Alex Ross Perry

Impolex (2009)
7.0 The Color Wheel (2011)
7.0 Listen Up Philip (2014)
6.9 Queen of Earth (2015)
7.0 Golden Exits (2017)
7.1 Her Smell (2018)

Alex Ross Perry (USA, 1984) debuted with Impolex (2009), inspired by Thomas Pynchon's novel "Gravity's Rainbow".

The Color Wheel (2011)

Listen Up Philip (2014) is the psychological portrait of a dysfunctional creative mind, vaguely related to Philip Roth's "The Ghost Writer". The narrating voiceover is verbose, hysterically fast (like a record played at double speed) and so literate to sound like a scriptwriter reading vainly his script at the mirror.

Philip meets his ex-girlfriend Mona and vents his frustration that she never believed in him. But now he is a published writer and he talks to her in rude terms. He then meets an old friend, who is now relegated to a wheelchair, and treats him equally rudely. Philip lives with his photographer girlfriend Ashley, who tolerates his rude manners. He tells her that a famous writer, Ike, loved his second book that is just being published. A shy employee of his literary agent tells him that she likes it too and he has a date with her but barely kisses her, treating her like a groupie. He tells his agent that he doesn't want to do any publicity for his book. In the agent's office he meets another writer, Josh, and he is offered the chance to write an article about him. But at home Philip realizes that Josh and Ashley have met before and possibly slept together so he makes sure to ruin the opportunity to work with him. Ike invites Philip to his country house. He tells him that a girl named Melanie looks after the place. Philip accepts, another instance of him neglecting Ashley. When he arrives, he finds out that Melanie is Ike's daughter. Melanie is hostile to Philip as much as she is to her father. Ike throws a party for Philip where everybody is nice to Philip and he gets annoyed by it. Philip calls Mona and sees her again. Again, the main purpose seems to be to insult her. She retorts that he is selfish. Philip later talks about Mona to Melanie. Then he suddenly walks back into Ashley's home in the middle of a celebration for Ashley's new contract. He spoils the party and she reminds him in vain that she supported him when he was nobody. Now she hates him. He even owes her money. Luckily for her, he has accepted a job offered to him indirectly by Ike to teach at a college. At a dance club she meets a stranger but then she can't have sex with him. She adopts a cat which becomes her main companion as she moves in with an old housemate in the house where she used to live with Philip. She gets rid of all the memories of Philip and even has dinner with an ex-boyfriend. Meanwhile, Philip has moved to the college. He gets tired quickly but Ashley doesn't want him back. He drives to Ike's countryside home and finds only Melanie and then leaves right away. He misses Ike, who is bored, constantly at war with his daughter, and incapable of writing anymore. Ike and his old friend Norm pick up two girls at a dance club and bring them home. Ike then phones Philip and asks him to join them, which he does. Ike is basically gifting the girls to the younger Philip. Their little party is interrupted by Melanie who spoils the party. They read in the newspaper that Josh has killed himself. Melanie has another fight with her father and leaves in tears. Ike is condemned to loneliness after having hurt and insulted everybody, and only desires the company of Philip. Philip is lonely too at the college, mainly because another teacher, Yvette, has destroyed his reputation out of envy, and isolated him. But now she has second thoughts and they even become lovers. Philip is rude with the students and clearly incompetent as a teacher. Philip is no less insensitive towards Yvette. He justifies himself by telling her that his parents died in a car accident and he was raised by his uncle. Philip writes letters to Ashley but she doesn't even read them. He doesn't care for Yvette and Ike himself advises him to go back to Ashley. Philip tries but Ashley doesn't even open the front door. Ashley is content with her new life. The narrator tells us that Philip will go back to teaching at the college several times while becoming a rich writer, but hopelessy lonely (just like Ike).

Queen of Earth (2015)

Golden Exits (2017)

Her Smell (2018)

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