In the new issue of LWLies, my august colleague Hannah Strong interviews writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson and our cover star Alana Haim about the pair’s sparkling new film, Licorice Pizza.
She asks Anderson if there is an interconnection between the worlds in which his films take place. Is the San Fernando Valley of Boogie Nights or Magnolia or Punch-Drunk Love the same San Fernando Valley as the one we see splayed out in front of us in Licorice Pizza? His answer was a no, but not an emphatic one. The way it reads is, “I don’t think of it that way, but very happy if you do.” And yes, we do.
Perhaps more so than any of his films to date, Licorice Pizza is a landscape movie, where the carefully-calibrated details in the background serve to enhance the drama in the foreground. It is the story of two free-spirited young people – Haim and Cooper Hoffman – nurturing a connection and trying to discern across the film’s runtime whether it is love.
Anderson has cited films such as George Lucas’ American Graffiti and Amy Heckerling’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High as inspirations, and this is evident not only in its focus on the roistering antics of its vivacious protagonists, but also the episodic, quasi-experimental structure of the film.Order Your Copy
In the spirit of our cover film, for this issue we have chosen to exist inside the world that PTA has built for us, sending the reader back to California circa 1973 to experience the cultural highs and lows of that vaunted era. Our aim for this was to produce the ultimate shrine to Anderson oeuvre, and we hope that this issue is as fun to read (and explore) as it was for us to make. And for those who like easter eggs, hold on to your hats…
On the cover
We’ve long been a fan of the illustrator Tim McDonagh, with whom we collaborated on our 2014 illustrated book What I Love About Movies. Lucky for us, Tim is a massive PTA fan, and so relished the chance to take a deep-dive into this new film and his entire cinematic world. The portrait of Alana Haim on the cover is backed by a ripped-out page of classified ads, setting the visual tone for the remainder of the issue.
In this issue
We Got This!
An Interview with Paul Thomas Anderson and Alana Haim
Hannah Strong talks landscape, music and love with Licorice Pizza’s writer/ director and its star.
Meet The World’s Biggest PTA Fan
Flowers Foster heads to Seattle to meet an eccentric college kid with a bizarre and antisocial obsession.
Jacques Gites: Being Me in ’73
Our chief film critic rounds up all the prime cinematic cuts of 1973.
Mark Bridges: Costumier to the Stars
The Licorice Pizza costume designer on the film’s memorable look.
Oh, David, Give Me Your Hands
An encounter with David Bowie in 1973, by Cady Chrysler.
Hot to Trot: Gary Valentine
A profile of the new actor and entrepreneur.
Letters: Bring Back Pinball!
A young man wants to strike down a nonsense law from the statues.
By Laurel Canyon
Obituary: Baxter Conrad
The enigmatic icon is remembered by his opium dealer, Lemuel Cruz-Campo.
Threads #20: The White Suit
Christina Newland tackles this slick icon of silver screen machismo.
In the back section
Hannah Strong pens a touching ode to the idiosyncratic prankster ahead of the release of a Jackass: Forever in early 2022.
How We Made The Tragedy of Macbeth
Joel Coen, Bruno Delbonnel, Mary Zophres and Stefan Dechant talk to Adam Woodward about how they brought together this haunting monochrome Shakespeare adaptation.
Guillermo del Toro
The Nightmare Alley director and LWLies hero discusses the doors that were opened to him after his big night at the Oscars.
The British actress transitions to the director’s chair to deliver her ace debut feature, Amulet. Interview by Katherine McLaughlin.
Matt Turner unveils the community vibe on the set of Memoria – the magnificent new film from the soft-spoken Thai maestro.
Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige’s Memory Box
Salomé Jashi’s Taming the Garden
Eric Steel’s Minyan
Will Sharpe’s The Electrical Life of Louis Wain
Asghar Farhardi’s A Hero
Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria
Andrea Arnold’s Cow
Joe Wright’s Cyrano
Kirill Serebrennikov’s Petrov’s Flu
Michael Showalter’s The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir Part II
Romola Garai’s Amulet
Jamila Wignot’s Ailey
Fran Kranz’s Mass
Fred Bailiff’s La Mif
Roger Michell’s The Duke
Pedro Almodovar’s Parallel Mothers
Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth
Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee
Mahamat Saleh Haroun’s Lingui, The Sacred Bonds
Clio Barnard’s Ali & Ava
Ryūsuke Hamaguchi’s Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast
Abel Ferrara’s Zeros and Ones
Published 4 Jan 2022
Buckle up and say a Hail Mary as we take a peek under the hood of Julia Ducournau’s visceral Palme d’Or winner.
Pack your stillsuits, we’re going to Arrakis for our special 90th edition dedicated to Denis Villeneuve’s Dune.