SXSW 2017 Review: PERSON TO PERSON

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By Jan Hamilton

The characters’ stories intersect a bit in this good natured film that involves fraud, murder (or suicide), romance, the fourth estate, and on-line porn.  We follow novice reporter Claire (Abbi Jacobson) and her slightly lecherous young mentor, Phil (Michael Cera) on her first day on the job.  She wants to have some integrity, but it seems that’s not how it’s done. They are following the story of a suicide that may have been a murder, and use slightly unethical methods to interview the victim’s wife (Michaela Watkins).  Phillip Baker Hall plays a watch maker who becomes involved.  Another thread is an unhappy teen, Wendy (Tavi Gevinson). She has one friend, Melanie, but is totally anti-social to everyone else.  She is afraid that since Melanie has a boyfriend, there will no longer be time for her.  Will Wendy finally give anyone else a chance to befriend her ?  The film tracks a record collector (Bene Coopersmith) who feels he was ripped off in a deal involving a rare disc and tries to hunt down the thief, and finally, the tale of an extremely unhappy man (George Sample III) who posted nude pictures of his ex on line during a break-up, and now will do anything he can to make up for it and get her back.  These stories keep our interest and are well acted, with some nice locations in New York.

The Bottom Line: These stories are new and fresh, spend an hour and a half with these people, you’ll be glad you did.

Director:  Dustin Guy Defa

Executive Producer:  Joe Swanberg, Eddie Linklater,

Michael Sherman, Matty Perniciaro, David Lowery

Producer:  Sara Murphy, Toby Halbrooks, James Johnston

Screenwriter: Dustin Guy Defa

Cinematographer: Ashley Connor

Editor: Dustin Guy Defa

Production Designer: Katie Hickman

Sound Designer: Gene Park

Music: Music Supervision by Ken Shipley and Chris Swanson

Principal Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Michael Cera, Tavi Gevinson,

Philip Baker Hall, Bene Coopersmith, George Sample III, Isiah Whitlock,

Ben Rosenfeld, Olivia Luccardi

Additional Credits: Co-Producer: Allison Carter, Co-Producer: Jon Read

 

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