The new movie Licorice Pizza isn't autobiographical; it's set in 1973, when its writer-director, Paul Thomas Anderson, was three years old. But it feels lived-in, familiar, as though it's full of stories Anderson has been telling for decades. And indeed, those stories have been told for decades. But not by Anderson. Rather, it seems he was fascinated and delighted by the tales told by a friend of his, a Hollywood bigshot named Gary Goetzman who runs Tom Hanks's Playtone production company. Goetzman was a child actor who became a San Fernando Valley entrepreneur as a young man, with a waterbed business and a pinball parlor (once pinball became legal in Los Angeles).
Anderson then mashed up Goetzman's wild stories of his acting/business/political youth with an image that had stayed with the...Full review >>