Yesterday I attended an AFI Fest screening of Mondo Hollywood, which was followed by a Q&A with director Robert Carl Cohen and Paul Thomas Anderson. There was no real plan to cover this for CHUD or anything else, so the audio is pretty crappy. I recorded it on my phone, which you can probably hear me pick up and put down at various points in the interview. At any rate, I thought you’d like it. The movie was screened as a kind of prologue to Inherent Vice (which I also saw…). PTA is a fan and after having seen both films, I totally understand why. Mondo Hollywood is, among other things, an excellent snapshot of a time (1966) and place in our culture. It’s totally hilarious at times (genuinely, not in a gawking, disingenuous kind of way) and absolutely bizarre, but there are more than a few unexpectedly poignant and strange moments, like when a piece of text reveals that two of the people featured in the film were a victim and member of the Manson family, respectively. It’s not exactly a Rosetta Stone for Inherent Vice, but it’s a worth watching to immerse yourself in the period.
A few more things:
I’m posting this as a piece of audio because it’s really long (and would take forever to transcribe) and because I don’t think you’d get the full effect of the thing as a piece of writing. Cohen is a great public speaker (rambly, but great) and at his age, this may be his last major speaking engagement. You gotta hear it.
I’m posting this as part of my podcast, which I haven’t shilled in the year since I started writing here. Not that my prior restraint earns me the right to post it now, but this was the easiest way for me to get this to you. Also, there’s very little of me in here, so the self-promotion is minimal at best. If you want to listen to more, subscribe to us here. Otherwise, don’t.