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Texoma Film Club Presents – The Death of Stalin
02/14/2019 @ 5:00 PM - 7:00 PMFree
“The comedy of cruelty is rarely funnier or more brutal than when it comes from Armando Iannucci, a virtuoso of political evisceration. A comic talent who should be household famous, he is best known for “Veep,” the HBO series about Washington politics that was a satire when it first hit in 2012 but now seems like a reality show. He also directed the movie “In the Loop,” an aptly obscene burlesque about the run-up to the Iraq War. He only seems to have abandoned contemporary politics in his latest, “The Death of Stalin,” an eccentric comic shocker about a strong man and his world of ashes and blood.
The laughs come in jolts and waves in “The Death of Stalin,” delivered in a brilliantly arranged mix of savage one-liners, lacerating dialogue and perfectly timed slapstick that wouldn’t be out of place in a Three Stooges bit. Turning horror into comedy is nothing new, but Mr. Iannucci’s unwavering embrace of these seemingly discordant genres as twin principles is bracing. In “The Death of Stalin,” fear is so overwhelming, so deeply embedded in everyday life that it distorts ordinary expression, utterances, gestures and bodies. It has turned faces into masks (alternately tragic and comic), people into caricatures, death into a punch line.
There are times when Mr. Iannucci seems as merciless as he is funny; hope can seem very distant here. Yet he also suggests — with the help of a pianist played by Olga Kurylenko and the example of his movie — that art is one sure path to resistance.”
Taken from: “Review: The Slapstick Horror of ‘The Death of Stalin’”, written by Manohla Dargis, for The New York Times, March 8, 2018.