- 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.