Wednesday, November 05, 2014

AFI Adds PTA Talk; PTA Talks 'Vice' In LA Times; More

(PHOTO: Wally Skalij, Los Angeles Times)
Some news and some catch-up:

The powers that be over at AFI Fest, which will host the west coast premiere of Inherent Vice on Saturday, have revealed that PTA will be hosting a screening of the 1967 documentary Mondo Hollywood, and a Q&A with the film's director Robert Carl Cohen afterwords:
This underground cult classic documentary captures Hollywood at its most psychedelic, from 1965 to 1967. But this isn't a la-la-land we're used to seeing. Instead, it goes beneath the usual glitz and glamor and heads for the fringe, following everyone from would-be actors and models to politicians and even skydivers. The film's opening scene, which documents the original hippie-vegan Gypsy Boots exercising "Watusi-style" with stripper Jennie Lee under the HOLLYWOOD sign, perfectly nails the film's focus of, as Variety wrote in its 1967 review, "the Hollywood the public doesn't know." But plenty of Hollywood we do know also get their closeups: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sean Connery, Alfred Hitchcock, Sonny and Cher, Brigitte Bardot and even Bobby Beausoleil of the Manson Family make appearances. Paul Thomas Anderson has listed this film as a chief inspiration and influence on his latest film, INHERENT VICE, an AFI FEST Gala presentation. After the screening, Anderson will be in conversation with MONDO HOLLYWOOD director Robert Carl Cohen.
Tickets for the event, which will be held this Saturday, November 8th, at 1:30pm,  can be purchased here.

What's more, PTA was interviewed about Vice in the LA Times last week. Some highlights...
"He's on the case. And I don't know if he knows what the case is, but he's on it," explained Anderson. "So he's a puppy dog and a pit bull together. I like that a lot. I think he's desperate to find out what went wrong, not just with his own love life but with his country."
"Trying to make the movie feel how the book made me feel, or how Pynchon in general made me feel, there are many times where I feel lost, but never in a bad way," Anderson said. "If I'm participating with the book on its terms and it's not giving me what I want it to give me, then maybe that's on me. Maybe I just need to giggle and give in a little bit.
"It's like getting high and being nervous about it," he instructed. "Just enjoy the high. Just sit back and relax. Don't freak out."
...Almost as if the story had begun to exert a power of its own, he found himself propping up the novel with a cookbook holder and typing it out line by line into the form of a screenplay.
"The next thing you know, you're in love with the characters and it's got its hooks in you, and there's no turning back," he said. "Doc was a great character, and I have to believe that's probably the main thrust of it, parallel with just wanting to collaborate with a Pynchon book.
"Whatever book it was actually didn't so much matter. It was using his take on the world and working with that as a collaborator that was the most valuable."
There are some either nice comments from PTA in the article, which we recommend reading in its entirety here. Some small moments from the film are revealed in the piece, so if you want to go in super-duper fresh, read at your own discretion.

One other last thing is that the BAMcinématek in Brooklyn, NY will be hosting a (slightly) advanced screening on Inherent Vice on December 8th as part of their Sunshine Noir series. The film isn't listed yet, but you can take a peek at the good cinematic company it will keep here. (Such Vice influences as Jackie Brown, Repo Man, and The Long Goodbye will screen, as well as other gems like To Live and Die in LA, In a Lonely Place and Straight Time)

Whew. Think that's everything for now. We're already a mere five weeks from Inherent Vice becoming available to paying audiences in New York & LA. Now's the fun part.

Here's some dessert for you. No explanation. If you have a free hour, just press play. (Thanks to @Zeekfizz for bringing it to our attention.)

Join the film on Twitter at @seeinherentvice
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IV (theatrical premiere): 36 days

Find more information about the film on our Inherent Vice page. 
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  1. Well, I saw the movie tonight (the "west coast premiere" at AFI tomorrow night will actually not be - there was a SAG Nom Committee screening tonight in LA). Where to start. It is very good. Maybe even great. But prepare yourselves: this will undoubtedly be viewed as a "lesser work" in the PTA canon, at least for a while. The masses will ignore it, and the critical establishment will probably mostly be confused. It does not wear its themes and its soul on its sleeve like There Will Be Blood did, or The Master, or really any other Oscar-y movie. So lower your expectations in the awards arena. I could see Josh Brolin getting some love in supporting actor categories - MAYBE an adapted screenplay nomination depending on how competitive that category is this year - but that's it. None of this is to say the movie is not interested in larger themes and ideas - it is. It's got very interesting things to say about America for one. But it's all handled very subtly. For the first 30 minutes or so of the movie I thought I didn't like it, an astonishing feeling for a PTA movie for me. It felt a little flat, episodic, and (shock of all shocks) uninspired. But a funny thing happened. As the movie progressed, I began to really care about the characters, and I began to see though-lines of emotion and thought that weren't obvious at first. It washes over you as a cumulative experience - much in the great way Boyhood does - and you're left with a funny, kind-of sweet feeling at the end. What a wild, strange, funny, surprising ride.

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