Lost in the Movies: Inherent Vice (LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #24)

Inherent Vice (LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #24)

Although he's one of the most ubiquitous topics in online film discourse, I never covered a Paul Thomas Anderson film until I finally saw Inherent Vice in 2018 (this podcast re-presents my response to that first viewing, originally part of a patron episode). He's a filmmaker who...escapes me in some ways. I wouldn't say his appeal escapes me - he's obviously one of the most brilliant directors of his generation - but something about his sensibility frequently eludes me, a difficulty that doesn't appear to be all that commonplace. This noir riff is probably my favorite Anderson (though I've yet to see Phantom Thread), based on a Thomas Pynchon novel but with many nods to cinematic antecedents like The Long Goodbye, Chinatown, and The Big Lebowski. I was going to say that these films actually came after the book only to belatedly discover that actually this novel was published just a few years before the film, in 2009, not (as I had presumed) at the time it takes place, when Pynchon would have been about Joaquin Phoenix's age in the movie. Oops! This is a film I would definitely like to revisit and review again someday (perhaps after actually reading the book); this initial reaction is one in which I feel my way through the film's and Anderson's affects while appreciating various elements onscreen.

If you'd like to hear me talk more about L.A. detective fiction, check out my patron episode scheduled for June 29, comparing The Big Sleep to Twin Peaks. Also, if you missed it, the top tier of patrons now has access to my Lost in Twin Peaks coverage of the season two finale - completing my coverage of the entire series (although Fire Walk With Me still remains this summer). These pieces and more are also linked and described in further detail below, along with some Inherent Vice-related material.

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("Anderson's Exploration of Cultural Issues and the Theme of Family" section begins at 1:16:09)

(explaining my some of my issues with its adaptation of the Raymond Chandler novel)


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