This is absolutely annoying Sidewalk jukebox musicaland the equally surreal pop-up museum, it wasn’t just static stunts to celebrate of the indie band last reunion tour — were silly stunts for a newbie Pavement film directed by Alex Ross Perry.
Perry revealed the wider machinations in a news release New Yorker piece that offered a look inside the rehearsals for Slope! Enchanted!: A Pavement Musical, which was briefly released in New York earlier this month. The film was not kept a secret either. As Perry – who is perhaps best known for the 2018 punk film Her smell — noted in a follow-up email to Rolling rock, there was appropriate signage both in the museum exhibit and to those in attendance musically notifying that the proceedings were being filmed. (Rolling rock(Rob Sheffield even quietly noted the film’s existence in his glowing review of the musical.)
“It’s just a testament to the belief of the fans at Pavement Power that the idea of visiting a carefully curated Pavement museum or a lavishly staged Pavement Musical was so logical, so obvious that relatively few people stopped to think if more could happen. apparently,” Perry said. “As is typical with Pavement, and has been for over thirty years, the answer is both yes and no.”
Perry said The New Yorker that Pavement’s label, Matador Records, approached him about a project three years ago, but the frontman Stephen Malkmus he had certain conditions: He didn’t want a documentary, but he didn’t want a film with a traditional script either.
As Perry says: “Nobody knew what that meant.”
The solution will apparently be a film with a little bit of everything, with Perry describing it as “like throwing spaghetti at the wall”. It will reportedly be something of a biopic as well as a tour documentary, as well as a glowing tribute to the band, among other things. The jukebox musical and the retrospective museum exhibition (“Pavements 1933-2022: A Pavement Museum”) will also be in it, and they help illuminate Perry’s guiding thesis for the film: What if Pavement were the most important band ever?
For many, of course, Pavement is the most important band of all time. And Perry’s thesis was technically at odds with another directive Malkmus gave him early on: “Avoid the inheritance trap.” As the director said Rolling rockthis became his “rule of thumb”, which he tried to uphold by completely subverting it.
“‘The Pavement Hagiography’ movie is not something the band would have fun being a part of, and neither would I,” Perry said. “But to capture this idea and create a film in a world where the Hagiography of the Field is a given – to refer to the museum’s direction and the musical – was the way to have my cake and invite thousands of others to eat.”
Given this surreal mix of fact and fiction — or as Perry put it The New Yorker“Legitimate, ridiculous, true, fake, stupid, clichéd, absurd” — it’s no surprise to hear the director sum up his work on Pavement by turning to the various documentaries, mockumentaries and films about (or by) Bob Dylan.
“You get the Todd Haynes film Bob Dylan [I’m Not There]the Scorsese documentary [either Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story or No Direction Home]the Pennebaker documentary [Dont Look Back]and the film Dylan himself directed that everyone hates [Renaldo and Clara] and put it all in the blender.”
This story was updated on 12/19/22 @ 6:03 pm. with additional quotes from Perry to Rolling rock.
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