Inherent Vice in 35mm

(Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014, USA, 144 minutes)

Screening in 35mm!

Shot in 2014, just after most multiplexes made the permanent change from 35mm projection to DCP, Paul Thomas Anderson’s 70s-set Inherent Vice was shot on 35 but never played in St. Louis in that format, though a small number of prints circulated in other cities. (If you saw Interstellar on 35mm at a Wehrenberg theatre here in town, you would have seen a trailer for Inherent Vice on 35mm, at least.) After months of trying, the Webster Film Series is pleased to announce a lone 35mm show of this film from one of America’s true cinematic masters. Reteaming with star Joaquin Phoenix, with whom he’d made The Master two years before, Inherent Vice is the first direct cinematic adaptation of notoriously labyrinthine (and fun!) postmodernist author Thomas Pynchon. Phoenix plays Doc Sportello, a stoner twist on the private dick trope from films noir, here pounding the pavement (er, sand?) of Los Angeles while trying to locate his ex-girlfriend Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston, in a breakout performance), who appeared unannounced in Doc’s house shortly before falling off the map entirely. With an incredibly deep supporting cast including, but not limited to, Josh Brolin as the hippie-hating cop Bigfoot Bjornsen; Eric Roberts as Mickey Wolfmann, Shasta’s recent lover and fellow missing person; Owen Wilson; Reese Witherspoon; narration from musician Joanna Newsom (here making her film debut); and with people like Michael Kenneth Williams and Martin Short turning up as one-scene wonders. You get needle drops of Can’s “Vitamin C,” a lengthy shot in a massage parlor with recent Oscar nominee Hong Chau that features a blink-and-you-miss-it bout of brilliant physical comedy from Phoenix, and more. Inherent Vice is a film to return to again and again (if only to untangle that plot—you didn’t fully understand Chinatown or The Big Sleep after one viewing, either, did you?), but you only get this one shot to see it in 35mm.

Thursday, May 23 at 7:30pm

Winifred Moore Auditorium
470 E. Lockwood Ave., St. Louis, MO 63119

Event Type

School of Communications, Film Series, Art & Performances


School of Communications


film, filmseries



$8 for the general public; $7 for seniors, Webster alumni and students from other schools; $6 for Webster University staff and faculty; free for Webster students with proper ID

Webster University Film Series


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