Pavement: director Alex Ross Perry to make ‘ridiculous, real, fake’ movie about US indie band

The unorthodox film will combine elements of a biopic, tour documentary and footage from the musical Slanted! Enchanted!

The film director Alex Ross Perry is set to make an unconventional movie about the beloved US indie band Pavement.

In November, Perry debuted a musical, Slanted! Enchanted!, about the band in New York City. In a new interview with the New Yorker, the director of films such as Listen Up Philip and Queen of Earth said that the production is part of a larger film project about the band.

Alex Ross Perry with frequent collaborator Elisabeth Moss in 2019.
Alex Ross Perry with frequent collaborator Elisabeth Moss in 2019. Photograph: Rob Kim/Getty Images for MoMA’s The Contenders

Perry told the magazine that Pavement’s record label, Matador, contacted him three years ago to propose a collaboration – albeit one with a typically cryptic directive from frontman Stephen Malkmus: that he did not want to hire a documentarian; he wanted to hire a screenplay writer but did not want a screenplay.

“No one knew what that meant,” Perry said.

The unorthodox film – which Perry described as “legitimate, ridiculous, real, fake, idiotic, cliche, illogical” – will combine elements of a biopic, tour documentary and footage from the musical and its making.

Perry likened the project to the unusual films made about Bob Dylan. “You take the Todd Haynes Bob Dylan movie, the Scorsese documentary, the Pennebaker documentary, and the movie Dylan himself directed that everyone hates [Renaldo and Clara], and put them all in a blender.”

Discussing the musical, Perry likened Malkmus’s songwriting to that of Stephen Sondheim “in terms of his narrative storytelling, his sense of allusion and wordplay”.

Pavement: Harness Your Hopes (dir Alex Ross Perry)

Perry previously directed a new video for the 1999 Pavement single Harness Your Hopes, which was released earlier this year.

The New York-based film director is known for has collaborations with actor Elisabeth Moss; their latest, Her Smell, was released in 2018 and centred on a volatile musical performer inspired by Courtney Love.

Pavement are in the midst of a second reunion tour following a previous reunion in 2010. The five-piece California band initially split in 1999.


Laura Snapes

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Pavement review – 90s indie giants defy slacker reputation with high energy and deep cuts
For a band once deemed indifferent, Pavement’s return is upbeat and playful, showing off the timelessness of their songwriting

Daniel Dylan Wray

18, Oct, 2022 @10:41 AM

Article image
Move over Morricone! The record labels rescuing lost Italian B-movie scores
From the 1960s, Italy’s thriving film industry pumped out commercial movies that often had better soundtracks than they deserved. Once lost, now a new generation is keen to share their unique sound

Dean Van Nguyen

13, Dec, 2022 @1:00 PM

Article image
Michael Cera joins real-life indie band
Actor, who portrayed a bass player in Scott Pilgrim, is playing for real before genuine audiences in new side-project from Islands' Nick Thorburn

Sean Michaels

02, Dec, 2010 @11:50 AM

Article image
Paolo Sorrentino to make movie about Silvio Berlusconi
The Oscar-winning director will follow HBO show The Young Pope with Loro, about the former Italian prime minister and his inner circle

Catherine Shoard

05, Sep, 2016 @4:33 PM

Article image
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross to score film about Boston bombings
The musicians, who won an Oscar for their soundtrack of The Social Network, will collaborate again to score Peter Berg’s film Patriots Day

Guardian music

03, Oct, 2016 @7:43 AM

Article image
George Clooney to make movie about Syria's White Helmets
The actor and director is developing a feature version of Netflix’s documentary short The White Helmets about the first responders in Syria

Catherine Shoard

20, Dec, 2016 @11:01 AM

Article image
Jennifer Lopez’s crazed murder rampage may make this her greatest wedding movie yet
The trailer for Shotgun Wedding starts with a gorgeous ceremony on a tropical island before – BAM! – the beheading, mercenaries and machine guns arrive

Stuart Heritage

05, Oct, 2022 @10:53 AM

Article image
Venice to open with Kore-eda's The Truth, Toronto with film about the Band
Palme d’Or winner’s new film starring Catherine Deneuve to kick off the Venice film festival, while Toronto gets a documentary about the legendary folk-rockers

Andrew Pulver

18, Jul, 2019 @2:14 PM

Article image
Heading West: A Story About a Band Called Shooglenifty review – fond tribute to a charismatic fiddler
The talent and sex appeal of the Scottish folk band’s late frontman Angus G Grant remembered in meandering documentary

Cath Clarke

31, Jan, 2023 @11:00 AM

Redemption biopic: Martin Scorsese to make movie about Bob Marley

Martin Scorsese's homage to the Rolling Stones, Shine a Light, has earned rave reviews at the Berlin film festival - and now the director is to turn to the life of Bob Marley

Francesca Martin

13, Feb, 2008 @10:19 AM