Jason Schwartzman has made a career of playing pompous narcissists. From his earliest role in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore to his self-congratulatory comedian from Funny People to his distracted private investigator on HBO’s Bored to Death, Schwartzman is so good at playing this type that no one could be blamed for assuming it represents his true personality. It’s not for me to say how self-obsessed the actor may or may not be (though I did see him in real life with my own eyes last night – he seemed nice enough), but I can say that his work in Alex Ross Perry’s Listen Up Philip feels like the culmination of everything he has done with this basic archetype. Seriously, I cannot imagine anyone more pompous or more narcissistic than Philip Lewis Friedman. Frankly, I don’t want to.
Connecting. It’s difficult for some people. I of course wouldn’t know anything about such struggles (he said with a clenched jaw and watering eyes), but I have heard stories. Human contact is often a necessity, however. Though I sometimes consider taking off and becoming a solitary hermit (like Into the Wild, but way less annoying), I think it would be very depressing in practice. So we go do things with other people. Things like sit in a dark room for hours without talking because you’re watching footage of other people interacting rather than doing it yourself. This, ladies and gentlemen, is day seven of the LA Film Fest.