aren't talking. The irony is that most actors love it. There used to be this false idea that actors just want to see how many lines they have. The actors that I've worked with who were excellent – from Joaquin [Phoenix] to Daniel [Day-Lewis] – they always get the most excited when there's nothing to say. There's something so elemental about it. It's not about the words, something's happening in the scene that they can play. There's a scene [in Licorice Pizza] when they're running away after he gets arrested, that used to be about a three-page dialogue scene. As they're running, they had this whole conversation. The writing was okay, and the acting was good, but it was clearly not what you wanted to do, stop and have a conversation. I remember, in the bag of tricks that you accumulate over the years, you say, 'just do the scene but don't say any of the words.' In other words, it's making a silent movie. And then you just emerge with this beautiful running shot where they're just enjoying each other's company. So any time there's a chance to take dialogue out or to be simple or quiet is an opportunity to seize on."
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 20, 2021, 11:18:07 PM
A sweet visit with Cooper's grandmother...

Philip Seymour Hoffman's son breaks out in 'Licorice Pizza,' with proud grandma looking on (https://www.northjersey.com/story/lifestyle/2021/12/20/philip-seymour-hoffman-son-cooper-has-breakout-role-licorice-pizza/6490341001/)
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 21, 2021, 09:37:45 AM
New NAYMAN/PTA.  I'm only a couple of 'graphs in, but I'm lovin' it.  No idea yet how spoilery it might be.

https://cinema-scope.com/cinema-scope-online/show-biz-kids-paul-thomas-anderson-on-licorice-pizza/

[edit] Adding it for posterity/archives:

Show Biz Kids: Paul Thomas Anderson on Licorice Pizza

By Adam Nayman

Paul Thomas Anderson loves start-up entrepreneurs and fly-by-night schemes: you could run a straight line between There Will Be Blood's (2007) oil magnate Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Punch-Drunk Love's (2002) humble toilet-plunger impresario Barry Egan (Adam Sandler) just as easily as you could imagine the latter signing up for one of the "Seduce and Destroy" seminars run by Frank T.J. Mackey (Tom Cruise) in Magnolia (1999). The ultimate huckster in the PTACU would be Philip Seymour Hoffman's Lancaster Dodd in The Master (2012), a Wellesian tyro who's found a way to package and sell the prospect of returning to a "state of perfect"—a costly but finally priceless means of exorcising any and all inherent vice. Operators are standing by.

Spoiler: ShowHide
Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman), the resourceful 15-year-old pisher at the centre of Licorice Pizza,is at one the most benign and most unformed of Anderson's confidence men. In between acting gigs that have left him with plenty of walking-around money and a less-than-healthy disrespect for the conventions of adolescence (like going to school), Gary opens a profitable sale-and-delivery business in an abandoned storefront, staffed with pals and charging COD. As is the case with so many grand gestures throughout history, though, he's just a boy trying to impress a girl: if his twentysomething friend Alana (Alana Haim) won't consider dating Gary because he's too young, maybe cornering the market on waterbeds in the San Fernando Valley will make him desirable beyond his years.

Chutzpah is the not-so-secret subject of Licorice Pizza, and Alana—the youngest of three sisters in a conservative Jewish family whose patriarch won't stand for whispers of atheism at the Shabbat table—has at least as much of the stuff as Gary. The film, which, as advertised, is looser and less severe than anything Anderson has made since Punch-Drunk Love, chases Gary as he chases Alana—sometimes passionately, sometimes half-heartedly, sometimes for want of anything better to do—and chases Alana as she tries to grab onto something of her own: an acting career, a political awakening, an age-appropriate boyfriend. Anything to keep her from doting daily on Gary and aiding and abetting his schemes, or dwelling on why someone with her gifts and brains is so content playing Wendy to a tribe of Lost Boys, or wondering whether the grown-up men waiting out there in the wilds of Studio City represent anything better than the juvenile delinquents in her midst.

There is real anxiety here, and Anderson—who specializes in narratives about hinge moments in cultural history—manifests dread around the edges of his portrait of '70s Los Angeles: Nixon on television; a gas shortage at the pumps; cops throwing kids in jail for no reason. Haim, who strutted with her singing siblings through a series of beautifully conceived and choreographed music videos signed by PTA in the 2010s, joins Vicky Krieps of Phantom Thread (2017) at the apex of the director's gallery of female performances: her Alana is plausibly self-divided, with the actress' gawkiness suggesting a body in the process of pulling itself in two directions at once. Hoffman, meanwhile—who, as the son of the late Anderson stock company player, carries inescapable familial associations into his feature debut—is wonderfully crafty and craven as Gary, keeping his eyes on the prize at all times. And if the victories he scores in love and business feel provisional, it suits a movie that finds the seam between definitive and specific—between being a story of a certain generation and the story—and turns into its own cozily interlaced little sweet spot.

Cinema Scope: The first thing that struck me watching Licorice Pizza was the feeling that it was set in a world without adults. There are technically grown-ups in the movie, but they're either preoccupied or far away from what's happening in the story. And so you have all these kids, with all this freedom, working and acting older than they actually are.

Paul Thomas Anderson: Or, more to the point, you have adults acting like the worst kind of fucking kids. I'm thinking of Sean Penn and Bradley Cooper's characters.

Scope: Yeah, and even the Lucille Ball stand-in can't help but smack Gary after he hits her during the television skit. The adults are all pretty juvenile.

Anderson: I was thinking about back then, and about my own childhood and the stories of other people that the film is based on, and you definitely ran a more independent life from adults or your parents. But when you did collide with adults, I think you were treated much more as an equal. Maybe it's a show-business thing. Show-business people are so preoccupied with themselves and their work, and so children become a bit of an afterthought. But there's also a mistake that movies make, where if you have a mom who's working and not around, somehow it's portrayed as a dysfunctional relationship, or as if she's somehow an absentee. And that's fucking horseshit. In the film, that's the reality for Gary's mother: there's no dad around. She has to work. It's all hands on deck, and so in addition to that, the kids are fending for themselves. They have to!

Scope: Gary is very good at fending for himself, and in the world of the kids, he's sort of an authority figure—he's like the ringleader.

Anderson: What's the Anthony Michael Hall line in Sixteen Candles (1984)?"King Shit of Turd Island?" Or is it "King of the Dipshits?"

Scope: I think at one point Alana refers to Gary and "his dipshit friends," right?

Anderson: Does she say that? She says something like "rubber is made of oil, dipshit."

Scope: Well, "dipshit" is a great word.

Anderson: It's great.

Scope: Talking about show-business people, I thought the funniest scene in the movie was when Alana goes to see the agent played by Harriet Sansom Harris, and while she's looking Alana over you just hold this extreme close-up on her face, and you can just see this woman has seen it all...

Anderson: I love that scene, but the funniest part is on the drive over when Gary is coaching her, and tells her, "If she asks if you can dance, say you can dance," and Alana protests: "I can sing and I can dance!" And when she turns to say it to him, you realize she's got way too much makeup on, and she's clearly done it herself—she's looking like Diane Ladd in Wild at Heart (1990). I love how bonkers she looks all of a sudden.

Scope: Alana clearly wants to make something of herself, whether it's by acting or getting into politics. The section of the movie where she volunteers for Joel Wachs' (Benny Safdie) campaign is interesting, because he's another guy who's sort of in-between, age wise: he's young-looking, he's anti-establishment, and he's all about idealism, even though we learn that he's dealing with his own set of personal compromises.

Anderson: He's a young Jewish politician fighting an uphill battle. He's trying to outrun his own sexuality, and his own personal life. Joel Wachs in reality is a very interesting guy. He looks back at that time with some regret. He wishes he had been able to come out earlier, but he couldn't. At that time, if you were a schoolteacher and they found out that you were gay, you were going to be fired. There had not been many, if any, openly gay politicians. This was four or five years before Harvey Milk.

Scope: You evoke Harvey Milk through the idea of surveillance, and the guy who's tailing him at his office. I couldn't help but think of Nashville (1975), and Taxi Driver (1976) as well.

Anderson: That's a dangerous thing, and I was definitely aware of it. I was paranoid that there's a generation of people who know Taxi Driver and expect that there has to be a sense of suspense and impending doom, and while that's what's needed, you also risk having that audience expecting the movie to go places that it doesn't. There's a more melancholy and soft landing to that storyline. So I just sort of had to lean into it and tell the story as clearly as possible. If you start running yourself ragged over what film references are going to mean to somebody, you're gonna fuck yourself, you know? It's maybe a slight exaggeration to say Joel Wachs was a real threat to anybody, but around every corner, there could be an enemy—a real-estate developer, whatever—who didn't like what he was doing on city council, so he was in this position of paranoia. And then somebody could say, "I know what you do at night behind closed doors," and then the wheels are off. It's a quick road to Hell after that.

Scope: There are all these different sources of anxiety creeping around the edges of this movie: Watergate and OPEC, but even stuff like the visit to Jon Peters' (Bradley Cooper) house, where it's a really thin line between a fun escapade and real danger—which, I guess, comes with that feeling of freedom and just running around and doing whatever you want.

Anderson: The scene with the truck at Jon Peters' house is a stand-in for the situations you get yourself into as a kid where you look back and cannot believe that you are still alive, or that you didn't get seriously, seriously hurt. At the time, you're thinking, "That was hilarious,"and years later you say, "What the hell were we thinking?"

Scope: Is it true that you wrote Licorice Pizza while you were in the middle of a different screenplay?

Anderson: Yes and no. It's not really unlike how I would have written anything else. I'm generally working on a few things at once until something hits its stride, or until another idea comes out of the blue. There's a leapfrogging thing that happens. Was I more deeply involved with something else when this came and started nagging at my door? Yeah, I was. But then it just stayed there and stayed there and I realized, "I'm heading in this direction now. We're doing this."

Scope: Was wanting to pursue the story more about the people or the period?

Anderson: The people. If anything, the period was something that was going to put me off doing it. Why do another period movie again, why do something in this place in 1972 or 1973? But it didn't make sense to frame the details of the story any other way. In terms of the genesis of the story, I was at a playground where I saw this kid trying to get a date with a girl who was there to take pictures. What stuck with me was the dynamic: a 15-year-old boy trying to ask out a girl in her mid-twenties.

I think, at the beginning, the film seems to be Gary's story because he's got more going on: he has his auditions, he has this promotional tour for a movie, he has a business, he has all the moves. His whims are swift. He's not bothered by things. But Alana ends up being the more interesting character. She seems grown up: she's dismissive, tough, wise, and disappointed. She's this ball of goodwill and emotion. And the more you see of her, you see that she's really vulnerable. She's the baby of the family. There's a moment where a parent snaps at her, "You remind me of a dog"—and you have to be careful how you say this, but there's something to that. The idea of wanting to be there for someone and by their side, that's a big part of Alana's personality.

Scope: I guess the word in that context would be loyalty: she's fiercely protective of Gary even when she's aiding and abetting all of his scams. There's a slippage between friendship and family and even motherhood, and then all the other stuff between them...

Anderson: Yes. And then human nature takes over. She says, "I can't be with you, you need to be with somebody your own age!" And the second Gary does that, she gets angry and jealous.

Scope: I don't know how interested you are in talking about individual images, but the one that stuck with me is when they're lying together on the waterbed and you see Gary's fingers, and there's this incredible, tactile evocation of what it feels like to hold back.

Anderson: I've learned at this point that if you put something on film that is, let's say, pinpoint-accurate to something that's happened in your life, people will respond. All of us have had moments, somewhere in your adolescence, where you're eager to make it to first, second, or third base. Really, any of the bases. Even a sacrifice bunt. And your courage fails you, or your fear of rejection takes over. Those are the things that are in the scene. So you set it to great music and shoot it well, and you have a really lovely scene, I think. I'm quite proud of it. It's as simple as that.

Scope: The big stylistic thing with the movie overall seems to be the moving camera, which is not new for you, but the tracking shots here are completely synced to the characters, and the characters love running around. There's an abundance of velocity in this movie.

Anderson: I love that about the story. I mean, I think the wheels stay on, but it's always moving, and it's always moving forward. The thing is, when your source material is just stories...when you're adapting somebody's bullshit tales they're always telling, they jump along exactly like that. They always tell it to you sort of in terms of highlights. Like, "Hey, did I tell you about the time I was on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1968 with Lucille Ball?" Dot dot dot. "Oh my God, wait, did I tell you about the time I was arrested at the Teen-Age Fair for murder?" Dot dot dot. And then what happened? And then what happened? "Well, it all went belly up because of the gas crisis of 1973." The movie is structured like that, like wild tales. It's like skipping a stone across a stream, or how you find your way across a stream without getting your feet wet. Even if you're hopping side to side, you need to stay moving forward to find the dry stone.

Scope: Is there an increased confidence to use ellipsis that way in your filmmaking—to not always show the way from point A to point B, or to not always fill in the gaps? I'm thinking of a movie like The Master,where the skipping is completely essential to the structure of the story and the editing.

Anderson: I think it has grown, yes. One particular fascination of mine, to this day, is the excitement of trying to condense a story down to the best possible form of telling it—the ways that you can help an audience understand it. Those combinations are endless. There are things you find in writing that you know will work, and they do. There are ones you think are going to be winners that fail. But then there's the land of discovery when you get into the editing room and you find the ones you never saw coming. Like, there's a trim that can join one scene to another scene, or you lop four lines of dialogue off of something and suddenly you've achieved lift-off. Those are thrilling to find.

Scope: The roaming aspect of Licorice Pizza seems connected to your videos with HAIM, no?

Anderson: Completely. We did those videos without a lot of money or time. So what could we do? We just had that movement and all of their talent, and I just sort of filmed it. It was the greatest way to work, and after doing that for a few years with HAIM, I wanted to make a feature the same way. Those videos are some of my favourite creative experiences I've ever had.

Scope: The pleasure of their music is predicated on harmony, and it's a nice contrast with some of your movies, which are rooted in dissonance—all that atonal music and elliptical cutting. I think of the last moment of Punch-Drunk Love,where Barry plays the harmonium in alignment with the score, and it's a beautiful thing to be inside of something that's seemingly so casual, even though you know it's not. The compliment is that harmony feels casual, not orchestrated.

Anderson: It is a great compliment. It is casual, even though I like that you said that it isn't. You're never supposed to admit this, but sometimes instinct takes over and everything aligns and it's easy. Next! What's next? As you get older you learn to accept those, because you only get so many before something blows up. Trusting that something being easy doesn't mean it's incomplete is hard for me personally. I used to think it required banging your head against a wall, with blood pouring out of your fingernails, when in fact it doesn't.

Scope: You've talked a fair amount about casting Alana Haim and the connection you've made with her sisters and her family, but I wanted to ask about Cooper Hoffman. Is there more protectiveness there? And did that protectiveness—maybe even something parental—ever intrude upon the process of making the movie? Or was it that once he agreed to do it, then he's just an actor on set and he's got to hit his mark, and that's the standard of making a movie?

Anderson: I mean, there's nothing I wouldn't do as a parent that I would do as a director. Every single actor is directed differently, you know? Somebody needs this, somebody needs that, you give them what you need. Cooper got a lashing like everybody else if he didn't know his lines. But he knew his lines. He was great. He was there to work. The best direction I gave him was pragmatic stuff. Like, "Have you eaten today? How did you sleep last night? Do you need a cheese string and a juice box?" I'm joking a little bit, but not really. There's an athleticism to doing this, to shooting for 65 days, to have concentration the whole time. It's a lot of basic nuts-and-bolts stuff about getting through the day...you'd be surprised how much of directing is just sort of parenting.

Scope: Was this always the way you thought about directing? Has there been a shift from control to caring?

Anderson: I think it was always about care. I mean, look...I have to look after Joaquin Phoenix less than Cooper. Joaquin knows how he likes to do it. He drives himself each day. We both like it quiet, not a lot of distraction. For Licorice Pizza I was with a bunch of children, so I had to make a lot of suggestions that were meant to be helpful, and I was in a strong position because I could look at the kids and say, "Well, that's not how Daniel Day-Lewis would do it."

Scope: I know that when Vicky Krieps was making Phantom Thread,acting against Day-Lewis, especially in the shadow of There Will Be Blood,was intimidating...

Anderson: Well, hopefully the word isn't "intimidation." Hopefully it's that a high, incredibly high standard is in effect. I expect an incredibly high level of concentration, professionalism, and talent. Because I'm used to it, you know?

Scope: I am hard-pressed to think of an American director in the last 30 years who has worked with more great actors, at least off the top of my head.

Anderson: I think so too. Obviously, you know as well as anyone my affection for actors and what they do and how much I need them to tell the kinds of stories that I like. I am in desperate needof actors for the kind of shit I like to do. That's my shit! I like it like that! There are other directors who will say, "Give me any old asshole who can just stand there and say the words I need them to say, as long as they look the way I need them to look." Not me. As Maya [Rudolph] likes to joke, I have a type. I do.

Scope: I have two more questions, one of which is about the movie and one of which is incredibly stupid, because who knows if I'll get another chance for the dumb one. The non-dumb question is: how much do you know about waterbeds now? I don't know if I've ever seen a movie where they're a plot point, but it's so crucial to the movie, this almost fetishistic desire for waterbeds, and what it points to about the period.

Anderson: Fucking waterbeds...

Scope: I want to see what you can do with this.

Anderson: Well, if you wanted to start a business where you buy a bunch of industrial waterbags at like a dollar a pop and sell them for $49.95 each, that's a good turnaround. But the beds break all the time. You have to learn the difference between a lap seam and a butt seam. A butt seam sort of shoves two seams together. A lap seam is more like if you interlace your fingers—that's a good approximation. That keeps them from leaking. So now you're in the waterbed business, and you know how to keep them from leaking. So then, how do you heat them? There are these hilarious episodes in waterbed history where people tried to put coil heaters underneath, and you can imagine what happened. Gary Goetzman told me about all this, and that you wanted your waterbed to be "UL-approved." So then these heaters got UL approval, but it was a mystery organization. What is "U?" What is "L?"

Scope: As long as it stands for something.

Anderson: Anyway, waterbeds are like a dirty secret for people. Like somebody you've known for a long time suddenly says, "You know, my parents have a waterbed," or, "I grew up with one."

Scope: It feels like a weird aftershock of the sexual revolution, or maybe a way of commodifying it. And waterbeds are like a lot of other things in the movie, because they're kind of childish—like a trampoline—but also dirty and exotic. Even the guy who brags that he's "banging Barbra Streisand" wants one. The waterbed is the great leveller that brings Gary to Jon Peters' mansion: the richest asshole in the valley has to call this little dipshit to get a waterbed.

Anderson: Well now, no matter what kind of frame you put around it, it's still a plastic bag with water in it.

Scope: I know some people don't believe that a 15-year-old kid could start a waterbed business in 1973.

Anderson: If somebody has a problem with that, they're not going to like the movie. I mean, are you kidding? Give me a break. Back then, it would take you maybe two-and-a-half days to rent a storefront, get a fold-out desk and some chairs, and some drinks and some Gatorade, some streamers, and you have a company. Do you think anyone was doing anything by the book? You'd hand out flyers, get on the radio. You get the phone number out. The phone never stopped ringing. This is in the days of COD, right? The UPS guy turns up at your house, picks up your waterbed orders, and takes them into the hills of Encino or Reseda or wherever. He comes back at the end of the day with an envelope full of cash. If you're 16, and pull this off, you feel like you've made it. You've grabbed the brass ring. That was the world back then. Cash on delivery. It's pretty great.

Scope: OK, let's end on my stupid question, because I don't know for a fact that I'm ever going to talk to you again and it's been on my mind for years. The Master is a movie that means a lot to me, I want you to know this.

Anderson: Yes.

Scope: When Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix) is going back and forth between the window and the wall, were you paying homage to Lil Jon's song "Get Low?" If I'm right, I've blown the lid off this thing for all time.

Anderson: Well, you're the second person who's asked me that.

Scope: This is going to stay in the interview, so please give me a good answer.

Anderson: It's only going to be disappointing. If I did that, it was subconscious. I only sort of put the pieces together later that it was a Lil Jon song. It's hard to know if I'd heard it, and if I did, if it got in there, that's what happened. I'd rather have gotten another song into a movie instead of that one, like Das Racist's "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell."

Scope: Anyway, there is a video on YouTube where somebody has re-edited The Master to "Get Low," so if you want to see your work repurposed that way, it's a click away.

Anderson: Oh my God, I need to see that.

Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drenk on December 21, 2021, 09:44:32 AM
Quote from: wilberfan on December 21, 2021, 09:37:45 AM
New NAYMAN/PTA.  I'm only a couple of 'graphs in, but I'm lovin' it.  No idea yet how spoilery it might be.

https://cinema-scope.com/cinema-scope-online/show-biz-kids-paul-thomas-anderson-on-licorice-pizza/

A lot.

QuoteTrusting that something being easy doesn't mean it's incomplete is hard for me personally. I used to think it required banging your head against a wall, with blood pouring out of your fingernails, when in fact it doesn't.

Well. In your case... :yabbse-smiley:
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 21, 2021, 10:13:21 AM
Man, that's now the single best article/interview I've read to date about LP.  I love it when Paul opens up about--and this word is becoming a little cliched by now--his process.  I don't know about you guys, but on some level, that's all we really need out of life right now:  To be able to walk around inside Paul's brain.  Maybe sit on a bench and enjoy the sunshine (and darkness, over there)...
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on December 21, 2021, 10:16:10 AM
Is the Nayman interview spoilery?
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 21, 2021, 10:23:07 AM
BIG time.   But that's what makes it so awesome.   But, yes, save for POST-viewing.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 21, 2021, 10:33:27 AM
Can we please be on the collective lookout for this issue?

https://twitter.com/CinemaScopeMag/status/1473304031548346377
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 21, 2021, 11:34:07 AM
How Licorice Pizza Brought [SPOILER] to Life (https://www.out.com/film/2021/12/21/licorice-pizza-alana-haim-interview-gay-councilman-joel-wachs-benny-safdie)
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 21, 2021, 01:06:34 PM
New Alana Interview
https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/movies-tv/alana-haim-breakout-star-of-licorice-pizza-says-acting-is-a-side-hustle-for-now
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on December 21, 2021, 01:45:59 PM
https://gfycat.com/bogussinglehamadryad

Me dodging spoilers in the Nayman interview
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 21, 2021, 01:48:11 PM
:rofl:   I'd have gone Gene Kelly/Singin' in the Rain in that situation...
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 21, 2021, 04:17:53 PM
A new half-hour interview with Alana.  (Can't attest to spoiler-levels yet.)

https://youtu.be/i7tpVh8Xoys
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 22, 2021, 09:54:56 AM
Licorice Pizza Editor Andy Jurgensen on Collaborating with Paul Thomas Anderson, Deleted Scenes, and Keeping the Momentum

https://thefilmstage.com/licorice-pizza-editor-andy-jurgensen-on-paul-thomas-andersons-vision-deleted-scenes-and-keeping-the-momentum/
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 22, 2021, 11:26:07 AM
...we know that all the stuff that gets cut out will find its way somehow in a teaser or a trailer or something. Nothing is really ever trashed. Usually what we'll do is when we send the movie to a trailer company, we'll send the movie but then I think I made 60 minutes of extra footage––stuff we liked, trailer moments, whatever––that go along with that so it can be used in marketing material. So that's kind of the process.

:yabbse-grin:   :bravo:

We had a pretty decent cut by New Year's Day, then just fine-tuning from there.   :shock:   [You'll recall they wrapped in mid-November!]

He's a confident filmmaker. He knows what he wants. If he doesn't get it, he knows how to get it. I think the whole digital aspect might be part of the problem with this. You can have three or four cameras shooting a scene at once from all sorts of different angles. Almost when you get to the cutting room you have so many options. You don't know how you're going to get in or out of a scene. The scene is covered in a million different directions. I see that sometimes. With Paul, he is willing to go for it and say, "This is going to be one shot. It's going to be a oner. I'm not going to do coverage. I don't want that. This is what I want. We're going for it and moving on."     :bravo:

Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 22, 2021, 11:33:11 PM
Alana's interview with rogerebert.com

https://www.rogerebert.com/interviews/after-they-yelled-cut-alana-haim-on-licorice-pizza
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 22, 2021, 11:51:55 PM
Paul's interview with BBC Radio 4 Front Row programme, starts at around 2:40

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0012q3j
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: PaulElroy35 on December 23, 2021, 01:30:13 PM
https://nofilmschool.com/licorice-pizzas-editor-and-dp-breaking-rules?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#

Andy Jurgensen and Michael Bauman break down the process behind making Licorice Pizza look, feel, and sound just like the '70s

Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 23, 2021, 01:35:01 PM
How 'Licorice Pizza's' Production Designer Florencia Martin Found Pinballs and Waterbeds (https://variety.com/2021/artisans/news/licorice-pizza-pinball-waterbed-production-design-1235142689/)
Jazz Tangcay-Dec 23, 2021 9:45am PT

Paul Thomas Anderson has surveyed L.A.'s San Fernando Valley from every angle in films like "Boogie Nights," "Magnolia" and "Punch-Drunk Love." For his latest, "Licorice Pizza," which opens wide on Dec. 25, he went back to his early memories of the sprawling suburbs, combining them with events from the life of his childhood-friend producer Gary Goetzman, played by Cooper Hoffman. Even the film's name references a favorite record store chain of the 1970s, although the store doesn't appear in the film.

Production designer Florencia Martin's vintage palette of browns, rusts and oranges manages to look lived in rather than kitschy, with plenty of period details, from the KMET billboard to beanbag chairs to Hollywood's Teenage Fair. One pivotal location was based on the store Goetzman actually opened as an 18-year old, Fat Bernie's Environmental Living.

Before Gary opens his own store, he's inspired by the owner of Mr. Jack's, a wig shop with a sideline in waterbeds. Martin found an article mentioning Goetzman in the L.A. Times archives that named some of the original waterbed companies.

Once the designer learned that some of the original waterbed manufacturers, such as American National, were still in business, she drove out to Covina and knocked on the factory door. "They looked at me like I was nuts," Martin says, but after mentioning the article, she ended up talking to an executive who was able to help her more than she had expected.

He showed her a shoebox full of Polaroids from the heyday of the waterbed business. "There were shots of Mr. Jack's and the custom-made bed," says Martin, who used the photos as inspiration.

When the waterbed business sprang a leak due to the difficulty sourcing vinyl during the gas crisis, Gary pivoted — in real life and in the film — and opened Fat Bernie's Pinball Palace. Pinball had just become legal in the city of L.A., and the astute teenager jumped on the opportunity to cash in. Martin worked with Gene Lewin at Glendale's Vintage Arcade Superstore, where she found pinball machines that were playable. "It was an amazing feat to find pre1973 working pinball machines," Martin says, "and create that fun environment for the end of the film."
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 23, 2021, 01:55:23 PM
Some more juicy morsels...

Paul Thomas Anderson: 'Valley girl stereotypes are all kind of horseshit' (https://www.timeout.com/film/paul-thomas-anderson-valley-girl-stereotypes-are-all-kind-of-horseshit)
On 'Licorice Pizza', LA's burbs and his new-found love of 'Ted Lasso'

Phil de Semlyen, Thursday 23 December 2021

If there's been a purer dose of cinematic endorphin than Paul Thomas Anderson's Licorice Pizza this year, we've missed it. A San Fernando Valley-set '70s romance with a difference, it's the filmmaker's funniest and most uplifting movie to date (and our film of 2021). It introduces Cooper Hoffman, the son of his old friend and collaborator, the much-mourned Philip Seymour Hoffman, as Gary Valentine, a teenager intent on wooing twentysomething photographer's assistant Alana (Alana Haim of LA band Haim). It also gives us Sean Penn as a boozy, maverick cipher for Hollywood legend William Holden and Bradley Cooper as the actual Jon Peters, another Hollywood legend for whom the word 'maverick' barely gets close.

In short, it's a story of young love and a goofy, sideways Tinseltown memoir all wrapped up in local lore and colour that you don't have to have been near to LA to appreciate. When Time Out catches up with him, Anderson – a high ranker on our 50 Coolest Filmmakers in the World list – is fresh from a trip to London, the setting of his last movie, Phantom Thread, and maybe one day a future film ('I don't know how soon but without question I would make another film there,' he says, 'it's just a matter of when'). But his own home patch is on his mind at the moment with the Valley's ghosts, old haunts and movie misconceptions all bubbling to the surface during our conversation.

Did you have Cooper Hoffman in mind for the role when you were writing the script?

'I remember having a flash about halfway through, thinking about him [but then] thinking: Oh, no, don't think that, put that thought away. Then we took a more traditional route of auditioning young actors with Alana (Haim) and nothing was even close to being right. There seemed to be a curse that I couldn't shake, which was that most of the young actors seemed more interested in being on sitcoms or on Instagram, than acting. I do not mean [they need to be] serious, just taking the work seriously. The irony of my frustration was that the thought  I'd had a year before tapped me on the shoulder and said: Dummy! You've got a kid right in front of your face who's perfect for this.'

Alana Haim is great too. Tom Waits is in it too – and David Bowie is on the soundtrack. Why do musicians make such good actors? Is it that they're comfortable performing or is there something more to it?

'It helps that they're comfortable in performing – without naming some of the some of the great rock stars who can't act. Because you are a rock star does not mean that you can act; and as we've seen, just because you're a great actor does not mean you can be a rock star. But they do cross-pollinate quite often, don't they? I think the reason Tom Waits has success at both is because he's never not truthful, and I think that extends to Alana as well. That's why the performance is so messy and unwieldy – you can't quite grab a hold of what she's what she's going to do next – because she's incapable of performing something that doesn't feel honest to her. Lord knows, there were a couple of times that I tried. Even though it was her first movie, we have a comfortable enough relationship for her to be able to point out, very delicately, that the director was asking for something that wasn't going to happen.'

She didn't scream 'You're not my director!' at you, I hope.

(Laughs) No. That was one of her favourite lines [in the script] but it didn't make the final cut of the film. Great for the trailer, though.'

There's so many quotable lines. A personal favourite is Tom Waits's film director, Rex Blau, calling Sean Penn's veteran movie star Jack Holden a 'shiny, gold, tall, inexpensive prick.'

'That line is a combination of Tom Waits' improvisation and things that I had written. It was very easy for me to wrap my mind around these two characters because having grown up in Hollywood and been near these types of people in my youth, I felt like I knew them intimately. And my father was very much like that: the more that they loved someone, the stronger, more wonderfully worded the insults were. I always knew my father didn't like somebody if he didn't say anything to them at all, or he was polite. But if he greeted them by insulting them, and he got the insults back, that meant that they were a genuine friend. I just indicated to both Sean and Tom that that's what the mission was and they could run with it and do variations on it, take after take. That one belongs to Tom entirely, I think.'

'Valley girl' has become a catch-all for any girl west of the Mississippi. The stereotypes are all kind of horseshit
I don't know whether you'd call Licorice Pizza a love letter to the Valley, but it's certainly a movie that loves the Valley. Are there things that movies get wrong about the Valley that get under your skin?


'It's funny just how long the Valley's reputation has lasted, because I don't think there's been any films in recent memory that have taken a swipe at it or made some attempt to portray it as something that it isn't. It's just wild that the stereotypical vision of the San Fernando Valley, which started probably back in the early '80s, has had such a long life. I think it's more of a catch-all probably for somebody from Europe, [where] Valley Girl kind of equals "American Girl" and any girl west of the Mississippi. The stereotypes are New York cosmopolitan girls – The Devil Wears Prada-type – and Barbies from California. They're all kind of horseshit.'

Is there a bygone Valley spot that you particularly miss?

'Is there just one? No way, there's a million of them. The most painful ones are the movie theatres that have gone away: the Studio City Theatre, the La Reina Theatre, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, even the Mann Valley West Theatre in Tarzana. So I start with movie theatres as my sources of pain, and then you start to tick off the wonderful coffee shops and restaurants: Du-par's in Studio City, where we shot Boogie Nights, is now a Sephora. The Tail o' the Cock, which we portray in the film, is no longer there. They used to allow for more wide open spaces in the middle of these suburbs, so you'd have pony rides on these huge vacant lots right next to Ventura Boulevard with a slide on it that you could ride down on a potato sack. Some guy had a farm! I miss those kinds of things.'

You've been trying to work with Sean Penn for a while. What was that experience like?

'It was too quick. It's nice when you finally get a chance to work with somebody when you're comfortable in your role and with the work that you've done, and you can engage in a shorthand. I was incredibly admiring of him; I really, really think that he's one of our great actors and we're lucky to have him. Again, he's sort of irritating because he doesn't do it enough. He follows his own rules, for sure, and makes films that no one will see – that are super-challenging, super-unique. [But] long may he reign. He's one of the greats.'

He plays a version of William Holden in the movie. For people who aren't so familiar with Holden, which of his films would you start with?

'That's a terrific question. Hmm... where to start? Do you start further back with Sunset Boulevard and Stalag 17 or do you start deeper with S.O.B. and Network and then go backwards? I wouldn't start with The Wild Bunch – I'd put it on the list but it's more of an ensemble piece and a different type of feeling. It's funny, I'm so delusional that I still live in a world where William Holden is the biggest movie star and everyone, man, woman and child, knows who he is. I've reached that point in my life where I cannot see the forest for the trees. People have to tap me on the shoulder and remind me that no one under the age of 40 knows who William Holden is. Which is a fucking crying shame because he is one of the greats.'

When you get together with Quentin Tarantino and talk movies, do you have to be prised apart at the end of the conversation?

'No, I just stop talking and let him do the work. He knows more than I do. He's in charge of the conversation.'

Lastly, what are you bingeing at the moment?

'This is really embarrassing to admit but I only saw the first episode of Ted Lasso very recently. People will say: "Oh, you haven't seen Ted Lasso?" and then you finally get to it and you feel like a dummy for taking so long to get to it. It's great.'
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 23, 2021, 09:44:34 PM
'Licorice Pizza': Alana Haim On The Secretive Mysteriousness Of Director Paul Thomas Anderson [Deep Focus Podcast]
https://theplaylist.net/licorice-pizza-alana-haim-paul-thomas-anderson-deep-focus-podcast-20211223/
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 23, 2021, 09:45:38 PM
Paul Thomas Anderson talks 'Licorice Pizza,' pandemic-release strategy, music selection, desire to create
https://thedailytexan.com/2021/12/22/paul-thomas-anderson-talks-licorice-pizza-pandemic-release-strategy-music-selection-desire-to-create/
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on December 24, 2021, 03:00:16 AM
On the Increment Vice podcast (the interview is really about LP). Starts around 16:10

https://incrementvice.com/episode-46
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 24, 2021, 10:09:27 AM
That's quite a 'get' for them (although probably a lot easier during this marketing blitz).

[edit]  Good interview.  More gems from Paul.  Travis and I have a tortured relationship, but he did ask some good questions.

Three tidbits I found fascinating:
Spoiler: ShowHide
1) Skyler's character in LP is essentially Tim Matheson (who was with Gary during that Sullivan visit), 2) the development that Wachs was trying to stop prevailed and is the existing Beverly Ridge Estates. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Beverly+Ridge+Estates,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90210/@34.1173582,-118.4079107,16.07z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x80c2bdcfcaf21023:0xde1ee09ca286542d!8m2!3d34.1160687!4d-118.4068172)  3) It was a young Jonathan Demme that directed Joel's campaign spots.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on December 26, 2021, 01:22:02 AM
https://twitter.com/tcm/status/1474482784278302727
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: jviness02 on December 27, 2021, 10:19:07 AM
Quote from: Drill on December 26, 2021, 01:22:02 AM
https://twitter.com/tcm/status/1474482784278302727

I really hope some fellow PTA obsessed person in this world recorded all of his bits hosting. I don't have cable anymore, so I missed this.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 27, 2021, 10:23:30 AM
I had this exact thought.  Anyone?  :(
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: eward on December 27, 2021, 12:57:03 PM
I DVR'd it  :)
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: jviness02 on December 27, 2021, 06:58:36 PM
Quote from: eward on December 27, 2021, 12:57:03 PM
I DVR'd it  :)

!!!!!
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 30, 2021, 10:21:37 AM
Nice to see Mr. Bauman getting a little attention.

https://thefilmstage.com/michael-bauman-licorice-pizza-cinematography-paul-thomas-anderson/

Michael Bauman on Lighting Licorice Pizza and Bringing Paul Thomas Anderson's Vision to Life
Training Day, Iron Man, The Master, Munich, Ford v Ferrari, The Bling Ring, Nightcrawler, Ray, Birds of Prey, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, Syriana, The Conjuring 2––meet Michael Bauman, the man who's lit it all. That's not even a quarter of the credits to his name, almost all of which, since 1994, list him as gaffer or chief lighting technician. Different productions have different titles, but it's essentially the same job: he's in charge of light. Where it goes in or out of frame, how it's sourced, how it plays on screen, the strength, the tone, the hue, the shadow, all of it. In a medium created to capture light, that's a vital role. He characterizes frames through details that guide our viewing experience, creating thematic throughlines with color, or heightening specific moments with dynamic shading, or falsifying daylight, or something else we take for granted.

It's even more vital when you're working with someone like Paul Thomas Anderson––the writer-director cinema-savant behind, most recently, Licorice Pizza––who defies auteur tyranny on set in pursuit of inspired collaboration with his lead creatives, like Bauman, who also lit The Master, Inherent Vice, and Phantom Thread. Over the past ten years, they've become two of each other's closest collaborators. So close, in fact, that PTA asked Bauman to co-direct photography with him on Licorice Pizza. Bauman didn't have a single feature DP credit to his name, but that didn't matter (just like it didn't matter to PTA that Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman, the leads of the film, had never acted). They basically did the same thing on Phantom Thread and we all saw how gorgeous that was. But I'll let him tell you about it.

We got on the phone with Bauman––perhaps the only man who's worked a chief creative position on a Marvel, DC, Hunger Games, Transformers, and PTA movie?––to talk about his history with PTA, what it's like working on so many different kinds of projects, his evolution into cinematography via Licorice Pizza, and the visual language of the film.

The Film Stage: I want to start with you. Licorice Pizza marks your first time as a DP. On top of that, you're co-credited with PTA, which I want to get to in a minute, but first: how did you meet PTA? How did you start working together?

Michael Bauman: It goes back to The Master probably ten years ago. I knew some of the producers on that and they were like, "Hey we need somebody to do a camera test." So I came in, did this camera test, I didn't even know what was going on. And it was one of the first camera tests we did for The Master. I met Mihai [Malaimare Jr.] and everything. Did one camera, which was really simple stuff, because with PTA you test like crazy. Three weeks later they call me and say, "Can you do another test?" "Yeah, sure," so I did another test, and then I didn't know anything that was going on with the film, and I said, "Hey, I have all these notes from the camera test, I should really give 'em to somebody." I didn't hear anything. Okay, fine. Then, "Hey can you do another test?" Fine. Do another test, which turned into a test for 10 hours. Then all of a sudden he's like, "I gotta do a music video for my old lady," and I'm like, "What're you talkin' about?" And one of my electricians is like, "His old lady is Fiona Apple. We're gonna do a music video." So, we ended up doing the video for "Hot Knife," which is this black and white thing. We had no gear. We were just trying to figure it out. And after going through that gauntlet he was like, "Okay, yeah...you guys wanna do the movie?" So then we ended up doing The Master.

How did your role differ on Licorice Pizza compared to the other PTA films you've worked on?

With The Master, I was working very closely with Mihai, who was a fantastic DP. And, you know, it was a tricky situation, because Paul had worked exclusively with Robert Elswit up to that point. So, I didn't know Paul, Mihai didn't know Paul, we both kind of walked into the situation. And I think a lot of good things came out of it because of the content of that film and all of us not having that level of familiarity. But as the gaffer, especially with a director like Paul, you're kind of the connective tissue between the visual vision he has and what the cinematographer has. And you're trying to execute all that. In that particular picture, there were a lot of really strong technical requirements because we were shooting 65mm, we were shooting very slow speed stock, we were shooting Kodak's 50 ASA film for a lot of the movie, we were shooting on old lenses, so you need a lot of light to bring to those lenses. So, we were using a lot of light on that picture.

Then, we do Inherent Vice. That was a completely different dynamic than what we had on The Master. Robert Elswit is back, which is great. I did Good Night, and Good Luck with him and Nightcrawler, so he and I had a really great relationship. But he and Paul have their own relationship. But in the lighting department, again, you're trying to be that connective tissue. I think Paul and I had developed a relationship where, you know, he would just directly talk to me about what his thoughts were on the lighting and all this kind of shit. And so post-Inherent Vice he was like, "I've got a couple of little things I want to do," and it was this Radiohead music video for a song called "Daydreaming." And he was like, "What do you think if we just...kinda...did this? You know, you and me doing it?"

So we started doing these Radiohead music videos together, and those music videos were without somebody considered "the cinematographer." Then we did several HAIM music videos. And what ended up happening was, he was like, "This is kind of working. What if we did this on a movie?" And I was like, "I mean we could try, sure." So Phantom Thread being set in Britain allowed us kind of a different approach. One of the big inspirational points for that was the Stanley Kubrick film Barry Lyndon. On that, John Alcott was listed as the lighting cameraman, and so Paul was like, "Look, this is great inspiration." And I said, "Look, let's do it like that. That'd be really cool. I'll be the lighting cameraman and Colin Anderson can be operator, and we'll do it like that." It's kind of an homage to how they did it back then. Well, when we came to the States and did Licorice Pizza, there were union requirements. You have to have somebody as a cinematographer. So really, we were working almost the same way we worked on Phantom Thread, but we just had to formalize it a bit more to meet the union requirements.

What did your collaboration look like on set, with the two of you sharing the DP role? Do you make a lot of decisions together?

It wasn't like I was doing X amount new job. We definitely lean into each other a lot more, because we do a lot more scouting together. There's a lot more technical stuff I've gotta be on top of. So there was, I would say, some slightly enhanced responsibilities, but creatively it was the same way we worked on Phantom Thread.

I did Munich with Steven Spielberg, I was the gaffer on that. And, you know, Steven tends to call out all of his lenses. Like, "You know what? I want to be on a 50mm here." Paul is very much the same way. And it's not like my way or the highway. I mean, Colin and myself have a lot of influence on that decision, choosing lenses or camera positions. But he starts with putting a stake in the ground and saying, "Hey look, I'm thinking this," and then we build off of that idea. In Phantom Thread or in this movie, he'd be like, "What do you think?" Well, we'd do a lot of scouting and I'd be like, "I think we should light through the windows." Okay, cool. And that will be the extent of the technical conversation. And then the rest would end up in my lap, as far as fill levels and contrast ratios.

I mean, he would have opinions. The thing about working with Paul is that his fingerprint is on every aspect of the movie. If you go back to Phantom Thread, he's talking about wardrobe, set decoration, the way particular items are laid out on the table. It's that level of it. He's involved head to toe in the whole thing. I mean, he timed this movie. Ultimately, the final timing and how the picture looks is all in his wheelhouse. And I think it's great. It's really great to see someone who has a very concise vision that strings through the entire picture.

How long exactly was the screen testing period?

With Paul, we did a series of tests over the course of, like, a year. He was like, "I wanna do this test. At a diner." But it was really him testing to make sure Alana and Cooper would work out. We'd roll into a test. They'd be doing dialogue scenes. And it was him also working the dialogue out, what's the dynamic like, all this kind of stuff—putting some meat to the bones. And one of the guys on our crew, Tommy, who'd done a bunch of Paul movies was like, "There's no way. These guys suck. There's no way this is going to work. I don't see it." Okay, cool, you don't see it, great, fine. We shot versions of that walk and talk scene where he's like, "What's your phone number?" Paul had that scene written. He had a couple of scenes written that are pretty close to what's in the movie, and we were just working them out. Four months later, he's like, "Hey, I'm doing another test with them." And we tested at a location that he was considering for Tail o' the Cock, which didn't end up being the place. And Tommy is there again, and he's like, "They got a lot better." And the thing is, when you make a movie with Paul, he really wants to know everybody who's around the camera. I don't care if you're the third electric, he wants to know who you are. You're some day-playing grip, he needs to know who you are. I think for part of his comfort, and the comfort of the actors to be very vulnerable in that space, he needs to know who is around camera.

And so, he knows pretty much everybody by name. He knows Tommy, we've done tons of movies. And Tommy's like, "They're getting a lot better!" And I was using Tommy as my barometer for whether it would happen or not. And then we did a couple of tests right before we started shooting, and Tommy was like, "Damn, man. They got it down." And I'm like, "Well, there you go!" So yeah, you do a lot of testing. And we test not only for the actors to see how they're doing, but also we're testing different film stock, different technologies. That's a lot of what the HAIM videos were, too. We're doing a video for them, yeah cool. But we'd also be testing a certain technology on that that we could maybe use for the movie. You know, on Phantom Thread, we did our first HAIM video before we did that, and we just rolled around the studio floor because he wanted to see how a stabilization system would work, which we ended up using in the movie. So, it's that kind of thing.

You've worked on so many different kinds of projects. You mentioned Spielberg, but you've also worked with Sofia Coppola, Antoine Fuqua, Paul Schrader, James Mangold. You've done two Iron Mans, a Transformers movie. You just did Joel Coen's The Tragedy of Macbeth, which the lighting is astounding in by the way—

I haven't seen it yet! Have you seen it?

Oh yeah, it's terrific.

Ah man, I can't wait to see it! [DP] Bruno [Delbonnel] is like, "You gotta see it! You gotta see it!" But I'm, like, never around. Anyways, that's good. Glad to hear that. Can't wait to see it.

So, what's different about working with PTA? Especially in comparison to working on, say, a Marvel or Transformers movie?

There's so many ways to go with that. With Paul, for starters, he has a vision, but he's very collaborative. Like once he finds a team that he trusts, he really uses that team as a sounding board, and I'm very fortunate to be invited into that circle. You know, when you talk about Michael Bay, for example––like Transformers, and I did The Island with him––I mean, Mike's got a vision, too. I find, as a gaffer, my job is to see: what does the cinematographer have in their head, what does the director have in their head, and how do I communicate those visions and execute that? And with Paul, it's very much about, like, he has a very clear vision but then he also really likes to see the magic that happens on set. With Alana and Cooper, there would be things happening and he would want to capture those moments. You have to have a bit of fluidity, you know? You can't be locked into like, "This is the game plan, this is what we're doing," because that could go out the window.

You know, with Paul, you shoot a lot in the script that doesn't end up in the movie. It was the same on Phantom Thread as it was on this thing. Ultimately, you might have other story lines you liked that are really interesting but that don't end up in the final product. He really looks at tailoring the whole thing together. And I think what's been helpful for me in this journey has been the fact that being a gaffer and being able to work with so many fantastic cinematographers––I feel very blessed to have worked with Janusz [Kamiński], and Robert Elswit, and Bruno [Delbonnel], and Pawel Edelman—it's just different approaches to the whole thing, but taking little bits of all that and bringing it to the party on this particular movie.

What was your approach in crafting the visual aesthetic of Licorice Pizza? In terms of movement, composition, grain, color palette, etc., and influences from other films.

With Paul what's great is he's got this whole screening room set up at his house. So he can screen 35mm or 70mm at his home. And he knows all the studios and who controls their film libraries. So he's like, "Hey, I wanna look at a couple movies as reference." Okay, cool. So, you roll over to his house, and, I got a picture of it, there's like 15 different prints lined up sitting in his garage, and you're like, "What's all this?" And he's like, "Well, I want us to look at American Graffiti and Manhattan, but I got a print of Ferris Bueller's Day Off for the kids, Jaws, this other thing..." I'm like, "Where'd you go to get these, the library?" And he's like, "No no, I just know so-and-so over at Paramount." Nobody watches these prints, so they're like, "Oh yeah, send a courier over! We'll pick it out!" And I'm like, "Do people do this on a regular basis?" "Nah, not really anybody. I mean, Quentin [Tarantino] does it, Chris [Nolan] does it." I'm like, "This shit's just sitting in the vault?" He's like, "Yeah! Nobody's watching it, so they're like, 'Yeah, take it! please!'"

So when we did this movie, he was like, "We gotta watch American Graffiti." So we watched the damn thing like three times. And that was really the strongest visual reference. Then, we looked at Manhattan—you know, the Woody Allen movie—because there's a lot of interesting walk and talk in that particular production. I mean, it's like everybody steals from everybody else or gets inspired by everybody else, whatever you wanna call it. There are literally shots in Manhattan and the visual language of that film where it's like, "Okay, let's use that here." So in the walk and talk at the beginning of the movie, where he's asking for her number and he messes it up a few times and they're just walking, there's a shot in Manhattan when––well, you know, Manhattan is considered an amazing work of black and white cinematography, and it is! And everybody looks at the classic shot of the Queensboro Bridge and all this kinda stuff. But what we were looking at is these walk and talks and how Gordon Willis handled them. He would just put a light over camera, and he had all sorts of stuff going on in the background, and he just went with that. So we duplicated that. Normally on a movie now, you'd light up all the backgrounds and do all this crazy shit. We didn't do any of that. We were like, "Let's just let it go black." Like American Graffiti. Because American Graffiti, you look at that movie, and they had no money. Haskell Wexler was like, "Dude, I got no money. So we're just gonna light their faces and whatever happens in the background, hey bonus!" And that's what happened. So, we embraced that.

When you're talking about the aesthetic of it, for starters we're already shooting film. Paul sits down with Dan Sasaki over at Panavision, who's their lens guru. I mean, in a world of digital, lens choices and lensing have become more and more important. And Dan is this total propellerhead who goes in and is like, "Hey, I've got this glass from this Gordon Willis set of lenses back in like 1970. Let's put that in something."

So you shot with 1970s glass?

Yeah, we used old ass glass, all this crazy stuff. I mean, there's a Gordon Willis set of lenses we used on Phantom Thread, we used on Inherent Vice, it's just around. Paul owns his own lenses. And depending on the movie, what format we shoot, spherical or anamorphic, Dan at Panavision will anamorphize it or put it back to spherical. So Dan comes to the party with a bunch of lenses. He's like, "Okay, look I've got this kind of thing I made up." And you look at this thing, and it's a total Frankenstein lens. But we put it up, we test with it. "What'd you think?" "Ah, it's pretty cool!" "Okay, cool, well let's shoot with that thing." So, we end up with three 50mm lenses, each doing three different characteristics, depending on what visuals he wants. We shot primarily with C series, which is an old school anamorphic. That's why you get the nice blue flares, like when they're walking out onto the golf course.

Did you intentionally try to recreate the anamorphic blue streaks from Punch-Drunk Love? Or is that coincidence?

It wasn't so much about Punch-Drunk Love. It was more about, like, "What sets the tone for the 70s?" And this anamorphic aesthetic was absolutely in that wheelhouse. So, he wanted these anamorphic lenses, he wanted some of these other elements. You know, he worked heavily with Dan on creating that lens, and Erik Brown the first AC, because Erik is a total lens geek also. I mean, look let me tell you. We did the initial test for The Master and in rolled three carts, each of them filled with like 50 lenses. And I'm like, "There are one-hundred-something lenses in front of me... are we gonna test all this stuff?" He's like, "Oh yeah!" and I'm like, "What the hell did I get myself into?" But, I mean, that's what he's looking for when you're talking about visuals. And in a world where everything is about 4K, super clean, get as much information and resolution on the screen as you can, he's like, "We need to degrade the image a bit. Let's make it so it has some texture to it. Let's make it so it has some more connection to the audience." So, that's kind of where a lot of that came from on the lensing.

How did the big spotlight outside the shop come into play? Was that written in or did you just find it?

[Big laugh] Aha! So Valley Skylights, which used to be this big company in the 70s and 80s, they used to have like 30 of those things, and these are the marquee lights that everybody used for everything. You know, movie premieres, big events, all this kind of stuff. And Paul was like, "We gotta have Valley Skylights involved." Okay, cool. Well, Valley Skylights is, like, gone. There are two units left. We get ahold of the guy, and he's like 90. And he hooked it up, was like, "Sure, yeah we'll come out and do it." And then he said they were gonna trash the thing and I was like, "Trash it? No way!" So, I ended up buying the damn thing! And we had it at the premiere.

Because one of the things about Paul, too, is he's like, "We've gotta use carbon arcs." Carbon arcs are a type of lighting technology from the 1920s that existed before HMIs, which are really the way people create daylight now. So, the carbon arcs were like a whole thing to this movie. And I'm like, "Dude, you're killing me with these fuckin' arcs." You have to use carbon rods and all this crap. So, for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, there was a technician who wanted carbon arcs on that movie six months earlier, and we were able to tap into that network. Because this guy had this old technology, which he'd completely restored. It's kind of like steampunk-style lighting. I heard about these things and we found this guy who had five of them, and we used them throughout the film. It basically is taking pieces of carbon––one is a negative charge and one is a positive charge––and you create this light source. And it's how they used to light movies back in the day.

We had one day when we were shooting—it's the scene in the movie where they get in the big fight after they saw Joel Wachs, Gary's ordering all the pinball machines, and Alana's like, "I'm a politician! You're some loser kid!" And all of those lights we had coming in through the windows were arcs. And it was 116 degrees that day in the Valley. And so all the LED we had, all the modern technology, was shutting off. But the arcs kept working. That's the only way we made the day. The old school technology saved the day, I'll put it that way.

So to go back to the spotlight. The spotlight uses that same technology, because it's from 1942. So, we tried that thing out, got it going, and it worked great. But that was something he specifically had in his head from back in the day that he wanted to see in the movie.


[edit]   Holy crap.  What an awesome interview.  My favorite non-Paul interview to date!
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on December 30, 2021, 11:08:08 AM
How did the big spotlight outside the shop come into play? Was that written in or did you just find it?

[Big laugh] Aha! So Valley Skylights, which used to be this big company in the 70s and 80s, they used to have like 30 of those things, and these are the marquee lights that everybody used for everything. You know, movie premieres, big events, all this kind of stuff. And Paul was like, "We gotta have Valley Skylights involved." Okay, cool. Well, Valley Skylights is, like, gone. There are two units left. We get ahold of the guy, and he's like 90. And he hooked it up, was like, "Sure, yeah we'll come out and do it." And then he said they were gonna trash the thing and I was like, "Trash it? No way!" So, I ended up buying the damn thing! And we had it at the premiere.

I wondered that night at the 'premiere' if that was the same skylight!

Some of the camera department in that last attachment.  Mike looking thru the viewfinder.  I think that's Colin Anderson in the cap?  (Only a guess.)  Amanda, the "Add'l 2nd AC" on the right in the cool shoes.

[Pardon the cheesy watermark.  The hills have eyes.  Plus, "paranoia alert", as Doc so eloquently put it.]
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 30, 2021, 01:12:54 PM
Alana's interview with nme
https://www.nme.com/features/film-interviews/alana-haim-licorice-pizza-tom-waits-interview-3127236?amp

In which she confirmed her last name in the film, Kane, was chosen by Paul from a list of names of her friends she had sent Paul.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Alma on December 30, 2021, 01:14:12 PM
Loved the Bauman interview! My favourite interview so far, including the Paul ones.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 31, 2021, 02:41:05 AM
New interview: Paul and Alana with The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2021/dec/31/licorice-pizza-paul-thomas-anderson-alana-haim-cooper-hoffman

‘Being in love is the most difficult challenge of your life’: Paul Thomas Anderson and Alana Haim on making Licorice Pizza

The director’s new film is a freewheeling romance starring two acting newcomers: the musician Alana Haim and Cooper (son of Philip Seymour) Hoffman. Anderson explains why their age gap matters, how they ripped up his rule book – and when he realised pitbulls were the best pets.

Catherine Shoard
Fri 31 Dec 2021 06.00 GMT

“I remember thinking as a kid: I can’t wait till I grow up,” says Paul Thomas Anderson. “I can’t wait till I get older and I can shed all this stuff, and all the answers will be there for me.”

America’s best director is now 51: salt-and-pepper hair, still as loose-limbed as a student. Those answers are yet to materialise, he says, grinning. “No one sets you up for that. My dad never said: ‘Oh, by the way, it’s going to get a lot more complicated and a lot harder.’ Or: ‘Being in love and having a relationship is going to be the most difficult challenge of your life.’ I don’t know why. Maybe it was just my dad.”

Dissent from down the sofa: Alana Haim, the rock musician who stars in Anderson’s new movie. “Ignorance is bliss!” she cries. Nobody told her that stuff either – of course not. “Parents just want a happy kid.” They laugh: not quite father-daughter, but close.


It’s a freezing morning in November, back before Omicron, when film stars still flew to London for screenings and even took off their masks to speak. Outside the window, a neon fawn is strung between lampposts in Covent Garden. The promise of a proper Christmas glints in the air.

Licorice Pizza, too, is a nostalgia trip: romantic, relaxed, exhilaratingly cinematic, stuffed with big skies and unvarnished closeups that seem even more amazing after two years starved of the faces of strangers. Better than Boogie Nights – Anderson’s other film set in the 70s San Fernando Valley of his youth. Less epic than There Will Be Blood. But light years from the heaviness of The Master, the mad tangle of Inherent Vice, the couture austerity of Phantom Thread.

Shooting that movie in London five years ago prompted its star, Daniel Day Lewis, to quit not just method acting but the profession for ever, and left its director depressed. Small wonder he made his next movie at home, with friends who had never acted before.

Haim and Anderson met nearly a decade back when he emailed her and her sisters to see if they might like him to direct any of their music videos (yes, they replied, and did he realise their mother was his old high-school art teacher?). Her co-star, Cooper Hoffman, is the eldest child of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died aged 46 in 2014, the year after he was Oscar-nominated for The Master, his fifth Anderson movie. “I’ve known Cooper since he was a baby.”

Now 18, Hoffman plays Gary Valentine, a 15-year-old former child actor and budding entrepreneur: positive, charismatic, irrepressible. Haim is Alana Kane: 28, abrasive, immature, directionless. They meet. Gary makes a move and, loathing herself for it, she shows up to supper with him.

The film charts their friendship over a year: him smitten and her, mostly, resisting. She chaperones him on a trip to New York. They set up a business selling water beds. There are tiffs and splits. Disaster is a frequent tease – false arrest, terrorist scare, some very hairy driving. But cliches are always dodged, right down to the visible acne and the DIY makeup. The leads look outlandish because they look real.

Splattered through the story are fabulously hammy big-name cameos. Bradley Cooper as a coked-up Jon Peters, the hairdresser and then-boyfriend of Barbra Streisand. Sean Penn as an egomaniacal A-lister modelled on William Holden, who hits on Haim by intoning random dialogue from his old war movies. Tom Waits as a wild, delusional director. Harriet Sansom Harris as a quivering theatrical agent. John Michael Higgins as a restaurateur who addresses his Japanese wife in a thick east Asian accent, as he himself doesn’t speak the language.

This mix – Bresson meets Ferrell – was intentional, says Anderson. “It works because it comes about at the right time. The relationship reaches a certain type of peak and the needle needs to move. They have a fight and then a movie star emerges playing a movie star. It’s not a sharp turn that takes you out of the story. Hopefully it feels quite natural.”

“Paul is attracted to actors and trusts them,” says Higgins down the phone a few weeks later. “Real technicians with long résumés, but also people who have no experience. He has an innate feeling there will be emotional information as a result of that contradiction.”

Emotional information? “The audience can say: ’That’s me. I see me. This is right, this is real, this is what people are like.’ They’re not easy to explain.”

“It feels very much like you’ve been invited over to play,” adds Harris, also down the line. “That’s the best feeling an actor can have and not everybody who has power understands that.” She had barely met Anderson before turning up on The Phantom Thread, yet “he acted as if I was an old college friend and he was so glad I was there and now we can do this. His leadership is implicit. The ideas are him. He never has to swagger around and act like he’s the boss.”

I blather on about how I’ve always found him surprisingly approachable. Yes, she says, isn’t he fun? And sets are full of love and momentum. Then comes the kicker, a dry flash of Bebe Glazer: “But he could behave any way he wanted. I don’t think his repertoire is limited. I think he knows how to get the best out of people.”

Be it opportunism or diplomacy, Anderson – the great auteur – seems increasingly eager to evolve into the ether. On set, he says, he wants to disappear as completely as possible (not beforehand, mind: for all its pinball plotting, the script for Licorice Pizza is the most exact he says he has written).

Today, he loves reeling off examples of his own redundancy. When Haim binned an “over-wordy” scene in favour of just demanding someone tell her whether he’s circumcised.

Anderson cackles. “That moment of joy when you’re not a writer any more, when you’ve set a table for someone and they are devouring the meal and running with it. There’s not a moment where I would say: Cooper, stop, you’re improvising too much. You hope to get to a place where anything you’ve written isn’t needed any more.”

Another time, he wanted Alana to lose an argument for the sake of the narrative arc. “She was incapable of doing that. Take after take, I said: ‘I know it feels strange, but please, I really need you to do this.’ I’m the director, who’s in charge! She’d never done this before! I’m demanding she loses the fight.

“She refused! And eventually I realised – you’re trying to impose this thing which is never going to happen. Clearly, I’m steering in the wrong direction. Whatever dream you had for your movie is gone. I was so proud. Don’t listen to my horseshit. It was kind of magical.”

Carefully orchestrated passivity is Anderson’s genius, thinks Higgins. “Paul is really interested in observing things and reporting them back to us. For all his brilliance, there’s a matter-of-fact quality to his films: look at this and this, and now this. It’s kinda simple. There’s not a lot of ideas flying around. It’s what he sees. The audience is the one who is burdened by ideas.”

Anderson has made instant stars of Hoffman and Haim. But – he’d presumably protest – only insofar as he simply noticed them. “I’ve cast actors to come on and say, ‘Would you like more coffee’ and they freeze up. There’s absolutely nothing that I can say to help them. Saying lines like you made them up is a skill that you either have or you don’t.

“If you don’t believe me, try it one day. It’s really, really, really, really hard to say the simplest things in a natural way, particularly when there’s a camera and people around, and to do it time after time. It’s a very rare skill few people have. It would be incorrect to think I’m responsible beyond just creating a nice situation.”

(Haim’s nice situation turns out to have been a two-month course in driving massive old lorries, in aid of one scene – and to stop her sitting at home and getting cold feet. “Stop worrying about the acting! Worry about guiding a 10-tonne truck backwards down a hill.”)

Both Haim and Hoffman have been Golden Globe nominated, Anderson too. Oscars will follow. The gamble has paid off. But what if it hadn’t? Given the family ties, the personal history, their youth: how did Anderson handle such high stakes?

“Delicately, compassionately, with an enormous amount of thought and protection. Just don’t treat it lightly.” He pauses. But also, do treat it lightly. “We take the work seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously and we want it to be simple and we want it to be fun.”

Still, Anderson and Haim are the ones doing all the press, with Hoffman carefully protected. Haim – once his babysitter – proves as tough a bodyguard as her boss. “Me and Cooper are two peas in a pod,” she warns with a smile. “Us against the world. With Paul.”

In the film, Harris’s character, finally getting the measure of this potential new client, tells Alana: “You remind me of a dog. Of an English pitbull dog, with sex appeal and a very Jewish nose.”

Not brutal, just helpful, thinks Harris. “I know people who talk like that. One agent said to me: ‘How do you feel about my wrinkles?’ It’s somebody giving you a chance – are you aware? Have you thought of this?”

Haim likes the idea that she is a beast to be unleashed. “I’m very territorial when it comes to the people that I love. I love very hard and if you’re in my family, I will do anything to protect you. Cooper is basically my family now. I would do anything for him. I can be very sweet, but you don’t want to mess with anyone that I love.”

“That line is how I would describe Alana,” says Anderson. “And that is a compliment. I love pitbulls. I have had many of them. They are fantastic dogs and they have this reputation as being these killers but it’s not true at all. They are the most intelligent, loving, generous companions. And if they decide to kill you, they will kill you and they will not stop.”

He has watched his own dog kill a smaller dog, he says; less fun than watching Haim “protect and snap”. “I want that person on my side because they are moving through this world and very generous and very alive and very welcoming, but with a very strong point of what is OK and what is not OK.”

Punchy, ballsy, broad-shouldered despite her slightness, Haim seems a fitting woman to be Anderson’s first female lead (Licorice Pizza shares some DNA with Punch-Drunk Love, not least having Hoffman Senior as a mattress salesman, but Emily Watson was still second fiddle to Adam Sandler). What is strange is that Anderson himself, for a father of four who has specialised in movies about masculinity, seems so feminine. “That’s nice of you to say,” he says, gently. “I will tell that to my sisters. They will love that.”

Yet his film is less simple when it comes to gender. The three sisters, for instance, are shown as fractious, needling, difficult. The boys, meanwhile – Gary, his nine-year-old brother and the troupe of friends they hang out with – are collaborative, loving and can-do. Is that generally the case?

“Sometimes you love each other,” says Haim. “Sometimes you don’t. I grew up in a household with three girls sharing one bathroom.” In the film, all three are still living with their parents, “well past when they should be”, says Anderson (three sisters his age, four older brothers). “The boys are running free, free of supervision to roam the streets.”

So perhaps it’s less about a gender divide than two types of parenting: one top-heavy, the other over-light (Gary’s father is unseen, his mother overworked and often absent). It’s not hard to decipher which product of these approaches is presented as better-adjusted. Is Gary a child of the 70s, Alana someone who could have been raised today?

Yes, says Anderson. “Kids today have far less independence. Even if they have the illusion of independence, their parents are still tracking their movements on their telephone. There’s no mystery any more for these kids about where another person is or where their friends are.”

“I think it’s a very accurate representation of that very romantic time. You could just go! Go ride your bike, go to the movies, go do something, get out of the house, go away!

“I don’t think we’re doing kids any favours. I’m desperate to give my kids even more independence, but it’s not just up to me. I’m only 50% of that vote. I think most parents feel more comfortable to know just where their kids are at all times. It makes me feel a little bit uncomfortable, like big brother. I don’t need to know, especially if they are doing well and I trust them or they have to venture out and find trouble or find mischief. I want to encourage them …”

To find mischief?

“Of course. Sure. Hopefully the good kind.”

Licorice Pizza luxuriates in a time of freedom and chaos and danger, even if that threat never quite materialises. “Paul’s movies are like that too,” says Higgins. “They don’t quite follow the screenplay rules. They are totally individual and parentless in themselves.”

Yet some have accused the director of using that period setting to smuggle through stories that would be unacceptable today. Some feel the Japanese restaurant scenes leave a sour taste; plain anti-Asian, not smart satire.

“It’s a period piece,” protests Higgins. “It’s nice to see how far we’ve come. I play a lot of characters who are less enlightened than I am. It’s a work of art, not of politics. When we start cherrypicking behaviours that were unacceptable then we’re starting to get into trouble.”

Others have criticised the central romance as predatory, paedophilic even, on account of the age gap. So, did he set it 50 years ago to set some distance?

Anderson hmms. Actually, he tried to talk himself out of setting another movie back then. The transfer of other elements jarred. Gary’s ambition, mostly. “He wouldn’t be selling water beds; would he be in advertising? Doing YouTube or reviews on TikTok? These things seemed unappealing to me and not very cinematic.”

He pauses, question unanswered. “I’d have to think longer and harder. Does the 70s setting soften the blow? For sure, if you look back at something, it’s another time. Perhaps it places it just out of reach. But it would still be exactly the same dynamic, which is a classic device of any screwball comedy: two people bound to each other with an impossible obstacle.”

Has he ever thought about what it would be like gender-flipped?

“I don’t want to spend too much time thinking about that. What would the point be in that exercise? What would it look like? I wonder.”

Less funny?

“Probably. It’s nice to know what the parameters are in a relationship because then you can get on with the business of the story. You can get on with all the stuff that concerns you. All the sticky stuff.”

Haim adds backup. No, it didn’t concern her. “We were very delicate with everything.”

It’s hard to argue. The lust is all Gary’s; eyeing up Alana as she sleeps, livid she won’t show him her breasts. It’s a film of subtle leg brushes, fingers touching, sweetness and running. Sure, it’s the 70s, but it’s miles more Love Story than Deep Throat.

“You see all these sort of pre-Hays Code films from the 30s,” says Anderson, “and they are meant to be so naughty. And they are touching a little bit closer to something, but they are still well-mannered because they know what’s right and what’s not.”

Maybe one day he’ll work it out too. Maybe one day he’ll be old enough. So far, though, he sighs, not unhappily, ageing is “just swimming out to sea. You think you’re going to get to this other shore that will magically have all the answers. It turns out you’re just swimming further away from the shoreline and seeing it disappear behind you. And you wonder, wow! Pretty far out here. I’m pretty far out on life’s limb.”

So how do you stay afloat? “Keep treading water! Look for somebody else to hold on to.” When did he last think he was drowning? “This morning! No. No, I’m not one who thinks he’s drowning. I’m more someone who thinks: enough with the water already.”

Licorice Pizza will be in UK cinemas on 1 January 2022.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: pynchonikon on December 31, 2021, 03:21:14 AM
Can someone post the whole interview here, please? Read requires registration.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on December 31, 2021, 03:41:59 AM
Quote from: pynchonikon on December 31, 2021, 03:21:14 AM
Can someone post the whole interview here, please? Read requires registration.

Edited the original post with the full article!
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: pynchonikon on December 31, 2021, 04:29:00 AM
Quote from: itwasgood on December 31, 2021, 03:41:59 AM
Quote from: pynchonikon on December 31, 2021, 03:21:14 AM
Can someone post the whole interview here, please? Read requires registration.

Edited the original post with the full article!

:inlove:
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drenk on December 31, 2021, 06:41:08 AM
QuoteIt’s a period piece,” protests Higgins. “It’s nice to see how far we’ve come.

No. That movie wasn't shot in 2020 when anti-Asian sentiment was at a high level in the US. It was shot in the Enlightened Times.

Such a lame rhetoric to defend a cartoonish joke. You'd believe that comedians would have learned to deal with a joke that bombs instead of pretending it is of the utmost artistic value. Even if you like it, to pretend that its purpose is to show "how far we've come" and a deep portrait of the racial dynamics in the seventies is embarrassing...

In general, if your point is "look at how far we've come!", just try to be a better writer.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: PaulElroy35 on December 31, 2021, 07:21:57 AM
Quote from: Drenk on December 31, 2021, 06:41:08 AM
QuoteIt's a period piece," protests Higgins. "It's nice to see how far we've come.

No. That movie wasn't shot in 2020 when anti-Asian sentiment was at a high level in the US. It was shot in the Enlightened Times.

Such a lame rhetoric to defend a cartoonish joke. You'd believe that comedians would have learned to deal with a joke that bombs instead of pretending it is of the utmost artistic value. Even if you like it, to pretend that its purpose is to show "how far we've come" and a deep portrait of the racial dynamics in the seventies is embarrassing...

In general, if your point is "look at how far we've come!", just try to be a better writer.


If the scene lands with people then it works full stop doesnt matter if other people arent a fan. The problem in 2021 is everything bothers large groups of people. If it wasnt the age gap or asian jokes a bunch of people would find something else to bitch about.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drenk on December 31, 2021, 07:24:03 AM
There's no PTA thread in 4Chan?
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on January 01, 2022, 09:55:29 AM
Paul's interview with The Love of Cinema podcast
https://open.spotify.com/episode/3bZdML7cnp6OEgusyEFpPA?si=4XSUrmDFQ6Gd-w09xKS9Iw&utm_source=copy-link&nd=1

Or here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/18-SpCr5fi1hZmt-Z8G0QymniKRUhkwyO/view?usp=sharing
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on January 01, 2022, 01:31:28 PM
Great interview. Loved PTA explaining the origins of "PTA"
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on January 02, 2022, 11:23:51 AM
QuotePaul Thomas Anderson's CV is unmatched by his peers. He has made Boogie Nights, Magnolia, The Master, Phantom Thread and, above all, There Will Be Blood, a dark, epic masterpiece starring Daniel Day Lewis. His latest is the coming-of-age story Licorice Pizza; a gorgeous slow dance through the 1970s California of his childhood.

The title is slang for vinyl and fits the mood of this lush young love and friendship story. It's about 25-year-old Alana (Alana Haim, from the band Haim) and 15-year-old Gary, who is infatuated with her (Cooper Hoffman, the son of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was directed by Anderson five times before he died in 2014). It is inspired by Anderson's teenage years trying to impress his older sisters' friends, and the casting reveals the Hollywood world he has long inhabited. In cameos you will spy George DiCaprio (Leo's dad) and Sasha Spielberg (you-know-who's daughter).

Anderson's life has been lived in entertainment — his dad was a DJ in Cleveland who moved to Los Angeles. He knows this world where fame and power define someone and how sad it can be. Day Lewis's character embodied that in There Will Be Blood, and it is there in Licorice Pizza too — take a bow, Sean Penn, playing a famous old actor who flirts with the far younger Alana.

"There's a version of that scene where the lechery of the older male movie star could take a turn for the worse and get very scary," Anderson says. "But the more realistic turn is that you can never underestimate the ego of an ageing actor. He is more likely to recite lines from his films to Alana than try to seduce her. He really is just looking for an audience." And what about when Alana's bum is slapped by a creepy photographer, or she is leered over by Bradley Cooper's sex-mad mogul? Is that speaking to our modern times? "It would be a mistake to attach a view from 2021 on to a film about 1973," Anderson says with a sigh, a little irritated. "That is a road to a brick wall."

Anderson has a welcoming, digressive intelligence and is more fey than I imagined. When we meet in London he is neatly dressed, calm and softly spoken, with mannerisms that remind me of Michael Stipe, the REM singer. As conversation turns to the young Hoffman, he suddenly seems shy, like I've waltzed into something personal. What does Cooper Hoffman share with his dad? "Talent. Generosity." While Anderson admits that some movie-goers will know who Hoffman is, he says others won't: "A 17-year-old will just see a handsome kid who stands on his own without a shadow near him. Cooper taught me that the way kids are when they are born is how they will be when they are 18. When I started having children, I thought, 'Oh, maybe they'll change.' But I look back and realise they've been the same this entire time."

Anderson's career shows this to be true. He started making films when he was four, messing about with a camcorder. Years of practice counts and at just 27 he directed Boogie Nights, a romp through Californian porn in the 1970s that was so seedy you could smell it. The film, which he began writing when he was 16, became as famous for Mark Wahlberg's epic prosthetic member as for Anderson's intricate, sweeping style. Now he is 51 and married to the comedian and actress Maya Rudolph, with four children and a career of self-sustaining creativity only really matched among his contemporaries by Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino.

So when he discusses recent films he enjoyed, it comes as a shock that he mentions Venom: Let There Be Carnage, a derided recent Spider-Man spin-off.

"It's really good!" he says. "And one of the best things is that it is very short. Some bigger blockbusters have got into this unfortunate length problem." He giggles, acknowledging that only two of his nine films are under two hours. "I'm one to talk. My films are generally way too long and can be exhausting."Anderson's admiration for Venom marks him out from other directors who for years have derided superhero movies. "I did have a snobby period in my life when I was a teenager," he says. "If someone was talking about a film they liked, I'd go out of my way to not like it. But that's an adolescent approach and I don't give a shit any more."

Does he not worry that Marvel has brought the cinema that grown-ups love — and Anderson grew up with — to its knees? "I don't buy it. Look, I grew up watching Star Wars. Alec Guinness was in it and he was great. Look at the cast of Marvel films. How many more great actors do you need? Look at Benedict Cumberbatch. He is Doctor Strange, but he's also in The Power of the Dog." He pauses. "So f*** off!" A few weeks ago Anderson was asked by his dentist if he'd seen the new Michael Keaton film. The confused director mumbled that Keaton was actually in Dopesick, a TV series. "Whatever! The movie Dopesick!" the dentist replied. Anderson realised that his definition of a film has changed for ever. He doesn't believe the medium of film is dead, just that there are some new, great, longer movies that happen to be television series. Indeed, he says that it was patronising when film people watched great TV like The Wire and acted surprised: "It was like saying, 'Oh, my cousin's actually good at football! That pipsqueak is good!' " he says with a laugh.

He talks about a Tom Petty documentary in which the singer said some artists make great work when their life is hard, but Petty said writing came to him when he was happy. Anderson is trying to figure out which suits him. "I shudder to think what was on my mind when I was making The Master," he says about his 2012 film about a religious cult, basically scientology. "There is a lot of darkness in that. Then I look at Licorice Pizza and I'm clearly happy."

Anderson lets the world in when he's writing. "There Will Be Blood was written after September 11, 2001, and the world was wild." Yet the world is wild now and he has written not the horror of There Will Be Blood but the warmth of Licorice Pizza? "Yes, but you can't stop what's coming. I just go on a feeling. Writing's instinctual."

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/paul-thomas-anderson-on-the-story-behind-licorice-pizza-and-why-he-loves-marvel-films-tbm7kc6r2
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on January 02, 2022, 11:25:24 AM
Thanks for posting this--I hadn't made the effort to get past the subscribe thing yet.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Alma on January 04, 2022, 08:31:09 AM
Alana for ID Magazine:

https://i-d.vice.com/en_uk/article/5dg9v5/alana-haim-licorice-pizza-interview

I think the new issue of Little White Lies is going to be Licorice Pizza-themed too.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on January 04, 2022, 10:22:35 AM
Yes it is!

https://twitter.com/LWLies/status/1478391501310898184

https://twitter.com/LWLies/status/1478392671647551488

Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on January 04, 2022, 11:15:42 AM
A couple of French interviews.  Can anyone post the full article here?:

https://www.lemonde.fr/culture/article/2022/01/04/il-etait-une-fois-le-cineaste-paul-thomas-anderson_6108082_3246.html

Audio interview. Hopefully we can get the English version:

https://www.franceinter.fr/emissions/boomerang/boomerang-du-mardi-04-janvier-2022

There's an interview in the new Cahiers du Cinéma as well:

https://twitter.com/LostInFilm/status/1478429736879763460
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on January 05, 2022, 01:22:36 PM
More French press:

https://twitter.com/canalpluscinema/status/1478780837436874753?s=21
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on January 05, 2022, 01:40:52 PM
Still surreal seeing him do zoom interviews
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on January 06, 2022, 04:06:17 PM
Another audio interview with French press:

https://twitter.com/senscritique/status/1479181739327111175?s=21
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Rooty Poots on January 07, 2022, 02:34:55 PM
Quote from: itwasgood on January 06, 2022, 04:06:17 PM
Another audio interview with French press:

https://twitter.com/senscritique/status/1479181739327111175?s=21

I swear, compliments from French people just hit better. By my calculations and quick number-crunching, 1 French compliment = ~1.7 American compliments.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on January 10, 2022, 07:20:18 PM
Anyone have cahiers link?
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on January 11, 2022, 04:38:23 PM
A sort-of interview with Mark Bridges.

https://www.vulture.com/2022/01/how-to-dress-like-alana-haim-in-licorice-pizza.html
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on January 12, 2022, 08:26:49 AM
Alana is featured in W Magazine's Best Performances 2022, here's her interview:

https://www.wmagazine.com/culture/alana-haim-licorice-pizza-interview-2022
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on January 12, 2022, 06:55:09 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gOawuWOED0
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on January 13, 2022, 01:15:50 AM
Alana on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on January 13, 2022, 01:40:36 AM
Mark Bridges' interview with Gold Derby

Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on January 13, 2022, 08:20:44 AM
A Cooper Hoffman interview! He's featured in W Magazine's Best Performances 2022 too, and there are two gorgeous photos of him:

https://www.wmagazine.com/culture/cooper-hoffman-licorice-pizza-interview-2022
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on January 14, 2022, 12:23:48 PM
https://youtu.be/OtVQn9T3FCo

(I met Flo outside the El Portal when I complimented the crew on their work without knowing who she was.  When she introduced herself as the Production Designer I blanched a little and was grateful I'd said something complimentary!)

Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on January 14, 2022, 12:54:42 PM
Haven't listened yet, but a new podcast interview with Bauman.

https://www.indiewire.com/2022/01/licorice-pizza-paul-thomas-anderson-sound-vision-toolkit-episode-146-1234690577/

[edit] Here's a direct link to the audio:   https://dcs.megaphone.fm/PMC2440165937.mp3

I love this quote:

QuoteAccording to co-cinematographer Michael Bauman, when "Licorice Pizza" first opened at the Village Theater in Los Angeles, writer/director/co-cinematographer Paul Thomas Anderson wasn't 100-percent happy with how the film looked projected in that particular space. Unable to get it the way he wanted, Anderson had a new 35mm print struck, which added just a touch of red and yellow back in, to accommodate the way he wanted it to play in conjunction with that specific theater's projector, screen, and room.

[edit]  This also includes Bridges, and supervising sound editors/re-recording mixers Christopher Scarabosio and David Acord.  I love this stuff...
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on January 14, 2022, 09:20:14 PM
Quote from: wilberfan on January 14, 2022, 12:23:48 PM
https://youtu.be/OtVQn9T3FCo

(I met Flo outside the El Portal when I complimented the crew on their work without knowing who she was.  When she introduced herself as the Production Designer I blanched a little and was grateful I'd said something complimentary!)

Do NOT miss this video.  There are a TON of awesome Set Dec / Prod Design BTS shots in it.   (In fact, I just spent an hour grabbing all of them.): 

https://imgur.com/a/Ae731BP
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: ono on January 14, 2022, 09:35:24 PM
Those photos are beautiful.  Nice job grabbing them!  Seeing this makes it all the more impressive the cinematography of the film.  This ties in well with the Film School Friday Kevin Smith podcast, just his reiteration of a capturing of a time.  The film doesn't just feel like it's set in the 70s.  It feels like it's made in the 70s.  And this is never more evident with seeing the before after seeing the after.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on January 14, 2022, 09:50:41 PM
First watch is almost overwhelming with how ascribed it is to 70s aesthetics. A film hasn't been lit like this in forever. When you're used to the gray muted Marvel aesthetic or Netflix compressed color grade, the white in LP is luminous
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Rooty Poots on January 16, 2022, 04:12:11 AM
Alana Haim is this week's guest on Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso  (https://talkeasypod.com/alana-haim/)
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on January 17, 2022, 01:48:22 AM
https://twitter.com/Variety/status/1482982269727830016
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on January 18, 2022, 09:51:28 AM
Interview with Alana and Mark Bridges

Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on January 19, 2022, 10:38:01 AM
Entertainment Weekly: A cinematic tour of Paul Thomas Anderson's Los Angeles

https://ew.com/movies/paul-thomas-anderson-los-angeles-interview-licorice-pizza/
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on January 19, 2022, 11:36:39 PM
Variety got an award campaign page for LP, featuring reviews, screening Q&A transcript, HQ promos, some new bts photos and an interview with Alana:

https://feature.variety.com/mgmunitedartistsreleasing/licorice-pizza
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on January 19, 2022, 11:39:41 PM
Pretty slick.   We'll see if it pays off, eh?
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on January 20, 2022, 04:13:44 AM
https://twitter.com/tnyfrontrow/status/1484000368665182208
https://twitter.com/tnyfrontrow/status/1484002590576758787
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on January 20, 2022, 04:44:36 AM
Has anyone transcribed it
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on January 20, 2022, 09:44:17 AM
More zoom interviews:

with Mark Bridges and Florencia Martin



with Andy Jurgensen

Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on January 20, 2022, 05:19:27 PM
A fashion/feature/interview/profile thingie at Harper's Bazaar

New semi-sexy photos, video of Alana...

https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a38647853/valley-girl-alana-haim-february-2022/
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on January 20, 2022, 06:46:19 PM
'Licorice Pizza': Cutting Paul Thomas Anderson's '70s Nostalgia Trip in the Valley with Joyous Unpredictability  (https://www.indiewire.com/2022/01/licorice-pizza-paul-thomas-anderson-andy-jurgensen-editing-1234692114/)

Spoiler: ShowHide
First-time feature editor Andy Jurgensen discusses "going in crazy, wild directions" with Anderson, anchored by a running motif.

The first discussion editor Andy Jurgensen remembers having with Paul Thomas Anderson about "Licorice Pizza" was the running motif between odd couple Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) and Alana Kane (Alana Haim). That was the anchor point for holding together their tenuous bond, which keeps breaking with each unpredictable obstacle in the coming-of-age comedy. It was also a way of sustaining momentum in Anderson's joyous, offbeat nostalgia trip through L.A.'s San Fernando Valley in 1973. This was a time when optimism still reigned over disillusionment amid the growing popularity of rock music, the demise of Old Hollywood, rising inflation, the energy crisis, and long gas lines.

"What I liked about the script was the unpredictability and not knowing what was going to happen next," said Jurgensen, who worked as an assistant editor on "Inherent Vice" and "Phantom Thread" before getting promoted to sole editor on "Licorice Pizza" (code for vinyl LPs and a prominent L.A. record store chain of the period).

"It was going in crazy, wild directions," he continued, "and we wanted to preserve that spirit of the movie. When we were initially talking about the style of the movie and the editing, he mentioned all the running. He wanted to have the momentum pull us through the movie, which were full of all these episodes. He wanted to use that as energy and as a bridge between episodes. It's not like there's a period. It keeps going and you go, 'Oh, I'm already in the next thing?'"

Jurgensen was ready for the challenge, though, having recently cut music videos for Anderson, particularly featuring Alana's Grammy-nominated sibling rock band, HAIM. He even worked on the camera tests for Haim and screen tests with Haim and Hoffman (son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, a frequent Anderson cast member), neither of whom had ever acted before. But Anderson's very personal script (partly inspired by the life of his friend, Gary Goetzman, co-founder of Playtone with Tom Hanks) was written for Haim, who plays a frustrated 25-year-old photographer's assistant, who gets hit on in the opening scene by Gary, an exuberant 15-year-old child actor/hustler. From there, the awkward friendship careens back and forth from Encino to Sherman Oaks, with Alana assisting Gary in selling water beds while trying to break free of her arrested adolescence.

"Alana was already cast, and Paul was still looking for Gary, when he casually invited me to edit 'Licorice Pizza,'" Jurgensen added. With editor Dylan Tichenor ("Phantom Thread") committed to "Eternals," it didn't come as a surprise. Jurgensen was firmly entrenched in the director's inner circle, and well acquainted with taking editorial notes while screening 35mm dailies on the big screen. ("Licorice Pizza" was shot in 35mm and blown up to 70mm for special engagements in L.A. and New York City.). "They were rough around the edges in the screen test but they fit," he added. "The age difference didn't feel inappropriate and the magnetism worked between them."

That magnetism is immediately established at the outset when they meet at Gary's high school. It's a wisecracking walk and talk with the camera tracking them (and Nina Simone serenely singing "July Tree" in the background). Gary agrees to get photographed and asks her out while following her into the gym. "We tried a lot of different angles and liked the first shot of Alana because her [reactions] were great," Jurgensen said. "She's like a firecracker. It cuts to Gary and they do a little dance [before continuing into the gym in one continuous shot]. The hard part was finding the cutting point, which we decided was when he asks her if she goes to the movies [and starts bragging about his acting career].

The first memorable run for joy between Gary and Alana occurs after a totally incongruous display of police brutality, in which Gary is mistakenly arrested for murder. After being set free, they experience a liberating chase through town that brings them closer together, followed by subsequent running montages. Then they're briefly separated after a fight, with Alana auditioning for a part in a movie opposite Jack Holden (a fictionalized William Holden played by Sean Penn). The movie is inspired by the Clint Eastwood–directed "Breezy" (1973) about a May-December romance starring Holden. They wind up being reunited at Gary's favorite hangout, the Tail O'the Cock restaurant.

"That was the hardest sequence to juggle because of all the pieces," the editor said. "We realized that that sequence had to be a drunken, crazy obstacle between the two leads. There's this seduction with Alana and Jack on one side; Gary comes in with friends and observes on the other side; Rex Blau [Tom Waits], this movie director, comes over to Jack. But we had to trim Rex, who has a monologue about Old Hollywood, and then goes outside to the golf course to prep a motorcycle stunt with Jack. We wanted everything to be from their perspective, so we cut the monologue and the [lead up] to the motorcycle stunt." Thus, it's a smoother transition to Jack and Alana riding on the motorcycle (she immediately falls off), and Gary rushing to rescue her in a clever reversal of the panic-stricken arrest sequence.

But then comes the next crazy obstacle with "A Star Is Born" producer Jon Peters (Bradley Cooper) buying a waterbed and flirting with Alana in a truck beside Gary when he needs a lift after running out of gas in his Ferrari. "When they're inside the truck and Bradley gets in, that's all her driving. She learned how to drive that truck," Jurgensen said. "And when Bradley leans over to her, that seductive banter was all improvised. But we found a great ending where he says, 'You're a great driver and Gary can't drive.' We didn't want to overstay our welcome."

But then the truck runs out of gas, and Alana's forced to drive home with Gary in neutral, going up and down a hill, shot in different locations. "The truck was rigged to drive forwards and backwards, and Alana drove it forward," added Jurgensen. "But for the stunt scenes, there was a truck pulling their truck with a camera attached. That tense reaction of the character was her performance as she struggles to get the truck into gear."

In a stroke of symmetry, Anderson structured the script so that Gary and Alana, after being separated one last time, run toward each other from opposite directions, and reunite in front of a movie theater (playing "Live and Let Die" and "The Mechanic"). Only they weren't supposed to crash into each other and fall down. That was a happy accident.

"We had multiple endings," said Jurgensen. "There was actually a scene when they embraced and talked. In one of the takes, they accidentally ran into each other and fell. They ran off and then embraced at the Pinball Palace. We thought: Why are we doing this multiple times? So we were going through the footage, figuring out what to do, reviewing all the takes. Paul said, 'What about when they fall? It could be really funny and break the tension because they've been running for so long. And we threw it in and it worked. And then they have that last embrace at the Pinball Palace."
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on January 21, 2022, 02:39:15 PM
Another Alana interview with Variety's award podcast, different from the zoom interview:

https://open.spotify.com/episode/2drqUgaJoUtwkdldJI4oeQ
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on January 25, 2022, 09:49:41 AM
LA Times new interview with Alana

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/awards/story/2022-01-25/alana-haim-licorice-pizza-paul-thomas-anderson
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: kingfan011 on January 25, 2022, 11:11:35 AM
I do have to give Alana props. She is working the campaign hard. Sadly there's a thousand and one chance this results in a  nomination but she is putting the work in
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on January 25, 2022, 04:09:35 PM
https://twitter.com/DEADLINE/status/1486086728079319046
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on January 27, 2022, 12:16:37 PM
Plastic-covered sofas, waterbeds and dark restaurants: The Valley of 'Licorice Pizza' (https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/awards/story/2022-01-27/licorice-pizza-production-design-florencia-martin)

When Florencia Martin was hired as production designer on "Licorice Pizza," she knew what would bring credible San Fernando Valley energy to its early 1970s setting. "There was lots of signage then. Storefront signage, bus stop signage. Hand-painted signs on glass, signs with cut plastic letters," says Martin, who turned to the Los Angeles Times archives for research. "We just decided, 'We're not going to fictionalize the Valley.'"

Martin first met "Licorice Pizza" director Paul Thomas Anderson when set decorating his 2012 drama, "The Master." But she credits a pair of his low-budget music videos for the Valley-based band Haim with teaching her what Anderson wants. "Working closely with a small group of people actively producing and shooting something on location, there's a dialogue," says Martin. "Just seeing the way Paul shoots, you understand how to approach something."

"Licorice Pizza" opens at Portola Middle School. What was essential to establishing that it's in the Valley?

The big gym, the big, open arcade where Alana (Alana Haim) and Gary (Cooper Hoffman) first meet, the sprinklers going. I grew up in West L.A. thinking that every school looks like that. Then I went to college in Pittsburgh and saw what other high schools look like and realized, "Oh, that's a California-style school."

What's it like to read a script with an entire waterbed subplot?

I was like, "I know waterbeds." My stepdad had a waterbed, my high school boyfriend had a waterbed. We found names of people who are still in the business in an L.A. Times article. I went to [American National Manufacturing] in Corona, knocked on the door and told [owner Craig Miller] what I was doing. His eyes lit up. He said, "Come with me," and out he pulled two shoe boxes of Polaroids of the entire manufacturing process. The waterbeds [in the movie] were custom-built from [those] Polaroids. With all the films I work on, I'm always on the hunt for a firsthand account. It gives you the foundational base, and you develop from there.

For example?

Paul talked about how he and his sisters would go to Tail o' the Cock to eat dinner at 5 p.m. It was still light out, but you'd step inside and it was so dark you couldn't tell what time it was. Everyone would fall asleep in the booth while their parents were on their third cocktail.

The original eatery closed in the '80s. Why Billingsley's, the defunct restaurant, as the replacement?

We didn't want to shoot at any of the red-booth steakhouses in L.A. — lots of films have already been shot there. So we looked at Billingsley's, where Paul shot "Magnolia."

Billingsley's had these huge windows that looked out onto a golf course. I came up with a design that enclosed the windows. Everyone wanted me to use plexiglass [for the stained-glass]. But I was like, "No, no." I knew Paul would like to see light through them. We found someone in San Diego who still works with textured glass and was able to have 24 stained-glass windows manufactured on our budget.

This wasn't just about buildings, though, was it?

We spent lots of time hunting for [locations] people take for granted but are iconic to the Valley. Large parking lots, endless back alleys, the bleachers where [Alana and her sister] get high. The cul-de-sac by the house. That's all Paul and his knowledge of the Valley. Very early on, if we passed a good alley or parking lot, we'd make a note of it.

Talk about finding Alana's family home.

We scouted in the flats, north of Ventura Boulevard. That's the demographic for a middle-class family then. I loved the open plan style, the way the camera tracks from the living room to the dining room and kitchen and hallway. It tells the audience the story of American architecture and family homes. When the [real estate] boom happened in the San Fernando Valley in the 1950s, all of these smartly designed tract-style houses were built, a full house with a backyard on a small plot of land.

Besides a well-placed menorah, how did you convey that the Kanes are Jewish?

I told my set decorator, Ryan Watson, to go on eBay and find things from that era from Israel that were part of the Jewish tradition. We also found plastic-covered sofas. When I showed the boards to Alana, she went, "I can't believe it! My grandma had [sofas] like these." She had an immediate connection to that style of furnishing.

When did you realize that a comfortable set might help first-time actors forget they were being filmed?

We had locations locked early on. So we went to locations and watched them interact with the set. It became clear that it was important to give them an immersive experience. We taught them everything from how to build and make a waterbed to how to fix a pinball machine. We wanted to make sure that it was second nature to them, that it became this unspoken thing. For rehearsal at Gary's house, five teen boys came in with McDonald's bags and French fries, and they took off their clothes and jumped in the pool. They were grabbing stuff off the shelves, playing with the toys and making a mess. It brought me so much joy. It just felt like they lived there.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on January 27, 2022, 12:17:54 PM
QuoteWe didn't want to shoot at any of the red-booth steakhouses in L.A. — lots of films have already been shot there. So we looked at Billingsley's, where Paul shot "Magnolia."

Wait, was there a restaurant scene in "Magnolia"...?    :ponder:
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drenk on January 27, 2022, 12:22:17 PM
Am I missing a joke, or...?  :ponder:

The restaurant where Jim and Claudia share a kiss.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on January 27, 2022, 12:28:53 PM
Of course...on their date.   :yabbse-thumbup:
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on January 28, 2022, 12:37:42 PM
PTA on DGA podcast:

SPOILERS

https://soundcloud.com/thedirectorscut/licorice-pizza-with-paul-thomas-anderson-and-jeremy-kagan-ep-347

From this event:  https://dga.org/Events/2022/February2022/LicoricePizza_QnA_122119.aspx
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on January 28, 2022, 02:31:40 PM
Thanks for sharing!! This is a great talk.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on January 28, 2022, 06:08:39 PM
I think we've got our formula!  Director talking to director--in front of directors!   I think that's the best interview yet!
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: DickHardwood2022 on January 30, 2022, 10:44:47 AM
https://vimeo.com/670977764/158aaa8aa5

Conversation with Bradley Cooper, Paul Thomas Anderson, Cooper Hoffman, Alana Haim, and Mark Bridges
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on January 30, 2022, 11:39:17 AM
Great cast for that one!   :bravo:

[edit] We need to try and find that Peters/Goetzman reference footage they mentioned...
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Lots of Bees on January 31, 2022, 01:43:36 AM
Quote from: DickHardwood2022 on January 30, 2022, 10:44:47 AM
https://vimeo.com/670977764/158aaa8aa5

Conversation with Bradley Cooper, Paul Thomas Anderson, Cooper Hoffman, Alana Haim, and Mark Bridges

This was so happy
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: jviness02 on January 31, 2022, 01:05:43 PM
Those last two interviews were great. Based on Paul's description of working with Bradley in the DGA interview and Bradley's description of work with Paul in that other interview, I wouldn't be surprised to see Bradley pop up in another PTA film.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on February 01, 2022, 06:20:06 PM
https://twitter.com/LWLies/status/1488652718684217350?s=20&t=_-EwGnU7kp_cIwAf98RWSQ
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on February 02, 2022, 04:40:40 AM
Another great interview and gorgeous artworks!  :bravo:
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: DickHardwood2022 on February 06, 2022, 09:41:41 AM
More Alana/Licorice Pizza stuff and a little of her sisters too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAZOFGg-1Xw
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on February 06, 2022, 10:23:22 AM
That was nicely done.  :bravo:

And "Valentine Recording" was a detail I'd missed...
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on February 10, 2022, 12:02:13 AM
https://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP/status/1491499434483539970
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on February 11, 2022, 07:57:27 AM
Q&A with Paul & Andy Jurgensen at Landmark



Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on February 12, 2022, 10:30:48 AM
Harriet Sansom Harris (https://theculurepoppodcast.podbean.com/e/episode-167-harriet-sansom-harris-licorice-pizza/), Culture Pop Podcast

Harriet doesn't show up until 13:00...
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on February 13, 2022, 12:55:51 PM
Don't think this was posted. Another zoom Q&A with PTA, Alana, and Cooper Hoffman.

https://vimeo.com/676517923/ecca8ccae8?embedded=true&source=video_title&owner=160173128
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on February 13, 2022, 01:06:48 PM
Quote from: wilberfan on February 12, 2022, 10:30:48 AM
Harriet Sansom Harris (https://theculurepoppodcast.podbean.com/e/episode-167-harriet-sansom-harris-licorice-pizza/), Culture Pop Podcast

Harriet doesn't show up until 13:00...

She mentions one of her early stage roles that put her on the map:  The only female in the Off-Broadway AIDS comedy "Jeffrey (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_(play))" (by Paul Rudnick).  When I looked it up--guess who was the male lead (and who originated the role)?

John Michael Higgins.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Tdog on February 13, 2022, 02:08:20 PM
Quote from: wilberfan on February 13, 2022, 01:06:48 PM
Quote from: wilberfan on February 12, 2022, 10:30:48 AM
Harriet Sansom Harris (https://theculurepoppodcast.podbean.com/e/episode-167-harriet-sansom-harris-licorice-pizza/), Culture Pop Podcast

Harriet doesn't show up until 13:00...

She mentions one of her early stage roles that put her on the map:  The only female in the Off-Broadway AIDS comedy "Jeffrey (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_(play))" (by Paul Rudnick).  When I looked it up--guess who was the male lead (and who originated the role)?

John Michael Higgins.

Gil Chesterton!
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: DickHardwood2022 on February 13, 2022, 03:50:33 PM
Quote from: Drill on February 13, 2022, 12:55:51 PM
Don't think this was posted. Another zoom Q&A with PTA, Alana, and Cooper Hoffman.

https://vimeo.com/676517923/ecca8ccae8?embedded=true&source=video_title&owner=160173128

Waiting on that DVD now then to see that extra footage
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on February 15, 2022, 02:28:26 PM
"That Was Weird": An American Cinematheque Tribute to Legendary Director SAM HARPOON"

:ponder:

[This is unlisted for now.  So posting here is kind of a Sneak Preview.  Not sure yet if the AC might object to posting the audio content.  So please don't spread this around yet.  Hoping someone near the front might have video'd it and will post soon.]

https://youtu.be/uNV0YSp3Lls

(I also have audio of Paul's extended (54 min) post-Licorice Q&A which I'll do something with soon.)
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on February 16, 2022, 12:07:17 AM
Thanks for sharing!  :bravo:
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: DickHardwood2022 on February 16, 2022, 04:43:34 AM
Quote from: wilberfan on February 15, 2022, 02:28:26 PM
"That Was Weird": An American Cinematheque Tribute to Legendary Director SAM HARPOON"

:ponder:

[This is unlisted for now.  So posting here is kind of a Sneak Preview.  Not sure yet if the AC might object to posting the audio content.  So please don't spread this around yet.  Hoping someone near the front might have video'd it and will post soon.]

https://youtu.be/uNV0YSp3Lls

(I also have audio of Paul's extended (54 min) post-Licorice Q&A which I'll do something with soon.)

that was great this character  is just getting crazier and crazier. Is there any recording of those new Haim videos out there?
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on February 16, 2022, 12:05:14 PM
Quote from: wilberfan on February 15, 2022, 02:28:26 PM
(I also have audio of Paul's extended (54 min) post-Licorice Q&A which I'll do something with soon.)

Great, hope we can hear it soon.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on February 16, 2022, 06:56:53 PM
Here's the Q&A with Paul from Monday nite.  (Another 'sneak preview'.  Not sure if someone from the AC will come down on me regarding the audio recording...)

https://youtu.be/U_2_b3nM7l0

It was an interesting evening.  I was concerned that having just watched this (#6) three weeks ago, that I'd be bored--something I'm generally concerned about with every rewatch (regardless of which PTA it is)--but it never happens.  Number 7 was a very smooth, engaging, comfortable ride. 

While I do enjoy the 'Harpoon' thing--I think a little goes a long way.  It was fun watching them commit to the bit, tho.   I think it works better as tweets, perhaps.   Now a Q&A between Sam and Paul could have been interesting!

The 'weirdest' part of the evening for me--symbolically weird, not literally weird--was when Paul introduced the program (two music vids--including the new one and a trailer) and then the lights went down.  He made his way to the back of the theatre, crossed the auditorium, and stood right next to where I was sitting.

My first thought was, "Oh, cool...hey, Paul...".   I assumed he wanted to check the projection/sound.   The first vid was the "girls-wake-up-and-smear-their-lipstick-on-the-mirror vid".  OK, I've seen it before.  Fine.   Then the new one comes on.  A glance at Paul.   He's still there, so he probably wants to see how it plays with the audience...?

I think about moving over one and offering him my aisle seat...

It runs....and--as with most of the other Haim vids--I'm not really sure what to make of it.   That's when it starts to feel weird.   The weirdness was sealed when the trailer started:  It was for Inherent Vice....

At this point I almost LOL'd.  Here I am seated 4' away from one of my creative idols--and 'together' we're watching 2 music vids--which I'm always kind of  :roll: about--and a trailer for the one film of his I've never been able to connect to...   

It was just...comically weird--from a kind of FanBoy perspective.  ("Hey, did I tell you?  I finally got to hang out with Paul for a few minutes the other evening.  Together we watched three examples of his work that I find the least impressive...")  :rofl:

If you stick around till the end of the Youtube, you'll see the little button on the evening as I was one of the last people to leave the theater...
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on February 16, 2022, 07:31:28 PM
Art of the Cut, Ep. 151: "Licorice Pizza" Editor Andy Jurgensen (https://anchor.fm/frameio-insider/episodes/Art-of-the-Cut--Ep--151-Licorice-Pizza-Editor-Andy-Jurgensen-e1ef5ua)
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on February 16, 2022, 07:37:33 PM
Alana in On Air with Ryan Seacrest

Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on February 17, 2022, 02:38:51 PM
Quote from: wilberfan on February 16, 2022, 07:31:28 PM
Art of the Cut, Ep. 151: "Licorice Pizza" Editor Andy Jurgensen (https://anchor.fm/frameio-insider/episodes/Art-of-the-Cut--Ep--151-Licorice-Pizza-Editor-Andy-Jurgensen-e1ef5ua)

This conversation was practically porn for BTS Nerd Boy, here.  LOVED IT.  There's a version you can read, with the bonus of these very cool photos!

https://blog.frame.io/2022/02/16/art-of-the-cut-licorice-pizza/

Day 1 Dailies Notes (https://i.imgur.com/5EFfp0Z.png)

I have to go towel-off... 
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on February 18, 2022, 08:20:54 AM
Paul's interview with Indiewire

https://www.indiewire.com/2022/02/paul-thomas-anderson-interview-licorice-pizza-theaters-1234700592/
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: jviness02 on February 18, 2022, 10:24:31 AM
Quote from: itwasgood on February 18, 2022, 08:20:54 AM
Paul's interview with Indiewire

https://www.indiewire.com/2022/02/paul-thomas-anderson-interview-licorice-pizza-theaters-1234700592/

Is this the first time he's ever quoted one of his old characters from an earlier film he's not currently promoting? The Plainview comment seemed unique.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on February 18, 2022, 10:27:39 AM
For our archives:

Are you a lurker?
I have secret accounts all over the place. It's hilarious.


Paul Thomas Anderson on 'Licorice Pizza' Release, Backlash, and His Secret Internet Accounts
"Licorice Pizza" is in the Oscar race and could even win a statuette, but the pleasure of talking to this director has nothing to do with awards.

Paul Thomas Anderson moves at his own pace, and so do his movies. "Licorice Pizza" came four years after "Phantom Thread," which came three years after "Inherent Vice." His style is at once playful and mysterious and above all unpredictable: He followed up a moody romance about a British tailor with a '70s coming-of-age ensemble piece about a teenager obsessed with a woman in her twenties, but there you have it: The PTA brand is a constant process of exploration.

So are interviews with Anderson himself. In conversation, the filmmaker veers from self-effacing humor to genuine appreciation for the medium he holds dear. "Licorice Pizza" inhabits both of those qualities. Partly inspired by Anderson's long-time friend and producer Gary Goetzman, it follows a troublemaking teenager (Cooper Hoffman) and his unconventional friendship with a similarly wayward young woman (Alana Haim). As the pair careen through a series of ill-conceived odd jobs against the backdrop of the San Fernando Valley, the movie becomes an immersive, soul-searching portrait of reckless youth as only Anderson could conceive it.

Much of the industry admires the way Anderson has worked on his own terms for over 25 years, and the Academy tends to reward him with nominations. "Licorice Pizza" landed three Oscar nominations, for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay (a category where many pundits expect him to win for the first time). Anderson puts more energy into promoting his theatrical release campaigns than winning awards, but this time those goals align. He spoke by phone ahead of a busy weekend of Q&As.

INDIEWIRE: Oscar campaigning isn't your favorite activity, but congratulations on those nominations. What's it like to strap back into awards mode?

PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON: It's always been terrific. I've spent many a long four-and-a-half hour ceremony sitting with a fake smile. It can be quite fashionable to complain about it, but come on. Who's kidding who? It's always fun. This time, it's going to be a fucking whirlwind of craziness. All this stuff used to be spread out, but now it's just one big party.

How up to speed are you on the nominees this year?

I've seen most of them. I've seen one of the documentaries, and the stuff that becomes my favorite is documentary short subject. They're always the most inventive and interesting. Also, I really want to see "Drive My Car." The only reason I haven't seen that is because I will not start that movie after six or seven in the evening, which is when I'm free. I understand it's quite long and I do not want to mess around with breaking that up into two parts. I've made no secret of the fact that "Worst Person in the World" is an absolute joy of a movie, so brilliant. It's kind of like the current-day "Licorice Pizza." They share many things, particularly astonishing lead performances from actresses you'd never really heard of before. At least, I'd never heard of that actress and she's totally incredible. That film really got me. One other film: Obviously not enough people saw "Spencer," because there's no way you could pay attention to what we do and not give that film more recognition. Not just for Kristen Stewart's performance, which is astonishing, but just across the board it's an incredibly well-done film. But it's not unlike all the other categories. Good shit never wins.

Is it frustrating for you to have to spend so long promoting your work?

It's like the Daniel Plainview line, "I don't like to explain myself." When you make something, there's so much stuff in the world and you have to work really fucking hard to get it out there and keep it alive. It's amazing and really important. I don't make enough films to be in some position where we can just put it out there and not support it or try to remind people of its existence for them to come out and see it. It's not as much fun as making it, but it's critical to the life of a film.

"Licorice Pizza" is one of the few films to enjoy a long-term theatrical release during the pandemic, with a lot of 70mm screenings, no less. How do you keep getting away with this?

We're in the middle of a very good run that started back in terms of keeping projectors alive, keeping 70mm alive, between what we did with "The Master" and what Quentin [Tarantino] continued on with "Hateful Eight" and Chris Nolan has pushed ahead on his shoulders. We were in a really good position at least getting releases semi-annually. Listen, there were a lot of bigger issues, but it was a little bit hard to restart the car in a couple of places. But you can go into a specialized place like the DGA theater, where those projectors have always been cared for. Getting a wider run was a little bit challenging, just the availability of people to run them. But that's OK. You just have to jumpstart it again and get back out there.

To that end, how are you feeling about the future of exhibition?

Chris has another movie around the corner and that will be helpful. "Death of the Nile" even has some 70mm prints coming up. So it's insane to think that somehow there's a finish line with this work, this insane kind of fever we have to pushing this stuff out there, whether it's a pandemic or something else. There's always going to be an issue, so you have to have the stamina to put up with the never-ending chore that is theatrical exhibition.

Here in Los Angeles, the dream came through of getting the Village Theatre back to its glory and having an exclusive run there. Getting those 70mm projectors back up and running was just sort of magical. We could play in this very isolated way, controlling the presentation as much as we could. I'll look back at that time as one of my favorites of presenting anything we've done.

Speaking of the pandemic, how would you say that the shutdown impacted your relationship to this project?

I got lucky because I had a fully informed idea that were in the middle of attempting to execute when we had to put our pencils down. The mission was seeing if it was possible to restart that idea, the vision, in terms of scale, scope, and the story that it was in terms of just getting back on the road with testing and masks. What did we have to leave behind to make that happen?

We didn't have to leave anything behind, but it wasn't due to ingenuity or anything like that, although I will pat ourselves on the back and say we did an incredible job mounting it and no one got sick. We had so many things that were rolling in our way because it was the very nature of how many people involved in this film were so intimately linked that every single person on the crew was somebody that you know. You know where they live, who their families are, what their behaviors going to be. That was what we were all so scared about — somebody lingering outside of this bubble we all created only a few short years ago, though it feels like a million years ago.

This movie may have more characters than anything you've done since "Magnolia." And it's such a specific world with a lot of period details strewn throughout. How did that impact your writing process?

This is definitely not a case of writing and seeing where it takes you. This is a case of having tons and tons of ammunition and individual pieces that I thought about for a long, long time and I tried to think about it long before I started writing anything about it, which can be quite a healthy way to start if you can enjoy the patience. Usually, you just want to rip your presents open on Christmas Eve. I was disciplined and waited to put this down until I'd more or less thought it through. The trick there is that you still have to have some room for discovery, because otherwise, what's the point? I'd get bored. I don't really outline it and sit and write. I'm working from memory and thought. I remember what has to happen: I've got to get from here to here, there's this episode that I think is interesting. Where am I heading toward?

Cooper's character is based on Gary Goetzman, who's almost 20 years older than you. How much of a relationship do you have to this era?

Think about it. Is there really that big a difference between 2015 and 2011? I mean, not really. We're talking about a few short years. All this shit sort of looked the same when I grew up. If I was eight years old, I remember that really well, that's my childhood. It kind of becomes this mistake to look back and think that four years would make a huge difference in something. Especially here in the Valley, it's stuck in its same old shit. It's not like some massive gentrification happened. Certainly the details changed. Like anything 50 years later. But there aren't any huge brushstrokes where it's been some massive social upheaval. It's more or less what it was.

"American Graffiti" was obviously a big influence on you. What has your relationship to that movie been over the years?

I remember seeing "American Graffiti" and thinking it took place in the Valley because Modesto and the Valley look pretty much exactly the same. I had no idea when I was younger that they were two different places. Anybody from any other part of the world would not be able to tell the difference between them. They're California towns with one-story buildings. "American Graffiti," I'm still moved by it every time I go back to it. I guess there are obvious reasons why. Is it totally inventive? I don't know. It's like a lot of other ensemble films. It's something Altman was doing quite well and I've talked about my love of that. But "American Graffiti" is 97 minutes or so. It's so compact. Normally when you have multi-stranded stories they tend to blossom and grow. "Fast Times" is the same thing. It's like 93 minutes. There's an economy there that's so incredible.

Since you operated as one of two cinematographers on "Licorice Pizza," how did you look to import the visual style of those earlier movies?

Photographically, I love, love, love "American Graffiti." I love what happened in that time when filmmakers were doing things in [Cinemascope] but they clearly had no money for lighting. You hear these famous stories of Haskell Wexler coming in to help with the photography of the film. If you see any behind-the-scenes photographs, the absolute minimum they were working with to make these beautiful images still kind of amazes me. Believe me, I've tried to say, 'What if we worked with two lights to get 'American Graffiti' light?' And I can't do it. It's one of those magical things that Haskell Wexler figured out. I just love it photographically. Sound design, too. It's never not worth repeating how beautiful the sound design is. Very unique.

Cooper Hoffman is a newcomer, but you obviously had a longstanding relationship with his father. How did that initial bond influence your decision to ask Cooper about this part?

This is a common theme, isn't it, in this wonderful business that we're in? Ron Howard's father was a stuntman, a cowboy. There you have that second generation coming in. With George Lucas, I think of Jason Robards, who I worked with, whose father was also a Jason Robards. All the wonderful performers from the Douglas family. It's kind of a common thing and it's nice when another generation comes in to continue the work of the previous ones. It's exciting to me, especially when their work stands individually on its own.

Was it a challenge to get him up to speed on what you were looking for?

After I had him read it and audition and do it multiple times, his leg up was that he would get more audition time than somebody else because I was coming to him. The first time he's reading it is the first time he's reading it out loud. That's going to be messy, incomplete, very hard work which is perfectly healthy and wonderful. Now let's do it again the next day, and the next day, and just improvise with whatever you can remember. I was looking for the potential to grow, a naturalness, a comfort and excitement with continuing to do this work. Cooper had genuine affection for this and we were having a good time exploring and just doing little acting exercises. We were getting to a place that was comfortable and exciting, but nerve-racking in a good way.

Alana Haim is obviously no stranger to performance, but as a musician that's all self-guided. How did you get her up to speed on what you were looking for?

My instinct was quite strong that there was no question she'd be able to do it. We did a test of the first time they meet each other at the Tail o' the Cock restaurant. We shot that as a test. They were just engaging with each other, talking, and it was very natural. I realized that she does not understand this one basic principle that her character would have, which is that he's suspicious. And you are not that comfortable with that. But I felt like she didn't have to correct that right away. The important thing was that they were talking, looking at each other, and they're listening. That's already the biggest challenge in film acting. I can adjust that later, what this character of Alana is thinking versus what Alana Haim is doing. Once she understood those kind of things, then you saw this incredible growth.

Their chemistry is so striking, even if it's not romantic. How do you build that between two people who have both never acted before and are 12 years apart in age?

We treated the whole thing like a play. The only way to approach it was to learn it from top to bottom. As novices, they understood there would be enough discovery on the day without having to figure out the overall scheme of the story.

There are so many unusual and surprising performances built into the movie. Bradley Cooper really stands out. It feels like a synthesis of his broader comedic roles and the more dramatic stuff. What was the genesis of your relationship to him?

Bradley told me that when he was a younger actor thinking about packing it in, he saw "Punch Drunk Love," and that rejuvenated his conviction to try to stick it out and stay in Hollywood and push through. He seemed like he was in a pretty healthy place when I called him about this. I have always liked Bradley. I obviously love the "Hangover" movies, but my personal favorite performance of his is "American Sniper." I've seen it a few times and we met casually not too long after that just to say that maybe there could be something one day we could do together. For this, I had one person in mind and it was him.

With so many actors coming out of the woodwork for this, I'm surprised you didn't find a way to coax Daniel Day-Lewis out of retirement.

How the hell would you get Daniel Day-Lewis to do "Licorice Pizza"?

If you hadn't cast Sean Penn as the William Holden–inspired character...

Maybe! I think it would be kind of hilarious to see Daniel in a '70s movie. He could maybe do the George Sanders version.

But seriously. Can you please get that man back to work?

I don't know. People ask me this all the time. But wouldn't it be weird if you announced your retirement and then you said, "Just kidding"? I guess Steven Soderbergh did that.

You've worked with a lot of major American actors, but very few on more than one occasion. How does that wind up happening?

Don't get me started on how little time there is and how many good actors there are. That's the curse of my life. There's not enough time to work with all the people I'm desperate to work with. It's like being in the library and looking at all these beautiful books on the shelf and you realize there's just not enough time to get to it all. It's endlessly frustrating. I really feel that way when it comes to actors. I have pages and pages of people I'd love to work with.

Who's at the top of the list?

Tiffany [Haddish] would be nice. I have a Denzel Washington fascination at the moment. That would be so exciting, and I'll get to it. But I also have the impossible list of people you can't work with because they're dead. Like Miriam Hopkins and George Sanders and David Niven. I waste a lot of time thinking about this. Like, here, a movie idea for James Mason that I can't make.

I suppose this would explain the William Holden inspiration for Sean Penn in "Licorice Pizza."

William Holden was the only actor I ever wanted to work with when I was younger, believe it or not. That was it.

Now that "Licorice Pizza" has been out a while, how do you feel about the complaints that have been made about the anti-Asian character played by John Michael Higgins, who speaks in an offensive fake Asian accent?

It's kind of like, "Huh?" I don't know if it's a "Huh" with a dot dot dot. It's funny because it's hard for me to relate to. I don't know. I'm lost when it comes to that. To me, I'm not sure what they — you know, what is the problem? The problem is that he was an idiot saying stupid shit? What do you think?

The problem is that his racism could give people permission to laugh at the stereotype, rather than his stupidity.

Right. Well, I don't know, maybe that's a possibility. I'm certainly capable of missing the mark, but on the other hand, I guess I'm not sure how to separate what my intentions were from how they landed.

The discourse around representation and storytelling has changed dramatically since you started making movies. How much do you pay attention to that?

As long as the internet's been around, people have been able to voice their opinions and excitement about things. Letterboxd is something I need to spend more time on. My daughter's involved with it and quite likes it. I'm trying to think what my feelings are about it.

Are you a lurker?

I have secret accounts all over the place. It's hilarious. When my daughter was younger, she got Instagram and I tried to get a secret account to follow her. She was like, "It's not a secret. I'm seeing you." I was like, "Oh well." The only way you're going to film right now is to be aware of what's happening in the world. I remember when I started out, it was impossible to break through. You used to put a trailer up in front of a movie and it was a nightmare. You had to go through the MPAA to get it approved, you had to get it approved by the studio, you had to go through all these hoops. Then you weren't even guaranteed that it was going to be in front of a movie you wanted to be in front of. Now we have the ability to just put stuff out there  — Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, any fucking place. You can just do it. The joys of that are so extreme. We've depended upon that particularly for these last few films to make people aware of where they can see it and how they can see it in a certain way. Without it, imagine the amount of money you have to spend to let people know where they see it. I don't see how you can participate in getting a film out in the world without understanding how to get to people.

I'm curious about how you relate to your impact on younger generations of filmmakers. Benny Safdie is really good in this movie, but with his brother Josh, he's also a signifier of filmmaking very clearly inspired by your earlier work.

Josh and Benny are the filmmakers I have the closest relationship with. A lot of that has to do with the fact that we have Adam [Sandler] in common. Personally, those are the filmmakers I know at this point in my life. I don't really have a personal relationship with many filmmakers. I first came across them with some of the shorts they'd done, like "The Black Balloon," and then "Daddy Longlegs" and "Good Time." I was excited by their work and then Adam said, "What do you think about these Safdie guys?" That was a great moment. It was exciting to have that feeling of somebody a generation behind you who's as enthusiastic and approaching the work the same way as you. It makes you very hopeful and happy. Their heads are screwed on in the right direction and their ambitions are their own. What I mean by that is that their ambitions are a result of their own creations. They don't need outside influences to push them along. They can listen to their own wavelength. That's important, because I don't know what's going to happen with this work, but I'm still hopeful.

Beyond promoting "Licorice Pizza," how are you staying busy these days?

We just did another video for the [Haim] girls, which was a fun way to keep busy. I told Alana to go write a song, to just go make something. I'd realized we hadn't made something new in what felt like too long, in at least a year. The joy of telling the girls, "Write a song, here's a date, let's go do that" — that was very satisfying.

I'm looking around in old folders and trying to think about writing again. I'm thinking a little bit more about how we could all get together to do things. And then — nobody does it. It's like, "Let's do that next week!" I'm sure sooner rather than later, we'll try to figure out what the next year could look like, whether that means a little down time or starting back up again. I'm not trusting any decisions I'm making at the moment.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on February 18, 2022, 12:45:13 PM
His answers regarding the Asian jokes really suck. I would've even preferred defensive defiance a la Tarantino.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: jviness02 on February 18, 2022, 02:49:02 PM
Quote from: Drill on February 18, 2022, 12:45:13 PM
His answers regarding the Asian jokes really suck. I would've even preferred defensive defiance a la Tarantino.

Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.  I kind of understand why he answered the way he did. That battle is already lost.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on February 18, 2022, 04:44:21 PM
He's certainly shooting himself in the foot a bit. This reads like he still hasn't thought about it much and doesn't care to.

"Well, I don't know, maybe that's a possibility. I'm certainly capable of missing the mark, but on the other hand, I guess I'm not sure how to separate what my intentions were from how they landed."
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: jviness02 on February 18, 2022, 06:13:18 PM
Quote from: Jeremy Blackman on February 18, 2022, 04:44:21 PM
He's certainly shooting himself in the foot a bit. This reads like he still hasn't thought about it much and doesn't care to.

"Well, I don't know, maybe that's a possibility. I'm certainly capable of missing the mark, but on the other hand, I guess I'm not sure how to separate what my intentions were from how they landed."

What's wrong with him basically saying he can't control how audiences perceive something regardless of his intentions? Isn't that exactly what happened? Or do people genuinely think he's a racist? 
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drenk on February 18, 2022, 06:14:47 PM
Sounds like he was hearing reasonable criticism for the first time about these scenes but had decided to be a jerk anyway, so he dismissed it with bad faith. He's usually better at being disingenuous.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on February 18, 2022, 06:17:56 PM
The scene is unproblematic from my POV, and I think it's unfortunate that it's become a thorn in his side. But it would be nice for him to at least be a little more acknowledging or compassionate. It looks like he's trying to run out the clock on it.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: polkablues on February 18, 2022, 06:37:20 PM
There's definitely a cultural phenomenon right now in which the craving for consensus seems to be an overriding concern. Like "this thing exists, and all right-minded people can agree that it should be interpreted in this specific way, which is categorically good or bad." We need to be better about accepting that different people can judge things differently without it being an assault on our own sensibilities. People can watch the scene and say "It's fine" or "I had a problem with it," and those perceptions can happily coexist if we let them. They're the start of a conversation, when people on either side seem to want them to be the end of it. PTA saying (essentially) "I didn't intend it to be perceived that way, and I don't really see the problem with it" is a statement that exists, as it should, within that conversation.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on February 18, 2022, 06:59:08 PM
Quote from: polkablues on February 18, 2022, 06:37:20 PMWe need to be better about accepting that different people can judge things differently without it being an assault on our own sensibilities.

I'm trying to be that way about this. I didn't find those moments problematic, and I'm kind of annoyed that it's become a thing, but I also have no idea how I'd react as someone with a different set of life experiences.

This might be the first time I've seen Paul as being on the other end of a generational divide; not that he's racist, just that he's uninterested in engaging on the topic, and maybe unequipped to do so. The sheer volume of interviews he's doing—the scrutiny he's opening himself up to—makes his swat-away strategy slightly more puzzling. This topic has been out there since the movie's release, but he's still pretending to be blindsided.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: HACKANUT on February 18, 2022, 07:56:12 PM
sure he's being dodgey here, but really... do you guys think we live in a world where ANY nuanced opinion that isnt simply "racism bad" is going to be worth deep diving in an interview? The world moves too fast for that. everyone just wants to thumbs up/down every topic in a split second nowadays and any nuance he provided would just as quickly be ignored.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: RudyBlatnoyd on February 19, 2022, 05:47:37 PM
What more is there to be said, really? How far can the conversation possibly extend?

'Some people think that the scene is racist.'
'Oh, really? I don't think so. I think it's clear that the racist character is a buffoon.'
'Some people don't see it that way.'
'Oh. Okay.'
'...'
'...'

Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: jviness02 on February 19, 2022, 11:46:04 PM
The only thing he could have said that may have helped his case is a lot of people don't know it's based on a real dude. Maybe that would help some people get he's the butt of the joke?
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: AntiDumbFrogQuestion on February 20, 2022, 01:57:29 AM
What PTA REALLY needs to say to the Critics in defense of the John Michael Higgins scenes:

"I only am who I am because I was born that way. I have a gift and I am trying to not be selfish about it but to use it. Okay? And if you want to knock me for that, it's your own problem. Okay? Jealousy will get you nowhere. I'm gonna keep rockin' on!"
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Shughes on February 20, 2022, 09:25:00 AM
Quote from: jviness02 on February 18, 2022, 10:24:31 AM
Quote from: itwasgood on February 18, 2022, 08:20:54 AM
Paul's interview with Indiewire

https://www.indiewire.com/2022/02/paul-thomas-anderson-interview-licorice-pizza-theaters-1234700592/

Is this the first time he's ever quoted one of his old characters from an earlier film he's not currently promoting? The Plainview comment seemed unique.

He was promoting it at the time, but I was struck by how he used a line from The Master in an interview that was getting heated.

"If you already know the answers to your questions, then why ask?"

He stopped short of "Pig Fuck!".

I think it was Good Morning America, or something, and she was setting up a provocation in regard to Cruise/Scientology .
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on February 25, 2022, 02:01:25 PM
He was back in NYC (with Alana and Cooper) then London this week doing Q&A's. Kind of surprising. I thought the Gary Valentine's weekend was the end of the promotional tour.

https://twitter.com/edibow/status/1496800695214874627
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on February 25, 2022, 06:22:00 PM
https://twitter.com/empiremagazine/status/1497364158890713088

51 mins in.

"My kids call me 'Paul Thomas Anderson' as a joke"
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on February 25, 2022, 11:55:44 PM
The Feb. 19 Q&A:

https://vimeo.com/681658659/7493ca68ef
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on February 26, 2022, 11:11:30 AM
I'm only half way thru this Q & A, but I love the shout-out to the camera ops and especially Adam--I can confirm what an amazing force of nature Somner was on those sets.    And I was pretty sure those were Anderson kids in front of the Munster booth...
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: DickHardwood2022 on February 26, 2022, 01:45:35 PM
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/licorice-pizza-the-sound-vision-of-paul-thomas-anderson/id1142632832?i=1000547899622

An interesting interview with

Co-cinematographer Michael Bauman

Supervising Sound Editors / re-recording mixers Christopher Scarabosio & David Acord

Costume Designer Mark Bridges
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on February 26, 2022, 05:12:20 PM
That was posted here back in mid-January...but it's a good one...
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: DickHardwood2022 on February 27, 2022, 01:12:51 AM
Quote from: wilberfan on February 26, 2022, 05:12:20 PM
That was posted here back in mid-January...but it's a good one...

Ah sorry I must have missed it.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on February 27, 2022, 12:42:01 PM
'streaming' is part of the constant change in cinema: Paul T. Anderson (https://www.jornada.com.mx/notas/2022/02/26/cultura/el-streaming-forma-parte-del-constante-cambio-del-cine-paul-t-anderson/)

(Machine translated from La Jornada)

Mexico City    Movement in the cinema is a lie. It is nothing more than the progression of images fixed at different moments that, in short, deceive the human eye by pretending the course of a encapsulated and manipulated time to make us believe that what is in front of us as spectators is a simile of reality. It is the closest thing to a memory, in this case shared in the darkness of a room.

For decades, American director Paul Thomas Anderson has been one of the most skillful contemporary filmmakers in making these lies. Illusion maker, some more and others less attached to reality, the native of California has been in charge of exhibiting the stages that have marked his memories and obsessions of life, always through characters or fictional situations, who drink from those frozen moments in the frames of their memory. Licorice Pizza , Although it is no exception, it is perhaps his closest work to a succession of images directly emanating from his mental album of memories.

Starring Alana Haim on her first foray into the acting world and rookie Cooper Hoffman Licorice Pizza not only does he drink from the stories lived by the director during his childhood in Studio City, attending the recordings of the horror program that his father drove for television, but also those narrated by one of his friends, originally a child actor and now a producer. of cinema. To this must be added his adolescent experience, which included the innocent infatuation of one of her teachers, about whom the director already confessed that she was the mother of its protagonist Alana, who serves as the older woman Gary (Cooper Hoffman, son of the late great friend of the director, Philip Seymour Hoffman) will try to impress and conquer.

We talked with Paul Thomas Anderson about the different angles at which his life intersects with this teenage love story in the 70s, a time that he carries here from the idyllic gaze that static memories often have in our minds.

–How much did Cooper Hoffman's involvement as an actor and your relationship with his father influence the evident change in tone he shows Licorice Pizza in relation to the rest of your filmography?

"I don't think it's related at all.". The story is completely independent of Cooper or his father. This film emerges from two places: the first was 20 years ago, when I was interested in telling the story of a relationship between a young man and a woman older than him. There are also many stories from my friend Gary Goetzman, who was a child actor and lived in the San Fernando Valley, California. I have sold water beds and had a gaming machine business. It is from him that the optimism and joy of the film come. There he was born exclusively. Later, when I started searching for the actor to interpret it, I asked myself: "Who do I know who has that same optimism, who is sociable, is full of joy and has a super charismatic personality?"The immediate response was Cooper. So it happened.

Son of Philip Seymour Hoffman
"You mention growing up in the entertainment industry, and it's funny why both you and Cooper did it near that world.". Beyond what you just expressed, would you say that was another important element? Was there something about you that you considered would bring him more realism because it was something they shared?

–I never saw it that way because, although I understand what you mean, the reality is that it is the opposite. Cooper lives in New York, was never a child actor, and does not know that process. He had never had an agent in his life and in the film there are scenes where he interacts with his agent, but he did not understand anything about that reality. I had to explain everything to him, but if he had wanted the actor to be close to the character, he would have hired someone who had been doing it since he was five or six years old. However, it was intentional to have hired a person who had no relationship with the world of acting on an experiential basis. Just because his father was an actor doesn't mean he knew what that is."

–Whenever I see a film of yours that takes place in another was that is not the present, it seems to me that you are not looking to generate nostalgia. You never aim at that. It is clearly a context, but the portrait you make here of the film industry contrasts with that same world today. People like Sam Mendes and Quentin Tarantino often refer to you as an author and praise your work. Were you looking to reflect on this industry and the place of an author when placing it in the 70s?

–I must tell you something. I am not one of those people who complain about the current state of cinema as an industry. I think it is constantly changing and growing, moving in different directions all the time, sometimes even taking steps backwards. But for me that makes it exciting. It is a constantly changing entity. There are people who live whining about the current situation between movie theaters and platforms streaming. But do I tell you something? I think that if the rooms are suffering it is because they must improve. They should look better, sound better, and be treated more seriously and importantly. Do you agree?, because the streaming is not new. It is the equivalent of video clubs in the VHS era. They are home formats and those have been existing for a long time. This business is very exciting to me. Something that has been interesting with the release of this film, looking back in the past, is that before the films lasted from three months to a year in the same room, which were huge.

"I guess it was something similar in Mexico, and many times that cinema was the only place where you could go see the movie of your choice. Sometimes you had to train; Sometimes the tickets were over, but I think that made going to the movies feel like an important event. So while the industry loves to cry and complain that people no longer go to screenings, they would lie if they don't accept that it's something they caused themselves. They played down the movies, stopped taking care of the room facilities. So for me it is a lot of fun to be part of this industry right now and to be a cheerleader to demand better cinemas, as well as a greater respect for the work of those of us who make the movies seen there. Honestly, it's something I love. It is a great fight and I think it is good that we continue fighting."


The script writing
–Speaking of changes and evolutions, especially in your cinema, which is full of broken families and screwed up children, I dare say that Licorice Pizza does not necessarily adhere to those issues. The young stars are quite sane and belong to decent families. However, it is the adult world you present here that looks like a dangerous place they cannot help but go to. Was there an intention to show the adult as that dangerous place that we don't even realize we are going as it happens?

–It is not something that anticipates. To be honest, I'm not very good at anticipating where the stories I tell are taking me. Situations in the movie, like when Gary goes to New York and Lucille Ball doesn't stop bothering him, actually made it to the script because they seemed like very funny stories to me. I take those stories, put them in the script and from there I build. Later, when I enter the adult world, I put another one, like the one of Alana's character going to audition with the character of Sean Penn.

"Without the intention of counting more, that situation is derailed to lot; However, it is also based on something they told me. Then pieces begin to accumulate that seem interesting to me and, as I continue writing, I begin to notice certain patterns and common denominators. That is where history is born. I have never sat down to write thinking that I am putting together a script about the passage from adolescence to adulthood and the dangers of that process. It is not something that I know how to do. What's more, I assure you that if someone asked me to do it, it would go terribly wrong. For me stories are built from the facts.

"My movies are collections of events that, if I'm lucky, light something in particular once I manage to weave everything. And once I get to light those songs, I usually get excited, go back in the script and do a push job so that the themes I identified come up more clearly. Although it has also happened to me that I do not like what those stories show... "

–And what do you do in those cases?

–I start from scratch again.

Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on February 28, 2022, 09:26:00 PM
Licorice Pizza (2021) - Interview with Graphics Designer Kerry Hyatt

https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/creative-industry/licorice-pizza-2021-with-lL3cuoPKkrD/
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Rooty Poots on March 01, 2022, 03:10:43 AM
Quote from: wilberfan on February 28, 2022, 09:26:00 PMLicorice Pizza (2021) - Interview with Graphics Designer Kerry Hyatt

https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/creative-industry/licorice-pizza-2021-with-lL3cuoPKkrD/

That was a good interview! Nice to hear from some of the people in roles we don't normally hear from. I'd love to hear more details about how she got offered the gig!
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on March 01, 2022, 08:55:33 AM
Alana by Paul for W Magazine's Directors Issue

https://www.wmagazine.com/culture/alana-haim-lost-track-music-video-paul-thomas-anderson-licorice-pizza
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on March 01, 2022, 10:23:16 AM
Bullseye, with Jesse Thorn (NPR) - Interview with Alana Haim

https://www.npr.org/2022/02/28/1083605213/alana-haim

This carpet-bombing level of promotion feels unprecedented--certainly in length, no?  :ponder:
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on March 01, 2022, 11:08:07 AM
Most of us may know this, but the Du-Par's Alana references near the end of the episode is where they shot the iconic scene from Boogie Nights.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: modage on March 02, 2022, 05:31:32 PM
This has likely been posted already but the moment here at 15:19 (https://thefilmstage.com/watch-paul-thomas-anderson-reunites-with-haim-for-lost-track-music-video/) when Cooper says "That was the only day me and Paul actually talked about the script," and PTA momentarily becomes Jack Horner when Dirk says he blocks his own sex scenes.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on March 02, 2022, 05:50:10 PM
God, you're right!    :rofl:
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: max from fearless on March 04, 2022, 03:30:08 AM
Santa Barbara Film Festival ditty...

(https://hollywood-elsewhere.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/img_4576.jpg)

(https://hollywood-elsewhere.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/img_4575-8-scaled.jpg)

(https://hollywood-elsewhere.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/img_4596-2-scaled.jpg)



Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on March 04, 2022, 04:30:45 AM
He shouldn't be so chummy with the guy who can beat him for the Screenplay Oscar
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on March 04, 2022, 07:58:54 AM
Quote from: Yes on March 04, 2022, 04:30:45 AMHe shouldn't be so chummy with the guy who can beat him for the Screenplay Oscar

Well he keeps hyping/promoting The Worst Person in the World any chance he gets. Maybe he doesn't care about winning for this, especially after Alana wasn't nominated.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on March 04, 2022, 09:04:45 AM
Videos from SBIFF:



Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on March 04, 2022, 02:10:33 PM
Quote from: Drill on March 04, 2022, 07:58:54 AM
Quote from: Yes on March 04, 2022, 04:30:45 AMHe shouldn't be so chummy with the guy who can beat him for the Screenplay Oscar

Well he keeps hyping/promoting The Worst Person in the World any chance he gets. Maybe he doesn't care about winning for this, especially after Alana wasn't nominated.

Worst Person cannot win Screenplay.. but maybe/probably it'll steal votes lol
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: DickHardwood2022 on March 04, 2022, 02:18:47 PM
Quote from: Yes on March 04, 2022, 02:10:33 PM
Quote from: Drill on March 04, 2022, 07:58:54 AM
Quote from: Yes on March 04, 2022, 04:30:45 AMHe shouldn't be so chummy with the guy who can beat him for the Screenplay Oscar

Well he keeps hyping/promoting The Worst Person in the World any chance he gets. Maybe he doesn't care about winning for this, especially after Alana wasn't nominated.

Worst Person cannot win Screenplay.. but maybe/probably it'll steal votes lol

is there a reason why it cant? ive yet to see it.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on March 04, 2022, 05:13:55 PM
Quote from: DickHardwood2022 on March 04, 2022, 02:18:47 PM
Quote from: Yes on March 04, 2022, 02:10:33 PM
Quote from: Drill on March 04, 2022, 07:58:54 AM
Quote from: Yes on March 04, 2022, 04:30:45 AMHe shouldn't be so chummy with the guy who can beat him for the Screenplay Oscar

Well he keeps hyping/promoting The Worst Person in the World any chance he gets. Maybe he doesn't care about winning for this, especially after Alana wasn't nominated.

Worst Person cannot win Screenplay.. but maybe/probably it'll steal votes lol

is there a reason why it cant? ive yet to see it.

No BAFTA nom, was not WGA eligible, no wins anywhere like LA critics. No BP nom. Would be nearly unprecedented, an all-time Oscar upset/shock. Even Almodovar's Talk to Her won the BAFTA Screenplay. Would be weirdest Screenplay win since Red Balloon in 56
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on March 04, 2022, 05:16:25 PM
https://twitter.com/GoTeamAspect/status/1499879563341414402
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Rooty Poots on March 05, 2022, 12:30:08 AM
Quote from: Yes on March 04, 2022, 05:16:25 PMhttps://twitter.com/GoTeamAspect/status/1499879563341414402

This episode was a great interview. Paul really seemed to enjoy this one.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on March 05, 2022, 01:14:15 AM
Is there full audio somewhere? I couldn't find it yet.  Saw something that said "March 6"?
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on March 05, 2022, 02:39:52 AM
Quote from: wilberfan on March 05, 2022, 01:14:15 AMIs there full audio somewhere? I couldn't find it yet.  Saw something that said "March 6"?

Neither could I. Guess we might have to wait until the 6th.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on March 05, 2022, 10:31:10 AM
Yesterday's Q&A at SBIFF:

Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on March 05, 2022, 01:47:03 PM
https://twitter.com/DEADLINE/status/1500162136257052673
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Rooty Poots on March 06, 2022, 12:32:32 AM
Quote from: wilberfan on March 05, 2022, 01:14:15 AMIs there full audio somewhere? I couldn't find it yet.  Saw something that said "March 6"?

You can access it in the Apple Podcasts app. You'll need a "Wondery+" subscription but when you click on it, it offers you a free 7-day trial.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Shughes on March 06, 2022, 04:26:21 PM
Quote from: Rooty Poots on March 06, 2022, 12:32:32 AM
Quote from: wilberfan on March 05, 2022, 01:14:15 AMIs there full audio somewhere? I couldn't find it yet.  Saw something that said "March 6"?

You can access it in the Apple Podcasts app. You'll need a "Wondery+" subscription but when you click on it, it offers you a free 7-day trial.

I think you can also access it online through the website for the podcast. It seems like it might come out everywhere else one week later.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on March 07, 2022, 03:13:20 AM
It's on Spotify now
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on March 07, 2022, 07:25:26 PM
Quote from: Rooty Poots on March 05, 2022, 12:30:08 AMThis episode [Smartless Ep86] was a great interview. Paul really seemed to enjoy this one.

Just finished it on today's walk, and I agree.  These long form, more relaxed interviews are great.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on March 08, 2022, 01:21:04 AM
Quote from: Yes on March 07, 2022, 03:13:20 AMIt's on Spotify now

Yes

https://open.spotify.com/episode/1lTyt0Z9M3yNUWaT8qDPGO

And for the archive

https://drive.google.com/file/d/13Wqp8rBFV-4KZ2oz0sXm-jJOLFfdJMaH/view?usp=sharing
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: DickHardwood2022 on March 09, 2022, 01:13:14 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oogWMH4qv7w&t=188s

John C Reilly talking about his part on Cobert
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on March 11, 2022, 08:54:04 AM
Soundtracking with Edith Bowman: Episode 297: Paul Thomas Anderson Talks Music

https://audioboom.com/posts/8045811-episode-297-paul-thomas-anderson-talks-music
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on March 11, 2022, 02:44:13 PM
Man, thanks so much for reminding me about this interview with Edith.  He's so relaxed, and I loved that they covered the music in more than just LP.  Just delicious.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on March 11, 2022, 06:54:10 PM
Edith's companion interview with Jonny Greenwood:

https://audioboom.com/posts/8042903-episode-296-jonny-greenwood-on-his-film-scores
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: itwasgood on March 12, 2022, 06:26:46 AM
BAFTA's interview with Alana

Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on March 19, 2022, 09:13:24 PM
'Licorice Pizza' Producer Sara Murphy on Paul Thomas Anderson's Nostalgic Depiction of the San Fernando Valley (https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-features/licorice-pizza-producer-interview-paul-thomas-anderson-1235112288/)
Murphy tells THR about the challenges of shooting the '70s-set film during the pandemic with a cast and crew of familial players.

Boy, there must be a lot more of this interview somewhere.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on March 22, 2022, 07:50:11 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RePilDQU-8s&t=3s
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Yes on March 22, 2022, 08:04:55 PM
Yes, finally.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on March 22, 2022, 10:27:28 PM
A Stroke of Magic: Inside Cooper Hoffman's Casting in 'Licorice Pizza' (https://aframe.oscars.org/news/post/licorice-pizza-sara-murphy-cooper-hoffman-interview-exclusive) (Exclusive)

When Paul Thomas Anderson agreed to direct his first music video in more than a decade, the filmmaker reached out to his friend and most trusted collaborator, Philip Seymour Hoffman, to recommend a producer. Hoffman told him to call Sara Murphy.

Murphy had previously worked with Hoffman before going off on her own. "I had done a bunch of smaller independent films, with relative success, I guess," Murphy tells A.frame. One of those movies was the 2014 comedy Land Ho!, which premiered at that year's Sundance Film Festival and went on to win the John Cassavetes Award for Best Feature under $500,000 at the Independent Spirit Awards.

"With that in the back of his mind, Paul called me and said, 'You know how to make things with no money, right?'" Murphy laughs. "I was like, 'Yeah, maybe. What do you got?' That launched my music video producing career, which, as many know, does not come with hefty budgets."

A pair of videos with singer-songwriter Joanna Newsom begat videos with Radiohead, which ultimately led to their first collaboration with Haim in 2017. Six videos in, it was safe to say that the director had found a trio of muses in the sisters who, like him, hailed from the San Fernando Valley, a Los Angeles suburb. So, naturally, he wrote a movie for Alana Haim to star in: Licorice Pizza.

"I remember I was getting my hair done, I had on all these foils in my hair and he wanted to talk about it. I was like, 'I'm going to step outside for a second,' and I stepped out on the street with all the foils in my hair," Murphy says. "He's always writing multiple things, and I think he thought he was going to go do this other project. And this one sort of took him by surprise and overcame him."

Licorice Pizza, in some ways, has been a lifetime in the making for Anderson. Mixing stories from his own childhood with those that former child actor-turned-producer Gary Goetzman has told him over the years, he penned a '70s-era coming-of-age story about Gary, a 15-year-old hustler, and Alana, a 25-year-old young woman reluctant to grow up. And he wanted Murphy to produce the film with him and his longtime producing partner, Adam Somner.

Murphy never set out to be a film producer. "I was studying engineering at school. This was not my path," she confesses. At the time, she was dating Hoffman's ex-manager's assistant and heard that the actor was looking for a new assistant. "I had just moved to New York City. I needed a job. I went to the interview, and we were wearing -- unfortunately for me -- the same outfit. And we just hit it off."

"I did not know anything about the theater world, but what an incredible education that was for me to be working with somebody who was in all of it and gave me access to all of it," she recalls. She earned her first credit as an associate producer on Hoffman's directorial debut, the 2010 romantic drama Jack Goes Boating, followed by a co-producer role on the 2014 crime drama God's Pocket, both starring Hoffman. Murphy remembers one piece of advice in particular she took from him: Which is, 'Don't tell me no until you have to.'"

The way I fell in love with movies was through Phil Hoffman and watching Phil Hoffman and working with Phil Hoffman.

And so, it was something of a kismet moment when Anderson eventually cast Cooper Hoffman, the late Philip's then 17-year-old son, to play Gary in Licorice Pizza. Hoffman had given Murphy her first job, and here she was producing the first film that the younger Hoffman would be starring in.

"The way I fell in love with movies was through Phil Hoffman and watching Phil Hoffman and working with Phil Hoffman," she reflects, "and I very much was aware of the responsibility of shepherding [Cooper] through this first process. The funny thing is that Cooper and I -- because of the bubble and because of the pandemic -- we were together all the time. It was like living with my little brother, and we carried each other. We both had rough days. We talked through it every day."

"He's one of the most empathic, smart, kind, considerate humans. Seeing Cooper grow up is magical. I think he's magical," Murphy adds. And, as a producer observing the work of the film's lead actor, she found herself in awe of his raw talent. "He not only has the DNA, but all the makings of it. I am excited to see how that grows and develops. But I mean -- it's just in him to be a very good actor."

All of Anderson and Murphy's music video collaborations had felt "sort of off the cuff and a little spontaneous," and they hoped to capture that same feeling, albeit on a larger scale, and in tandem with the director's chosen film family. (And, in fact, with actual family, as two generations of Haims and Anderson's partner, Maya Rudolph, all have roles in the film.)

Murphy's job became to facilitate that freewheeling-ness while filming Licorice Pizza in the Fall of 2020, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, on location, featuring large crowds and a cast of child actors. Through it all, she found herself falling back on that old advice from Hoffman. "I have employed that many times," she chuckles. "My go-to is how to make something work. And I'll try it until I can't."

At the 94th Oscars, Licorice Pizza is a three-time nominee, marking Anderson's third Best Picture contender, his third Best Director nomination and his third Best Original Screenplay nomination (and fifth writing nomination overall). The film's Best Picture nomination marks the first nomination of Murphy's career.

"It feels like a great honor to be recognized, especially amidst producers that you have idolized and looked up to -- and still look up to," Murphy says, then pauses. "I don't know how to say this eloquently, because I'm sort of getting emotional, but you kind of have to just chase your instincts sometimes. This feels like a culmination of all the work since I started in the business with Phil. And it makes me feel happy that it's getting the recognition it's getting, because I think it's a wonderful film. I'm so proud."
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on March 22, 2022, 10:28:17 PM
I don't think I was aware of the Hoffman connection in terms of Murphy and PTA working together.  Makes perfect sense.  Is there any reading between the lines here regarding Lupi/Sellar?
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drenk on March 23, 2022, 04:36:21 AM
Maybe he doesn't like their kids as much.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on March 24, 2022, 11:19:28 PM
https://soundcloud.com/filmlinc/390-paul-thomas-anderson-alana-haim-cooper-hoffman-benny-safdie-on-licorice-pizza

Last week's Q&A.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: Drill on April 10, 2022, 11:42:42 PM
https://twitter.com/jag24fps/status/1513264519862173706
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on April 11, 2022, 10:12:25 AM
We need to get our hands on that complete interview.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: pynchonikon on April 11, 2022, 11:27:04 AM
A PTA silent film with entirely original score by Greenwood is sth I didn't know I needed.
He has mentioned Murnau's Sunrise ('27) as one of his all-time favorites, if I'm not mistaken.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on May 31, 2022, 10:39:26 AM
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: wilberfan on June 06, 2022, 04:11:31 PM
Michael Bauman & Paul Thomas Anderson / Licorice Pizza (https://britishcinematographer.co.uk/michael-bauman-paul-thomas-anderson-licorice-pizza/#content)
By DAVID ALEXANDER WILLIS
MAKING MOVES

Michael Bauman makes the transition to director of photography on Licorice Pizza, the latest film from director Paul Thomas Anderson.
 
Historic gaffer Michael Bauman has had his hands in a lot of pies this last year, perhaps most notably on the Oscar- and BAFTA-nominated Licorice Pizza. "Second of three", as he refers to back-to-back-to-back projects, Licorice Pizza follows an immaculate lighting design on The Tragedy of Macbeth for Bruno Delbonnel ASC AFC, with director Joel Coen, which helped to gain the former an Oscar and BAFTA nomination for cinematography. 

It also predates an upcoming, as-of-yet untitled release with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki ASC AMC, and David O. Russell, that will star Christian Bale, Michael B. Jordan, and Margot Robbie. 

Over the last quarter of a century, he has spent in filmmaking, Bauman, who studied at the American Film Institute, has associated with a rogue's gallery of the very best in the industry. Having gaffed for two of Paul Thomas Anderson's previous cinematographers, Mihai Mălaimare Jr., and Robert Elswit ASC, on The Master and Inherent Vice, respectively, it's a "super collaborative" relationship with Anderson that culminated in his second feature behind the camera for the auteur, though his fourth film with the director.

"It's a constant back and forth about the technology, it's fun, it's a banter!" he laughs. "It is absolutely a thousand percent his vision, but it's not like my way or the highway. We have a dialogue; we have our own opinions. And there are interesting things happening because of that environment he has created."

Bauman and Anderson share co-credit as director of photography for Licorice Pizza, while he was given the honourific, "lighting cameraman", on their previous full-length endeavour, Phantom Thread. This was homage to the same credit received by John Alcott BSC on Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, referenced for that film as it was a period piece modelled largely on the effects of available light.

This time around, as Licorice Pizza is set in 1973, they looked at classics from the '70s, like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and, especially, American Graffiti. Haskell Wexler ASC a "visual consultant" on American Graffiti to freshman director George Lucas, was a big influence on Bauman as to how he approached a few key exterior scenes that were shot at night.

"What is cool about that is that nobody really screens print anymore," Bauman says. "All these studios are sitting on thousands of prints!" Anderson merely has to pick up the phone to talk with some of his many friends at the studios to get pretty much any movie that they wanted.

The pair first met in 2013 on extensive lens tests that Bauman put together for Anderson on a Fiona Apple video, Hot Knife. After, they smoothed out their workflows on music videos for Haim and Radiohead. 

"He really enjoys the analogue process," says Bauman, chuckling outright that "digital isn't even a consideration" when asked if they had looked at that capture platform over film. Anderson is such a film acolyte that Deluxe gave him their 35mm and 70mm projectors when they closed down the Hollywood brick-and-mortar facilities in 2014. 

Anderson always does a lot of lens testing, no matter the project, and Bauman says that many on their team will expect a short eight-hour day only to lament full cartloads of lenses as they are brought in, one-by-one, for comparisons. Anderson keeps a library of his lens tests from over the years, which helped to streamline the focal and lighting choices that they made quite a bit.

Nominated for Best Film, Best Direction, and Best Original Screenplay by both BAFTA and The Academy, Licorice Pizza was originally scheduled for 58 days, and ended up shooting for roughly 65. A love letter to the golden era of movie and television broadcast as much as it is to young romance and to the San Fernando Valley, Anderson's sprawling hometown just north of Los Angeles, it's named after a former SoCal record store chain.

There are a number of '70s-centric sets that were headed by production designer Florencia Martin, such as a "newly legal" pinball arcade (dastardly!), a store that sells only waterbeds, quickly "tanked", so to speak, by the gas crisis of '73, and the lush, shag-a-delic carpeting of the house of infamous '70s film producer Jon Peters. Peters' house was actually shot at a Tudor manor previously owned by Wonder Woman-series actor Lyle Waggoner.

Bauman says that a lot of the production workflow involved location scouting ahead of time with Anderson and Martin. He took around 12,000 still photos to annotate things like exposure, continuity, colour, and location. To achieve "classic anamorphic blue flaring", explains Bauman, they chose the Panavision C Series as their primary lens set, which dates back to 1968. The Panavision headquarters in Woodland Hills is also close to the director's house, which has its own theatre for testing and chart needs.

Through Dan Sasaki at Panavision, an integral, often silent participant in Anderson's movies, they were able to find a lens set that had been used by Gordon Willis ASC, fortuitous as the two used one of his films with Woody Allen, Manhattan, as resource material. 

"There's this quote that Gordon Willis has," remarks Bauman about the famous silhouette scene of Allen and Diane Keaton beneath the Queensboro Bridge. "Woody Allen, apparently, in dailies, was like 'Gordon, I can't see them!' He says, 'No, but you can hear them!'"

In addition to the C Series, Anderson owns his own rather rare focal lengths, accumulated over the years. Bauman refers to a favoured, antiquated Pathé 50mm lens hilariously as "that damn thing", explaining that he could often expect it to come out during any low light situations.

Captured on the Panavision Millennium XL2 35mm camera with Kodak 5219, 500T, and 250D stocks, they blew up from the 35mm prints to 70mm for limited runs in Los Angeles, New York, and a few other major cities. Film finishing, digital dailies and lab services were provided via Fotokem.

Bauman and Anderson pushed film development roughly a stop throughout Phantom Thread to diffuse contrast. With Licorice Pizza, they were more selective, only pushing exposure for a few scenes as necessitated by lighting conditions. He exposed at box ratings for the most part, sometimes overexposing by a third of a stop, which eventually became their workhorse process for any interiors.

On Phantom Thread, they had mixed a lot of atmospheric smoke with low contrast optical filters to create depth and fill. "There wasn't a lot of that kind of filtration on this job," he continues. "It was more about seeing how much you could lean into the lens."

The Van Nuys Golf Course became a major location shoot not once, but twice. The Billingsley, a restaurant on the greens, was substituted for interiors that were designed to match the classic '70s aesthetic of the Tail o' the Cock, a restaurant in the valley known for its many celebrity regulars.   

Outside the Billingsley, the golf course became a backdrop for a chase scene of sorts, as "Jack Holden", a caricature of actor William Holden, most famous for Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard, played by Sean Penn, is inspired by actor and singer Tom Waits to a drunken motorcycle jump. This scene was one of the setups where Wexler's work on American Graffiti came in handy, as both pictures were fairly restricted when it came to lighting concerns. 

"Normally, you put a couple lifts up, glass, add some light in there, and that just wasn't an option," he says. Barely south of the Van Nuys airport, planes were landing and taking off, so the production wasn't allowed to use anything higher than 30-feet.

"I was like, 'We've got huge night exteriors here man! How do we build practicals into this whole thing?' So, we laid out tonnes of smoke, low-level smoke, and then lit the smoke to get separation... and we were shooting into a bunch of 5Ks two blocks away, just so there's something going on in the background."

For interiors at The Billingsley, aka the Tail o' the Cock, key lighting was provided by a unique array of warm lights that simulated the warm incandescence of the '70s. Calling them the Bling Lights, the nomenclature comes from his work with Harris Savides ASC on Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, Savides' final film before he passed.

"Chris Menges BSC had this thing where he would make these boxes, basically take light strip sockets, and screw in 15-watt bulbs, and jam them into this box," says Bauman. "You have all these bulbs going, really warm, like 2000 degrees Kelvin, but very soft. We formalised it a bit with Harris, and we called them the 'Bling Lights', and then we just kept making that better and better. And so, for a lot of the interiors, Paul really liked the Blings. Low wattage, large quantity, packed together, bulb-to-bulb, a very soft, warm source."

Co-founder of LiteGear, which manufactures specialised LED solutions, as well as Lux Lighting, a full-service rental house, Bauman is certainly no stranger to LED technology. "We were able to still use a tonne of LED," he adds, "because it was all that we could do in some of these locations, but always playing on the warmer end of the colour spectrum."

He says that he also found a lot of challenges on Licorice Pizza, however, and laughs that Anderson would rib him frequently during the production about using "real lights" over LED. He wanted to work with carbon-arc lights for Licorice Pizza, for instance, requiring quite a lot of power as well as a lot of management. 

"You need to have basically one person for each head," Bauman says. "I'm like, 'Oh my God, this is how they used to do it! Hundreds of thousands of movies and they've been doing carbon arcs. I would remember hearing a lot of the old-school crew guys talking about huge arc-rigs, like 80 of them, 100 of them and I'm like, 'We're having trouble dealing with three.'"

Bauman thanks Justin Dixon, who stepped into his shoes as gaffer, and "did an insane job", as well as key grip Jeffrey Sherman Kunkel, camera op Colin Anderson, and 1st AC Erik L. Brown, whom he considers a "lens savant". Brown was instrumental in tweaking the C Series lenses to the specific needs of the production with Sasaki at Panavision.
Title: Re: Licorice Pizza - Interviews
Post by: DickHardwood2022 on June 06, 2022, 04:54:39 PM
Quote from: wilberfan on June 06, 2022, 04:11:31 PMMichael Bauman & Paul Thomas Anderson / Licorice Pizza (https://britishcinematographer.co.uk/michael-bauman-paul-thomas-anderson-licorice-pizza/#content)
By DAVID ALEXANDER WILLIS
MAKING MOVES

Michael Bauman makes the transition to director of photography on Licorice Pizza, the latest film from director Paul Thomas Anderson.
 
Historic gaffer Michael Bauman has had his hands in a lot of pies this last year, perhaps most notably on the Oscar- and BAFTA-nominated Licorice Pizza. "Second of three", as he refers to back-to-back-to-back projects, Licorice Pizza follows an immaculate lighting design on The Tragedy of Macbeth for Bruno Delbonnel ASC AFC, with director Joel Coen, which helped to gain the former an Oscar and BAFTA nomination for cinematography. 

It also predates an upcoming, as-of-yet untitled release with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki ASC AMC, and David O. Russell, that will star Christian Bale, Michael B. Jordan, and Margot Robbie. 

Over the last quarter of a century, he has spent in filmmaking, Bauman, who studied at the American Film Institute, has associated with a rogue's gallery of the very best in the industry. Having gaffed for two of Paul Thomas Anderson's previous cinematographers, Mihai Mălaimare Jr., and Robert Elswit ASC, on The Master and Inherent Vice, respectively, it's a "super collaborative" relationship with Anderson that culminated in his second feature behind the camera for the auteur, though his fourth film with the director.

"It's a constant back and forth about the technology, it's fun, it's a banter!" he laughs. "It is absolutely a thousand percent his vision, but it's not like my way or the highway. We have a dialogue; we have our own opinions. And there are interesting things happening because of that environment he has created."

Bauman and Anderson share co-credit as director of photography for Licorice Pizza, while he was given the honourific, "lighting cameraman", on their previous full-length endeavour, Phantom Thread. This was homage to the same credit received by John Alcott BSC on Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, referenced for that film as it was a period piece modelled largely on the effects of available light.

This time around, as Licorice Pizza is set in 1973, they looked at classics from the '70s, like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and, especially, American Graffiti. Haskell Wexler ASC a "visual consultant" on American Graffiti to freshman director George Lucas, was a big influence on Bauman as to how he approached a few key exterior scenes that were shot at night.

"What is cool about that is that nobody really screens print anymore," Bauman says. "All these studios are sitting on thousands of prints!" Anderson merely has to pick up the phone to talk with some of his many friends at the studios to get pretty much any movie that they wanted.

The pair first met in 2013 on extensive lens tests that Bauman put together for Anderson on a Fiona Apple video, Hot Knife. After, they smoothed out their workflows on music videos for Haim and Radiohead. 

"He really enjoys the analogue process," says Bauman, chuckling outright that "digital isn't even a consideration" when asked if they had looked at that capture platform over film. Anderson is such a film acolyte that Deluxe gave him their 35mm and 70mm projectors when they closed down the Hollywood brick-and-mortar facilities in 2014. 

Anderson always does a lot of lens testing, no matter the project, and Bauman says that many on their team will expect a short eight-hour day only to lament full cartloads of lenses as they are brought in, one-by-one, for comparisons. Anderson keeps a library of his lens tests from over the years, which helped to streamline the focal and lighting choices that they made quite a bit.

Nominated for Best Film, Best Direction, and Best Original Screenplay by both BAFTA and The Academy, Licorice Pizza was originally scheduled for 58 days, and ended up shooting for roughly 65. A love letter to the golden era of movie and television broadcast as much as it is to young romance and to the San Fernando Valley, Anderson's sprawling hometown just north of Los Angeles, it's named after a former SoCal record store chain.

There are a number of '70s-centric sets that were headed by production designer Florencia Martin, such as a "newly legal" pinball arcade (dastardly!), a store that sells only waterbeds, quickly "tanked", so to speak, by the gas crisis of '73, and the lush, shag-a-delic carpeting of the house of infamous '70s film producer Jon Peters. Peters' house was actually shot at a Tudor manor previously owned by Wonder Woman-series actor Lyle Waggoner.

Bauman says that a lot of the production workflow involved location scouting ahead of time with Anderson and Martin. He took around 12,000 still photos to annotate things like exposure, continuity, colour, and location. To achieve "classic anamorphic blue flaring", explains Bauman, they chose the Panavision C Series as their primary lens set, which dates back to 1968. The Panavision headquarters in Woodland Hills is also close to the director's house, which has its own theatre for testing and chart needs.

Through Dan Sasaki at Panavision, an integral, often silent participant in Anderson's movies, they were able to find a lens set that had been used by Gordon Willis ASC, fortuitous as the two used one of his films with Woody Allen, Manhattan, as resource material. 

"There's this quote that Gordon Willis has," remarks Bauman about the famous silhouette scene of Allen and Diane Keaton beneath the Queensboro Bridge. "Woody Allen, apparently, in dailies, was like 'Gordon, I can't see them!' He says, 'No, but you can hear them!'"

In addition to the C Series, Anderson owns his own rather rare focal lengths, accumulated over the years. Bauman refers to a favoured, antiquated Pathé 50mm lens hilariously as "that damn thing", explaining that he could often expect it to come out during any low light situations.

Captured on the Panavision Millennium XL2 35mm camera with Kodak 5219, 500T, and 250D stocks, they blew up from the 35mm prints to 70mm for limited runs in Los Angeles, New York, and a few other major cities. Film finishing, digital dailies and lab services were provided via Fotokem.

Bauman and Anderson pushed film development roughly a stop throughout Phantom Thread to diffuse contrast. With Licorice Pizza, they were more selective, only pushing exposure for a few scenes as necessitated by lighting conditions. He exposed at box ratings for the most part, sometimes overexposing by a third of a stop, which eventually became their workhorse process for any interiors.

On Phantom Thread, they had mixed a lot of atmospheric smoke with low contrast optical filters to create depth and fill. "There wasn't a lot of that kind of filtration on this job," he continues. "It was more about seeing how much you could lean into the lens."

The Van Nuys Golf Course became a major location shoot not once, but twice. The Billingsley, a restaurant on the greens, was substituted for interiors that were designed to match the classic '70s aesthetic of the Tail o' the Cock, a restaurant in the valley known for its many celebrity regulars.   

Outside the Billingsley, the golf course became a backdrop for a chase scene of sorts, as "Jack Holden", a caricature of actor William Holden, most famous for Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard, played by Sean Penn, is inspired by actor and singer Tom Waits to a drunken motorcycle jump. This scene was one of the setups where Wexler's work on American Graffiti came in handy, as both pictures were fairly restricted when it came to lighting concerns. 

"Normally, you put a couple lifts up, glass, add some light in there, and that just wasn't an option," he says. Barely south of the Van Nuys airport, planes were landing and taking off, so the production wasn't allowed to use anything higher than 30-feet.

"I was like, 'We've got huge night exteriors here man! How do we build practicals into this whole thing?' So, we laid out tonnes of smoke, low-level smoke, and then lit the smoke to get separation... and we were shooting into a bunch of 5Ks two blocks away, just so there's something going on in the background."

For interiors at The Billingsley, aka the Tail o' the Cock, key lighting was provided by a unique array of warm lights that simulated the warm incandescence of the '70s. Calling them the Bling Lights, the nomenclature comes from his work with Harris Savides ASC on Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, Savides' final film before he passed.

"Chris Menges BSC had this thing where he would make these boxes, basically take light strip sockets, and screw in 15-watt bulbs, and jam them into this box," says Bauman. "You have all these bulbs going, really warm, like 2000 degrees Kelvin, but very soft. We formalised it a bit with Harris, and we called them the 'Bling Lights', and then we just kept making that better and better. And so, for a lot of the interiors, Paul really liked the Blings. Low wattage, large quantity, packed together, bulb-to-bulb, a very soft, warm source."

Co-founder of LiteGear, which manufactures specialised LED solutions, as well as Lux Lighting, a full-service rental house, Bauman is certainly no stranger to LED technology. "We were able to still use a tonne of LED," he adds, "because it was all that we could do in some of these locations, but always playing on the warmer end of the colour spectrum."

He says that he also found a lot of challenges on Licorice Pizza, however, and laughs that Anderson would rib him frequently during the production about using "real lights" over LED. He wanted to work with carbon-arc lights for Licorice Pizza, for instance, requiring quite a lot of power as well as a lot of management. 

"You need to have basically one person for each head," Bauman says. "I'm like, 'Oh my God, this is how they used to do it! Hundreds of thousands of movies and they've been doing carbon arcs. I would remember hearing a lot of the old-school crew guys talking about huge arc-rigs, like 80 of them, 100 of them and I'm like, 'We're having trouble dealing with three.'"

Bauman thanks Justin Dixon, who stepped into his shoes as gaffer, and "did an insane job", as well as key grip Jeffrey Sherman Kunkel, camera op Colin Anderson, and 1st AC Erik L. Brown, whom he considers a "lens savant". Brown was instrumental in tweaking the C Series lenses to the specific needs of the production with Sasaki at Panavision.

Great little find. Always cool to hear about to details and behind the scenes and shows just how much work by everyone goes into his films.