Licorice Pizza - SPOILERS!

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

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achordion

Wasn't familiar with this David Chen fellow, but that fact that he works for Amazon (you know, the company that just killed several of their workers, who they were treating like robots anyway) and does a podcast about "pop culture" (barf) makes the validity of his opinion and the intellectual spirit of it incredibly less valid.

Just my two cents. Last I'll say about it.


Drill

Quote from: pynchonikon on December 15, 2021, 01:40:40 AM
You might be (or not) surprised that MGM asked PTA to cut the two Asian-related controversial scenes, and he refused.

If that's the case, then he probably should've had a better, more thorough explanation handy for when he was asked about it. Basically saying "Gotta show the times. Besides, my mother-in-law is Japanese." is pretty weak. Plus, Jerry Frick was a real guy. Why not mention that? Is that portrayal accurate?

Spoiler: ShowHide
I think those scenes don't work because the wives aren't given any POV. There's a closeup or two to show that they're upset, but nothing to portray why they were with this guy in the 1st place and why they'd put up with that for the time being. And thus, it's understandable why people feel they come off as props for a gag.

Drenk

Spoiler: ShowHide
What's frustrating about this bad bit is that it diminishes some subtle work about the « racism of the time ». The first wife is upset about the mention of the « dolls », then Gary doesn't notice that the second wife is another person. The mere fact that he keeps marrying Japanese women as trophy wives gives a sense of who the guy is. My most generous reading is that PTA wanted a weird tonal shift with this South Park bit. Still. Doesn't work.
Ascension.

Pringle

This same cycle is gonna keep repeating itself until after the Oscars. People are gonna get mad about the movie, other people will get mad at the people who are mad at the movie, a third group of people will get mad about people getting mad about the people getting mad about the movie, and lazy film journalists will keep cashing in on articles centered around random social media accounts criticizing the movie.

Jeremy Blackman

Quote from: achordion on December 15, 2021, 11:24:53 AM
Wasn't familiar with this David Chen fellow, but that fact that he works for Amazon (you know, the company that just killed several of their workers, who they were treating like robots anyway) and does a podcast about "pop culture" (barf) makes the validity of his opinion and the intellectual spirit of it incredibly less valid.

Just my two cents. Last I'll say about it.

This is a completely valid take, but for what it's worth, he's made it abundantly clear that he's trying to leave Amazon to pursue his own projects full-time. Still, no one's forcing him to work there.

He's not a film critic, just a very good podcast host imo, better at generating great coversation than anything else. I tend to disagree with him a fair amount but it doesn't phase me. His whole vibe is just offering a personal perspective and not really trying to persuade anyone. So it's hard to get mad.

I would apologize for the diversion, but we're in a LP thread.
Living life big time

pynchonikon

Quote from: wilberfan on December 15, 2021, 08:39:58 AM
Interesting. Not surprised at the MGM part. Source?

The same one that, among other things, knew about the film's title three weeks before the official announcement.

PaulElroy35

Quote from: pynchonikon on December 15, 2021, 04:06:28 PM
Quote from: wilberfan on December 15, 2021, 08:39:58 AM
Interesting. Not surprised at the MGM part. Source?

The same one that, among other things, knew about the film's title three weeks before the official announcement.

can you the name of the source of no?

pynchonikon

Quote from: PaulElroy35 on December 15, 2021, 09:03:03 PM
Quote from: pynchonikon on December 15, 2021, 04:06:28 PM
Quote from: wilberfan on December 15, 2021, 08:39:58 AM
Interesting. Not surprised at the MGM part. Source?

The same one that, among other things, knew about the film's title three weeks before the official announcement.

can you the name of the source of no?

I'm sorry, but you have to take my word for it.

wilberfan

In Licorice Pizza, Everyone is Pretending to Be a Grown-Up. Especially the Grown-Ups.

Olivia Rutigliano on Paul Thomas Anderson's Latest Film

Licorice Pizza, the new film from Paul Thomas Anderson, is full of children who act like adults and adults who act like children. Blurring these divisions is precisely the point—every character is in an equal state of pretending, all the time.

The film's promotional materials have sold it as a coming-of-age story, and it is, but in many ways for its gang of childish fourflushers, it is also a staying-of-age story. In Licorice Pizza, everyone must fight to find meaning in their lives at their own pace and in their own time, and however mismatched that meaning is for one's expected age group doesn't really seem to matter. What matters seems to be finding meaning at all.

The film follows Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman), a 15-year-old self-described "showman," as he lives a bustling life in 1973 Los Angeles. A child actor, he travels across the country to attend auditions and appear on TV specials, while also running his own public relations firm with his mother (Mary Elizabeth Ellis). He has a "usual table" at a local watering hole, initiates numerous lucrative business ventures, and insistently hits on older women, all with the confidence of a much older man—which is to say, a teenage boy.

The main object of his affections is Alana Kane (Alana Haim, of the band "Haim" fame), a pissed-off 25-year-old he meets working his high school's picture day. He flirts with her aggressively, she rebuffs his affections, but they have an undeniable connection, and it's not long before they become best friends.

The film's promotional materials have sold it as a coming-of-age story, and it is, but in many ways for its gang of childish fourflushers, it is also a staying-of-age story.
Alana lives with her parents (played by Alana Haim's real parents, Moti and Donna Haim) and her two older sisters (played by her real sisters and bandmates, Este and Danielle Haim) and she is both chagrinned and intrigued that Gary, a precocious adolescent, has accomplished more in his short life than in her slightly longer one. She is immature—insecure, naïve, angsty and longing to be loved and feel important—and although she is clearly older than Gary, she also often acts like a stereotypical teenager more than he does. (Most notably, while Gary goes after women of all ages, Alana has clearly never had a boyfriend.)

As in Peter Pan, permanently transforming into an adult is the film's biggest peril.
Then again, that Gary is a kid aping grown-up life so dramatically—like the Artful Dodger, he is the ringleader of a band of skinny preteens who aid him in his various hustles—only makes him seem like more of a kid. As these two orbit each other, Licorice Pizza winds itself in circles, emotionally aging its protagonists up and down, back and forth, as their bond grows into something like love.

Alana and Gary go into business together selling and delivering waterbeds (alongside Gary's attempt to get Alana into the movies). However, Alana is trying to find herself, while Gary knows who he is, and this causes tension that sends them into potentially threatening situations, and also wrests them apart. Notably, there is a distinction between their give-and-take brand of immaturity and the kind practiced by the much older folks in the film: particularly, the bevvy of egomaniacal and unhinged Hollywood types the various youngsters find in their path.

These individuals are disgusting at best—like John Michael Higgins's racist restaurateur—and dangerous at worst—like the actor Jack Holden (Sean Penn), who longs for his glory days making 60s war movies so much that he drunkenly pulls off a treacherous stunt in the backyard of a family restaurant. Or worse, the volatile celebrity Jon Peters (Bradley Cooper), who offers a threat of physical violence, giving a deranged and menacing ultimatum to the kids installing his waterbed.

Licorice Pizza takes place in the early 70s; watching the film in 2021, it's impossible to forget that these young people will become—have become—real adults. Is this unpleasant world the fate that waits for them, especially because, in their current youthful moments, they are already perched atop their own slippery slopes?

Licorice Pizza is suffused with the idea of becoming "another version of yourself"—most specifically by Alana's constant attempts at reinvention, her constant hopes for attention from someone who will make her feel like more than herself, and then her realization that she must be this person for herself. (There's a scene in the middle in which we wonder if she has changed her identity, but this turns out to be pretend, too.)

As in Peter Pan, permanently transforming into an adult is the film's biggest peril, until it becomes the film's biggest necessity. Alana is delaying this for as long as she can. A nice visual indicator of this theme is that Alana and Gary (but mostly Alana) spend much of the film breaking into runs—powerful, pavement-slapping, breathless runs—the kind of running you do when you're a kid and you're either really mad or really happy. "Running" is to Licorice Pizza as "flying" is to Peter Pan—ignited by feeling and belief and camaraderie, it is a physical attempt to outrun fate, to prolong youth, to maintain freedom.

Its frames are full of reflective surfaces (mostly via store windows), that project the characters as having second lives, alternate selves.
Gary wants to age into his next stage, but Alana doesn't want to grow anymore until she can accomplish more in her life so as not to feel like a failure. This is interesting, especially because the real Alana has been in a successful pop band for nearly a decade. She and her family (playing characters with the same names), are alternate, time-traveling versions of themselves. (Alana Kane's birthday, mentioned briefly, is even the same day as Alana Haim's.) And in a recent interview in The New York Times, Paul Thomas Anderson mentioned that he was inspired to make the film with the Haim family after realizing that the Haim matriarch, Donna, was one of his own teachers (whom he adored) when she was a young, unmarried woman. As such, Licorice Pizza often feels like an exercise in ruminating on "what once was" just as much as "what might have been." The film asks us to consider this visually, too; its frames are full of reflective surfaces (mostly via store windows), that project the characters as having second lives, alternate selves.

Licorice Pizza is a sunny affair. Anderson, who also does the film's sun-bleached cinematography (along with Michael Bauman), has visually engineered the kind of lushness with which you might remember the San Fernando Valley in the summer of 1973, if you were looking back on it now. The light is golden, somehow, even when it's nighttime. The streets look like a place where anything can happen, to us and its characters tortured by possibility.

The film finds a period-appropriate anthem in the David Bowie song "Life on Mars." It's prominently featured in the film (as well as its promotional materials), not to mention that its lyrics seem to literally say much of what's at work in the film itself, the story about a disillusioned "girl with mousy hair" who lives with her parents and takes refuge from her disappointing life via a flirtation with the movies—which in turn surround her with meaningless, myriad spectacles that don't fulfill her anyway. But the song also seems to underscore the film's cryptic thesis statement. If there is any line in "Life on Mars" that can unlock the mysteries of Licorice Pizza, I think it might be its most quizzical and damning sentence, "Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow." In this moment, as in Licorice Pizza on the whole, a joyous symbol of childhood magic grows up to resemble what it has actually, truly been all along: a distorted product of its capitalistic milieu.

Is this the road that Gary, a born wheeler and dealer (and a veritable harasser of women), is headed on? What about Alana, a woman in her twenties who grows attracted to someone a decade younger than she is, after he brags to her about being semi-famous? For all that Licorice Pizza is about the very real, very powerful feelings that we have when we are young that propel us towards the magical moments we dream about, it is also constantly threatening to us that we might lose those things about ourselves, and become people we barely recognize, in the process.
"When something doesn't resonate, it quickly becomes a tedious endurance test."

ono

Spoiler: ShowHide
I've seen LP twice now.  It definitely makes me sad that the Japanese scenes are there.  I never thought I would say this either.  They stick out like a sore thumb and add nothing to the film.  They are cringeworthy, and not the fun kind of cringe.  The first time I saw this, I was like... "what's going on?  Is this really in this movie?"  And then, what's the payoff?  Well, nothing really.  For someone who's generally so thoughtful, I didn't think this would ever be an issue.  I think one thing PTA suffers from at times is underwriting his characters and then somehow in tangential breaths, many people still find way to praise him for his great character development.  It's still left me scratching my head.

PaulElroy35

Quote from: ono on December 18, 2021, 07:06:32 PM
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I've seen LP twice now.  It definitely makes me sad that the Japanese scenes are there.  I never thought I would say this either.  They stick out like a sore thumb and add nothing to the film.  They are cringeworthy, and not the fun kind of cringe.  The first time I saw this, I was like... "what's going on?  Is this really in this movie?"  And then, what's the payoff?  Well, nothing really.  For someone who's generally so thoughtful, I didn't think this would ever be an issue.  I think one thing PTA suffers from at times is underwriting his characters and then somehow in tangential breaths, many people still find way to praise him for his great character development.  It's still left me scratching my head.


Fits the tone of the film for me so I'm cool with it.

Of course thinking about it in comparison  to his other films then it would probably seem out of place but not here.

If people are uncomfortable by it then  I'm not mad at  that I dont want to tell someone how to feel but boy do i think people are going overboard with the complaints.

I cant wait untill films arent aloud to have any characters who arent the same race as the filmmaker haha 

In all fairness it's in the film it's what Paul wanted and people just need to accept that but if course it can still be talked about but theres so much more to the film than these scenes. To tally this work up to these two scenes and the age gap is overlooking what is a fantastic film. Just the type of film aswell I was up for after how crazy the world has been.

md

The Japanese bit was a true anecdote, right?  Could see why PTA insisted, because 'it did happen.'

Is anyone amazed at all the accolades LP is getting.  I'm due for a rewatch,  and I'm sure the timing, plus overdue-ness comes into play,  but part of me, while sitting through the 2nd act watching all of this fun chaos ensue was thinking about how much I'd love a serious PTA movie right about now.  It's understandable that this lighter film has it's quirks like PDL,  and while some of the films moments truly shine like Jon Peters,  the heartbreaking Wachs Dinner scene and the longing lost and found moment scene where Gary and Alana are walking and they match cut to flashbacks,  this film, imo,  is probably one of the leaser deserving attempts to receive enormous amounts of praise across the board.  Weak line up this year?  PTA cultism? Shit,  I've been drinking the Kool-Aid since day one, but as an OG I'm surprised and impressed at some of the critical reception.
"look hard at what pleases you and even harder at what doesn't" ~ carolyn forche

PaulElroy35

Quote from: md on December 20, 2021, 12:08:24 AM
The Japanese bit was a true anecdote, right?  Could see why PTA insisted, because 'it did happen.'

Is anyone amazed at all the accolades LP is getting.  I'm due for a rewatch,  and I'm sure the timing, plus overdue-ness comes into play,  but part of me, while sitting through the 2nd act watching all of this fun chaos ensue was thinking about how much I'd love a serious PTA movie right about now.  It's understandable that this lighter film has it's quirks like PDL,  and while some of the films moments truly shine like Jon Peters,  the heartbreaking Wachs Dinner scene and the longing lost and found moment scene where Gary and Alana are walking and they match cut to flashbacks,  this film, imo,  is probably one of the leaser deserving attempts to receive enormous amounts of praise across the board.  Weak line up this year?  PTA cultism? Shit,  I've been drinking the Kool-Aid since day one, but as an OG I'm surprised and impressed at some of the critical reception.
##


I think because its a lighter more breezy film people are acting like its not as worthy in his filmography as his others which i think is ridiculous. 

And to say its not a good as other potential awards films is weird considering what else is being talked about. Theres great stuff out there but some generic oscar bait as usual being talked about which this film is not.

I mean does liking a really great new PTA film mean your'e  drinking the kool aid then if it does then fill me up a bucket full.

Yes

Quote from: PaulElroy35 on December 20, 2021, 01:06:23 AM
Quote from: md on December 20, 2021, 12:08:24 AMI mean does liking a really great new PTA film mean your'e  drinking the kool aid then if it does then fill me up a bucket full.

Oh we know. You're drunk of it

PaulElroy35

Quote from: Yes on December 20, 2021, 01:09:07 AM
Quote from: PaulElroy35 on December 20, 2021, 01:06:23 AM
Quote from: md on December 20, 2021, 12:08:24 AMI mean does liking a really great new PTA film mean your'e  drinking the kool aid then if it does then fill me up a bucket full.

Oh we know. You're drunk of it

Yeah  and thats weird for some reason but hey ho guess im new to being a fan of things . I should  be more cynical like you innit haha