“Her Smell” director Alex Ross Perry is developing two nonfiction projects, including an as-yet-untitled doc about video stores.
“I can’t speak for everyone, but yes, I miss them,” he says. Diversity at the American Film Festival in Poland, where it also won the Indie Star Award and treated the audience to work-in-progress footage.
“I’m trying to tell this story while it’s still within our grasp. You only have so much time when something is a present-tense memory for half your audience and a brand new experience for the other. “In the next decade, everything I’m talking about will be ancient history.”
Perry, who has been working on the project for 10 years, is also putting the finishing touches to “Pavements,” about an indie rock band.
He says, “I think both this video store movie and the sidewalk movie are examinations of bygone eras.”
“It was something I was thinking about when I made ‘Her Smell.’ We haven’t even begun to describe the ’90s yet. We haven’t really entered that era and asked What it was and what it meant, but this is my time. “No big man can tell that story and no little man can tell that story.”
In both projects, he will explore “the sacredness of that period”.
“These projects attempt to go back to a time when things really mattered. For musicians, album sales don’t matter like they used to. Movies don’t matter to people like they used to. Right now, it’s just ‘content,'” he said.
“Putting your hard-earned money on the counter to buy a CD created a relationship between you and the music that doesn’t exist at all anymore, unless you’re a record collector.”
Still, “Slanted!” He will take one step forward.
“We get 1,000 music docs a year and sometimes, that’s all the bands want. They want to preserve and shine their legacy as they make companionship a part of their work. This is the opposite of what Pavement wanted,” he notes.
“I’m into music documentaries and I watch them, but my whole question was: ‘Why not do something else?’ “My current lack of interest in linear thinking led me to ‘maximalist’ storytelling.”
In the film, to be finished “at some point” next year, he will combine reality and fantasy.
“Stephen (Malkmus, vocals and guitar) allowed me to make a documentary about things that happened only because I made them. This is a document I prepared about scripted events, showing whether the participants in the room knew it or not. We had cameras around the room, moving around, and all the actors were in character the whole time – not as band members but as actors playing band members,” he enthuses.
“For me, it feels like a new kind of film. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Despite her acclaimed collaborations with Elisabeth Moss in “Listen Up Philip” and “Queen of Earth,” Perry isn’t planning on going back to fiction any time soon.
“I don’t understand why people who supposedly love making films only care about one method of production. Scorsese has made almost more documentaries than fiction at this point. This kind of unbridled creativity is not common and I don’t understand why people want to destroy his aesthetics, not to mention his work ethos,” he says.
“When you get a chance to work in nonfiction, the longer you work, the more the world writes about your story. You can edit a documentary one day a week and it’s always going to be a bit slow, or you can say: ‘I haven’t produced a minute of filmed content in years because I can’t get the money. Have been.’ “That makes no sense to me.”
He wants other filmmakers to “spread their legs and participate in parallel forms of creation,” he believes. Just like writers.
“When you look at writers like David Foster Wallace, he wrote novels, short story stories or non-fiction stories. Filmmaking should also be like this,” he insists.
“There is nothing (in both these films). There’s no urgency to it, which to me is the rarest thing in any form of filmmaking and possibly the greatest. In that sense, it becomes like writing a book.”
“On the one hand, I want to stay positive because it’s really nourishing for my brain. On the other hand, I have come to this conclusion only because of the dire state of narrative film in America.