Boogie Nights
Paul Thomas Anderson, 1997
#8, 1997 Skandies

Boogie Nights is a pretty good answer to the question, "What would it look like if Martin Scorsese directed a Christopher Guest movie?" You've got audacious set pieces, the sweep of history delivered through dusted-off hit singles, and a bunch of dim bulbs attempting to put on a show. It's also pretty derivative of Ed Wood, right down to the line, "This is the film I want them to remember me by": it's the same story of a bunch of outcasts who come together as a surrogate family and make terrible movies. It's just that they're living in the '70s and '80s instead of the '50s, and the movies they're making are porn. And while to a great extent the porn is incidental — it really is just a skin on the old story about running away to join the circus — it's also the most interesting element.

Meaning that the rest of this article is going to be about pornography, which I recognize may not be a topic everyone is particularly interested in reading about. So please select an option below.