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.
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.
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.