How does Licorice Pizza compare with the other Paul Thomas Anderson films?

Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman in licorice pizza

Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman in Licorice Pizza Photo: Paul Thomas Anderson / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

Last month the Film Club revamped Paul Thomas Anderson’s films, which were written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It was all in anticipation of Anderson’s new movie Licorice pizzawhich hits theaters this bank holiday weekend. In this particular bonus episode of the podcast, we wrap up our four-part series with a chat about its latest. Where does it stand in the filmography of the most renowned contemporary filmmaker in American cinema? Let’s discuss.

That’s what AA Dowd has to say Licorice pizza in his written review:

Licorice Pizza is a foggy time leap in a comedy: a Californian daydream full of infatuation, aspiration and protracted youth that seems to drive its celebrated writer and director Paul Thomas Anderson back and forth at the same time. Set in the San Fernando Valley in the early 1970s, the film transports its creator to the time and place that made it, and roughly the same place as its sprawling ensemble period pieces Boogie nights and Inherent vice. But if the Licorice Pizza can be described as a homecoming, it also paves new territory for the great American artist, who tore it from his memories and dreams: For better or for worse and, above all, on the heels of the refined, meticulousness Phantom thread, this looks like the shaggiest, most expansive movie of Anderson’s prestigious, ever-evolving career.

There’s an episodic quality here, almost like the film is inventing itself as the game progresses, over a single eventful summer with cameo stars and breaking news pushed to the edge of fictional and fictional life. At the center of the narrative, at the same time expansive and casual, is a love story – although it is unconventional in the Anderson tradition of punch-drunk and perverted romances.

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