Licorice Pizza

Licorice Pizza

had to go one last time before the 70mm print goes away. would that the regency village could just be dedicated to screening it forever, a la Coppola's dream for a perpetual Apocalypse Now theater, but alas

final stray thoughts on this faded-but-blooming photo album of a movie I love to pieces:

- clocked it on this watch that Gary's dad isn't mentioned at all, even by him in questions about his parents. interesting in the context of PTA's running father figures motif (though Ms.(?) Valentine's strong presence at least in the first third separates this from the literal ghost of Woodcock's mother in Phantom Thread), as the father's absence itself isn't a presence here, and is obviously emotional in the context of Cooper Hoffman (the vest audition and everything across the pinball palace opening night are where the inherited Hoffman physicality jumps out most for me). Gary's hustle/strive is arguably better for not being tied to anything beyond a teenage zeal for life, but at the same time, much like we could assume Lancaster Dodd's disciples in The Master would do after his passing if the Hubbard analogy is taken to its ultimate conclusion, it almost feels like a room is perpetually prepared for his possible return

- so the accent scenes. I said this on twitter, but my two cents are they would work much better if the entire thing were in something closer to a Putney Swope register (hell, Bigfoot's Inherent Vice pancake order is practically the same setup/punchline, and that one sits just fine with me), whereas here, where everything else is so breezy and all other "it was a different time" embarrassments/threats happen to Gary and Alana (except for Jon Peters' treatment of his assistant, but that veers closer to general assholery), they go over like lead balloons. best I can give the first one is the moment of silent contact between Gary and his mom, and in watches two and three I've ended up using the bathroom during the second scene, and nothing of value felt lost either time

- PTA two-in-a-row for all-time depictions of a fun, happy night curdling and becoming embarrassing beyond words for the women who made them possible. Alana Haim's performance across the entire movie unfolds further with each watch, but particularly in the grand opening of the waterbed store, her fusion of changing physicality and nonverbal reaction as the night goes on is absolutely heartbreaking

- incredibly funny to realize that at least one of the other Under One Roof kids helps Gary throughout the rest of the movie, the gaggle of children running/playing at the fringes of just about every scene makes this world feel even more lived-in and genuinely "anything is possible at this age at this time"

- apologies to whoever I saw make this comparison first, either on here, twitter, or somewhere else, but the entire Tom Waits scene really is the best kind of Fellini-esque

- entire Jon Peters/truck sequence is just masterful, all three times it's made me alternately laugh my ass off and anxiously hold my breath

- the realize-true-feelings-and-run-across-town-to-each-other ending makes me want to know what anime has PTA watched lol

- feels like Punch-Drunk Love in being a (second!) real-time reinventing and realization of a mode of filmmaking for its creator, the most exciting feeling there is. still wouldn't try to place this in my personal PTA canon, but favorite movie of 2021 by a damn country mile

- Herman Munster as Himself

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