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Inherent Vice Ultimate ’70s Trailer (2014) – Paul Thomas Anderson Movie HD
In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles detective Larry “Doc” Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.
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I haven’t made it to the theater to catch Inherent Vice yet, but have multiple confirmations that it’s completely worth the price of a ticket. Joaquin Phoenix has been nominated for a Golden Globe for his role, while Katherine Waterston has been getting all kinds of style buzz, both from The New York Times and Nikki (she did us all a solid and rounded up her best red carpet moments earlier this week).
Watching previews alone was enough to convince me that the retro, ’70s costumes within would be stunning and Anna confirmed they are indeed pretty fantastic. Before you read any further, be warned: You’re going to spend the rest of the day pining for a mod shift, a beach-vacation day dress, or a slinky evening gown (and probably all three).
In big-time fashion flicks, it can feel like the guys get looked over, with all that delicious wardrobe energy focused on the women in the films. This looks to not be the case here, with Joaquin and Owen Wilson both getting to rock some vintage-looking pieces that I’d like to see in my own closet.
Have you seen Inherent Vice? How was it?
Even those who love Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice” have discussed how they want to see it a second time. Anderson’s films often have that effect on moviegoers, an initial opacity giving way to understanding and embrace.
“I think it started happening on ‘The Master’ a lot. People said that they wanted to see it again. And not necessarily in a good way, but maybe in a way that they kind of afforded the film some goodwill even if they didn’t really like it,” Anderson said during a recent phone interview. The impulse for a second viewing of “Inherent Vice,” the first screen adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon novel, is compounded by its narrative, a shaggy dog detective story that twists and turns in ways that recall “The Big Sleep” and “The Long Goodbye.”
“There’s so much information packed into this book and therefore the movie, that it is a good thing [to see it twice],” Anderson added, before digressing in a way befitting of his latest feature film. “Oh, fuck, I don’t know. It was certainly not by design! You would never go into something saying, ‘Hey, you really have to see this twice!’ That’s just sort of so horseshit that a director would feel that he could fucking say that. That’s the last thing you’re allowed to say.”
He continued: “But I totally see it … [seeing a movie is] a different experience every time. I’m saying something obvious, but it really can make a difference. How many movies have you absolutely adored when you saw it, because you were in the right frame of mind or because of what you ate for lunch that afternoon, and then six months later you say, ‘What the fuck was I thinking?'”
Based on Pynchon’s 2009 novel, “Inherent Vice” follows the misadventures of Larry “Doc” Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix), a private detective initially hired by his ex-girlfriend (breakout star Katherine Waterston) to investigate the disappearance of a real-estate mogul (Eric Roberts). Then all hell breaks loose: Nazis, a presumed dead saxophone player named Coy Harlingen (Owen Wilson), a drug-addled dentist (Martin Short), an assistant district attorney (Reese Witherspoon) and a tough cop named Bigfoot Bjornsen (Josh Brolin), whom the film’s narrator (Joanna Newsom) describes as having “a twinkle in his eye that says civil-rights violation,” all factor into the story. Set in California in 1970, “Inherent Vice” has a lot more on its mind than the plot: It’s a story about the battle between liberals and conservatives and a look back at a time, before Watergate, when the government hoped to crack down on any subversive elements left over from the free-love ’60s.
As with Anderson’s six previous films — “Hard Eight,” “Boogie Nights,” “Magnolia,” “Punch-Drunk Love,” “There Will Be Blood” and “The Master” — “Inherent Vice” is an blessed with great performances, music and visual beauty. Working with his longtime cinematographer, Robert Elswit, Anderson shot “Inherent Vice” on 35mm film, giving it a worn-in look that suits the time period. Long takes, another Anderson signature, are ever present was well, including a striking sequence late in the film between Phoenix and Waterston, where the actress is completely naked for what feels like an eternity. (“It has to present itself naturally,” Anderson said of his predilection toward filming scenes in one take.) During what many have called a down year for filmmaking, “Inherent Vice” stands out as enjoyably challenging; it’s the type of movie people will discuss long after the year’s flashier awards contenders have faded into history.
Ahead of its limited release, Anderson spoke to HuffPost Entertainment about adapting Pynchon’s novel, the evolution of his career and what he learned about movies from his father.
Owen Wilson and Joaquin Phoenix in “Inherent Vice”
You’ve talked before about how the plot is almost secondary to the action, but having seen “Inherent Vice” twice now, it does make sense.
It does! It’s not necessarily a cop out with us saying plot doesn’t matter. It does connect, I assure you. But that’s the joy of Pynchon. All of his stuff, which is seemingly so rambling and wild, is carefully structured and really meticulously thought out. There is a point to everything and everything is connected. Every cause has an effect. When you’re sending this character off to investigate what happened to his generation, the points in the dots are connecting — he’s piecing it together. It’s all pretty damn accurate. It’s not just wild stuff that Pynchon is making up out of thin air. He’s looking back with proof in his hands: look at what these Republicans in power did to the country at that time.
There’s a scene at the end of “Inherent Vice” between Doc and Bigfoot that recalls a similar moment at the end of “The Master”: two men in opposition coming to an understanding that they must remain opposed. It’s emotional but in a way that isn’t obvious. What are you trying to say in those sequence?
It was just an effort to make sure that made it in the translation from the book to the movie. That’s where it starts. They’re trying to apologize to each other for how they treated each other the night before, and Doc and Bigfoot begin to talk at the same time. It struck me so sweetly in the book. It was like Tom and Jerry stopping to apologize to each other about their behavior. What I really like about that scene, and what ended up happening when we got there, is that for as emotional as Doc is throughout the movie, you never see him break down and cry. But in truth, the most emotional he gets is bawling his eyes out while watching Bigfoot have this meltdown in front of him. Doc says that beautiful line, which is from the book: “Are you okay brother?” Bigfoot rejects it: “I’m not your brother.” Doc says: “But you sure could use a keeper. Doc has become unglued along with Bigfoot. It’s just stuff in the book that I shuffled around and made into one scene.
There’s a lot of that sweet sentimentality running through this. I found the relationship between Coy and his wife to be some of the most heartfelt stuff you’ve ever done.
You’re never supposed to admit that your own material makes you laugh. When you’re writing it and laughing out loud, you have to think there’s got to be something wrong. Similarly, you’re never supposed to admit that you get a lump in your throat. But I remember a few times feeling proud and kind of emotional at the family’s reunion. With the music playing and the thought of their baby asleep in that crib; the daddy coming home. It’s all directly from the book, and it made me feel so emotional in the book. The job was how to get my camera going and not fuck up how I felt while reading the book, which was really touched and sweet and hopeful for this family to have a new beginning. Sentimental is a great word for it. That has become a misused, overused word. It’s sometimes bad to be sentimental. But that’s what is going on in this book. It was a time when it was okay to be sentimental. There’s actually a line in the book that didn’t make the movie and I regret it. Bigfoot is saying something to Doc, and Doc says, “Don’t get sentimental on me, man. It fucks up your head.”
Sam Cooke’s “(What A) Wonderful World” plays during a key part of the film, but it almost feels anachronistic based on the rest of the songs, by among others Can and Neil Young. Why did you pick it?
I got clues from the book about a wide array of music, and then kept it exclusive to just 1970 hits. It makes it feel a little more well-rounded in terms of the period. But truthfully there’s a kind of Pynchon nerd thing that I’ve done here with “Wonderful World.” Sam Cooke is referenced in Vineland. There is a character who is very similar to Doc in Vineland, and in moments of weakness he throws on Sam Cooke. I think I remembered that intuitively. “Wonderful World” was so skillfully used in “Animal House” that I had to wrestle whether or not to use it again. Because you can’t beat how it’s used in “Animal House.” But I thought the statute of limitations was up and that we could use it. But if you’re going to use a song that good, you have to really feel like you’ve earned it. Because it could be really easily cheating to throw that song on. It’s contagious.
Do you think you’ve changed as a filmmaker over the last 15 years?
Yeah! I mean I sure hope so, otherwise I’d be making the same movie over and over again. Look, my brain has gotten slightly bigger having been with Thomas Pynchon’s work over the past four years. The mental work that it took to go through all of this material was a work out. I definitely don’t think I could have done this when I was starting out 15 years ago. It was only through some little bit of experience and nerve that I was able to try it now.
You don’t want to make the same film over and over again, but there are certainly fans who want you to replicate the feeling of “Boogie Nights.” How do you balance the audience expectations with your own artistic desire?
You’re always thinking about an audience watching your film, to the extent that you’re wondering: Does this make sense? Is this funny? Is this clear? Am I shooting this properly? But we’re not really making films that are casting a super-wide net toward audience participation. We’re not making blockbusters, so we don’t have a price tag over our heads to deal with. But you’re making a movie. You want it to communicate. You want it to entertain. The last thing we want to do is have someone come in and have it feel like homework. No one wants to go to the movies for that.
One thing you use to entertain is filmmaking technique, especially long takes. How has your usage of them evolved since you started making films?
It’s always in my mind that if you can naturally create a scene that can play in one take, you should do it. But that can also work the other way too. Sometimes if you’re just doing it for an effect or if you’re doing it as an artificial construct, then it becomes an art project. Then it’s no good. We did that a few times on this, where you’re trying to do something for all the wrong reasons. The other option is covering it, where he says his lines and he says his lines and you cut it together. There’s a lot of fun taken away when you do it like that. It actually becomes more difficult and not in a fun and challenging way — just a pain in the ass. If you have a location and a set and a scene where it can fit and work, you take advantage of it and do it.
My dad used to always watch movies with me. I wouldn’t notice edits when I was a kid, but he would say, “Look at that. No cuts.” Or he would say, if something was being cut, he would snap his fingers and go, “Good cut. Good cut.” It’s so funny: The other morning, my daughter and I were at my mom’s house. Turner Classic Movies was on and they were playing “That’s Entertainment.” There was a long shot, and my mom just said, “No cuts!” My daughter realized, in that moment, that we sound exactly the same. I’ve watched things with my daughter, and I’m like, “Look at that, no cuts.” It’s like a fucking disease in our family. I don’t know what it is or where we got this from, but it’s like, what the fuck? What a weird family. We sit around and talk about “no cuts.”
Wait until you see “Birdman” together.
Yeah, exactly. No cuts! No cuts!
After “There Will Be Blood,” I remember hearing about both “The Master” and “Inherent Vice.” Now seven years later, they both exist. So do you have stuff you want to make now?
I do. There’s a catalog of material that I have. Most of it is pretty thin. Some of it is okay, some of it is sort of dying to be looked at. But I don’t have anything concrete at all to work on at the moment, which is a really exciting place to be after four years of working pretty hard on these last two things. It’s a wide-open road. Which I’m really enjoying. It’s funny because it can be weeks or days or an hour before the itch starts to happen again that you have to scratch. But I’m always writing. Some of it’s good, some of it’s not. I consider it writing even if you’re just sitting at your desk and not typing something out. As long as you’re sitting there, you’re working. Because you’re thinking about it or at least showing up to your job. You have to convince your spouse that you’re actually working if they open the door and they catch you doing what you’re doing. Which is twiddling your thumbs. You’re like, “No, I’m working!” Suddenly it turns into “The Shining” very fast.
Is there a genre you want to dabble in?
Yeah, but that’s a crazy question because the answer is all of them. The irony is, if you asked me if I wanted to do a detective movie, I would have said no. But here I am. It’s some combination of intuition and material and how these things line up. It’s still sort of a mystery to me. I would check all of the above. Make a horror movie or a musical or an action film? Yeah, of course, all of them!
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“Inherent Vice” made its debut at the New York Film Festival on Saturday, the culmination of a week that included an in-depth interview director Paul Thomas Anderson gave to the New York Times and the premiere of the film’s trailer. Based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Pynchon, and marking the first-ever screen adaptation of the author’s work, Anderson’s latest is a shaggy dog detective story that pushes stoner cinema to its limit; the smoke budget on this one might have reached six figures.
Sure to draw comparisons to “The Big Lebowski” and “The Long Goodbye,” “Inherent Vice” still feels wholly of Anderson’s oeuvre: as with “Boogie Nights” and “Magnolia” before it, “Inherent Vice” is about a family of misfit toys trying to make sense of an increasingly nonsensical world. It’s a technical marvel, too: Jonny Greenwood’s score is impeccable (and greatly different from his heavier work in “There Will Be Blood” and “The Master”) and Robert Elswit’s lush, cloudy cinematography is some of the year’s best.
There’s a plot, but it’s as opaque as a brick wall. Joaquin Phoenix stars as Larry “Doc” Sportello, a drug-addled private investigator searching for a missing real estate mogul (Eric Roberts) and his mistress, who also happens to be Doc’s former girlfriend (Katherine Waterston). Along the way, Doc interacts with, among others, a saxophone player who faked his death (Owen Wilson), a dentist hopped up on drugs (Martin Short) and a police detective named Bigfoot who moonlights as an extra on shows like “Adam-12” (Josh Brolin). “Inherent Vice” is so sprawling that Anderson even has room for Joel from “Parenthood,” Jonah from “Veep,” narration from Joanna Newsom and what amounts to an extended cameo from Reese Witherspoon. This is a movie, one that may divide audiences when it arrives in limited release on Dec. 12 because it’s so inscrutable. (A nationwide bow follows on Jan. 9, 2015.)
Following the film’s first press screening at the New York Film Festival, Anderson, Phoenix, Waterston, Short, Newsom, Wilson, Benicio Del Toro, Michael K. Williams, Maya Rudolph, Hong Chau, Sasha Pieterse and Jena Malone participated in a press conference about “Inherent Vice.” Highlights from the discussion and the film itself are below.
1. “Inherent Vice” is Paul Thomas Anderson’s first ensemble movie in 15 years
Anderson’s early films were notable because of strong ensembles, but in the years since 1999’s “Magnolia” the director has focused on movies with more singular points of view. Not so with “Inherent Vice,” which includes almost two dozen significant speaking parts.
“It felt great for the obvious reasons: getting to work with all these people,” Anderson said of doing an ensemble again after so many years away. “The only frustrating thing was that for most people it was only two or three days. Which was a drag, because just when you got started and excited, they’d leave.”
All except Phoenix, that is, who appears in nearly every scene of the 148-minute feature.
“I was stuck with him,” joked Anderson, pointing to the laconic actor.
2. Owen Wilson’s outfits were maybe inspired by The Muppets
In his interview with the New York Times, Anderson cited “Airplane!” and “Top Secret” as influences for “Inherent Vice.” The Muppets maybe played a part too, at least when it came to Wilson’s wardrobe for his character, saxophonist Coy Harlingen.
“Zoot from the Muppets,” Anderson joked about Wilson’s look for the film. “The saxophone player from The Muppets has the hat and those glasses.” (For the record, Wilson also noted that Dennis Wilson from The Beach Boys was a sartorial inspiration for Coy.)
3. The plot owes as much to Howard Hawks as it does to Thomas Pynchon
“I saw ‘The Big Sleep’ and it made me realize that I couldn’t follow any of it and it didn’t matter because I wanted to see what was going to happen next anyway,” Anderson said of Hawks’ 1946 adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s noir novel. “That was a good model to go on. Throw that stuff out.”
4. Martin Short might have the film’s best shot at an Oscar nomination
Before the film’s premiere, some Oscar prognosticators had listed Josh Brolin as a possible Best Supporting Actor contender from “Inherent Vice.” But as it turns out, Martin Short might be the film’s best hope. The 64-year-old’s manic comedic performance is a jolt of energy to the proceedings, and it could win the hearts and minds of Oscar voters looking to honor Short’s lengthy career.
“I loved how many variations we could do,” Short said of his experience with Anderson. “It was trying to create as many elements, colors and hues that could help Paul later on when he was putting it together.”
It worked. Short hasn’t been this lively onscreen in quite some time.
5. Joanna Newsom is one of 2014’s best breakout stars
Newsom, a harpist and songwriter by day, narrates “Inherent Vice” like a hazy, ethereal Greek chorus. It’s her first screen role, and she acquits herself like a true veteran.
“I had known Joanna a little bit. I loved the way she talked and looked. It was a supporting character in the book — Doc’s best gal pal, who always seemed to know more about things than he did and was right about things. Somewhere along the way, probably just looking to have a good female voice come in, I came up with the idea of trying to do it,” Anderson said of the narration.
For Newsom, her screen debut was rewarding and surprising. For instance, her first scene in the film — and one of the first shots in the movie — wasn’t even supposed to exist.
“I wasn’t told that was going to happen,” Newsom said about the shot, which finds her framed behind a setting sun. “I don’t know if it was an improvised decision Paul made, but it was at the end of a day. I was getting ready to go home, and there was a passage that was intended to be voice over. Paul was like, ‘Will you just sit on this picnic table?’ We tried it there, then tried it on a lawn. I didn’t have it memorized or anything. I messed up a couple of times, and then got it sort of right. I didn’t think anything else of it. I was 99 percent sure that would not be in the movie, and it was.”
6. Two adjectives that can be used to describe “Inherent Vice” are loose and chaotic
“It was a very loose way of working,” Wilson said of making “Inherent Vice,” the first time he and Anderson have collaborated on a film together. “We were encouraged to do anything. It was loose and chaotic.”
“I thought it was me,” Michael K. Williams, who has one scene in “Inherent Vice,” said. “Most of my credits are on television where they crack the whip. It’s just time, time, time. In this situation, it was like, ‘Let’s talk about this.’ Joaquin was so generous. I came in very intimidated to be invited to this table, to play with such immense talent. I came with a nervous energy and to be put in a situation that was foreign to me.”
Williams then turned to Anderson: “I thought you didn’t like me,” he said to laughter from the crowd. “Although the process was new to me,” Williams continued, “I knew I was in good hands.”
“I didn’t like you!” Anderson joked before expressing dismay. “Aw, no, that makes me feel terrible.”
7. There’s a “new” Radiohead song in the film
It’s technically from 2006, but as Slate points out, the closing credits list “Spooks,” performed by Thom Yorke, composer Jonny Greenwood and the rest of Radiohead, as part of the “Inherent Vice” soundtrack. The anachronistic music cue slots in alongside period appropriate songs by Neil Young and Sam Cooke.
8. Joaquin Phoenix is all right
Phoenix gives another layered, confounding and terrific performance in “Inherent Vice” but the notoriously press-shy actor remained all but mute during the press conference. The only words he spoke on Saturday: “No, I’m all right.” They were not even on mic.
“Inherent Vice” is out in limited release on Dec. 12.
After months of not knowing much about “Inherent Vice” beyond its cast list and what’s in Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 novel, the movie’s first trailer is here. Arriving five days before the Paul Thomas Anderson adaptation is set to make its world premiere at the New York Film Festival, the clip seems to carry the kinetic comedy of the early stages of “Boogie Nights” rather than the severe character drama of “There Will Be Blood” and “The Master,” just as last week’s New York Times profile of Anderson promised the movie would. (In that piece, Anderson compared the film to “Airplane!” and “Top Secret.”) Starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon in their first collaboration since “Walk the Line” as well as Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Benicio del Toro, Martin Short, Joanna Newsom and (apparently) Pynchon himself in a rare cameo, the ’70s-set “Inherent Vice” opens Dec. 12. It could be a major awards contender.