Paul Thomas Anderson is a cinematic luminary. So when he stops to talk shop about his work as a director, anyone who is even remotely interested in movies needs to sit back, listen and take notes as Paul Thomas Anderson talks about his most recent film, Inherent Vice...
Paul Thomas Anderson doesn’t really give too much away during his brief discourse for The New York Times’ Anatomy of a Scene series, in which he talks about his most recent film, Inherent Vice. One of his most illuminating declarations was that, to him, Inherent Vice is a "pretty straight forward film [with a] pretty straight forward style." Which sums up just how supremely talented Paul Thomas Anderson is a filmmaker that even his attempt to make a "straight forward" film is still packed to the brim with urgency, intrigue and decadent imagery.
For those of you have seen the 44-year-old’s seventh film, the scene that Paul Thomas Anderson provides commentary for sees Joaquin Phoenix’s Larry "Doc" Sportello visiting a mental institute in his hunt for clues as to why his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend has disappeared. Another fascinating element of Paul Thomas Anderson’s diatribe is just how impassioned he sounds when he discusses shooting inside the abandoned hotel that was used as the loony bin. After explaining how the "straight forward" style and nature of Inherent Vice had restricted his efforts to include more cinematic idiosyncrasies in the film, Paul Thomas Anderson reveals that he embraced the expansive location. In fact he admitted that it kept the film "active."
Meanwhile Paul Thomas Anderson also revealed that the film the inhabitants of the institute are watching during the scene is Red Scare, which has also been known to go by the name of The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming. Paul Thomas Anderson explained that he included ir as it was released during the height of the Cold War and was designed to "paralyze viewers with fear." It’s safe to say that Paul Thomas Anderson included Red Scare to draw a parallel between this creation of paranoia and the stony hazy of paranoia that Larry "Doc" Sportello lives in. In fact, the perfect selection of this film ramps up the tension in this particular sequence of events even more.
Those of you who enjoy listening to great directors discuss their work should probably stop what you’re doing immediately and check out the clip below. That’s because it features Paul Thomas Anderson interviewing Martin Scorsese about his work on The Wolf On Wall Street. It’s riveting.
If you didn’t enjoy that then you either don’t like cinema or you’re just being a dick. Inherent Vice is still out across the United States and it’s a truly a unique experience and a mesmeric mess.