Watch List Weekly Recap 4/28/23

A forgotten '80s director, one of the true movie satires, and a stroll through films and old friends that resurrect the past.

Watch List Weekly Recap 4/28/23

This is the Friday recap of Ty Burr’s Watch List postings for the week. If you’d like to cut down on in-box clutter and receive this weekly email ONLY, please go to your account page and under “Email notifications” uncheck every box except “Weekly Digest.” If you’d prefer to not receive it at all, uncheck just “Weekly Digest.”

A memory jog from a young film fan of my acquaintance prompted me to write something about director Alan Rudolph, whose frisky, punch-drunk love stories made moviegoing in the 1980s and ‘90s a little riskier and who’s in danger of disappearing beneath history’s waves.

Good Movies 📽

Forgotten Auteurs: Alan Rudolph

Ty Burr • Apr 25, 2023

Maybe it’s a hazard of the trade or maybe it’s just impossible to stay on top of 120 years of film history without dropping a stitch, but I realized the other day I’d forgotten all about Alan Rudolph. Granted, the man has made only one film in the last two decades, but he was a fixture and a fixation of my moviegoing life in the mid-to-late 1980s, and he remains a welcome Hollywood fluke – a director who learned serendipity at the knee of his mentor, Robert Altman, and ran with it in his own distinct direction.

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A new WatchCast went up on Wednesday, in which Sam Adams — the movie critic, not the brewery — and I discussed Armando Iannucci’s devastating “The Death of Stalin” (⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐), which balances horror and hilarity like no other political satire. Have a listen — but make sure to see the movie first, as it’s really quite brilliant.

Ty Burr's Watchcast

Classics of the New Millennium: "The Death of Stalin" with Sam Adams

Ty Burr • Apr 26, 2023

Listen now (48 min) | Armando Iannucci’s 2017 political comedy “The Death of Stalin” (⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐, streaming and for VOD rental on various platforms) is not only a bona fide 21st century masterpiece but one of the few genuine satires to be put on f…

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This Friday’s weekend round-up came out a little more philosophically than most, as I mulled on the ways movies like “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret” (⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 1/2), 1941’s “The Strawberry Blonde” (⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 1/2), and a rediscovered Thelonious Monk TV special (⭐ ⭐ ⭐) can transport us to the past. From there, I moved to a more personal remembrance of a man, recently passed, who taught my younger self much about music, food, and life. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Good Movies 📽

What to Watch: Forward, Into the Past

Ty Burr • Apr 28, 2023

A few weeks back in this space, I wrote about the way movies seduce us into a state of present-tense presence – how it’s always now when we’re experiencing a story unfold. (The same is true of all fiction, of course.) This week I’ve been coming at the same idea from a different angle – the movies as time machine. We hop in willingly, like Mr. Peabody an…

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