Licorice Pizza - SPOILERS!

Started by wilberfan, November 05, 2021, 08:30:50 PM

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ono

"I don't like talking about actors.  I don't think acting matters in movies."

He gets a whole lot wrong, but this is the worst.

pynchonikon

https://www.newsweek.com/licorice-pizza-paul-thomas-anderson-racism-backlash-1659137?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1639480231

I'm not quoting the whole thing cause it's extremely long and extremely spoilery.

QuoteThe film Licorice Pizza, which has received four Golden Globe nominations including Best Picture - Musical/Comedy, has been blasted by social media users ahead of its general release on Christmas Day.

Some users have slammed the film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, which is set in the 1970s, for "showing racism" without challenging or criticizing it.

Anita Sarkeesian, an Armenian and Iraqi filmmaker, author and media critic, tweeted Monday: "After you watch Licorice Pizza please have a conversation with your friends about how just showing racism isn't a critique of racism. It is actually doing racism." The post had over 500 likes at the time of reporting.

Sarkeesian explained her critique of the film in a lengthy Twitter thread highlighting different points including: "Licorice Pizza is set in the 70s and therefore one could argue it is presenting dominant attitudes of the time but that in and of itself is not enough to justify its existence in perpetuating racist attitudes to modern viewers today, we are not beyond anti-Asian racism in 2021."

Claiming "there is also anti-semitism in the film," Sarkeesian noted the possibility that the intention of the film may have been "to show how blasé the dominant culture was at the time."

But the user added it is "irresponsible to just throw that in as an aside without actually signaling that this is both currently AND was always bad."

Drenk

I wish insane rhetoric like that wouldn't be at the forefront of any serious article/discussion.

I basically agree with that point:

https://twitter.com/judysquirrels/status/1470770813293023239

Sometimes, a lame South Park joke is a lame South Park joke and adults can deal with it like normal people.
Ascension.


wilberfan

Thank God she's they've got an editor.

Good Lord:

Quote@jpollackauthor
Replying to
@lysatronix
The fact that they used music by David Bowie - a man known for statutorily raping teenage girls as a grown man  - in the trailers and promos for this bullshit movie seems like even more of a kick in the teeth.
"When something doesn't resonate, it quickly becomes a tedious endurance test."

Jeremy Blackman

The discourse is popping off today with the racism & age gap convos happening simultaneously. The biggest trend I've seen for LP on Twitter so far, a bit over 6k.

Major spoiler in this one:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FGmDF_EWQAsADES?format=jpg&name=medium
Living life big time

ono

Spoiler: ShowHide
Not to mention she exposes herself after he begs for it and then she slaps him when he asks for permission to steal second. I mean this movie illustrates consent. What more do these people want? /s

achordion

Quote from: Drenk on December 14, 2021, 09:20:07 AM
I wish insane rhetoric like that wouldn't be at the forefront of any serious article/discussion.

I basically agree with that point:

https://twitter.com/judysquirrels/status/1470770813293023239

Sometimes, a lame South Park joke is a lame South Park joke and adults can deal with it like normal people.

I mean, it'd be fine if people weren't calling the joke "racist." Because that is a stupid and incorrect argument being pushed by Twitter personalities for virtue-signal clout.

Agree that it's essentially a South Park joke that has diminishing returns though.

achordion

Quote from: Jeremy Blackman on December 14, 2021, 04:14:14 PM
The discourse is popping off today with the racism & age gap convos happening simultaneously. The biggest trend I've seen for LP on Twitter so far, a bit over 6k.

Major spoiler in this one:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FGmDF_EWQAsADES?format=jpg&name=medium

Did this troglodyte really tweet *during* the movie?

Robyn

Quote from: achordion on December 14, 2021, 06:32:08 PM
Quote from: Drenk on December 14, 2021, 09:20:07 AM
I wish insane rhetoric like that wouldn't be at the forefront of any serious article/discussion.

I basically agree with that point:

https://twitter.com/judysquirrels/status/1470770813293023239

Sometimes, a lame South Park joke is a lame South Park joke and adults can deal with it like normal people.

I mean, it'd be fine if people weren't calling the joke "racist." Because that is a stupid and incorrect argument being pushed by Twitter personalities for virtue-signal clout.

Agree that it's essentially a South Park joke that has diminishing returns though.

David Chen isn't a "Twitter personalitity" that does it for clout or whatever. I take his word for it making him feel uncomfortable. It's good to have the conversation.

With that being said, I don't think a bad joke makes it a lesser film. And Chen would probably agree with that too. He just thought it was an unfortunate joke in an otherwise good film.

Jeremy Blackman

I'll join Robyn in coming to David Chen's defense. I don't always agree with him (it pained me to listen to his Game of Thrones podcast, which was overcritical imo), but he is far and away my favorite podcast host. He's legit. His problem with the racial stuff is all in good faith and comes from specific personal experience, so I don't begrudge it.

He's since clarified a number of times that he understands the difference between depiction and endorsement, etc. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I will trust you guys that his interpretation is a bit skewed or oversimplified. He's definitely not out to get the movie, though – he actually loves it except for those scenes.

There are certainly others courting woke clout. For sure. But the only clout-chasing David Chen is doing mostly involves his goofy tiktoks. (See below.)

https://twitter.com/davechensky/status/1469718394685452288
Living life big time

pynchonikon

You might be (or not) surprised that MGM asked PTA to cut the two Asian-related controversial scenes, and he refused.

wilberfan

Interesting. Not surprised at the MGM part. Source?
"When something doesn't resonate, it quickly becomes a tedious endurance test."

wilberfan

it's nice to see a little pushback on some of the nonsense.

TikTokers Are Accusing 'Licorice Pizza' of Pedophilia. Huh?
A number of viral TikTok posts have accused the acclaimed Paul Thomas Anderson film of "pedophilia" over its central relationship. It's ludicrous.

Marlow: Now that we've broken down Adam McKay's star-studded Netflix satire Don't Look Up (alternate title: America Is Royally F*cked), we can move on to a "controversy" that's somehow captured the imagination of liberal TikTok/Twitter: Licorice Pizza. The latest from filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, of There Will Be Blood and Boogie Nights fame, is a coming-of-age story set in '70s Los Angeles—The Valley, to be precise.

Kevin: It's neither here nor there, but honestly this is the best movie title of our time.

Marlow: Named after a real-life chain of record store shops in Southern California. Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman, son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, a regular PTA collaborator) is a 15-year-old child actor who's been hit hard by puberty, judging by his acne clusters, towering height and paunch, but it hasn't dimmed his confidence.

Kevin: I'm not kidding when I say that, after the credits rolled, I turned to my friend and said, "Acne representation." What a treat to see normal/bad skin on screen!

Marlow: Especially in the Maskne Era. One day, he happens upon Alana Kane (Alana Haim, of the band Haim, in a revelatory debut), who is a photographer's assistant and ten years his senior. It marks the start of a beautiful and thrilling friendship as they navigate a bizarre cast of Hollywood characters, including producer/Barbara Streisand-lover Jon Peters (a hilariously manic Bradley Cooper), action hero Jack Holden (Sean Penn, playing a character based on William Holden), and more. It was named Best Film by the National Board of Review and has received near-universal critical acclaim. In recent days, however, pearl-clutching lefties on TikTok and Twitter have come after the film, with some even going as far as accusing it of "pedophilia." Make it all make sense, Kfal!

Kevin: Make sense of a TikTok controversy? You've come to the exact wrong place.

Marlow: Listen, I don't blame you. I wish I wasn't aware of this!

Kevin: The context here is, as you mentioned, that this is both a coming-of-age story and a romcom. Alana is 25. Gary is 15. People are viewing that relationship dynamic as predatory and abusive, especially given that we're made as viewers to root for them and applaud their connection. There are a whole host of criticisms being lobbed at the film: that the trailers and marketing purposefully obscure the age difference, that it is pedophilia played for laughs, if the genders were reversed we'd be flagging the movie as problematic, or that the grooming is excused as forgivable because it's a celebrated film auteur (Anderson) at the helm, hence making it cool. So now we're in the situation where there's a decision to be made over whether those criticisms are valid and the movie should be called out, or if this is just another case of hyperbolic, reactionary social media seizing a news cycle.

Marlow: And it's definitely the latter, in my opinion. Audiences these days often make the mistake of allowing their personal politics to color their feelings toward a film or TV show—to the point where if a given film or series doesn't directly align with their current views, they deem it a moral failure of some kind. But movies hold a mirror to society and should thus be afforded the opportunity to be messy, as life itself is very messy, assuming the picture doesn't veer into exploitation territory, which Licorice Pizza most certainly does not.

Kevin: The only thing it exploits is my crush on Bradley Cooper, who looks like an absolute snack in his hippie outfit in this movie.

Marlow: He is *so good* at playing coked-up maniacs. Sign me up for a Jon Peters spin-off. As you watch Licorice Pizza, you root for Gary and Alana to succeed at their various entrepreneurial endeavors, be it the waterbed venture or a pinball arcade, and want them to remain friends, but you never view it as a sexual, grooming, or predatory relationship. Gary surely has a bit of a crush, but teen boys crush on any attractive woman in their orbit who gives them the time of day; Alana, meanwhile, never views Gary as a sexual object. It's all about friendship. I'm genuinely curious if some of these folks are just kooky conspiracists on some "Pizzagate" bullshit and coming for the film because they read the synopsis and it's got "pizza" in the title ("Pizzagate" is wildly popular on TikTok and these are deeply stupid times, after all).

Kevin: If only it were as easy as writing the whole thing off as Pizzagate-conspiracy nonsense. The people who are criticizing the film do seem to be in their right minds, and their arguments are, as bullet points, convincing. If you watch the movie with the mindset and understanding that this age difference is gross and abusive, it is alarming and concerning. You're left wondering what the intentions are. Is it glamorizing such a relationship? Is it normalizing it? But when you do that, you're reducing the film to just one thing, and it's the thing that I don't think it's actually about.

Marlow: I couldn't agree more.

Kevin: I didn't feel like the movie was about the relationship between Alana and Gary as much as it was about how each other's presence in their respective lives helped them to understand who they are in the moment, and then grow in the future. I think that's why all these criticisms are confusing to me, because they make the assumption that Alana is preying on Gary and that love or sex is the end-all goal of their narrative arcs. I never felt that, but if you watch it through the prism of this backlash, it can be difficult to focus on anything else.

Marlow: Yes, it's about how they've helped each other grow as people, which is the polar opposite of what an exploitative relationship does. It's worth noting that the two do share a brief kiss toward the latter part of the film, but by that point Gary is not only around 17 years old, as the film takes place over the course of years, but it's not sexually charged at all.

Kevin: "Not sexually charged at all" is also how I would describe my last few dates.

Marlow: Ha! As Paul Thomas Anderson himself told The New York Times of the age gap, "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." PTA sadly forgot that it's 2021, and certain corners of the internet tend to lose their marbles about anything and everything that could potentially disagree with them. As you said, intent is important here, and at no point do you feel like Gary and Alana's relationship is building toward a romance of any kind; on the contrary, the film implies that these two perpetually-in-motion dreamers will soon grow apart.

Kevin: I guess I'm just glad that, even while very self-aware that we now have a piece with two bylines about it on this website, the movie seems to have skirted this outrage. It's one of my favorite movies of the year. Watching it in a crowded theater where everyone was giggling and applauding at every joke and set piece (the truck sequence!) was rejuvenating for me as a movie lover. Alana Haim is so damn good, making the fact that this is her first leading role all the wilder. So much of film reaction these days seems to live in bad-faith controversy, exploding the smallest critiques into potentially ruinous backlash. It's exhausting. Sometimes I just wish we could let good movies just be good.

Marlow: Amen.
"When something doesn't resonate, it quickly becomes a tedious endurance test."

Drenk

The nonsense is adults making articles about Tik Tok Teens as if they were a powerful cultural force.
Ascension.