The New York Film Festival is but weeks away and we could not be more excited for this year’s lineup. Alongside heavy-hitters like Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, David Fincher’s Gone Girl, Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language, David Cronenberg’s Map to the Stars, and Bennet Miller’s Foxcatcher, there’s also a slew of stunning and incredible new films from Olivier Assayas, Mia Hansen-Løve, Alain Resnais, Mike Leigh and so many more. “We have a great line-up this year filled with soaring cinematic visions, concentrated meditations and wild inventions, journeys through the past and vivid slices of the here and now,” said Kent Jones. “Godard in 3D and Alain Resnais’s first and last features, three mind-blowing gala films from Fincher, PT Anderson and Iñárritu … and a Joseph L. Mankiewicz retrospective..what more could you ask for?” So to get you even more excited, EW has premiered a trailer for the 52nd annual festival, which begins September 26th and runs until October 12. Enjoy for yourself below.
With Paul Thomas Anderson’s seventh feature currently in the works, many have been waiting with bated breath to catch an on-set glimpse of the ever-evolving cast. Based on Thomas Pynchon’s novel of the same title, Inherent Vice will once again meld the talents of Anderson and Joaquin Phoenix as he plays Larry "Doc" Sportello, in the counter cultural noir about a pot-smoking 1970s detective. And today, we got the first taste of Phoenix in costume, sporting some serious sideburns. However, the real treat was spotting a very pregnant Maya Rudolph decked out in nurse’s scrubs for the feature.
But as we wait for more photos to emerge, it’s important to remember why we make such a fuss about these photos anyhow. It’s not that we’re so excited to see Phoenix in a pair of distressed bellbottoms but the fact that each photo is another bread crumb in a trail that could possibly lead to our new favorite movie. And that’s not to say I’m assuming Inherent Voice will be the epitome of cinematic achievement (but it’s PT, so I mean, maybe) but if there’s someone whose films we can worship nowadays, if there’s a director to truly love and honor, PT is one of the best we’ve got.
And from the beginning of his career, whether he was exposing the heartbreaking and seedy underbelly of LA’s 70s porn scene, weaving a intricate web of fantastically strange and tortured modern day lives, or giving us the most awkwardly brilliant love story, there’s a distinct and rich essence to his films that runs like a through line between them all. It’s an atmosphere and a texture and with this brief but wonderful video (via Cinephelia & Beyond) we see that all brought together. Take a minute to enjoy.
The more we hear about Paul Thomas Anderson (is it too much to call him ‘The Master’ at this point?) adapting Thomas Pynchon’s soft-boiled noir Inherent Vice to the screen, the less we want to wait until 2014 for it. The latest news is that the auteur will retain the heavy constellation of 1970 SoCal characters, and has signed on a crew of serious ringers to play them. Some guesses about the casting below.
We know that Joaquin Phoenix will play the lead, pot-addled private eye Doc Sportello. It’s the role of a lifetime, should the humor and pathos find some balance. Sean Penn seems to be hovering near the project and, judging from his criminal turn in the laughable Gangster Squad, might be a good fit for Mickey Wolfmann, the real estate mogul at the center of the mystery—though that’s not necessarily a lot of screen time. Going to guess that Reese Witherspoon, already on board, is playing Doc’s blonde hippie ex-girlfriend, Shasta Fay Hepworth.
For my money, though, the the part you want is that of Lieutenant Bigfoot Bjornsen, a massive and meddling cop who spends a lot of time threatening, manipulating, and insulting Doc Sportello. On size alone, this could go to Bencio del Toro, though that would be a hell of a bleach job. Character actor Kevin J. O’Connor would be fairly perfect as mysterious dentist Rudy Blatnoyd, and so would Martin Short, while Jena Malone, whom we’ve not seen enough of since Donnie Darko and Saved!, has most likely landed the most absurd Pynchon name of all time: Japonica Fenway.
Really, though, the possibilities are endless, and one pivotal character—Denis, Doc’s even-more-burnt-out best friend and partner of sorts—is bound to be an audience favorite. Will it go to Owen Wilson? Probably. Either way, the ensemble is shaping up to be one for the record books. We can look forward to Inherent Vice filling out the 2015 Oscar nominations for supportive acting, at least.
Last week we brought you word that Paul Thomas Anderson’s follow-up to this year’s brilliant duel character study The Master, would begin shooting this month. His adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s stoner detective novel Inherent Vice has been in the works since 2010, but is finally set to start production thanks to Warner Bros. backing and Robert Elswit shooting the picture. And now, as expected, the cast list seems to be rolling in with Benicio del Toro now in talks to join the cast of Anderson’s counterculture noir film.
We learn from The Wrap that Del Toro would be taking on the role of an attorney who is "always trying to help the protagonist out of trouble, though he’s not an actual criminal lawyer." Not the lead role, but knowing Del Toro, this could be a memorable one. My mind wanders to his wonderful Dr. Gonzo. In addition, Cigarettes & Red Vines tells us that Anderson has once again brought on Kevin J. O’Conner for the picture, whom we’ve seen in There Will Be Blood and The Master.
So this is just the beginning of the casting influx but in the coming months there’s sure to be plenty of information so if you’re as excited for this as I, stayed tuned—we’ll be keeping close watch. In the meantime, let’s watch some more videos of PTA talking movies.
Back in January, we shed light on Paul Thomas Anderson’s next feature, the long-discussed adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. As the first authorized cinematic revisiting of the author’s work, the project was announced back in 2010 and has since made its way around the rumor mill, with various speculations as to who would comprise of the cast, just when it would begin production, and who would backing the film.
And today, Cigarettes & Red Vines announced that shooting is set to go underway this month, thanks to finding its backing from Warner Bros. It was assumed that Annapurna Pictures, who financed and saved The Master would be taking on the project. But in an "amicable" decision, WB has taken the reigns and will mark PTA’s first time working with the studio. With Robert Downey Jr. initially as the leading candidate to take on the role of Sportello—a stoner detective in Pynchon’s counter-culture noir—Joaquin Phoenix is now slated for the role, after he and Anderson’s impressive work together on The Master. As for the rest of the cast, nothing has been announced but it’s safe to assume we’ll be getting a deluge of updates on that later this month as production kicks off.
In addition, although Mihai Malaimare Jr. gave us the incrediblly vast and stunning world of Freddie Quell and Lancaster Dodd, Robert Elswit will in fact be reprising his role of cinematographer on this one. After working on all of PTA’s films, save The Master, the Oscar-winning DP will be reunited with his old pal, shooting Inherent Vice on 35mm—no digital. Centering on the story of said Sportello uncovering a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer in 1960s Los Angeles, the film will apparently be PTA’s "first foray into comedy." However, as we noted a few months back:
Lest we forget, Punch-Drunk Love—an early-Altman-esque film about an emotionally inept man who collects pudding to amass frequent flyer miles and has a crying problem, who falls in love with an equally bizarre woman, in a world where aesthetics and mood go hand in hand while pieces of Jeremy Blake’s abstract art are spliced like tonal cue cards between moments—was Anderson’s attempt at a mainstream romantic comedy.
So yes, if this is comedy, full speed ahead. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one. And in the meantime, let’s watch some videos of young PTA talking about movies because, what better way could you spend your morning?
According to Variety, Joaquin Phoenix is looking to collaborate with PT Anderson once again after their extensive and impressive work together on The Master. Set to adapt and direct his version of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice, this would mark the first authorized adaptation of one of the writer’s works and has been part of the Hollywood discussion for a while now, with Annapurna Pictures backing the film—and we’ve been hearing fora while that Robert Downey Jr. has been linked to the film for the leading character, Larry "Doc" Sportello. But now, it appears that Phoenix is looking to take over the role of Sportello, a stoner detective in Pynchon’s counter-culture noir. As of earlier this month, word around town was that Charlize Theron was also looking to join the project, which centers on the story of Sportello uncovering a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer in 1960s Los Angeles. Variety also went onto say that this will also be the first foray into comedy for Anderson.
But lest we forget, Punch-Drunk Love—an early-Altman-esque film about an emotionally inept man who collects pudding to amass frequent flyer miles and has a crying problem, who falls in love with an equally bizarre woman, in a world where aesthetics and mood go hand in hand while pieces of Jeremy Blake’s abstract art are spliced like tonal cue cards between moments—was Anderson’s attempt at a mainstream romantic comedy. So whatever realm of comedy this is in, I’m all for it.
Let’s just watch some great scenes from Punch-Drunk while we’re here.
The infamously secretive (but surely not as weird as Salinger) postmodernist author and absolute genius Thomas Pynchon turns 76 this year: that much we know. But will he publishing a novel this fall called Bleeding Edge, as Ron Charles of The Washington Post tweeted on Friday? Penguin Press, who should know, isn’t saying anything. But maybe that’s to heighten suspense.
Secondly, how closely is Pynchon collaborating with Paul Thomas Anderson on a film adaptation of his previous effort, the screwball noir Inherent Vice? He certainly allowed to book to be optioned, though it’s hard to imagine him getting involved in the script, let alone production. He did, however, do a few notable appearances on The Simpsons, so a cameo is something to hope for.
Finally, can we even confirm that Thomas Pynchon exists? Literary conspiracy theorists—and Pynchon, whoever he is, would delight in such—have claimed a massive practical joke: Since his first novel, V., a select few readers have argued that “Thomas Pynchon” is the alter-ego of fellow postmodern writer William Gaddis, who died in 1998. Meaning Against The Day was written by a zombie, I think?
Yesterday it was reported that Paul Thomas Anderson wants to adapt Thomas Pynchon’s recent psychedelic detective novel, Inherent Vice, for the big screen. Well, today rumors are floating around that none other than Robert Downey Jr, the perfect choice to play a Pynchonian stoned sixties crime-solver named Doc Sportello, has been tapped to play just that role.
I’m still disappointed that the Anderson Scientology-based movie got nixed, but if this idea comes to fruition, it would more than make up for it. To get yourself psyched up, I recommend re-watching Downey’s previous turn as an unlikely party-boy actor turned self-appointed detective in the wildly underrated Kiss KIss Bang Bang. See the scene below for further proof.