Alex Ross Perry’s new film “Listen Up Phillip” takes you to a cynical state of mind, uncovering thought-provoking emotions through the perspective of an egotistical, relentless up-and-coming writer.


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We had the opportunity to attend the New York Film Festival premiere of the film. Jason Schwartzman diverges from familiar roles as he plays Philip, a talented but narcissistic author. He lives with girlfriend, Ashley (Elisabeth Ross), who has dedicated herself to him in loaning him funds and devotion throughout their two year relationship (perhaps resembling a position every person has been in).

The film takes on a vintage-indie feel set in New York, a drastic contrast between the now modernized city; the simplicity and lack of technology in the setting makes for direct concentration onto the mental misalignment of the writer’s thoughts. To show the continuous deprecating mood of the film, a significant section of the story is devoted the Ashley as she finds new interests after the couple split. Phillip’s selfishness affects everyone around him from work to those he loves, he finds little solace in showing attributions of affection of compassion which lead him to dig further in his deprecated life of attaining satisfaction.

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Ultimately, the only substance he can hold himself to is his pride, leading him to search in a disillusioned path of happiness in his loneliness. Luckily for him, his talents lead him into opportunities, which then sadly, is counteracted by his constant brash behavior. The storyline follows Phillip into a romantic relationship with a French girl and bond with Ike (Jonathan Pryce), a late depiction of Philip’s aspects of personality.

Unsurprisingly enough, these events lead into more depressed emotions as his life becomes like a never-ending spiral of suppressed need in comfort. The devastating story, narrated by an indifferent and inanimate narrator, makes for the audience to reflect on the truth of morality and justification of living for someone else – something perhaps better suited for people in adulthood and not so much for younger generation.

 

At the party, which was held at Library Bar at Hudson guests sipped on Black Velvet, SVEDKA cocktails and Dark Horse wine. The Tribeca Film release “Listen Up Phillip” is now in theaters.

-Tristen Yang