NATIONAL POST WROTE: When Listen Up Philip premiered earlier this year at Sundance, a lot of reviewers seized upon the first name of its main character and the dispassionately omniscient narration by Eric Bogosian to suggest that the film was an homage to Philip Roth. The presence of Jonathan Pryce, playing an older novelist named Ike Zimmerman — a moniker teasingly close to Roth’s eternal literary surrogate Nathan Zuckerman — is similarly suggestive. And yet Perry name-checks a different American author as the major influence on his screenplay.
“I went through a period where I read three Richard Yates books in a row,” he says. “The prose was so cold and unemotional, and yet [it was] the most flourishing and emotional way of describing emotional torment, even more so than [Philip] Roth or any of the other writers who I’m really fond of. Those books really shaped the narration into something flatter and more matter-of-fact.”