/Answers: Our Favorite Stoners in the Movies

best movie stoners

Every week in /Answers, we answer a new pop culture-related question. In this edition, tying in with the date on the calendar, we’re asking “Who is your favorite movie stoner?”

Read More »

inherent vice

(Welcome to The Unpopular Opinion, a series where a writer goes to the defense of a much-maligned film or sets their sights on a movie seemingly beloved by all. In this edition: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice is one of the writer/director’s very best.)

“I never remember plots in movies,” writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson said in 2014. “I remember how they make me feel, and I remember emotions and I remember visual things that I’ve seen, but my brain can never connect the dots of how things go together.” He was referring to Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, though that quote could easily describe Anderson’s own Inherent Vice. Trying to explain the film in a Wikipedia-style recounting of events is futile. It does not even come close to doing justice to the experience of letting the film’s inscrutable mysteries wash over you. Read More »

Film Meets Art

Some have criticized Quentin Tarantino for stealing from other movies, but it’s a practice that he’s very open and even proud of, and he should be. For centuries, all the best artists have been inspired by the artists the came before them, and the same can be said of every single filmmaker out there.

While most directors may not borrow as much from other movies as Quentin Tarantino, a video series called Film Meets Art compares movies like There Will Be Blood, Melancholia, Lost in Translation, Empire of the Sun, Inherent Vice and and even Django Unchained to the pieces of art that inspired some of their gorgeous shots.

Watch the Film Meets Art videos after the jump. Read More »

See A Live-Orchestrated ‘Punch-Drunk Love’ This March

scoreless punch-drunk love

Although Paul Thomas Anderson mainly works with Radiohead guitarist Johnny Greenwood nowadays, the director collaborated many times with Jon Brion in the first half of his career. Arguably their finest work together is the bittersweet music found in Anderson’s fourth film, Punch-Drunk Love — one of the finest love stories of the 21st century. A slightly new version of the film has been made, which, depending on your location, you can see in March of next year.

Learn more about the live-orchestrated Punch-Drunk Love screening after the jump.

Read More »

sight and sound best of 2015

Of the hundreds of “best of the year” lists assembled by various publications around the world, Sight & Sound magazine’s top 20 always tends to be the most fascinating. This year is no different. It’s hard to argue with any list that finds room to contain brutal holocaust immersions and artful LGBT romances and post-apocalyptic action adventures and tear-jerking animated family movies and stirring stop-motion animated dramas and high-concept horror movies and unrelenting documentaries about genocide and stoner film noir.

As usual, the list skews arthouse (there are a few titles here that we aren’t familiar with at all), but consider this list a homework assignment – if it’s on this list, it’s surely going to be worthy of any serious movie fan’s time. Check out the complete Sight and Sound best of 2015 ranking after the jump.

Read More »

/Filmcast Ep. 304 – Inherent Vice

New Inherent Vice trailer

DavidDevindra, Jeff, and Germain discuss the guilty pleasure of Everly, remember Parenthood fondly, plus hear what went down at Sundance this year. Be sure to see why Gremlins is kind of racist, and read Matt Patches’ and Kyle Smith’s reviews of Inherent Vice.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
Read More »

Inherent Vice music

Interviews with Paul Thomas Anderson are still cropping up left and right as he’s out in the public eye doing promotion for Inherent Vice, and we’re not complaining. In a couple of new talks, the director expressed his enthusiasm for Edge of Tomorrow, a film we felt strongly about last year, and also talked about the process of choosing the excellent collection of music that brings additional life to Inherent Vice. Read More »

Inherent Vice Behind the Scenes

Some of the most inspirational filmmaking stories are tales of failure. Not the sort of failure that shuts down a production, but the sort that makes people look at a scene or a problem in a new light. It’s impressive to see a film that works in a near-perfect manner, but more so to realize that it didn’t just happen that way. Making a film like There Will Be Blood may seem impossible, until you realize Paul Thomas Anderson and everyone else involved just built it step by step, dealing with setbacks along the way, and using intuition and imagination to solve problems.

Or take Anderson’s new film Inherent Vice. One scene that works really well is a long conversation between Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon — you’ve seen it excerpted in trailers and in the image above. They talk for a few minutes, and the whole thing is one shot in which the camera slowly pushes in on a dolly to add movement and a changing perspective. It works so well that a lot of people won’t even think about the shot the first time.

But that’s not how Anderson initially conceived and shot the scene. He first did it in a way that didn’t work, spending a lot of time and energy before realizing that a different, simpler approach was the way to go. He talks about the process in a new interview, which you can watch below. Read More »

Inherent Vice UK trailer

Inherent Vice is a big movie with a lot of moving parts. Even though it cuts out a lot of material from the novel by Thomas Pynchon, the film still has a wealth of characters with odd names, many of whom are given pretty breezy introductions. But a set of Inherent Vice character posters and brief video introductions for many of the major characters might help you sort people out ahead of time.

The downside is that these video intros give up a few of the film’s good jokes (but not all of them by any means). The upside is that these videos feature a bunch of footage that isn’t in the film, not that most people will have a chance to know which is which until after this Friday. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

anatomy of a scene series

As it has done in the past, the New York Times offered a great collection of conversations with directors this year, as the Anatomy of a Scene series gave the directors of many films a chance to dissect their approaches to major scenes in films such as Birdman, A Girl Walks Home Alone at NightInterstellar, Foxcatcher, Wild, and others. (My only complaint is that directors such as Ava DuVernay and Jennifer Kent are MIA.) Below, you can watch the Anatomy of a Scene series from late 2014. Read More »