Vibing with PTA
Aw, My Favorite Year! I remember being enthralled by O’Toole’s wonderfully sad performance and now with the benefit of age morbidly fascinated by it. Can’t decide if the tone shifts of the film work or are so discordant they make it. Thanks for the reference and the new recommendation!
"love, wherever it happens and whatever form it takes, is big enough"
Your work here is done.
Could you talk a little bit about where you see Altman's on the vibe scale?
It's funny but I got a craving yesterday to watch La Notte. But I've also been meditating on what a movie shot in just closeups and half shots with maybe the occasional establishing shot would be like. I suppose there's stuff like that out there to be found. OTOH, a long time mystery is why independent cinema like from the 60s and 70s is essentially dead when production (phones) and distribution (YouTube, Vimeo) is so inexpensive. It's almost like there's mass psychosis to anything like that amongst the filmmaker set. Weird. Or maybe it's me.
I always had a soft spot for PTA: my sister & I nearly wore through a copy of the 2-cassette VCR version of his Magnolia (1999). Such a messy sprawl that strains to connect its storylines just as those characters strain for connection themselves. And what could be a better expression of an excess of "vibe" (love this term, Roy) than a mystical & totally random rain of frogs?
It's like PTA needed help finishing the screenplay & dialed up Robyn Hitchock...
Golly. I hadn’t wanted to see this, but now I sure do. Your theory is genius, BTW. Now I’m thinking of all my favorite movies and trying to decide: vibe…or plot? In my book, Fargo (one of my very faves) has both.
Best boy meets girl during photo shoot since “Raising Arizona.”
Excuse me while I struggle into my Captain Bringdown costume...damn thing's getting tight...that's better.
I really, really wish Cooper Hoffman went to college to become a Certified Public Accountant, or apprenticed with a cabinet maker. The stage is in his blood, but the past does not bode well. I think his family has suffered enough for my entertainment.
Excellent. I had no plans to see this movie. But now I do.
“things were cool then and it’s too bad no one took a flamethrower to those damn hippies so it could have stayed cool”
Someone’s channeling about 1/4 of the commenters at LGM.
Roy, thanks for your well written discussion of movies I’m almost certainly never going to see, but which I enjoyed learning about, and more importantly enjoyed the discussion about what makes them work as art.
'Seeing whether the proper pair[s] will mate or not is all that is needed for a minimal plot, which is why they are known as the "Eugenics Dramas of Sol III".'
I've always thought of "Boogie Nights" as both an evocation of a time and place and a thorough exploration of self-delusion. See esp.: Buck thinks he needs a gimmick when, as a black man in mainstream pornography, he _is_ a gimmick, Jack believes he could make a great porn film if circumstances would only let him, and Eddie (first among many delusions) thinks that he's a star when at best he's carrying a star around crom scene to scene.
(At least Rollergirl and Amber know they aren't mother and daughter once they come down, and arguably they end-up best, or at least most improved.)
Thanks for the recommendation. Will definitely see it now.
Nice take, but here's where I suffer Anderson confusion.... like, is it Wes or Paul? Like which one made Rushmore, which, didn't it also feature a sort of romance between a 15 year old kid and an adult woman? I tell ya, this aging thing is a bitch.
I passed most of my formative years in the Valley, fleeing as soon as I’d attained my full growth (“I come from suburbia…and I don’t ever want to go back. It's the one place in the world that’s further away than anywhere else.” —Frederic Raphael), about three years before the film is set, but if I am to judge from the trailer, Anderson has captured the milieu pretty faithfully.