After a furiously prolific beginning to his career, with six features in less than ten years, we’ve been waiting to hear what Alex Ross Perry is working on after 2018’s Her Smell. With production already underway on his next movie, it’s now been unveiled: a project that will keep him in the world of rock and roll.
Earlier this month, a new production from Alex Ross Perry entitled “Slanted! Enchanted!: A Pavement Musical,” had just two performances at New York City’s Sheen Center. Now, thanks to a new piece in The New Yorker, the production has been revealed to be part of a much larger cinematic project dedicated to the Stephen Malkmus-led indie rock band.
Described a “screwball movie” and a “semiotic experiment,” the film imagines if Pavement was the most important band in the world. Starring actors familiar to the Broadway musical, Michael Esper (“American Idiot”) and Kathryn Gallagher (“Jagged Little Pill”), the movie will use an array of materials and inspirations, from notes of a biopic to museum footage to parts of the musical to a tour documentary to farce.
“Legitimate, ridiculous, real, fake, idiotic, cliché, illogical,” the director describes the project, adding that the closest comparison would be to a collection of Bob Dylan works: “You take the Todd Haynes Bob Dylan movie [I’m Not There], the Scorsese documentary [No Direction Home and/or Rolling Thunder Revue], the Pennebaker documentary [Dont Look Back], and the movie Dylan himself directed that everyone hates”—Renaldo and Clara—”and put them all in a blender.”
It sounds like a fascinating experiment, and with the band involved (their label Matador Records approached Perry three years ago) and keyed into this unique approach, it’s bound to be something special. As we await more details, check out the director’s previous collaboration with Pavement below.