Licorice Pizza - SPOILERS!

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

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wilberfan

#135
I'm not gonna post every review (that's what Reddit is for!), but I liked the way this guy addressed "the issues" (in other words, I agree with his take).

'Licorice Pizza' Review — Paul Thomas Anderson's Latest Masterpiece is an All-Timer | Fanboynation.com

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QuoteNow, I'd like to hit on a few aspects of the film that have been deemed problematic by some colleagues. First of all, a restaurateur (played by John Michael Higgins) unleashes an incredibly offensive imitation of an Asian accent, and the scene is played for laughs. However, the film is not trying to get laughs from the man's overt racism but from the fact that he's a complete idiot. And then, of course, there's the age gap in the film's central relationship. There is sexual tension between the characters but there is no sex. The complicated nature of the age gap is central to the film's story, and it's handled with grace and tact. None of these characters are predatory towards one another, there's mutual respect that fuels their connection even if the age gap gives these characters pause. The whole film is interrogating this situation and doesn't handle it blithely. And Licorice Pizza isn't like Anderson's other recent films in that he's much more textual here than he was in, say, Inherent Vice or The Master.
"When something doesn't resonate, it quickly becomes a tedious endurance test."

wilberfan

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

wilberfan

A question for further down the road, when more of you have lost your Pizza cherries.

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How sexually experienced is Alana?  Is she a virgin?  Discuss.
"When something doesn't resonate, it quickly becomes a tedious endurance test."

Jeremy Blackman

Living life big time

wilberfan

I like this take on the Gary/Alana:

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QuoteThese two souls seem linked by fate in ways that defy romance or lust or even puppy love, and it frustrates and baffles each of them in turn as their adventures pull them apart and push them back together. It's a story not of two people, but of two searchers, each looking for the thing that will fulfill them and somehow always circling back into each others' spheres. That sense of constant searching, mingled with adolescent self-mythologizing, twentysomething yearning, and Anderson's own mature sense of perspective, makes "Licorice Pizza" something special.


From here.
"When something doesn't resonate, it quickly becomes a tedious endurance test."

wilberfan

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


wilberfan

Christy is a huge fan of this movie.   :bravo:  She also raved on the local Filmweek review program this morning.
"When something doesn't resonate, it quickly becomes a tedious endurance test."

pynchonikon

https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/pop-culture-news/licorice-pizza-faces-criticism-scenes-involving-fake-asian-accent-rcna6603

Parts of the article

Quote'Licorice Pizza' faces criticism for scenes involving fake Asian accent by Wilson Wong

"The film is not even about Asians or race, and what it does is normalize this violence, this casual anti-Asian racism," one sociologist said.

QuoteNancy Wang Yuen, a sociologist, said criticism of Higgins' character appears to be warranted because there is no clear pushback against his character in the film.

"It's irresponsible to use racism against Asians as a running gag," Yuen said.

Though she hasn't seen the film yet, she noted it's apparent that the plot is "not even about Asians or race, and what it does is normalize this violence, this casual anti-Asian racism."

"Racist stereotypes like the accent are a cheap way of getting laughs because you don't need to explain anything — even though there is nothing funny about accents," Yuen said.

Quote"This kind of representation gives permission for others to behave this way towards Asians, and it rehashes this trope of Asians as the perpetual foreigner — a trope that has been part of our society since the 1800s," Yuen said.

While Anderson acknowledged it was a "period" piece, Yuen said the scenes still depict racism "unfiltered."

"If there are no consequences, scenes like this can almost glorify this behavior," she said. "You're not laughing at [Higgins' character] because he's making fun of someone else; you're either laughing with him at the expense of Asians, or you're going to be upset as a viewer."

max from fearless


As a person of colour, I get the purpose of these scenes but I wish these scenes weren't in the movie and I understand people having issues with it.

wilberfan

Quote from: pynchonikon on November 25, 2021, 08:14:14 AM

Though she hasn't seen the film yet

Her concerns are not without merit, though.  The joke will play differently, I'm sure, in some other parts of the country than it did in Westwood. 

The joke also would have played differently 50 years go in Westwood. 

Whether it works for you--or makes you uncomfortable, I think both are valid reactions.  It is from a contemporary perspective looking back on what I suspect was an actual incident or attitude, however. 
"When something doesn't resonate, it quickly becomes a tedious endurance test."

Pringle

I just saw the movie and I absolutely loved it and thought it was so sweet and beautiful and captivating and life affirming.

Having said that,
Spoiler: ShowHide
I totally see where people who are offended by the Asian accent are coming from. People in the screening I was in laughed but I actually found it to be kind of unnecessary. I'm not sure what PTA was going for.

There's a moment right when the first Asian character is on screen where Gary's mom is reading the ad copy for the restaurant and she refers to the waitresses as "little dolls" and the shot lingers on a close-up on the Asian woman looking hurt. But then the rest of the scenes were just played for laughs.

Jeremy Blackman

I haven't seen the scene in question so can't offer an opinion (and from the convo here the adverse reaction obviously seems valid), but I can definitely offer an opinion on this:

Quote from: pynchonikon on November 25, 2021, 08:14:14 AM"If there are no consequences, scenes like this can almost glorify this behavior," she said. "You're not laughing at [Higgins' character] because he's making fun of someone else; you're either laughing with him at the expense of Asians, or you're going to be upset as a viewer."

I'm sorry, but it's irresponsible to comment at length and in detail about (and then pass judgment on) something you haven't seen. This analysis seems mostly drawn from her imagination. How certain is she that the scene only offers that specific binary that she lays out? Also... "you're going to be upset as a viewer"... what's wrong with that? I actively seek out movies that upset me. Depiction is not endorsement.
Living life big time

pynchonikon


Jeremy Blackman

Quote"If there are no consequences, scenes like this can almost glorify this behavior,"

I just can't get over this. So bad behavior must always be punished in a movie, otherwise you're endorsing it? What a bizarre and childish thing to expect from art.
Living life big time