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Paul Thomas Anderson Discusses Influences and New Ending For ‘Inherent Vice’ as Another Image Arrives

Written by on September 26, 2014 

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With a NYFF premiere set for just over a week from now and the first trailer quickly approaching, Warner Bros. seems finally ready to unveil Paul Thomas Anderson‘s seventh feature Inherent Vice. For now, however, we’ll make do with yet another new image, seen above, along with an extensive profile on the film, courtesy of The New York Times.

Describing his latest work as “his most comedic and anarchic film since Boogie Nights,” it is said to be so “overstuffed with visual gags and gimmicks that the filmmaker said he was inspired by slapstick spoofs like Top Secret! and Airplane!.” Also borrowing from Police Squad!, Anderson adds, “We tried hard to imitate or rip off the Zucker brothers’ style of gags so the film can feel like the book feels: just packed with stuff. And fun.” Star Josh Brolin backs up the notion, saying, “On most movies, you play with different levels and there’s a foundation and a ceiling. Here, there was no ceiling. It was no holds barred. Paul would say: We want to go Tom and Jerry on all this.”

To gain a footing for the noir aspects, he rewatched The Long Goodbye, Kiss Me Deadly, The Big Sleep and even North by Northwest to find that “plausibility rarely mattered as much as the pleasure of the filmmaking.” He boiled down his approach by constantly asking the question, “When’s the next girl or funny bit going to happen?” While his first draft was without narration, the filmmaker revealed that he added one through the character of Sortilège (Joanna Newsom) and also vastly changed the ending to one that is “outrageous,” all while keeping up communication with reclusive author Thomas Pynchon (who is confirmed to have a cameo).

Through all the gags, however, Anderson says there’s still “a sadness underneath it all.” He adds, “In the editing room, all the time, I was just trying to be a surrogate to his compassion and his concern for the American fate. Has America really lived up to its potential? Let’s keep hoping.” As we count down the days until the premiere, be sure to read the entire, excellent profile and check back for our review.

Inherent Vice opens on December 12th.


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