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Licorice Pizza - Paul Thomas Anderson


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To say I enjoyed this film is a mild statement…..maybe it’s because I am European and I see things differently and thus can enjoy the Americana

This is like PTA going to Tarantino and saying you did Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and you were trying to recreate an era but this is my version and it’s better……

the acting is superb…..one of those rare films where we have people we have not seen before or at least much of and putting them together to generate great artistic chemistry……the main character reminded me of Paul Dano in the Beach Boys film and the lead female character the fantastic Eden Sher from The Middle

also in terms of cinematography a very rare modern piece which actually looks like it was filmed back in the day. Of course, predictably to anything coming from me it’s shot on film haha…sorry

Add to it all performances from Bradley Cooper, Sean Penn and Leo Di Carprio’s father amongst others plus the whole of the Haim family……this film to me is a gem……I so enjoyed the running sequences hahaha….made me smile no end……

recommended!!!!!!!

 

Edited by Stephen Perera
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Do you think you would like it if it was shot on digital? The reason I am asking is that most people seem to be complaining about how hollow the film is without much of a plot or a story. I haven't seen it yet so I am curious as to what you think of the film as a movie without taking any technical specs into account. Also, I may actually really like the film too. I am only going off of what I have heard and read. Thank you.

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5 minutes ago, Giray Izcan said:

Do you think you would like it if it was shot on digital? The reason I am asking is that most people seem to be complaining about how hollow the film is without much of a plot or a story. I haven't seen it yet so I am curious as to what you think of the film as a movie without taking any technical specs into account. Also, I may actually really like the film too. I am only going off of what I have heard and read. Thank you.

I am known as a film evangelist in here haha.......I champion the use of film to anyone that will listen because I never want to not be able to shoot my beloved Kodak film etc and I would say if 'Hollywood' turns their back on film then we are f•cked and curtains down for people like me......hence why I am frustrated with Deakins and the DP/director superstars like him that have turned their backs on film albeit still admiring them and their work etc

OK that being said.....I always mainly post on this section films that are shot on film, as I said, to champion the use of film by people who make a difference in here....proper DPs etc.....

So, in answer....honestly, I was enchanted by the performances of the characters and their chemistry.....also, being born in 1966 and remembering the 70s and things like waterbeds and pinball machines the film obviously strikes chords in me......also important is how the film, by using film, makes it all so believeable.....it doesn''t look like the actors are playing dress-up in period clothes......a criticism I have for the film Wonder Wheel shot by Storaro for example.....so I think becasue the medium used was so convincing in taking me back to the 70s it was certainly a huge factor in my absorption of the film and my utter enjoyment!

 

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36 minutes ago, Giray Izcan said:

Do you think you would like it if it was shot on digital? The reason I am asking is that most people seem to be complaining about how hollow the film is without much of a plot or a story. I haven't seen it yet so I am curious as to what you think of the film as a movie without taking any technical specs into account. Also, I may actually really like the film too. I am only going off of what I have heard and read. Thank you.

I mean what PT Anderson film does have plot and story? Most of his films meander through the life of a particular person. They will have a tiny bit of conflict, which Licorice as plenty of, and generally end as unexpectedly as they started.

I saw it on 70mm and where the print was pretty bad for multiple reasons I won't go into here, it was still a great "analog" experience. If PT was shooting with an Alexa, I'd probably still watch his movies, I love his filmmaking style, I love how he DP's his own stuff and his look. If for some reason he lost all of that, maybe I'd not care as much? But frankly, his style is so engrossing. It's like missing a Wes Anderson film. I love his stuff as well, because of the style, rather than simply the story or actors. The film aspect is just a cherry on top. I just wouldn't waste my time watching something in the theater that was shot and projected digitally, I'll just wait the 45 days for it to be online.

I've spent a lot of time talking about this movie, it's by far one of his best movies. It has all the things that made Phantom Thread great, but it's more light hearted. It has some bizarre movements that are very funny and fill in who these characters are and what "The Valley" was like in the 70's. I live in the valley, not far from where this story takes place. In fact, I use to ride my bicycle in the neighborhood and recognized many of the locations they doctored up for the film. We actually saw them shooting so I'm a bit connected to the location as well, even though I wasn't here in the 70's. I also like Haim a lot, her music is great and having two unknown non-actors playing the leads, wow what a ballzy move! They both were great, they had the entire Haim family in the film as well, what a wonderful touch. So really there are dozens of aspects that really attracted me personally and sure, the story as paper thin and uninspiring as it is, doesn't matter. It's a character study about a strange teenager and his obsession with an older girl, amongst the backdrop of the 70's in the valley. Maybe not ground shattering, but never the less very enjoyable. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I loved it! The atmosphere is wonderful and I couldn't stop thinking about it long after it ended. Funny enough, I almost made a thread about it myself right after watching but decided to hold off. It was certainly one of my favorites of the year.

I've frequently cited Robert Elswit's work on PTA movies as my favorite cinematography, though between this and Phantom Thread (as well as The Master, for that matter) I'm beginning to wonder how much it's just PTA's aesthetic that I'm drawn to. I'd love to learn more about the production and I wish there had been an article about it in American Cinematographer.

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