Glenn here to discuss Alex Ross Perry whose latest film opens in cinemas and VOD next week. He is a curious one who we haven't discussed much about here at The Film Experience. He's made four films, not one which is alike, yet which all feature obvious hints of the same creator. Impolex, his debut, is made with such a strong and unwavering idea of what it wants to be that it’d be a perfect calling card for a director if it wasn’t so different to the rest of his output. It is both a curious fascination and a frustratingly inert experimental concoction of a film with mumbled dialogue and absurd comedy (there is a talking octopus, if I remember correctly) that doesn’t so much predict Perry’s future career as it does suggest recurring ideas. If all one watched was the expert scene late in the film, dearly acted by Kate Lyn Sheil – unsurprisingly, a common figure in Joe Swanberg’s equally confounding and experimental genre-tripping films Silver Bullets, AutoErotic and The Zone from the same era – as she opens up to our dope of a lead character you might be forgiven for thinking it was something far less esoteric than the full film really it.
As that 2009 film was being released in the most limited of releases two years later, The Color Wheel was causing mayhem on the festival circuit. The much ballyhooed film was an Independent Spirit Award nominee in the blessed John Cassavetes category is the sort of that could bring about illusions of a particularly prickly Brooklyn-born twentysomething version of Woody Allen if it weren’t, you know, for that whole incest thing. It’s use of black and white 16mm filmstock was inspired and it was meticulously scripted with no improvisation and structural hints to classic cinema, highlighting Perry’s very dialogue-focused style that navigates in very specifically modern contexts the way people can change and challenge us emotionally and physically in ways we might not want or expect.