Spanning two decades, this chronicle of the California pornographic film industry shows the rise and fall of a wide-eyed, well-endowed young man who becomes an industry superstar by the name of Dirk Diggler.
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Long winded and at times clunky, but showcases a master in the making with those camera movements and sound editing. Sets a tone by audiovisual means that is more powerful than the content would be alone. That crosscutting scene of beat up and gun shots. phew
80/100 - Great.
While the acting is quite good, it's about empty and pathetic people, who really aren't interesting at all. This movie is for people who stop in traffic to see the accident on the side of the road. Porn is about exploitation, and this movie doesn't transcend that.
The aesthetic is everything, and PTA nails it (no pun intended). Burt Reynolds and Mark Wahlberg are great, especially when viewed through the father-son lens. Boogie Nights also features two of the most intricate and spectacular steadicam long takes you can find - the swirling opening scene at the night club, and the half-submerged gaze at the pool party.
Just tell me how you manage those camera movements! Paul Thomas Anderson feels like a contemporary Renoir crossfading with a young Scorsese. I really fell deeply for this movie, through the cool upswing till the wheezing downfall this movie goes psychological complex without losing the quirky artistry by PTA.
Just re-watched this gem, which is one of my favourite PTA films. Every role seems to have been perfectly cast, and Marky Mark showed great promise. The soundtrack is sick and the whole 70s vibe so perfectly captured. The early 80s weren't so groovy... in the second half the film takes a dark turn, showing how damaged these characters are and how porn is a business that you can't just simply escape when you want to.
Masterful sophomore effort from PTA, synthesizing and subverting a plethora of influences -- the Coens' deadpan observations of ineffable stupidity, Scorsese's wandering, weaving steadicam work, as well as Tarantino's irreverence and colourful characters. Lovingly recreates a disco-crazy America's carefree zest, and plumbs the emptiness beneath.
Lavish and indulgent look at pornography, drugs, music, and above all, quite frankly, the 1970s in general. Incredible performances by all, and what may be Paul Thomas Anderson's first display of masterful direction.