Movie News

Paul Thomas Anderson Plots A Pynchon Course For His Next Film!

Published at: Sept. 3, 2012, 12:53 p.m. CST

Beaks here...

Paul Thomas Anderson isn't fucking around.

With his latest film, THE MASTER, inspiring some of the most interesting criticism I've read this year, Anderson has revealed to Empire that he's eager to move forward with his adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's INHERENT VICE.

In his chat with Empire, Anderson describes the reclusive author's 2009 novel as a "Cheech and Chong movie." I have yet to read it, but reviews have suggested that the book bears some resemblance to THE BIG LEBOWSKI, in that it concerns a stoner private eye's misadventures in Los Angeles (I'm told the similarities end there). This would be the first full-fledged attempt at bringing a Pynchon work to the big screen, which is momentous enough to get some outlets excitedly proclaiming that Anderson is also planning to take on the author's sprawling masterpiece GRAVITY'S RAINBOW. Unfortunately, I can find no evidence of this online, so let's just chalk that up to wishful thinking for now.

If, however, Anderson was ambitious enough to tackle one of the most challenging novels of the twentieth century, I agree with screenwriter Matthew Robinson's comment that the filmmaker would be "taking a giant swing at the Kubrick fence". C'mon, PTA. You know you want to do it.

It is expected that Robert Downey Jr. will play the lead role in INHERENT VICE. He's been attached to the project for over a year.

Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 3, 2012, 12:56 p.m. CST

    I think Resident Evil is his greatest film...

    by The Dum Guy

    Kidding. I watched Punch Drunk Love the other night (haven't watched it in years) and enjoyed more than I remembered.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST

    I hope they keep the Ghostbusters car in it...

    by Modtel

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 12:58 p.m. CST

    when they gonna make a movie

    by mick vance

    with some famous star who just lets her tits out for like the whole movie? and yes! i am already drunk!!!

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 1:07 p.m. CST

    One of the most interesting filmmakers working today...

    by FannyPad

    But he ain't even remotely closing in on Kubrick.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Will see anything he makes...period.

    by kindofabigdeal

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Don't understand why we have to compare him to Kubrick...

    by notcher

    PTA has his own style and voice, and I see very little to compare with Kubrick. I'd just let it rest at PTA is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. That's enough for me. Robert Downey Jr and PTA? BRING IT!!!

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Anderson is good, but he's no Kubrick...

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy

    Will idiots stop erroneously applying the term 'Kubrickesque' with no apparent idea of what that actually means? Kubrick was a singular and unique artist, and there will never be another of his like again.

  • http://apnews.myway.com/article/20120903/DA128Q5G2.html

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Gravity's Rainbow?

    by LarkStew

    Haven't read Inherent Vice, but I have read Gravity's Rainbow... and he might want to make a movie out of that book? Yeah... good luck with that one!

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Very excited about Inherent Vice.

    by Randy

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Anderson has ALREADY surpassed Kubrick.

    by Anti-fanboy

    Far more interesting visual style, as opposed to Kubrick's distracting as fuck one point perspective fixation. Far more emotionally engaging. (The Shining is completely bereft of the humanity of the novel.) Better performances. Clumsier dialogue, though. Kubrick over-thought everything, and it shows in how LIFELESS his later films are.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 1:35 p.m. CST

    PTA and RDJ working together should be all kinds of amazing. Make it happen.

    by Mr. Pricklepants

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 1:50 p.m. CST

    That's an unfair comparison Anti-fanboy

    by RedJester

    Comparing someone whose career is complete with someone whose career is at best in the middle will never be a fair comparison. Kubrick along with several other directors simply have too big, too great, and too diverse of a body of work for Anderson to crack that inner-circle . . . yet. If Anderson can keep up this pace of near-perfection, and if he can break new grounds artistically with each of his films, and if he can create a film on par or superseding 2001:A Space Odyssey, then perhaps he can overtake Kubrick as our greatest of directors. Until then, however, the top ten will suit him just fine. -Redjester

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Anderson has already surpassed Kubrick? Don't be a fucking idiot

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy

    Anderson is like a child compared to Kubrick...and that's not a diss against PTA, but a measure of just how good Kubrick really was. Kubrick's peers are directors like Kurosawa, Tarkovsky, Fellini, Ophuls, etc. NOBODY of this generation of filmmakers is in that league. You might as well wish for the Second Coming than the hope that PTA will one day surpass him; both are equally unlikely. PTA's films started out as flashy, first-rate technique and post-modern self-aware filmgeek crap. Solid substance, but clearly just aping his influences (Altman, etc.). He somewhat moved beyond that with There Will Be Blood and (by the looks of things) The Master, but still he's just a kid aping better filmmakers of the past. Kubrick was a true transgressive filmmaker who subverted the accustomed language and presentation of cinema, and that continued even until his death. Even now, his films are just barely being understood. To criticize his films for lacking 'emotion', for example, is missing the point. Not only is it not true in and of itself (as many selected scenes in his films will attest), but Kubrick wasn't even that interested in straightforward drama and emotion, or the easy tropes with which a filmmaker could use to engage the audience with. He was more interested in the bigger picture, because the objective truth of his themes was much larger than those other things. Emotion is temporary and fades, but the larger themes he was playing with (inherited evil in The Shining, the nature of existence in 2001, and man's ability to be his own worst enemy as in Barry Lyndon) are more ephemeral and everlasting than simple sentiment. PTA is still stuck on a level far below that, I'm afraid. Which is fine; he makes well-crafted, dramatic, adult films and there's nothing wrong with that. But comparisons between him and Kubrick are just the usual superficial fanboy drivel.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Just because PTA is heavily inspired by Kubrick...

    by Logan_1973

    Doesn't mean that you have to put the two up against each other in a boxing ring. They're both great; why can't the world love both?

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 2:32 p.m. CST

    PTA has surpassed Kubrick.

    by Dharma4

    I'd argue this because PTA doesn't have a single flaw in his filmography. Amazing films, amazing emotions and just skillful craftsmanship. -Namaste-

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 2:52 p.m. CST

    I thought this had died

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    great to hear that it's happening. Crazy that it'll be the first ever Pynchon adaptation.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 2:59 p.m. CST

    What does "Namaste" means?

    by albert comin

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Sounds like....

    by KHjLL

    HARPER - THE BIG LEBOWSKI - CHEECH & CHONG... Can't wait....

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 3:42 p.m. CST

    scirocco

    by DexterMorgan

    Namaste is both hello and goodbye in Nepal

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 3:56 p.m. CST

    we'll get a Gravity's Rainbow film when we get the Infinite Jest one

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 3:56 p.m. CST

    PTA is great but.....

    by captzeep

    His movies ramble. He needs a disciplined writer and a judicious editor. Or maybe not. Maybe it's their rambling, take the long way nature that makes them meditative and interesting. Some people thought "Tree of Life" bloviated, but the meandering is what allowed you to relax and get into it. All the same, yeah, a little trimming would have done "Boogie Nights" and "Magnolia" a lot of good. In any case I'm there the first weekend.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Downey's too old. Should be DiCaprio or Gosling

    by ImMorganFreeman

    Regardless, very excited about checking this out. Should be a fun trip for Anderson for change. Get his Altman/Long Goodbye vibe on. And have some fun.

  • It was really funny at times and Downey will kill it as Doc Sportello, but the book meandered and went a little overboard for my tastes. Every other chapter had him in some sort of weird, seemingly metaphysical conflict. As a movie with a tight screenplay it really could work though. Color me excited.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Jaoquin Phoenix looked so unappealing in his last movie

    by chien_sale

    In the trailers he looks so ugly. For a lead character, oh boy that doesn't make you want to see it.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 4:05 p.m. CST

    DiCaprio is a worthless pile of shit!!!

    by notcher

    Have tried to watch "J. Edgar" twice and can't get more than 10 minutes into it. DiCaprio has one thing he does and it's annoying as fuck! He thinks he's a chameleon but in reality he's just a bad actor. Unless he's put into a role that suits that one thing he does, he blows. Like "The Departed" where just acts angry. I loved inception, but he was fucking annoying in that movie. I completely shiver when I think how good "Inception" could have been with Fassbender in the lead. Ugh, NO MORE DiCaprio!!!

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Kubrick is Kubrick; PTA is PTA...

    by saunderizer

    ..and they're both original and enjoyable in their own unique ways. Malick, however, is grossly overrated.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Kubrick vs. Paul Thomas Anderson

    by lv_426

    I think that it is unfair to compare the two. Just as it is unfair to compare say, Hitchcock to Spielberg. Kubrick was from a different era, and Paul Anderson is still relatively young, even though his films are very complex and layered. It is too early to give Anderson's filmography a complete grading compared to that of old masters and auteurs, because he will surely make a good deal more films in the coming 20-30 years. Either way, Anderson is an excellent director and one who will hopefully continue to grow and impress us. I'd certainly be interested in checking out a film of the above book, done by Anderson. A stoner-surfer detective channeling Cheech and Chong while driving around in a Ghostbuster wagon sounds like a strange but fascinating combo. Inherent Vice sounds vastly different from his past two films. There Will Be Blood and The Master sort of feel like they are going to possibly have some sort of basic thematic threads that bind them (this is just a guess from seeing the trailer to The Master). Either way, both TWBB and The Master seem to focus on a charismatic and successful individual and the lengths they go to in achieving their success and power over others. Although, in The Master it seems the viewpoint character is the outsider played by Joaquin Phoenix, where as TWBB focused more on the head honcho in Daniel Plainview.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Got some bad news, guys -- Michael Clarke Duncan just died. RIP.

    by CodeName

    https://www.facebook.com/ABC7

  • There was talk a few years ago, I think before There Will Be Blood hit theaters, of Anderson being interested in making a Metal Gear Solid movie. I don't know if Anderson is a gamer by any means, but I would certainly like to see what he could do with something as insanely sprawling and bizarre as MGS. It would be fun to see him step out of the sprawling drama genre he does so well, to do a sprawling science fiction action flick. Sure it could still suck, as pretty much all video game movies do, but at least it would be interesting and unique instead of someone like Len Wiseman or JJ Abrams making a safe and sanitized movie out of Metal Gear. Or, as much as I'd still love to see Sir Ridley make The Forever War into an epic motion picture, I think that Paul Thomas Anderson might be a good fit to adapt it to the screen. Now that Sir Ridley is focused on more Prometheus and perhaps a Blade Runner sequel/prequel for any upcoming science fiction films, maybe we could have another filmmaker take on The Forever War?

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 4:47 p.m. CST

    codename -- he was only 54 too

    by lv_426

    Damn. Every time I come to this site, or any entertainment or film related site for that matter, it seems our actors and filmmakers and entertainers are dying at an alarming rate these days. RIP Mr. Duncan.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 4:49 p.m. CST

    HOLY CRAP!!! Michael Clark Duncan passed away....:(

    by Chris

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 4:50 p.m. CST

    lv_426

    by CodeName

    I'm down for PTA making an MGS movie. That would be crazy.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 4:55 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I know. MCD left us way too soon.

    by CodeName

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Holy crap you're right. MCD dead!

    by Rebel Scumb

    Always came across as a genuinely super nice guy from everything I'd seen him in. 54 is waaaaaaaaaaay too young. RIP

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 5:35 p.m. CST

    anti-fanboy

    by MainMan2001

    your wrong. nothing more and nothing less

  • notcher: "Don't understand why we have to compare him to Kubrick...PTA has his own style and voice..." The reason why its entirely appropriate to compare PTA to Kubrick is because no other filmmaker has so consciously shaped his career in such an unseemly fashion to try and follow/mimic the true great directors. He blatantly ripped off Scorsese for Boogie Nights, Altman for Magnolia, and French New Wave directors for Punch Drunk Love. Kubrick's "style" (if that's even the right word for it) is harder to duplicate concretely, but Anderson was clearly trying to emulate him and a typical late-Kubrick narrative arc with There Will Be Blood. While I suppose its fine to say that if you have to steal from other artists who came before you, you might as well steal from the best, PTA ultimately has nothing to say other than he wants to be a great director like his idols before him. Its that impulse which overwhelms any instinct of just wanting to tell original and interesting stories. That's the difference between PTA and the true greats. Kubrick, Altman, Scorsese, Lynch, Hitchcock, Hawks, etc. were inspired by wanting to tell great stories. Period. PTA and many of today's new crop of directors are inspired by great directors who told great stories. Thus their skills are at least one-step removed from true artistic inspiration by being focused more on the medium and the pioneers behind it, rather than the message itself. There is big a difference between the two, and it shows in their work, especially with PTA (even though its often enough to fool younger film fan-boys who are either ignorant of the past greats or so desperate to crown a new set of auteurs that they mistake the mimicry for the real thing).

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Badtnt310....

    by notcher

    After reading your post, I still don't think the comparison is justified. You claim he ripped off Scorsese and a few other directors, and supposedly tried replicating Kubrick's style with "There Will Be Blood," hence he should be compared to Kubrick. That makes no sense to me nor do I think he ripped off Scorsese for "Boogie Nights." With all respect, I do not agree with your assessment. I hate "Magnolia," but his other films were fresh and original. Name another movie that inspired PTA's ripoff for "There WIll Be Blood?" Look, you are entitled to your opinion, but don't crown yourself the expert of all films past and present and claim that PTA isn't inspired to tell good stories. A lot of people, including older film critics well versed in the great filmmakers of the past find PTA's stories VERY fascinating! Your argument is a "He said-She said" opinion. You have left me unconvinced.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Badtnt310...in fact.

    by notcher

    The reason why its entirely appropriate to compare PTA to Kubrick is because no other filmmaker has so consciously shaped his career in such an unseemly fashion to try and follow/mimic the true great directors.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 6:54 p.m. CST

    Badtnt310..

    by notcher

    So you're saying Kubrick ripped off other filmmakers? That's the only meaning I can get from your sentence.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 7:06 p.m. CST

    bullshit badltnt310..

    by craaayz

    so condescending about a man's ambition. Heaven forbid directors continue to use past greats for inspiration to build on their own stories/visions. PTA does so, granted , but ripping-off isn't the case. He cites influences and is hardly trying to convince people that nothing made previous has had an effect on his work. The only blatant thing with him is his passion of film and time he's willing to dedicate to a single work. Saying he only aspires to mimic the 'greats' is rubbish when you don't know the guy or his personal goals. You really think he doesn't do things to his own personal satisfaction? Not everyone's a sheep who wants to be 'just like that guy'. To say his stories aren't still full of originality and personal touches is to be ignorant to his writing ability. Go ahead, keep thinking you won't be fooled into believing he's a great film maker. Fine if you don't like him but it's not for you to set/judge his limitations. Keep at it PTA.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 7:24 p.m. CST

    are there any other actors out there besides rdj?

    by The Mothman

    The man is talented but he's not a beachside private eye who can handle himself in a fight. Like Depp, I'm a bit tired of his song and dance. Random PTA observation - TWBB was a brilliantly made film about a totally uninteresting and unpleasant man.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 7:34 p.m. CST

    Gravitys Rainbow

    by jackofhearts29

    It's as unfilmable as it is unreadable. This Inherent Vice thing, however, is fun pop-meta-punk that will translate well into small indie midnight movie territory. Not seeing the flyover states packing their butts in for this kind of project though

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 7:39 p.m. CST

    I'm three chapters from the end...

    by b_profane

    ...of Inherent Vice. As a fan of both Pynchon and Anderson this is great news! I hope he gets IV done successfully then can get Gravity's Rainbow (my #1 all-time favorite novel) made. Though THAT will be a tall order! By the way, my screen name. b_profane is from the protagonist of Pynchon's first novel 'V', Benny Profane.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 7:47 p.m. CST

    Inherent Vice...

    by Johnny Ahab

    ...made me laugh out loud numerous times. Quite the shaggy dog story, and it did remind me of "Lebowski" as I read it. Should be fun.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 7:47 p.m. CST

    When I think PTA I think Altman more than Kubrick

    by MrEkoLetMeLive

    Inherent Vice, I could see being a movie. Gravity's Rainbow? No freaking way. Talk about an unfilmable book.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 7:51 p.m. CST

    Yes - Boogie Nights WAS a Scorsese rip-off...

    by Badltnt310

    Notcher: "nor do I think he ripped off Scorsese for 'Boogie Nights.' With all respect, I do not agree with your assessment." In that case, I respectfully urge you to revisit Goodfellas close to watching Boogie Nights again. You will notice both similar aesthetic styles as well as narrative structure. Aesthetic styles: Long, uninterrupted tracking shots through scenes (such as the Copa nightclub tour in Goodfellas vs. the opening club scene in Boogie Nights among many which could be compared). A constant, wall-to-wall popular music soundtrack to help set the era and tone. (Yes, other films such has Forrest Gump have also used this device which became overused after Goodfellas, but not in conjunction with so many other obvious stylings from that film the way that Boogie Nights did.) Quick swish pans and edits to convey a sense of frenetic pace (especially evident when the Boogie Nights characters go overboard with their drug use - just as it did with the characters in Goodfellas). Narrative structure: A young kid has troubles at home and has to live with abusive family members. He feels trapped in this environment, and to help him escape, her grows attached to a surrogate family whose activities revolve around vice. He finds that he excels in this environment and rises quickly in the family hierarchy, earning both respect and riches from it. But after eventually reaching a pinnacle of success, cultural shifts along with an infusion of drug abuse drag our protagonist down to the point where the same elements stemming from the vice and the surrogate family he joined now work against him until he hits rock bottom. It nearly kills him - but he still manages to survive rock bottom (unlike some of his friends around him). He is eventually able to pull himself up from rock bottom and settle into a less-than-ideal but by no means awful life, wistfully thinking back on the good times and how they are likely gone forever. Tell me - which movie am I describing here? Boogie Nights? Or Goodfellas? Which one came first again? (Others have admittedly borrowed from this structure too - such as Ted Demme's 'Blow'. But the difference is nobody seems to want to deny that as they do with Boogie Nights, and nobody considers Blow to be a great film or inflates its quality in a quest to maintain some auteur idolatry as PTA's fan base seems to have a desperate need for.) Boogie Nights also has the final scene where our protagonist delivers a monologue to himself in the mirror that everyone with an ounce of film knowledge and integrity knows was lifted directly from Scorsese's Raging Bull. Is there anyone here who seriously wants to deny that? PTA even lifts his 'key protagonist downfall' scene right from Goodfellas here. Check out the setup and pacing of the Billy Batts death scene, which Scorsese sets apart from the rest of the film by giving us a subtitle which notes the precise time in the evening that the action takes place in - letting the viewer know that what is about to happen will be a pivotal moment, and stretching out the tension in the scene before the eruption of violence. Now compare that with PTA's drug deal/Alfred Molina scene which seals our characters' fates in similar fashion - also with a subtitle to notably set it apart from the rest of the narrative [Long Way Down (One Last Thing) ] and comes at a similar point in the story arc where tensions are already building in our protagonists' attempt to maintain his 'top-of-the-world' lifestyle and one more acute tragic event is needed to put them over the edge. Case closed. Anyone who doesn't want to acknowledge this, or would rather play down its significance, I suspect simply puts too much weight on the angle of "Boogie Nights is about the porno world, while Goodfellas is about the mafia - so that proves they are different". Nonsense. I suspect adolescents fanboys want to latch on to that,because they want something to cater to their desire for porn while still maintaining a surface sense of 'serious filmmaking respectability'. Boggie Nights fulfills that demand I suppose.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 8 p.m. CST

    Yes - Boogie Nights WAS a Scorsese rip-off...(addendum)

    by Badltnt310

    I would also add that the sequence in Goodfellas which frenetically follows Ray Liotta for an entire day before being busted by the feds on drug charges also parallels what PTA tries to do with the Alfred Molina/drug buy scene (both with a specific set of subtitles to set it apart, an editing pace which gets ratcheted up as tensions mount, etc. Though PTA has to rely on a character lighting firecrackers periodically in order to artificially maintain this sense of tension since it all takes place in the same room). But both serve the same purpose in the respective films. And there is no question that PTA directed the scene and overall film with this consciously in mind.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 8:08 p.m. CST

    re Boogie Nights

    by jackofhearts29

    Yeah, it's a pretty clear lift from Scorsese. But is it homage, theft, or just the creative process goung on here? PTA's style and reputation are built up from artists who came before him, and this is his riff on the classic Scorsesean "epic douchebag's journey" Hell, Scorsese took it from the Italian realists and French new wave, if you want to get academic...

  • Yes, I know what you're saying, but a "ripoff?" Come on, don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. The script is not voice over driven as it is in "Goodfellas" and there are a gazillion other parts to it that DON'T parallel "Goodfellas." You pick and choose some similarities and say it's the same. The only scene in "There Will Be Blood" that seems like Kubrick is the end of the film. But that doesn't make it a Kubrick ripoff. Besides, you were saying how PTA/Kubrick comparison was valid, so far you've compared him to Scorsese and other directors. WHERE IS YOUR ARGUMENT THAT PTA AND KUBRICK SHOULD BE COMPARED? That's what I want to know? You haven't answered it. BTW, I appreciate and acknowledge your expertise, so don't think I'm throwing insults. Props, but still don't agree on your overall assessment.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 8:26 p.m. CST

    Re: re Boogie Nights

    by Badltnt310

    jackofhearts29: "Yeah, it's a pretty clear lift from Scorsese. But is it homage, theft, or just the creative process goung on here?" Its a fair question - but let me explain why at least it shouldn't be considered 'homage' in this instance. By its very definition, homage needs to consciously and overtly convey its inspirations to the audience. For instance, the Odessa steps sequence from DePalma's 'Untouchables' or any number of his Hitchcock riffs (Body Double / Rear Window voyer sequence, etc.). The only people who could possibly mistake those sequences as being entirely born out of DePalma's mind are those who simply haven't seen the Battleship Potemkin or Hitchcock. That is certainly not the case with Boogie Nights - hence the instances of people such as notcher who try to deny (?!?) the Scorsese influence from PTA altogether. If PTA were doing an homage here - you wouldn't have this issue. One MIGHT be able to credibly argue that the end sequence of Boogie Nights was actually an homage to Raging Bull since the parallels were laughably strong and the only someone totally disingenuous (or unfamiliar with Raging Bull) would attempt to deny the connection. But I don't think you could credibly argue that Boogie Nights itself was purposefully constructed overall to be a Scorsese homage.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Yes - Boogie Nights WAS a Scorsese rip-off...(addendum II)

    by Badltnt310

    Not to flog a dead horse here since other commenters have already acknowledged my point - but I'd also have you take a look at the William Macy suicide scene in Boogie Nights and compare it to the Spider shooting/killing sequence in Goodfellas. Both come at roughly the same intervals in the respective films story structures - and both fulfill the same narrative purpose: Members of our surrogate family are gathered for a festive occasion of socializing, when suddenly the disconnect between the vice culture they inhabit and the surface 'normality' they want to convey quickly collides and results in a spasm of random violence that seemingly comes out of the blue. In Boogie Nights, its because Macy's character can't deal with the sexual degradation he suffers by being forced to live with the fact that his wife openly screws other people in front of him (even though that is what members of the surrogate family sign on to as part of their social code), and Spider being shot in front of others amicably playing cards just because he told someone higher up on the family social structure (Joe Pesci) to F*** himself. Both scenes come at the same time in the story structure and have the exact same purpose - to tell the audience that even though people in this lifestyle seem to be having a grand 'ole time and enjoying themselves, the exact same social elements that give them these special highs in life can turn on a dime to our characters' great detriment. I'm sure those who continue to want to deny reality here will focus on various surface facts (i.e., "But, but but...William Macy's character COMMITTED SUICIDE in Boogie Nights, whereas Spider was murdered in Goodfellas. One dealt with sexual jealousy while the other focused on mafia respect - so its thus obvious that they are TOTALLY different films badltnt310, and you are silly to compare them!") For those who insist on going out of the way to deny what I have already proven by a long shot, I can only shake my head in pity.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Boogie Nights is better than Goodfellas

    by WWBD

    So while it might be ripping some things off from that film (in addition to the Jake La Motta final scene in the dressing room), the disciple is greater than the teacher.

  • And I love Scorcese.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Re: re Boogie Nights (Addendum - Homage vs. Ripoffs)

    by Badltnt310

    If I had to boil it down, another way of putting it when discussing the difference between an homage vs. a rip-off is this: For an homage - The filmmaker is consciously counting on the fact that the audience is already familiar with a previous, underlying work in order to convey the new message and communicate with them. The real message he or she wants to convey isn't possible without being familiar with the inspiring work which came before it. With a ripoff - The filmmaker is counting on the fact that audiences will either be unfamiliar with an underlying work, or at least have forgotten enough about it so that it won't come to mind when viewing the newer work. That way he or she can take credit for misplaced praise of 'originality'. Fair enough? If so, which category do you think 'Boogie Nights' more properly belongs in with respect to Scorsese? Or am I not allowed to even pose that question without the rabid PTA fanbase biting my head off?

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 9:15 p.m. CST

    Pynchon?

    by ChesterCopperpot

    Hmmmmm....

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Re: Boogie Nights is better than Goodfellas

    by Badltnt310

    wwdb: "So while it might be ripping some things off from that film (in addition to the Jake La Motta final scene in the dressing room), the disciple is greater than the teacher." Although I think you are wrong, there is no practical way I can "debate" what amounts to be a simple declaration. I would just offer your statement to the rest of the Talkback community here and ask if they honestly feel the same way and if they don't feel that such statements are proof of PTA fanbase that has gone off the rails in its idolatry. Do you honestly feel that over the course of time, Boogie Nights will (or at least deserves to) show up on many 'all time greatest films' list and displace 'Goodfellas' current standing on them? If so, I can only conclude that a new majority generation of filmgoers has cropped up which not only shares none of my aesthetic values, but has considerably lesser taste than any other generation of filmgoers before it. Pity.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 9:26 p.m. CST

    Re: re: Boogie Nights is better than Goodfellas

    by Badltnt310

    wwdb: "So while it might be ripping some things off from that film (in addition to the Jake La Motta final scene in the dressing room), the disciple is greater than the teacher." I should have added in my comment above that I obviously think you are wrong with respect to PTA being better than Scorsese. But naturally, I'm gratified that you are at least intellectual honest enough to admit that PTA ripped off Scorsese in this instance.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Wrong.

    by DreamIsOver

    There is no denying a Scorcese influence in Boogie Nights but William Macy's suicide and Spider getting shot do not mirror each other in any way. But you might be able to sell me on a parallel between Macy's suicide and the whacking of Billy Batts because those events are similar turning points in the respective stories.

  • I should have worded it differently, you're right. I'm quite sure Goodfellas would rank higher than BN on almost every best movie list ever. It's one of the top 2 or 3 films of a master director, and that's saying a lot considering how prolific Scorcese is. However, I prefer BN. It's my favorite film in PTA's canon, and one I think is consistently underrated. I do think that PTA has, thus far, been a more consistent filmmaker than Scorcese. Furthermore, I think the Scorcese influence in Boogie Nights is overblown. Yes, there are long tracking shots through interiors. However, were it not for the fact that Boogie Nights was a 70s period piece that dealt with drugs, crime, and sex, I think the connections wouldn't be as strong for most people. Seldom discussed are the much more direct influences of Jonathan Demme on that film. PTA admits as much in the director's commentary.

  • Sept. 3, 2012, 11:53 p.m. CST

    Hey turd...

    by Anti-fanboy

    Ephemeral and everlasting are mutually-exclusive, you psuedo-intellectual twat. Or is that twit? OK, both.

  • Sept. 4, 2012, 12:02 a.m. CST

    Cassavetes and Altman also big influences

    by WWBD

  • Sept. 4, 2012, 12:45 a.m. CST

    INHERENT VICE-the book

    by Ian

    I wasn't a huge fan of the book and it seems like it would be difficult to translate into a movie, without having the story be majorly rewritten. Which is fine, because I'm sure PT Anderson's movie will be 1000x better.

  • Sept. 4, 2012, 1:31 a.m. CST

    PTA ain't afraid of re-writing a story

    by WWBD

    There will be blood contained about the first 10% only of Upton Sinclair's OIL! Of course, he might hold Pynchon in more untouchable light than an 80 (?) year old minor work. Hope he doesn't. His instincts in adaptation have been magnificent so far.

  • Sept. 4, 2012, 3:26 a.m. CST

    Boogie Nights and Goodfellas are both in my top 5

    by DexterMorgan

    with Dazed And Confused, Die Hard and Jaws. Boogie Nights is my favourite movie ever made, my old handle was DirkD13" in homage to the main character (I forgot my password after changing it when drunk). I have to agree with badltnt310 that BN is a complete homage/rip off of the style and structure of Goodfellas, yet is also the better film (marginally). Hey, it's better than ripping off Brett Ratner or Jeremiah Chechik.

  • Sept. 4, 2012, 5:49 a.m. CST

    That would be 'PSEUDO-intellectual' twat, anti-fanboy...

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy

    of which your ignorant assessment of Kubrick proved you to be.

  • Sept. 4, 2012, 7:21 a.m. CST

    Good Book

    by Jonas

    I enjoyed it, some really funny parts. Besides being set in LA (but in the late 60's) and the lead character smoking a lot of pot, that is where the similarities end. Doc Sportello is definitely a lot more astute than the Dude, and is an actual P.I. (or "gum-sandal" as he calls himself). Hoping this actually happens!!

  • Sept. 4, 2012, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Infinite Jest, Gravity's Rainbow, Mason & Dixon, Against the Day

    by leonardo_dicraprio

    Infinite Jest--great book--doesn't seem likely to be a great film. Sure, crazy videotape, wheelchair assassins, the prettiest girl of all time, brief but cinematic violence, but lots of time with recovering drug addicts and future tennis pros, and there really isn't much in the way of a plot with forward progress. What about Mason & Dixon? Two strong leads, awesome cameos at least one stoner founding father, sea battle, talking dog, a little bit of a plot. Against the Day has the Chums of Chance having adventures in their dirigible, plenty of old west stuff, Tesla (Tesla!). I'd like to see the Wachowskis take that one on--would be terrible, but I'm okay with that. Instead of mediocrity like Cloud Atlas. And anyone who thinks anything is unfilmable: Coogan's Tristram Shandy (the bits from the actual book) is a remarkable little thing.

  • Sept. 4, 2012, 9:24 a.m. CST

    I like Boogie Nights better then Goodfellas

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Both good movies, but I think I like the multi-character focus of Boogie Nights better then Goodfellas mostly one-track focus on Henry Hill.

  • Sept. 4, 2012, 10:15 a.m. CST

    LOL. Twat indeed.

    by Anti-fanboy

  • Sept. 4, 2012, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Hmm...

    by djscott95

    Always kinda thought Altman was PTA's biggest influence (at least in the first part of his career). There are some Scorsese moments in Boogie Night for sure, but hardly a ripoff. But what the fuck do I know, I personally think "Magnolia" is a masterpiece, and it gets the most hate of any PTA film. So I'll just go fuck myself.

  • Sept. 4, 2012, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Oh! I almost forgot...

    by djscott95

    Back to the subject of this article. Cool that someone is gonna make a Pynchon film. Wish it was "Gravity's Rainbow", but maybe soon. (and it is not unfilmable btw, "Infinite Jest", however, is). Ok - back to fucking myself.

  • Sept. 4, 2012, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Boogie Nights vs. Goodfellas / Magnolia vs. Short Cuts

    by animatronicmojo

    Comparisons are odious, and I'd say that all four of these films are brilliantly original and well worth seeing. However, personally, I found both Boogie Nights and Magnolia to be more enjoyable. Why? Well, even though Scorsese and Altman are/were great filmmakers who have redefined the medium, perhaps I'm biased to my own generation, and PTA just "speaks to me" more. However, both Boogie Nights and Magnolia, while being incredibly dark, also have this kind of loopy but enduring aura of hope and human kindness that is completely lost in the oceans of cynicism and mean-spiritedness that pervade Short Cuts and Goodfellas. <BR> PTA is The Master at realizing, specifically, two characters: 1) the dynamic if hyper-sensitive, deeply flawed and/or emotionally volatile younger male, and 2) the dynamic, powerful, but deeply flawed and morally corrupted older male/father figure. You will find these archetypes in all of PTA's movies (except in Punch Drunk Love, where the father figure is conspicuously absent). All of this seems like a very personal exploration pf PTA's own psyche, history and culture to me, and that is why I could never really compare his work to anyone else's.

  • Sept. 4, 2012, 1:33 p.m. CST

    TP's second-worst book, behind only the awful Vineland

    by Wanda Tinasky

    I could see this one being a decent film but the only other Pynchon novels that are remotely translatable to the screen are V and The Crying of Lot 49.

  • Sept. 4, 2012, 2:49 p.m. CST

    I'd love to see a take on Lot 49

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

  • Sept. 4, 2012, 3:37 p.m. CST

    and Wanda, we proved you a fake years ago;)

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

  • Sept. 4, 2012, 8:09 p.m. CST

    Bob Downey, Sr. (A PRINCE)

    by Leto III

  • Sept. 4, 2012, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Nope Nope Nope

    by DF

    Gravity's Rainbow is entirely unfilmable. No one, not even someone with the talent and vision of PTA, should take a crack at it; any film version would necessarily fall short in innumerable ways. There are some cool ideas and plot elements that might translate well into film, but attempting to actually adapt the thing is hubristic at best. Inherent Vice, on the other hand, is easily Pynchon's most filmable novel and would probably make a great movie if handled correctly. In fact, I really hope PTA gets to make it. Not sure if Pynchon would sign the rights away, is the only thing.

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 8 a.m. CST

    The Book....

    by Giltar

    Inherent Vice was a lazy book - read like something Pynchon wrote while watching "Big Lebowski" and eating a TV dinner - and I love his other stuff. Don't think it would've have gotten published if a 'Name' didn't produce it. But given the director, this may join the thin ranks of 'movies that are better than the book'.

  • Sept. 6, 2012, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Re: Wrong

    by Badltnt310

    dreamisover: "There is no denying a Scorcese influence in Boogie Nights but William Macy's suicide and Spider getting shot do not mirror each other in any way. But you might be able to sell me on a parallel between Macy's suicide and the whacking of Billy Batts because those events are similar turning points in the respective stories." Sorry - but you need to revisit both films with an open mind and you will undoubtedly conclude that I am correct. The two scenes DO in fact mirror each other (so much so that one must conclude that PTA consciously structured Boogie Nights in the same way). Macy's murderous outburst followed by his suicide is not a turning point in the movie as far as the characters go. In fact, the characters are not affected by it at all in terms of prompting them to change their behavior, reassess their lives or instigating a further chain of events which affects them (just as the shooting of Spider in Goodfellas does not affect our protagonists either in any way). Both scenes (Macy/Spider Boogie Nights/Goodfellas) serve the same purpose for the benefit of the VIEWER (not the characters). They both come in roughly the half-way point in the film after we see the characters all living the good life and taking advantage of the riches brought about by their vice-laden lifestyles. The spasm of violence in each scene is meant to remind audiences that underneath the surface, this is not a lifestyle to envy and that there are dark consequences from it. Macy's violent outburst doesn't affect our characters in any way. Neither did the casual murder of Spider (unlike the murder of Billy Batts and the drug deal with Alfred Molina - both which certainly DID affect the characters' well actions and well being). You are simply wrong on this point. Anyone familiar with both films will be able to discern this - which provides yet more evidence that Boogie Nights was nothing more than a Goodfellas rehash with a porn skin-covering used to appeal to male adolescents. But the skeleton and heart of that film is pure Scorsese through and through. Nothing original or refreshing about it.

  • Sept. 10, 2012, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Re: Badltnt310....

    by Badltnt310

    notcher: "Name another movie that inspired PTA's ripoff for 'There WIll Be Blood?' " John Huston's "Treasure of the Sierra Madre". I'll assume you haven't seen it, otherwise you wouldn't have asked the question that has such an obvious answer.