Inherent Vice influences

Inherent Vice, the new film from Paul Thomas Anderson, isn’t just an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Thomas Pynchon. It is part of a specific tradition of movies that pry into the gaps between visions of American culture, especially as seen on the streets of Los Angeles locations. Paul Thomas Anderson has talked about one or two specifically as Inherent Vice influences, and beyond those few titles is an expansive set of movies in which characters who are all but lost as mainstream culture and power swirl around them.

These are films that line up with the spirit of Inherent Vice. Sometimes it’s just in the case of one sequence, or one shade of the movie. But put all these films together and you have a weekend worth of movies that will prepare you for the desultory, city-spanning story of Doc Sportello. No spoilers for PTA’s movie are here as we talk about the films that link up with it in this particular cinematic tradition, but when you do see Inherent Vice after seeing these you’ll immediately see how they all fit together.

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Big Lebowski spinoff

Joel and Ethan Coen have made it pretty clear that they have no intention of making a Big Lebowski sequel, but John Turturro is still hoping for that Big Lebowski spinoff. The actor recently reiterated his desire to make a Jesus Quintana film, although it doesn’t seem like it’s happening just yet.

He may have better luck with the Barton Fink sequel, which he also wants to do — because the Coens are actually interested in that one. Hit the jump for Turturro’s latest updates on the Big Lebowski spinoff and the Barton Fink sequel.

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jesus-turturro-lebowski

You know him, you love him, you’ve been creeped out by him. Nobody f’s with the Jesus. John Turturro‘s character in The Big Lebowski, Jesus Quintana, is only on screen for a few minutes. He utters only a few precious lines of dialogue. But he’s just as memorable, if not more so, than the lead characters created by Joel and Ethan Coen. Now, it turns out, Turturro is trying to secure the rights to the character to revisit the role in a new film. Read more about the potential Big Lebowski Jesus movie below. Read More »

Tara lipinski lebowski

Well here’s something you don’t see every day: a gold medal-winning figure skater paying homage to The Big Lebowski. Thanks to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Tara Lipinski took center stage on the ice rink at Rockefeller Center in New York City to twirl around with a long brown coat and White Russian. And no, she doesn’t spill the beverage. Read More »

the coen brothers

This BBC doc on Joel and Ethan Coen is hardly new — it was created in 2000, during the production of O Brother, Where Art Thou?. But seeing the brothers in action is rare enough that even a 13-year old behind the scenes look is going to count as new for many people. There’s even some interview footage with cinematographer Roger Deakins, who almost as reclusive as the Coens.

The films of Joel and Ethan Coen are so fully formed, and so specific to a recognizable point of view, that viewers seem to want an explanation for the origin of that sensibility. It’s a fool’s errand to some extent; explaining anyone’s artistic work tends to be, and the Coens are more reluctant than most to discuss “reasons.” The ready affability of the brothers in this interview even mocks any attempt to paint them as weird, aloof geniuses. And given that the doc opens with some explicitly outlandish myth-making, it’s worth keeping in mind that there could well be some low-level mythologizing going on throughout. But the Coens’ work is so good that such legend-building is pretty natural.

There’s great stuff here, notably the contradiction between what seems to be a very easygoing shoot, and the rigorously structured production that allows it to be that way. Then, of course, there’s the communication between the brothers, which is so ingrained that it barely even looks like communication at all. And the idea that Fargo was shot just because it was the cheapest script they happened to have laying around at the time is the sort of thing that will make some other filmmakers bang their heads on a table in frustration.

Check out the doc below. Read More »

The Coen Brothers

A sequel to The Big Lebowski never seemed all that likely to happen, but if you were still holding out hope somehow you might as well stop now. Joel and Ethan Coen have expressed their total lack of desire to make any more Lebowski-related films, including the long-rumored spinoff about Jesus Quintana. For that matter, it doesn’t sound like they have plans to revisit any of their older projects — apparently, they’re just not interested in follow-ups. Hit the jump to read their comments. Read More »

Kevin Tong‘s Sights Unseen art exhibit is like when Carrie goes nuts on Homeland and puts up a huge bulletin board of work. It’s overwhelming and blinding, but totally genius. Tong, one of the most well-respected and talented screenprint artists working today, has created an exhibit not just for movie fans. It’s for everyone.

Comprised of over 200 drawings from the entire course of Tong’s career, the exhibit hits like a ton of bricks. It’s difficult to believe he’s assembled this much work in one space. As you begin to explore the nooks and crannies of the gallery, you’ll find beautiful movie pieces, music pieces and more general art pieces that Tong created on the way to larger, more commercial work. It’s one of those exhibits fans will have to explore again and again because they’ll find something new and exciting every single time through.

Tong has done movie posters for Mondo, Gallery 1988, Spoke Art, worked for bands like Phish, The Black Keys, Bon Iver and many more. But all of it started with these drawings and seeing them as a whole is not only to see the arc of an artist’s career, it spotlights an evolving style and ideas that are radically out of the box.

Sights Unseen is currently on display at the Phone Booth Gallery in Long Beach, CA through April 3. Below, we’ve captured just a few of the movie and pop culture related pieces. Read More »

Whether you’re afraid of heights or spilling your beverages, three posters for classic movies came out Friday. Spoke Art has two brand new prints for Sight and Sound’s greatest film of all time, Alfred Hitchcock‘s Vertigo, created by Chuck Sperry and Sam Smith, which is screening in 70mm in San Francisco this weekend. The other is for The Coen BrothersThe Big Lebowski, curated by Poster Collective and drawn by Ghoulish Gary Pullin. Check them out below. Read More »

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