Licorice Pizza - SPOILERS!

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

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Lots of Bees

Cool thanks

I'm so excited for this goddamn movie

pynchonikon

Of course many things can be written in the heat of the moment, but the whole "don't you dare to tell me I'm overreacting!! Fuck white people! Fuck you all!!" attitude shows deep inferiority complexes and is completely unflattering. (this doesn't go for David Chen, who handled this rather calmly)


Lots of Bees

Quote from: pynchonikon on November 19, 2021, 02:41:57 AM
Of course many things can be written in the heat of the moment, but the whole "don't you dare to tell me I'm overreacting!! Fuck white people! Fuck you all!!" attitude shows deep inferiority complexes and is completely unflattering. (this doesn't go for David Chen, who handled this rather calmly)



Agreed, and yeah David Chen didn't seem too upset about the joke itself, more the audience reaction to it. Also he said the movie's still in his top 10 for the year.

What annoys me is the amount of people who see someone else mad about something online and immediately decide that they must be mad as well without thinking for themselves. (Not saying Walter Chaw is this, but all the people in the comments being like "not seeing this now" or "fuck this movie" without any context).

PaulElroy35

Quote from: Lots of Bees on November 19, 2021, 03:27:02 AM
Quote from: pynchonikon on November 19, 2021, 02:41:57 AM
Of course many things can be written in the heat of the moment, but the whole "don't you dare to tell me I'm overreacting!! Fuck white people! Fuck you all!!" attitude shows deep inferiority complexes and is completely unflattering. (this doesn't go for David Chen, who handled this rather calmly)



Agreed, and yeah David Chen didn't seem too upset about the joke itself, more the audience reaction to it. Also he said the movie's still in his top 10 for the year.

What annoys me is the amount of people who see someone else mad about something online and immediately decide that they must be mad as well without thinking for themselves. (Not saying Walter Chaw is this, but all the people in the comments being like "not seeing this now" or "fuck this movie" without any context).

Yeah people thinking they know this stuff without watching the film is weird

If it's not the age gap thing its the "offensive humour"

I'm going to watch it it soon as I can and make my mind up on what MY eyes see haha

WorldForgot

Quote from: Lots of Bees on November 19, 2021, 02:04:31 AM
Wondering cause I'm seeing it with someone who's usually sensitive to that kinda stuff and I just wanna know if I should mention it before or something to avoid it being a moment of surprise/disappointment or whatever.

It's not the only scenario like it, though.
And it is kinda interesting if no one mentions the others in the same criticisms. They form a thematic throughline similar to how Boogie implies there was an art form lost to the commercialism. That iz, what's dehumanizing, or say, objectified, and what's collaborative prospectin'

for sure spoilz:
Spoiler: ShowHide
there are at least two other supporting cast members looking to get groovy with race, lets say. For one it's clearly to market Alana Kane, and in the other it's to market the sensual appeal of a product. I get the feeling that what paul is illustrating was that there was cultural clash and symbiosis all over the valley, and not all of it was as well jived as the soggy bottom scene.


And yes that goes in hand with throwaway lines that Bradley spouts and probably no ones gonna mention that the way they mention the "don't cry in front of the mexicans" from OUATIH lol

Drenk

That makes me think of the Bruce Lee scene in OUATIH where I thought I would be with Team This Isn't Racist This Just Shows That Pitt is a War Veteran, and then I watched the movie: the audience reaction and the scene itself made me very uncomfortable—the fact that Brad Pitt had to ask Tarantino to tone this scene down shows that, despite accepting the request, the spirit of the sequence was unchanged.

Fortunately, Paul Thomas Anderson is way more clever than Tarantino. And I believe that he wouldn't have added that kind of stuff in the movie if it weren't a memory, or a story somebody told him.
Ascension.

Drill

Quote from: Drenk on November 19, 2021, 11:23:36 AM
That makes me think of the Bruce Lee scene in OUATIH where I thought I would be with Team This Isn't Racist This Just Shows That Pitt is a War Veteran, and then I watched the movie: the audience reaction and the scene itself made me very uncomfortable—the fact that Brad Pitt had to ask Tarantino to tone this scene down shows that, despite accepting the request, the spirit of the sequence was unchanged.

Fortunately, Paul Thomas Anderson is way more clever than Tarantino. And I believe that he wouldn't have added that kind of stuff in the movie if it weren't a memory, or a story somebody told him.

And Walter Chaw defended that scene in OUATIH. Is this really that much more egregious?

wilberfan

We don't have to rehash the Bruce Lee Controversy here, but my read on the scene was what I took to be Quentin's:  He is 'making fun' of Bruce--but not because of his Asian-ness, but because he was kind of a well-known dick on the set--especially from the perspective of the other stunt people.   I think we're certainly meant to identify with Cliff in that scene--a stunt guy--so it's delicious when he tosses Bruce around.

I enjoyed the response I saw QT give once to this whole thing.  Words to the effect that, "Hey, if you're part of Lee's family, then your criticisms carry some weight.  If you're not, then just fuck off..."

Quote from: Drenk on November 19, 2021, 11:23:36 AM
And I believe that he wouldn't have added that kind of stuff in the movie if it weren't a memory, or a story somebody told him.

I had this exact thought during yesterdays rewatch.  The Mikado is a real place--and they actually filmed there--so I have to think that Gary knew someone like that character--perhaps exaggerated a bit for the film to really sell it.
"When something doesn't resonate, it quickly becomes a tedious endurance test."

Derekk_kal

For those who have seen the film, does the film touch on issues of land acknowledgment and related issues? Just saw a twitter mutual post on this and wanted to confirm.

Rarely do western movies highlight these issues!

wilberfan

"Land acknowledgement".   Do you mean, like, native peoples, etc?   Now that you mention it, Jon Peters references something like that in his gas station rant.    I wasn't even sure I'd heard it properly.
"When something doesn't resonate, it quickly becomes a tedious endurance test."

Drenk

I'm sorry, wilber, but this is a SNL parody of Bruce Lee, where everybody laughs at him and with Cliff's racism. Like I said: it didn't feel like a wrong reaction.

I understand the rationalization. This is different from actually criticizing the scene.
Ascension.

Derekk_kal

Quote from: wilberfan on November 19, 2021, 12:05:01 PM
"Land acknowledgement".   Do you mean, like, native peoples, etc?   Now that you mention it, Jon Peters references something like that in his gas station rant.    I wasn't even sure I'd heard it properly.

Yes! That's cool because the impact of the crisis on indigenous people seldom get discussed. Regardless I presume it is just a passing reference by Jon peters of all people lol.

wilberfan

If you're not listening carefully, you'd probably miss it...
"When something doesn't resonate, it quickly becomes a tedious endurance test."

WorldForgot

Quote from: wilberfan on November 19, 2021, 12:05:01 PM
"Land acknowledgement".   Do you mean, like, native peoples, etc?   Now that you mention it, Jon Peters references something like that in his gas station rant.    I wasn't even sure I'd heard it properly.

Yeah when he's approaching the gas station haha, the Territory line.

Anyway, Paul takes the baton (winkwink for those who have seen it) from QT and continues the throughline with more than one scene of that sort of interaction where race is a part in (not of?) the hustle.

Derekk_kal

#74
https://seattlescreenscene.com/2021/11/19/licorice-pizza-paul-thomas-anderson-2021/

A much more interesting short piece on Licorice Pizza's place in PTA's oeuvre.

"
Licorice Pizza is, like almost every other Paul Thomas Anderson movie, about America. More specifically it is about America as embodied in the San Fernando Valley of California in the 1970s, just as Inherent Vice and Boogie Nights were before it. There Will Be Blood is the prequel: it's about California in the early 20th century. The Master is another prequel, about mid-century Californian metaphysics. Magnolia moved the timeline into the 90s, albeit one haunted by the 1970s. Hard Eight is set in Las Vegas, but that's a first film so we'll cut him some slack. Licorice Pizza is also an oddball romance, like Punch-Drunk Love and The Phantom Thread, neither of which are particularly about America, though the former is more than the latter. It's about a girl and a boy and the world they live in and how they somehow, against all common sense, find something like love, at least for now.

Alana Haim plays a rudderless 25 year old named Alana who, when working for a company that shoots high school yearbook photos, is spotted by 15 year old Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman, looking eerily like his father), a precocious go-getter who has just about grown out of being a cute child actor. He falls for her instantly and walks right up and tells her so, beginning the first of several lengthy walk and talk camera movements that form the spine of Anderson's approach to the film. Alana and Gary are always moving laterally, sometimes walking, often running. All the kids in the movie love to run—they have to, they're in a hurry. Alana, sensibly, rebuffs Gary's romantic advances, but the two have an obvious connection and the two strike up a friendship.

The rest of the film follows their various career schemes while deftly negotiating the fact that these two characters are obviously in love but really should not be. It's a picaresque set almost entirely in the Valley, and it feels like it could have gone on forever, just vibing with all the weirdness of America in the 70s. But the film is far from a nostalgia trip: like its cousin Dazed and Confused, Licorice Pizza is as much about what was, and is, wrong with America as it is about classic rock and questionable fashion. Alana and Gary meet vast array of white people in their adventures, most of them older, most of them seriously fucked up in a way that no one is allow to discuss openly.

There's Bradley Cooper's gross John Peters, who hits on every woman he sees and is the definition of an entitled Hollywood hanger-on (a hairdresser and a producer, the real John Peters was a child actor as well). There's Sean Penn's aging star actor who reads with the starstruck Alana during an audition, takes her out for drinks (at Gary's favorite restaurant "The Tail of the Cock"), then loses interest as he and an old director buddy (Tom Waits) recreate a scene from one of their Korean War movies (Penn's character is named Jack Holden, and is apparently based on William Holden). There's John Michael Higgins, who plays a the owner of Gary's other favorite restaurant, who hires Gary's mother's PR firm to advertise the place, a Japanese place called The Mikado. Higgins and his Japanese wife listen to the proposed ad (which does everything it can to downplay the food and up the Orientalist appeal), and Higgins "translates" to his wife by adopting a grotesque caricature of a Japanese accent (think Mickey Rooney's ghastly Breakfast at Tiffany's performance). He does the same thing in a later scene, now with a different wife (they're apparently interchangeable for him) and admits that he doesn't speak Japanese. The performance is too absurd to be based in anything but reality. Finally there's Benny Safdie as Joel Wachs, a city council member whose campaign for mayor Alana joins as a volunteer. Wachs is a closeted gay man (he came out in 1999, after decades of accomplished service. It's Alana's realization of Wachs's sexuality, and the pain having to hide it causes him and his partner, that sends her back to Gary. Because theirs is a world when all the cultural norms are completely wrong: men as debauched misogynists or macho burnouts, where condescendingly racist fetishizers of other people and cultures are greeted with, at most, a raised eyebrow, where a good man has to call in a beard to a restaurant because his political enemies might find out who he's really dining with and why. Because in such a world, when you find a true friend, you really have to stick with them.

Or, taken another way, you can see it as a story of integration. Alana's family is played by her real-life family, her sisters and parents. They're very Jewish (one agent keeps coming back to Alana's "Jewish nose", a potential boyfriend is kicked out of the house for refusing to give the blessing at dinner because he's an atheist) and it's easy to read Alana's attraction to Gary as an Old World/New World thing, with Gary as the embodiment of a wide-eyed American innocence and entrepreneurialism. He's bursting with crazy schemes, always looking to make a quick buck with waterbeds (inspired by Leonardo DiCaprio's father) or pinball machines or making campaign commercials. Gary is a hustler who believes deeply in everything (contrast with failed boyfriend Lance, the atheist). Most of all he believes in Alana. This differentiates him from Higgins's racist restauranteur. Gary is an idealized, uncorrupted American man that doesn't exploit other cultures, or other people, that hurts only people that deserve it (like that rich asshole John Peters). He's all the potential of America, but he's only 15 years old. And though we all know how his story is going to end, the movie ends while there's still hope.
"