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Friday, November 2, 2012

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky revisits the singular Alan Rudolph

Posted By on 11.02.12 at 01:28 PM

From Rudolphs pop-art romantic comedy Choose Me
  • From Rudolph's pop-art romantic comedy Choose Me
Starting on Monday, November 12, TV host and one-time Reader contributor (and, full disclosure, my best friend) Ignatiy Vishnevetsky will teach a class on writer-director Alan Rudolph at Facets Multimedia. As Vishnevetsky notes in his course description, Rudolph has all but dropped off the radar since he quit making movies about ten years ago. This class should be a good reminder of why he still matters—or, for those who are unfamiliar with him, a wonderful introduction to his work. Rudolph's films convey first and foremost a love of that alternate reality known as "the movies." His characters behave with the passion, flair, and impulsiveness of film noir gangsters or MGM musical heroines; and his romantic camerawork makes any environment seem like an expressionist movie set. Yet there's a bittersweet undercurrent to Rudolph's work, evoking the personal and romantic disappointments that many people go to the movies to escape.

Screening in the class are: the 1985 futuristic noirish romance Trouble in Mind (per Dave Kehr's recent reassessment, a movie that "pushes stylization about as far as American moviegoers will accept in a dramatic film"); the quirky, sun-baked thriller Remember My Name (1978); the strangely unsettling farce Choose Me (1984); The Moderns (1988), an anachronistic Jazz Age period piece; the romantic comedy-mystery Love at Large (1990); and Rudolph's second period piece, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994), with Jennifer Jason Leigh delivering one of her greatest performances as Dorothy Parker.

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