Elisabeth Moss and Jason Schwartzman in Listen Up Phlip
Eric Hynes and Nate von Zumwalt
Alex Ross Perry’s brand of misanthropy is remarkably endearing. It also happens to permeate his intimate comedy Listen Up Philip, which screens Saturday, August 9, at the Theatre at Ace Hotel as part of Sundance NEXT FEST.
Perry’s peculiar charm was on full display when he introduced his film Listen Up Philip last January at the Sundance Film Festival. “Well I hope everyone is ready to feel really shitty about humanity,” he said. While it may have been an indelicate introduction, especially for a film that actually has a lot to say about and for humanity—shitty and otherwise—it definitely prepped viewers for the dyspeptic unpleasantness of Philip (Jason Schwartzman), a young novelist whose discontent saturates the first third of the film.
But something unexpected happens as the film progresses—Perry shifts focus from Philip to his frustrated girlfriend, Ashley (Elisabeth Moss), and later to his self-appointed mentor, Ike (Jonathan Pryce), a wizened and embittered superstar writer who serves as both a cautionary tale and a shining beacon for Philip. Though none of the characters come off as especially heroic in this triptych of portraits, the curiosity for and respect of multiple points of view, of lives normally left unseen and unexplored in standard cinematic narratives, is strangely encouraging for humanity.
Immediately following the screening, acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho, Less Than Zero) will join director Alex Ross Perry and actor Jason Schwartzman for a conversation and Q&A. Click here for tickets.
The Guest + Conversation with Nicolas Winding Refn
Sundance NEXT FEST comes to a close on Sunday, August 10th, but not before one last thrill – quite literally – in the form of director Adam Wingard’s The Guest followed by a conversation with acclaimed director Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives). The Guest follows a small town family in distress following the loss of their son to the war in Afghanistan. After a mysterious discharged soldier visits the home of his fallen comrade to offer support, a string of deaths prompt questions about their new guest’s identity. Click here for tickets.