Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Inherent Vice To Screen At AFI Fest

After a vibrant world premiere at the New York Film Festival, Deadline reports that Inherent Vice is heading west; the film is set for a gala screening at the AFI Fest in Hollywood on November 8th in The Egyptian Theatre.

The fest runs November 6 - November 13 and will feature a talk with PTA as well, so keep your sights on this one!

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IV (theatrical premiere): 58 days

Find more information about the film on our Inherent Vice page. 
Stay tuned to Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Robert Elswit Talks Working With PTA; Songs From "Vice" Revealed

PTA's long-time cinematographer Robert Elswit did an interview with to discuss his upcoming work in the two prominently Los Angeles-set movies Nightcrawler (which looks phenomenal) and Inherent Vice. Elswit talks quite a bit about the process of working with PTA over the years, including his more free-form inclinations as of late. Then the interview turns much more directly about Vice (Thanks, Timothy):
HITFIX: Let's talk a bit about Inherent Vice. The design elements are so striking and it all just sort of pops.
ROBERT ELSWIT: It's very vivid.
HITFIX: Given that the film is obviously part of a certain tradition, did you look at things like The Long Goodbye to help inform any of the visual language you were working with? 
RE: We did. We looked at a whole bunch of Altman movies, a whole bunch of old LA, lots of photos from that era, a lot of music, a lot of books that were inter-reference sources. More than anything else there were these marvelous sort of Kodachromes and Ektachromes that these little music groups that lived in Topanga and the other canyons — you know, the Joni Mitchell era of the singer/songwriter, album books — we got a bunch of them. And Mark Bridges is a wonderful costume designer, so we kind of went through a lot of that to find wardrobe for all these people. We looked at the kind of photographs that people took in the '60s and '70s living in Laurel Canyon, living in Malibu Canyon and living up in that canyon along the beach that you drive up, just past Sunset. What is it…
HITFIX: Topanga?
RE: Topanga, yeah. Topanga Canyon. It's kind of the people who lived in that world in the '70s. I went to the place that Pynchon lived in Hermosa Beach — that's [Gordita] Beach in the movie — and in those days it was a very low-rent neighborhood. It was a lot like Venice only not quite as charming. It has a hill that leads down into the water and there are lots of these kind of lovely old homes from the '20s and '30s that have all been torn down, all been turned into condos and apartments and very, very expensive homes. But back in the '70s it was people who worked at the airport, a lot of stewardesses, a lot of flight attendants, a lot of maintenance personnel, pilots who weren't married. And it was an absolute party town with a mix of hedonistic hippies and surfers and airline people. I went to Venice High and Santa Monica High and when I graduated, when I was in college, I would go at least once a month to some party at some stewardess's apartment in someplace in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach. It was a crazy, crazy time back then. And that's when Pynchon went there. That's when he wrote the book, about that period, about that place, and that was kind of the inspiration.
So Paul and I spent a lot of time driving around in those areas trying to find what little was left. Venice has kind of changed a little more in its character than Hermosa Beach. Hermosa Beach could have been bulldozed. Everything south of the airport is just completely changed. I mean there's just nothing left. Not what it used to be when I was younger. But he found a little bit of it and also to feel what it was like to live that sort of weird, hedonistic, kind of crazy lifestyle back in those days.
HITFIX: It sounds like an electric experience. And again, it's a unique world to capture on film. It's kind of anthropological or something.
RE: Altman, I think, came the closest to finding all of that when he made California Split and, you know, even his homage to Philip Marlowe when he made The Long Goodbye. Pynchon's book is really a riff on Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, except it's a stylistic orgy in which nothing pays off dramatically. They don't really solve the mystery. A lot of remarkable events happen but you don't really get any closer to what's really beneath it. Just figuring out what to adapt from that book was a really complicated process for Paul. It was really living on the edge for him.
A source close to the production told us recently that Elswit used a device called panaflasher on Vice, which helps capture a retro old-school look by flashing the film stock with small leaks of light.  If you own the DVD of The Long Goodbye, you can find a special feature with cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond talking about inventing and using that technology specifically for that film.

In other news, The Film Stage did a round-up of all the songs that can be heard in Inherent Vice. While we don't yet have details on when the soundtrack album for the film will arrive, this is PTA's most pop-song-laden soundtrack since Boogie Nights, and could probably justify its own record alongside the album of Jonny Greenwood's score.
1. "Dreamin' On A Cloud" by The Tornadoes
2. "Rhythm of the Rain" by The Cascades
3. "Vitamin C" by CAN
4. "Soup" by CAN
5. "Simba" by Les Baxter
6. "Spooks" by Radiohead
7. "Burning Bridges" by Jack Scott
8. "The Throwaway Age" by Bob Irwin
9. "Gilligan's Island Theme" by Sherwood Schwartz and George Wyle
10. "Harvest" by Neil Young
11. "Here Comes the Ho-Dads" by The Markettts
12. "Electricity" by Cliff Adams
13. "Never My Love" by The Association
14. "Les Fleur" by Minnie Riperton
15. "Journey Through the Past" by Neil Young
16. "Sukiyaki" by KYU Sakamoto
17. "Adam-12 (Themes and Cues") by Frank Comstock
18. "(What A) Wonderful World" by Sam Cooke
19. "Amethyst" by Jonny Greenwood
20. "Any Day Now" by Chuck Jackson
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IV (theatrical premiere): 65 days

Find more information about the film on our Inherent Vice page. 
Stay tuned to Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Inherent Vice Premieres At NYFF; Watch Press Conference; More

And we're off! 

Paul Thomas Anderson's 7th feature-length motion picture Inherent Vice has made its world premiere at the 52nd annual New York Film Festival, and yes, it was projected on 35mm. A plethora of reactions and opinions are still trickling in, as final screenings of the film will run well into the wee hours of tomorrow morning. You can find a lot of those opinions by simple punching "#InherentVice" into the Twitter search engine, but one response among both those who loved and didn't love the movie seem to be consistent: it is a wild fucking ride.

A press conference was held this morning after the movie's first public screening, with PTA and just about the entire cast of the film. It clocks in just a shade under 30 minutes, and you can watch it in its entirety above (BEWARE: minor spoilers).

Also revealed after the film's premiere this morning was that a new Radiohead song called "Spooks" is featured in the movie (we do not know if it will appear on the soundtrack album) (Thanks Amber B!) Click the link and listen at your own peril.

PTA introduced the film to a ravenous audience earlier today, we should have a full video of that for you tomorrow. It's all uphill from here folks!

Join the film on Twitter at @seeinherentvice
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IV (theatrical premiere): 68 days

Find more information about the film on our Inherent Vice page. 
Stay tuned to Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates

Monday, September 29, 2014

Anyway, Here's That "Inherent Vice" Trailer You Were Asking About

Oh and what the hell, here's a poster too...

And a horizontal version:

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IV (theatrical premiere): 73 days
IV (world premiere at NYFF): 4 days (!)

Find more information about the film on our Inherent Vice page. 
Stay tuned to Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates

Friday, September 26, 2014

PTA Gives First Interview On Inherent Vice, Hints At Pynchon Cameo, Ending Change

Todd Heisler/The New York Times
A splendid read found its way over to The New York Times today, and it has Paul Thomas Anderson speaking out publicly for the first time about his work Inherent Vice

The piece, among other things, asserts that the notoriously elusive author behind the film, Thomas Pynchon, will actually have a cameo appearance in the picture. PTA remains coy about that fact, while other sources (including Brolin) maintain its truth.

In discussing what drew him to the project, PTA said he had been aspiring to adapt Pynchon for a while.
Years ago, Mr. Anderson considered adapting [Pynchon's 1990 novel] "Vineland," but ultimately couldn't figure out how. When "Inherent Vice" was issued in 2009, he was drawn to it - and wrote the film concurrently with his script for 2012's "The Master."
"I thought, I don't need to make a movie about California in the late '60s, early '70s!  Didn't I already do that?" Mr. Anderson said, referring to his 1997 breakthrough, "Boogie Nights," "Well, I didn't. Like gravity, it didn't pull in any but one direction. And I just couldn't help myself."
Todd Heisler/The New York Times
On the process of adapting the novel:
To get a grip on the project, [PTA] adapted the entire 384-page novel sentence by sentence. "I basically just transcribed it so I could look at it like it was a script," he said. "It looked like a doorstop. But I can understand this format. As big as it was, it was easier for me to cut down."
Along with The Long Goodbye, PTA was also inspired by Kiss Me Deadly and The Big Sleep, film noirs whose "plausibility rarely mattered as much as the pleasure of the filmmaking."
“ ‘North by Northwest’?” he said. “Tell me again how he gets to the middle of the field with a plane after him? I can’t. How does he get to Mount Rushmore? I don’t know, but it’s great.”
Mr. Anderson said his adaptation came into focus when he recalled an old quote from “Chandler or Hammett or one of those guys who said the point of a plot in a detective movie is to get your hero to the next girl to flirt with.” After that, he said, his approach became, “When’s the next girl or funny bit going to happen?”
On top of those more formal influences, PTA turned to the sight gags and physical comedy of Zucker Bros. films as a filmic equivalent for the humor in the book.
“I thought,” Mr. Anderson explained, “What’s something I’ve seen that can get close to that amount of great visual information and all these things going on in the frame?”
“ ‘Police Squad!’ and ‘Top Secret!’ are what I clued into,” he said, referring to collaborations by the slapstick maestros David and Jerry Zucker. “We tried hard to imitate or rip off the Zucker brothers’ style of gags so the film can feel like the book feels: just packed with stuff. And fun.” 
The piece goes on to verify that musician Joanna Newsom, whom we reported was participating in the film many months ago, is playing the part of Sortil├Ęge, also narrating the film. According to the interview, PTA also wrote a new ending for the movie, its biggest difference from the book.

There are some nice quotes from Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin in the piece, as well as PTA discussing the underlying sadness of the material. Read it in its entirety RIGHT HERE.

Wilson Webb

P.S. If you take a wander over to this page, you'll see that information regarding the first trailer for Inherent Vice has been disclosed in Alberta. We've had some correspondence with the ratings board there and can verify that, in Canada at least, the Inherent Vice trailer is very real and runs just over two minutes in length. What we are not quite sure of yet is when or how it will drop. We imagine it will be sooner rather than later.

IV (theatrical premiere): 77 days
IV (world premiere at NYFF): 8 days (!)

Find more information about the film on our Inherent Vice page. 
Stay tuned to Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

First Look At Reese Witherspoon In "Inherent Vice"; Bigfoot Speaks More

The New Yorker

Hey there - few things to take care of, so let's get right to it.

-Above is a pretty groovy illustration from the most recent issue of The New Yorker for a piece about the New York Film Festival, which begins this Friday, September 26. Some critical thinking has led us to conclude that the two blue figures are from Gone Girl while the two green figures are from Inherent Vice.

- The one star of the film that has spoken rather freely about his impressions from the set is Josh Brolin, who plays Bigfoot Bjornsen, of course. He had some interesting things to say in a piece about the film found in The Los Angeles Daily News recently. The bullet points:
"I read the book as fast as I could before I saw Paul, which means I might as well have not read it," Brolin, 46, admits, "I was so confused by the time he came, I was like stuttering through the whole thing. It was like trying to have a meeting after you've taken a bong hit or something.
Brolin describes the story's vibe as something in "Manson territory."
"It's during the time of of the shattering of the ‘Right Stuff’ mentality into whatever revolution that conjures in you, whether that’s the assassinations or the sexual revolution or drugs, all that. It’s that transition," he says.
"This guy Bigfoot is one of the favorite characters I’ve ever played... He’s a guy that, five years earlier, would have looked like one of the ‘Right Stuff’ guys. But because of his refusal to adjust to any future that doesn’t look like he wanted it to look, he’s kind of pathetic.” 
"It’s a really circus experience,” Brolin says of the production. “It feels like traveling from city to city and putting together skits. You never really know if it’s going to work when you finally do it. And then if you’re doing something like Pynchon, which just naturally has that structure anyway, it’s sort of double wacky.” 
- Last, but certainly not least, The Film Stage has obtained our first look at Reese Witherspoon as Penny Kimball in Inherent Vice. Click below the fold and see at your own discretion.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

PTA & Bennett Miller Text Over How Much Digital Sucks, Apparently

Weird quick late non-news-related update we found amusing.

Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune is wrapping up his coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival and today he had an interesting name-drop in his writing.

In talking with filmmaker Bennett Miller about his much-buzzed-about new film Foxcatcher, which earned him the Best Director award at Cannes this year, the conversation turned to another famous winner of that same award.
Miller clearly knows how to work a roomful of media types without acting like a showboater or coming off like a man undergoing a root canal. He's a low-key fellow who sweats the details of his projects. We talked for a bit last weekend, and what he really wanted to talk about wasn't "Foxcatcher" but the drastically limited avenues of shooting on film, and projecting it, in the digital age.
In Toronto Miller told me straightforwardly, "I think we were better off as filmmakers 100 years ago." He does not prefer shooting digitally. He doesn't like the postproduction process as much now. And the clinical crispness of digital projection bugs him.
Miller picked up his iPhone midconversation and started fishing around for some recent texts. Look here, he said. Read these. They were from Paul Thomas Anderson, whose latest film, "Inherent Vice," plays the New York Film Festival next month.
The texts picked up a conversation Miller and Anderson had earlier the same day, about the inferiority of digital. The vitriol came through in every unpunctuated word.
No direct quotes from either PTA or Miller's texts were lifted for the piece, but it would be nice to think they contained emoji equations like these:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Trailer For New York Film Festival Has First Footage of Inherent Vice

The New York Film Festival has just released a (dynamite) teaser trailer, via Entertainment Weekly, with footage from the banner films showing there starting this month, and, we'll be damned, they included some actual footage from Inherent Vice.

The trailer, by design, is cut at an extremely fast clip, so the footage belonging to Vice compared to other films is somewhat difficult to discern. Having said that, there is an unmistakable shot of Doc blazing up a joint 5 seconds in, and then a shot of Owen Wilson with a bunch of hippie comrades about to indulge in five extremely large pizzas at 0:51.

Sound off in the comments below with anything else from the film that you notice, or, of course, if you wish to keep your eyes virgin, hold off on watching the trailer altogether.

(Thx @NickSportello)

UPDATE: At 0:41, Doc is knocked over amusingly (albeit quickly) by a cop, and a few of our readers have been kind enough to point out that the pizza shot at the end features cameo roles from members of the band The Growlers. Cool stuff.

IV (theatrical premiere): 93 days
IV (world premiere at NYFF): 24 days

Find more information about the film on our Inherent Vice page. 
Stay tuned to Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates

Saturday, September 06, 2014

PTA To Host Masterclass At NYFF

Well, looky here! With just under a month to before the Inherent Vice premiere, the New York Film Festival has just announced that Paul Thomas Anderson will be hosting the sixth edition of "On Cinema", a masterclass in which a filmmaker chooses film selections that they consider influential to their body of work and discusses how it's affected their approach to cinema. PTA's choices for this edition will not be revealed beforehand, but NYFF director Kent Jones assures us that they are "very surprising."

The event will be held on October 5th at 12:30pm at Alice Tully Hall, the day after Inherent Vice's world premiere in the same room. We do not yet know if the event will be recorded for later viewing.

(Thank you, @joeldylan)

IV (theatrical premiere): 97 days
IV (world premiere at NYFF): 28 days

Find more information about the film on our Inherent Vice page. 
Stay tuned to Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates