Moving from directing a series of intelligent and acerbic explorations of misanthropy to writing Disney’s live-action adaptation of Winnie-the-Pooh, Alex Ross Perry has proved to be one of the most wonderfully unpredictable independent filmmakers working today. While the New York–based Perry was editing his latest film, Golden Exits, with his friend and frequent collaborator Robert Greene (Kate Plays Christine and Actress) in Columbia, Missouri—where Greene is the filmmaker in chief at the Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism—the two sat down at the city’s Ragtag Cinema for a conversation about Perry’s work. In the second installment of our Masterclass series on the Criterion Channel on FilmStruck, we’re presenting their wide-ranging discussion, which explores the challenges of translating ambitious ideas to the big screen on a tiny budget and the successes that have shaped Perry's career. In this excerpt, the director talks about his commitment to shooting on celluloid and how his experiences on the festival circuit with his eccentric debut, Impolex—a microbudget war movie inspired by Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow—led to the more barbed comic style he has since become known for. Alongside our Masterclass, you can watch Perry’s first three films on the Channel, including the award-winning comedy Listen Up Philip.
Alex Ross Perry Pays a Visit to Great American Iconoclast Paul Schrader
On the set of his latest film, First Reformed, writer-director Paul Schrader reflects on the art of cinema and his uncompromising explorations of sin, guilt, and faith.