Author Topic: Inherent Vice  (Read 2550 times)

1SO

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Re: Inherent Vice
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2015, 11:29:06 PM »
I'm barely following along here, but this is interesting conversation. There's a barrier you think should exist between your take on a film and your take on that filmmaker, even if you're coming to conclusions based on recurring threads that run through a filmmakers work. Looking at PTA as an artist, his films lead me to believe that he doesn't go in with a firm plan. There are filmmakers like David Fincher who know every angle and lens before Day 1 of photography and filmmakers who like to choose their weapons in the moment. I believe PTA to be of the 2nd category. He's interested in exploring on set and possibly discovering new ideas. That would explain to me the varied quality of his work, and the way his worst films lack focus. (That's me theorizing about the filmmaker to properly contextualize my opinion of the film.) I think PTA is a very talented filmmaker, but he's not a focused one and that's by choice. And that's okay, though it's why I will always see him as a hit-and-miss director.

All of this is speculation
This speculation is based on the films.
I also speculate that PTA is going for something more than solid storytelling. When it works for me again it's gonna be on the level of There Will Be Blood. Possibly even better.
I don't think he's messing with us. I just think he's experimenting and I prefer a director who goes in with a confident plan. Still plenty of chances to do something great, and less room for frustrating errors.
All of this is speculation.
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alexanderthegreat

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Re: Inherent Vice
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2015, 01:07:20 AM »
Quote
I'm barely following along here, but this is interesting conversation. There's a barrier you think should exist between your take on a film and your take on that filmmaker, even if you're coming to conclusions based on recurring threads that run through a filmmakers work. Looking at PTA as an artist, his films lead me to believe that he doesn't go in with a firm plan. There are filmmakers like David Fincher who know every angle and lens before Day 1 of photography and filmmakers who like to choose their weapons in the moment. I believe PTA to be of the 2nd category. He's interested in exploring on set and possibly discovering new ideas. That would explain to me the varied quality of his work, and the way his worst films lack focus. (That's me theorizing about the filmmaker to properly contextualize my opinion of the film.) I think PTA is a very talented filmmaker, but he's not a focused one and that's by choice. And that's okay, though it's why I will always see him as a hit-and-miss director.

All of this is speculation
This speculation is based on the films.
I also speculate that PTA is going for something more than solid storytelling. When it works for me again it's gonna be on the level of There Will Be Blood. Possibly even better.
I don't think he's messing with us. I just think he's experimenting and I prefer a director who goes in with a confident plan. Still plenty of chances to do something great, and less room for frustrating errors.
All of this is speculation.
Cool. I can dig all of that. I probably prefer the 2nd category a lot of the time, but I certainly appreciate those more precise filmmakers as well.

These are the statements that I was responding to:
Quote
It's a well shot film with many scenes looking exquisite, but PTA is laughing at anyone who thinks this is a masterpiece. I believe he decided to conduct his own little experiment and the audience was the case subject. Could he dangle pretty baubles, scene after scene after scene, with a haunting score, yet no cohesive storyline but because it's from PTA, would the critics and the hipsters lap it up like mother's milk?
Well, pretty much that statement. Which you didn't actually write. But it put a bad taste in my mouth when I read the stuff about Inherent Vice. Rereading it now doesn't bother me so much. Maybe the stuff about Phoenix and Wilson not caring about the audience, but Junior already responded to that.

MattDrufke

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Re: Inherent Vice
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2015, 07:08:37 AM »
Caught this yesterday. If I'm supposed to be one of the "hipsters who lapped it up", then count me in. Though I dislike being told I liked a movie because I was supposed to like and not because I enjoyed the film based on it's own merits.

Loved what Anderson did here with Joanna Newsom, and really loved Joaquin Phoenix. Phoenix doesn't get the chance to get all wild-eyed and psychotic like he does in The Master, but still gives a fantastic, hazy performance.

If something didn't work for me, it was Reese Witherspoon, but she wasn't in the movie enough to bug me out.
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Re: Inherent Vice
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2015, 07:44:31 AM »
Following a recent Noff comment that we couldn't care less if the last page of a book was missing; I would extend it here to say this film could have ended well before the solid resolution we get. Given all the chat around its complexity I am surprised just how much is resolved. That doesn't mean I understand it that well.

However this is a story with a section revolving around doing what a ouija board tells them to do. It also has a bit where Doc starts writing it all out on a board. To me that was screaming at the ridiculousness of the situation and it reminded me of the "straws" argument from Looper. Is it interesting in the dramatic sense who is doing what to who. Who Prussia is? How he knows the big Aryan guy (with the Indian peace sign on his face!!). For dramatic purposes it means anything could happen at any moment. People aren't who they seem. It leaves carte Blanche for characters to g in any direction.

It fits with that decayed zombified early 70s failure of the counter culture. "We blew it". It's all a mess and then we go to war. BUT it really makes me want to untangle the plot precisely because the movie itself is inviting contrarian attitudes. After all the funny moments when you think twice about them are disturbingly dark. Doc's reaction to the picture he's shown of a kid screwed up by a heroine addicted mother. Laugh and then take a moment to consider how shocking the photo really is. But of course the film is already two sentences further on by then. Asking a guy "did I get you?" when he did. He killed him. Ha ha.... not so much.

So help me out here;
Shasta Faye tells about this plot to commit the Wolfman. Straight away Doc is setup for murder of one of Wolfman's bodyguards (who appears to have annoyed his own Aryan friends by talking to a black panther type). Shasta disappears but Doc investigates the rich mans disappearance and eventually finds him. Actually this side of the plot ends fairly early and Shasta reappears. The side I can't fathom of the musician hiding from ....? Who the heroine mother sets Doc to find and keeps popping up whilst Doc looks for the Wolfman. No Im flummoxed by that and some of it like finding the dentist at Golden Fang inc has too much to do with a ouija board for my liking but it links in to Japonica and her dad and his dealings with the Wolfman but then I'm floundering. The cop and the ADA are people Doc knows from old and they seem to be around to hand him bits of info as necessary. I may just not have found Owen Wilson very interesting so I blanked out. In a film where everybody is so rich and fascinating ( the entire MO of PTAs moviemaking but just call me an old hipster) his character is just a bad cliche and he needs to do a lot more with it. Not a fan.

I'm anti auteur enough to know better than to try fitting this to a filmography. It isn't Blood or The Master by a long stretch and I'm comfortable not even needing it to be. The noir form might not help. The Coens own this space in modern times and this isn't Lebowski either. However Anderson has my immense respect. He's earnt it. So I may come back, nurture my interest in Inherent Vice, solve the puzzle....or not.
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jdc

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Re: Inherent Vice
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2015, 10:00:04 PM »
Inherent Vice walkouts: how to make a film your audience will be dying to leave

I think I might have done so as well if not for the fact that the seating was comfortable and I had a good nap.  At some point I was worried that my wife was going to want to get up and go as well but when I looked over she was asleep as well.

Something just went wrong between me and this film.  Somewhere after just a few minutes I just couldn't quite get into what I was about to watch and I never recovered.  Outside of a few laughs when he was talking to the working girl at the brothel, I found nothing funny or interesting enough that I followed what was happening. 

I know I really can't give a fair opinion to the film but I doubt I will take the time to re-watch to see if it really is better than I thought...


This is the first PTA that really disappointed me
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keefey45

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Re: Inherent Vice
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2015, 02:16:56 AM »
I leaned over to my husband and said "More dinosaurs" which is our inside joke about when a movie needs to pick up the pace or move on (in reference to Jurassic Park).

Can I please use this?

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Re: Inherent Vice
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2015, 11:57:06 PM »
Rewatching this. In the first 45 minutes or so the slow push in is used in almost every scene and it usually excludes Doc by the end of it. I will have to think some more about why this is the case, but it is very interesting to me.
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1SO

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Re: Inherent Vice
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2015, 12:04:06 AM »
I will have to think some more about why this is the case...
At this point my go-to answer for any question about Inherent Vice is that PTA is a pretentious a-hole. It's the equal of saying "in bed" at the end of any Chinese fortune cookie.
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Junior

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Re: Inherent Vice
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2015, 12:09:51 AM »
Thought that post might bait you. I'd argue that a pretentious movie/filmmaker can't make a funny movie because funny comes almost inherently (ahem) from self-awareness, which would be lacking in a pretentious movie/person. And Inherent Vice is a very funny movie so, QED, it is not pretentious, nor is PTA! Glad we've solved that case, at least.
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