Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1997).
As Los Angeles is the heart of the entertainment industry, many would say that it is on Hollywood Blvd or the Sunset Strip that the magic happens. But others would argue that the real magic happens in the valley.
If you know, you know, and if you don’t, hello! We’re talking about porn! Well, we’re talking about a movie about porn. We’re talking about the 1997 period piece about the 1970’s full frontal (and full bushed) film industry that brought fame to The San Fernando Valley. Boogie Nights, starring (not-so) little Marky Mark Wahlberg, takes us through the rise and fall of one big time player in the glamorous adult-film industry.
True to Los Angeles history and true to the cocaine-filled festivities of the Golden Era of this style of entertainment, Boogie Nights is as dramatic as it is hilarious as it is uncomfortable as it is exhilarating. The film is directed by Paul Thomas Anderson who went on to direct Magnolia, another film set in the valley. Maybe it is Anderson’s love and devotion to the area that brought us right into the film with him, or maybe it’s the era depicted that was intoxicating to watch. Either way, seeing Wahlberg and his “special talents” join a film making family acted by Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, and Heather Graham, is sure to get all of our faces as red as they would be if we were right there on the set with them in the SFV.
All in all, if you’re looking for a Los Angeles classic with a very funky flair, look no further than Boogie Nights. You won’t regret it. That is, unless you accidentally watch it with your mom…