Licorice Pizza

Licorice Pizza ★★★★★

A few things that are really swiming to the surface for me the more I watch this:

- This movie is so beautifully patient. Gary and Alana hug outside the police station for a full 20 seconds. Their weird silent phone tag lasts 60 seconds. Gary walks into the Teenage Fair and strolls around for 83 seconds without anything much happening. This is a movie that breathes, it’s the inside out version of Boogie Nights. I love that so much.

- I love the alternate versions of the Haim sisters being sketched in here—Este the judgy realtor (vs Este the boss, as Alana described her in Interview magazine) and Danielle the stoner sage (as opposed to Danielle the mysterious genius as Alana put it), and how they both have these horrifically flat voices and affects. All I ever wanted was for this movie to feel like an extension of the Haim videos and—it came true!

- Two different teenage boys are forced to describe their penises and both incredulously respond “Normal.” That’s now up there with the handjob fixation in Rushmore for my favorite dick-based recurring gag in a movie by a guy named Anderson.

- You really can’t discount the fact that this movie takes place immediately after the draft ends. These teenage boys are running around in a world that’s a lot more open to them than it would have been in the very recent past, and it’s to Anderson’s credit that he doesn’t actively play that card (which I have to imagine was on his mind as he’s this student of epoch shifts), just lets it infuse the “this is very specifically early 1973” of it all the same way the shadow of WWII infuses Phantom Thread while very rarely being spoken of.

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