Licorice Pizza

Licorice Pizza ★★★★

Need to watch this again soon, I guess, because what I love about it - the immediacy of performance, first and foremost - tends to drift from memory much more quickly than my remaining reservations. Still, I'm pretty sure that this is my favorite PTA film, the first one that swept me off my feet, in all its crudeness - a film about infatuation and fantasy just cannot be tight and orderly, let alone thoughtful and morally responsible, it just has to be exactly this kind of a shaggy dog of a film, sniffing at all the wrong places but cute enough to get away with it.

I try to not get all that much into "the discourse" these days, but it's clearly still true that woke cinephilia won't recognize exciting filmmaking even when it is pushed right in the middle of it, like in the first scene with Gary's frenetic pick-up attempt, where both his attack and her defense develop into a frenzy that fuels the rest of the film precisely because it is aimless and does not come with the promise of an easy release. On the other hand, the racist jokes are bad precisely because they're over-explained, just as generally the "revisionist cultural history" scenes are the worst part, at least as long as they're not connected to the central romance. The entertainment industry is a perfect setting because just like romance it is always tied to fantasy and to people exerting power onto each other without always knowing the outcome beforehand; because box-office success, like love, is fundamentally elusive.

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