Is there life after hip-hop? Is there life after rap? Why
not? After all, there's still life after the seventies with its
party-animal days and boogie nights.
Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) is a film producer with an
eye set on revolutionizing the adult movie industry (and
we do mean adult movies) and, at the same time,
getting his share of the pie. Eddie Adams (Mark
Wahlberg) is the glass washing new-boy-in-town who
metamorphoses into Dirk Diggler, the hot man with a
hidden talent. Amber Waves (Julianne Moore) is the
adult entertainment superstar who has her mind on the
stardom, her nose in the powder, and her hopes
tousled between the sheets (whenever there are any).
Everybody's damaged goods here, but maintaining
(c)Polygram Filmed Entertainment B.V.'
Pornographic L.A. seems to be laid out for all to
examine in this raw, nerve-edged portrait of a world full
of familiar people living in what is for most people an
Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson treats us to a
chronicle including the most intimate details from the
lives of a fictitious group of characters employed in the
porn industry from 1977 to 1984. Their private lives
are revealed on screen in this film as openly as their
private parts had been in their work. The result is a
sympathetic portrait of real people who experience
problems, difficulties, heartbreaks and hatreds as
naturally in their daily grind as frequently, if not more
so, as other people do. In short, everybody has their
ups and downs. Let's face it, disco and drugs can be
fun, but no party goes on forever.
The dysfunctional surrogate family formed by
participants of this adult film production company
reveals characters searching for themselves with all the
attendant tragic and comic circumstances of their lives.
What is made painfully clear is that there is
unequivocally more reason to be upset by a world of
standards that unnecessarily deals people a deck
stacked against them (from the word go) than any
nonsensical puritanical annoyance about the type of
films these people make.
The soundtrack moves us along as the beat goes on
with hits from the 70's and 80's. It is remarkable that
this production, well crafted with a talented cast and
crew, was capable of being realized on schedule for a
reasonably modest budget, but there are moments
where one begins to feel as if the editor might have
been allowed a little more freedom in filling the cutting
room floor. Three hours is a little long to boogie, but,
nevertheless, well worth it.
The last shot is especially revealing.
© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett