“Chryskylodon Blues,” a 12-minute film by Laura Colella that captures behind the scenes filming of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, is shot in grainy Super-8 color. Its name comes from the place in the Thomas Pynchon novel called Chryskylodon Institute (“from an ancient Indian word meaning ‘serenity’), an upscale rehabilitation facility in Ojai, where Micky Wolfmann is being kept.
The narration, by Theo Green, is a selection of readings from the Thomas Pynchon novel and is similar in tone and spirit to Pynchon’s narration on the trailer for the novel Inherent Vice. The accompanying surf music — with period-enhancing ticks and pops — is by a group identified in the credits as The Growlers. They are the guys who play the Boards, a surf band in Pynchon’s novel.
From Ben Sach’s informative article on the short film:
The movie, in short, is a gift that keeps on giving—naturally, it inspired a superior making-of documentary that’s now available to watch online. Chryskylodon Blues, directed by the gifted underground filmmaker Laura Colella (Tax Day, Breakfast With Curtis), is as novel in its approach to the behind-the-scenes doc as Inherent Vice is to the literary adaptation. Shot on Super-8, it looks like it could have been made in 1970, when Vice takes place. Colella recently explained to me that Anderson, an old friend, originally intended for her to play an amateur filmmaker during the scene set at the surf-rock band’s party that Sportello crashes midway through the film, and that she’d shoot Super-8 footage onscreen. She ended up using the Super-8 camera to film Chryskylodon, rather than shooting it digitally. (When asked why Warner Bros. decided not to include her film on the Inherent Vice DVD, she declined to comment.)
It’s definitely worth checking out.