Armando Ianucci's The Death of Stalin

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Looking forward to this, Rise of the Nutters/Spinners and Losers is probably peak The Thick of It so another farcical power struggle seems like pretty good material for the big man. Also glad they've just had everyone do various english and american accents.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukJ5dMYx2no

devvvine, Friday, 11 August 2017 10:16 (four years ago) link

almost flawless looking cast there, apart from Considine - who really gets on my tits! I've got really high hopes for Simon Russell Beale's Beria, he always brings it. Not sure about Issacs Yorkshire accent tho, but another actor I like there.

calzino, Friday, 11 August 2017 10:26 (four years ago) link

Laughing like a dickhead just watching the trailer.

chap, Friday, 11 August 2017 10:35 (four years ago) link

I heard Stalin's own accent compared to a broad Yorkshire one I think. Supposed to be very broad and rural to anybody familiar with Russian accents.
Think it was the Yorkshire one but could have been another definitively non-London or Home Counties one or probably more non received English.
Can't think what the source was. But is that in near meme circulation or something? Wondered if that accent might be a reference to that.

Stevolende, Friday, 11 August 2017 11:05 (four years ago) link

He had a thick Georgian accent which would have made him a provincial pleb to the sophisticates of Moscow!

calzino, Friday, 11 August 2017 11:07 (four years ago) link

I wouldn't imagine there was that much logic used when deciding what accents the actors should do.

chap, Friday, 11 August 2017 11:08 (four years ago) link

Stalin also had very Northern habits, like smoking and boozing. His pipe wasn't a prop like Wilson's. He used to rip open some cheap brand of Russian ciggies and tip the baccy into his pipe iirc

calzino, Friday, 11 August 2017 11:10 (four years ago) link

Makes me think of the 1983 Channel 4 film Red Monarch. Brian Glover as Kruschev! Perfect casting. In that, I think all the Georgians had Irish accents?

Michael Jones, Friday, 11 August 2017 11:13 (four years ago) link

Never seen Red Monarch, will have to check that out.

calzino, Friday, 11 August 2017 11:16 (four years ago) link

I think all the Georgians had Irish accents?

This would make sense.

Tonight I Cut My Temple Teeth (Tom D.), Friday, 11 August 2017 11:23 (four years ago) link

we're in a tiny vacation house and everybody else is nominally still trying to sleep so I had to watch this on mute and it looks phenomenal.

As an ilxor, I am uncompromising (El Tomboto), Friday, 11 August 2017 11:30 (four years ago) link

And the great Colin Blakely (from Co Down, NI) was Stalin. Not sure if the casting director went as far as to map Eastern Georgia to Northern Ireland but I think there were some other deliberate regional specifics (Yorkshire, Glasgow, etc).

Michael Jones, Friday, 11 August 2017 11:32 (four years ago) link

Welsh would have been better!

Tonight I Cut My Temple Teeth (Tom D.), Friday, 11 August 2017 11:33 (four years ago) link

I can't get the idea out of my head of an Azerbaijani character in full traditional dress, speaking in a thick Kerry accent.

calzino, Friday, 11 August 2017 12:20 (four years ago) link

Welsh would have been better!

― Tonight I Cut My Temple Teeth (Tom D.)

Makes me think of the rival organisation to the People's Front of Judea who all inexplicably have thick Welsh accents.

chap, Friday, 11 August 2017 12:33 (four years ago) link

Isaacs is hilarious in that trailer.

I'm baffled that anyone could dislike paddy considine!

Cake hawn. (jed_), Friday, 11 August 2017 12:59 (four years ago) link

xp

He has shit taste in music, seems like a total dick, is a shit director and makes me think of those godawful Shane Meadows travesties!

calzino, Friday, 11 August 2017 13:16 (four years ago) link

when I say "shit taste in music" - he is a fully paid up member of the Real Music is made with Guitars posse.

calzino, Friday, 11 August 2017 13:18 (four years ago) link

oh god I've just got depressed realising Shane Meadows is still alive and all his shit movies haven't been obliterated by an industrial laser.

calzino, Friday, 11 August 2017 13:25 (four years ago) link

Haha. Fair then.

What's that gif from chap?

Cake hawn. (jed_), Friday, 11 August 2017 13:25 (four years ago) link

Hot Fuzz.

chap, Friday, 11 August 2017 13:26 (four years ago) link

This is reminding me that I need to watch Khrustalyev, My Car!

imago, Friday, 11 August 2017 14:20 (four years ago) link

Khrustalyov, even. It seems this movie night be somewhat indebted to it

imago, Friday, 11 August 2017 14:21 (four years ago) link

That's quite a cast. Looking fwd to Buscemi's Khrushchev and Palin's Molotov.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4686844/fullcredits/

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Friday, 11 August 2017 14:26 (four years ago) link

this looks great but personally - and it might just be my mood today - the terror looks thick enough in the trailer to be a bit too frightening for full belly laughs

put your hands on the car and get ready to die (Noodle Vague), Friday, 11 August 2017 15:03 (four years ago) link

I think it's a good moment for comedies of terror.

this is playing the NY Film Fest

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Friday, 11 August 2017 15:05 (four years ago) link

oh it's certainly the right moment

put your hands on the car and get ready to die (Noodle Vague), Friday, 11 August 2017 15:07 (four years ago) link

it's super weird to me that it's in english but other than that i'm highly anticipating

Mordy, Friday, 11 August 2017 15:07 (four years ago) link

That looks awesome! I was wondering on Wednesday where Michael Palin had gone.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 11 August 2017 15:20 (four years ago) link

Love that no one tries for accents! It was all I could do to stop the trailer early just so I could watch it again.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 11 August 2017 15:21 (four years ago) link

PBS just aired this 3-year-old Palin show

http://www.pbs.org/show/remember-me/

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Friday, 11 August 2017 15:32 (four years ago) link

Isaacs is Zhukov I'm guessing?

nomar, Friday, 11 August 2017 16:12 (four years ago) link

looks fantastic

nomar, Friday, 11 August 2017 16:12 (four years ago) link

I presume he is Zhukov, it isn't credited on imdb.

calzino, Friday, 11 August 2017 16:14 (four years ago) link

oh it's certainly the right moment

It's the perfect moment! Hell it should be coming out right today.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 11 August 2017 17:11 (four years ago) link

https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/55893/stalin-vol-ii/

woah! Kotkin's vol II has a release date as well.

calzino, Friday, 11 August 2017 18:15 (four years ago) link

when I say "shit taste in music" - he is a fully paid up member of the Real Music is made with Guitars posse.

He is also autistic, and has admitted he has some issues as a result

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Monday, 14 August 2017 01:47 (four years ago) link

two months pass...

so i guess this isn't getting released in the usa until 2018

circles, Sunday, 22 October 2017 03:34 (three years ago) link

Booooooo whereza torrents then

Hit to Death in the "Galactic Head" (kingfish), Sunday, 22 October 2017 06:42 (three years ago) link

[doing a Rick & Morty fan Szechuan sauce freakout, but about not being able to watch The Death of Stalin even though it's out in the UK]

— The Discourse Lover (@Trillburne) October 22, 2017

Hit to Death in the "Galactic Head" (kingfish), Sunday, 22 October 2017 07:08 (three years ago) link

honestly I saw it at TIFF and it was dece but certainly no IN THE LOOP. it feels weirdly slight for what's effectively framed as a huge story, whereas ITL managed to be v funny while also telling a complete story about how modern war legislation is sold. certain awful truths of the characters and period sit awkwardly with the lols. Friend and Isaacs are great and should both do more comedy

Simon H., Sunday, 22 October 2017 08:48 (three years ago) link

I don't remember ITL so much but I thought this was great, the fact that it was about a real and murderous regime made it all the more chilling. The climactic scene was seriously intense. Some insight into how these regimes function - the groupthink, the cognitive dissonance; the true believers, the cynics & self-servers. Still funny though, & not too much of the fucknugget cockwomble type dialogue.

Monogo doesn't socialise (ledge), Sunday, 22 October 2017 11:00 (three years ago) link

not on in Hull today sadly, wanted to fuel my inner despair without booze

pulled pork state of mind (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 22 October 2017 11:01 (three years ago) link

Friend and Isaacs are great and should both do more comedy

Really well-cast all round

The Suite Life of Jack and Wendy (wins), Sunday, 22 October 2017 11:22 (three years ago) link

Was just reading about the Aleksei German death of Stalin movie. Which provoked a massive walkout at Cannes '98 and Scorsese wanted to award it the palme d'or. His movie is coming from the pov of a persecuted Jew during Stalin's antisemitic Doctor's Plot. It sounds fucking great tbh, I just wish my copy had subtitles.

calzino, Sunday, 22 October 2017 12:06 (three years ago) link

http://sensesofcinema.com/2013/cteq/khrustalyov-my-car/

calzino, Sunday, 22 October 2017 12:07 (three years ago) link

thanks for tip

subtitles! [

pulled pork state of mind (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 22 October 2017 12:10 (three years ago) link

Is that site legit? I wouldn't complain about paying $3 for a good copy.

calzino, Sunday, 22 October 2017 12:12 (three years ago) link

petitioning for Malenkov biopic

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 31 March 2018 13:58 (three years ago) link

I fancy him.

DJ U OK Hun? (jed_), Saturday, 31 March 2018 14:11 (three years ago) link

No Zhukov. That's who I fancy.

DJ U OK Hun? (jed_), Saturday, 31 March 2018 14:13 (three years ago) link

the Horniburo

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 31 March 2018 14:26 (three years ago) link

I would kind of like to see a film about Malenkov's later years

In 1961, Malenkov was expelled from the Communist Party and exiled to a remote province of the Soviet Union. He became a manager of a hydroelectric plant in Ust'-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan.[19]

After his exile from the Party, Malenkov fell into obscurity and suffered from depression due to loss of power and the quality of life in a poor province. However, some researchers say that later Malenkov found this demotion and exile a relief from the pressures of the Kremlin power struggle. Malenkov in his later years converted to Russian Orthodoxy, as did his daughter, who has since spent part of her personal wealth building two churches in rural locations. Orthodox Church publications at the time of Malenkov's death said he had been a reader (the lowest level of Russian Orthodox clergy) and a choir singer in his final years. He died on 14 January 1988 at age 86.

soref, Saturday, 31 March 2018 14:42 (three years ago) link

He became a manager of a hydroelectric plant in Ust'-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan. After his exile from the Party, Malenkov fell into obscurity and suffered from depression due to loss of power

ambiguous wikipedia sentences

Number None, Saturday, 31 March 2018 15:27 (three years ago) link

lol!

calzino, Saturday, 31 March 2018 15:35 (three years ago) link

This ruled

Orwonty Nelson (latebloomer), Wednesday, 4 April 2018 11:09 (three years ago) link

Late to the party, but wanted to say I really liked this. It is hilarious, and it has succeeded in making me interested in Russian history, which has always seemed dauntingly vast to try to comprehend. Maybe I'll pick up a book on the subject later this year when I'm not so damn busy.

davey, Sunday, 8 April 2018 11:51 (three years ago) link

haha, number none that is too funny! :D

davey, Sunday, 8 April 2018 11:52 (three years ago) link

i loved how AI stuffed genre characters into the political allegory, largely indicated by the accents. Stalin as mob boss, Stalin's kids as 1920s minor aristocracy, leader of the army as no-nonsense Yorkshireman etc. It felt like the film was a vague allegory concerning now, as opposed to about the actual death of stalin. At one point, Beria was threatening a guard and came out with a malcolm tucker style "rip off your head and shit down the neck" quip, and it wasn't funny because Tucker won't actually rip off your head, while Beria has probably done that today before breakfast. In using standard AI farce with a collection of monsters, it kinda illuminates how monstrous our current political animals are - malcolm tucker would be head of the secret police in another life.

Closed Beta (NotEnough), Wednesday, 11 April 2018 15:31 (three years ago) link

Although a bit of a kolbasa-fest, I really liked this and how stage-y this was. That's usually a criticism of poor cinematic adaptation of a play, but I really liked the intimate production - it probably didn't need any of the wider shots of Moscow, parade, etc.

Spencer Chow, Wednesday, 11 April 2018 21:28 (three years ago) link

i really enjoyed this. really funny, solid performances, and some genuinely unsettling moments. especially liked buscemi who i thought put across khrushchev's slow transformation really convincingly. the only thing i didn't much like was the portrayal of stalin himself. even tho he doesn't get much screen time i still felt he should have felt like a shadow kind of hanging over the entire movie, like you should have FELT the characters' terror of stalin and their lingering fear that he might just walk back into the room. and i've read descriptions of stalin's actual moment of death, the deathbed scene where he raised up his hand, that were genuinely chilling and haunting and nothing like the goofy and over-the-top way they handled it here. still liked it overall and would prob watch again.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 11 April 2018 22:54 (three years ago) link

Stalin came off stupid and bumbling, which, uh, he was not

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 12 April 2018 00:35 (three years ago) link

Iannucci repeating Trotsky's mistakes :-O

Buff Jeckley (Tom D.), Thursday, 12 April 2018 07:48 (three years ago) link

Stalin came off stupid and bumbling, which, uh, he was not

He's at the end of his life, pretty difficult not to appear bumbling when you're having a heart attack.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 12 April 2018 08:15 (three years ago) link

three weeks pass...

this was okay. geeked out to it of course but it left a lot on the table and only beale (definitive, so far) really approached his role as a role. tambor did the thing he does. buscemi did one of them. both were funny.

biggest laughs for me kept coming from stuff that was totally indistinguishable from veep: "switch with me, we can make it look like part of the ceremony", buildup+payoff of malenkov and the little girl, etc. pretty good but pretty generic. (i get that being generic is to some extent the Point but eh.) an exception was when palin's molotov, orating, got stuck a while on the word "unwavering": this was a joke about the soviet union. (so was "i've had nightmares that made more sense than this", but that was in the trailer.)

svetlana and beria's vibe was wrong. even as a little girl she feared and hated him, couldn't stand to be around him (which because her father was, she always was: being picked up, dandled on knee, etc). showing this-- even just w body language, which in their first scene together (everyone racing to hug her) i thought for a second they were doing-- would imo have made the occasional references to beria being a serial child rapist feel less... is the word really "awkward"? better-integrated into the movie. (btw yes i am fairly sure this did come up at his "trial"-- yezhov's porn stash certainly came up at his.) but they don't do that really. nevertheless beale was, again, vivid, great.

they should have used patronymics. it would have been funny every time.

difficult listening hour, Monday, 7 May 2018 08:27 (three years ago) link

this was a joke about the soviet union.

another good one: "hey, polina's back!"

difficult listening hour, Monday, 7 May 2018 08:33 (three years ago) link

This was OK - banality of evil and all that - but it was too long for a farce.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 16 May 2018 19:00 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

This was fine. Almost as funny as In the Loop and of necessity a smoother and handsomer production.

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 July 2018 12:18 (three years ago) link

most of this was on the level of the extremely dull opening ~20mins of in the loop, but nowhere near the american section; their rumsfeld caricature was realer than the entire politburo put together

difficult listening hour, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 15:52 (three years ago) link

(i did see it a second time and wrote this more detailed post which i consigned to my folder of ilx posts i don't post, but i figured i'd dig it up if the thread got bumped)

i saw this again and i don't actually think it's very good? you don't notice at first because conceptually it's such a gimme and the performances range from good to very good. but so much of the writing is SO lame, so disconnected: svetlana/khrushchev on "harm" (agonizing silence @ this and later callback, from otherwise p responsive audiences); khrushchev as funeral director (built up, then immediately squandered as blandly as possible in a scene that compares unfavorably to a bit from woody allen's hollywood ending); pointless "we are russians! in russia" flags (ninjinsky, baku pisshouse); concept after concept that feels like a mid-tier thick of it joke gone totally unaltered. "who puts a lamp on a chair"-- what the fuck was this? stop wasting my time. "maybe he's the milk" / "maybe you're the tit"-- compare this to in the loop's "they're so massive they actually draw in other tits from the surrounding area" / "like you?" for the difference between spending four seconds writing a joke and spending thirty.

sometimes there are little errors that make it feel chintzy and glib if u are a pedantic nerd, like malenkov drawing himself up in pomp to announce he is "the general secretary of the soviet union", or beria the human filing cabinet mispronouncing kaganovich's name, or the titles calling 1953 "the midst of the great terror". and for some reason even tho the movie is a door-slamming farce there are only two scenes set in the house on the embankment! nina khrushchev is in one of them and i kept wanting her back.

surprised myself on rewatch by thinking the nkvd raid scenes were pretty good. the near-wordless subplot about the son who denounces his father weighs more than anything else in the movie (but not as much as the state) and got v grim lols. (the massacre scene is barely legible tho. idk that ianucci's mise en whatever is any better than kevin smith's. would've been better if he'd just pastiched eisenstein.) also good: anything with the central committee formally assembled-- wish there had been more of this, it rly snaps the writing into focus. everyone sitting around waiting for palin's undead molotov to finish torturing a foregone conclusion of power into a just product of soviet principle is exactly the level too little of the movie is on.

i think they should have come back to "are you still testing me?" a time or two. instead of harm.

lose the title cards.

difficult listening hour, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 15:56 (three years ago) link

Is there a patreon I can subscribe to where I can see this folder

U. K. Le Garage (wins), Tuesday, 3 July 2018 16:15 (three years ago) link

their rumsfeld caricature was realer than the entire politburo put together

Did you ever hear Kubrick quoted by one of his actors, "Real is good; interesting is better"?

I think my favorite line is "Who the fuck would want eternal life?"

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 July 2018 16:52 (three years ago) link

i've read descriptions of stalin's actual moment of death, the deathbed scene where he raised up his hand, that were genuinely chilling and haunting and nothing like the goofy and over-the-top way they handled it here

b-b-but it's a comedy

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 July 2018 16:53 (three years ago) link

It's a comedy in the sense that life is a comedy, but it's not particularly funny.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 17:16 (three years ago) link

Then it's a not very good comedy.

Alan Alba (Tom D.), Tuesday, 3 July 2018 17:27 (three years ago) link

Comedies don’t need to be all that funny, tho.

rb (soda), Tuesday, 3 July 2018 17:51 (three years ago) link

heard a lot of that lately and not seen many good comedies in the past few years

ogmor, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 17:53 (three years ago) link

compared to Tag i expect it's funny

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 July 2018 18:04 (three years ago) link

Stalin doesn't have much confidence in the setting; it could be any corrupt regime perpetuating itself, an idea that absolves the filmmakers of writing jokes to fit the material.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 3 July 2018 18:18 (three years ago) link

i agree, and i liked that about it

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 July 2018 18:33 (three years ago) link

(i have forgotten most of the Soviet history i knew in college)

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 July 2018 18:34 (three years ago) link

nearly assuming the audience knows what the NKVD was is plenty confident for this era

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 July 2018 18:36 (three years ago) link

the palin committee meeting stuff was actually painful bad and well beliw the rest of it

You didn't need to know anything about Soviet history. Imagine watching a Italian comedy where they talk like Cubans.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 3 July 2018 18:37 (three years ago) link

"or the titles calling 1953 "the midst of the great terror""
I didn't notice this at the time and I was looking to pick at this thing, cos I can't fucking stand Ianucci's style and the rest.. anyway absolutely fab post there, DLH.

calzino, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 19:37 (three years ago) link

the CC scenes are actually not far from Python's People's Front of Judea in Life of Brian

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 July 2018 20:37 (three years ago) link

Imagine watching a Italian comedy where they talk like Cubans.

is this a Scarface reference

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 20:40 (three years ago) link

two years pass...

Just finished on BBC2, what a piece of pointless crap.

Eggbreak Hotel (Tom D.), Sunday, 20 December 2020 23:16 (eight months ago) link

yep. A self-satisfied Iannucci gag fest no less, with some good and bad actors enjoying themselves much more than the poor viewer.

calzino, Sunday, 20 December 2020 23:20 (eight months ago) link

It's not good on many levels but I enjoyed a couple of the performances. I don't much care about movies having a point either but yeah, this is waste, especially compared to Khrustalyov

Uptown Top Scamping (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 20 December 2020 23:21 (eight months ago) link

It was simultaneously too light and too dark and ended up as nothing. Not funny. I grinned once.

Eggbreak Hotel (Tom D.), Sunday, 20 December 2020 23:25 (eight months ago) link

It really doesn't work as a comedy

Uptown Top Scamping (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 20 December 2020 23:26 (eight months ago) link

And it definitely doesn't work as a drama, apart from the last 5 minutes.

Eggbreak Hotel (Tom D.), Sunday, 20 December 2020 23:28 (eight months ago) link

Plus I'm sorry the bit where Beria has a hissy fit and starts shouting accusations at the other committee members was just a pale shadow of Glenn's "I AM MAN" meltdown in "Rise of the Nutters".

Eggbreak Hotel (Tom D.), Sunday, 20 December 2020 23:35 (eight months ago) link

There was an 80's brit tv comedy drama about Stalin that pissed all over this, but I saw it years ago and can't remember the name of it, and then there is the darkest of dark comedy of Khrustalyov My Car which isn't going to be for everybody but goes more into the anti-Semitic "doctors' plot" violence at the end of Stalin's era, which much more interesting than doing shit comedy versions of famous Soviet commissars in *hilarious* UK regional accents. Actually maybe the latter could actually be funny if it was done by anyone but fucking Iannucci.

calzino, Sunday, 20 December 2020 23:51 (eight months ago) link

Having Paul Whitehouse play Paul Whitehouse, Michael Palin play Michael Palin and Jeffrey Tambor play Jeffrey Tambor was a bit lazy.

Eggbreak Hotel (Tom D.), Sunday, 20 December 2020 23:56 (eight months ago) link

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/dec/14/khrustalyov-my-car-review-visually-amazing-russian-gem-aleksei-german

lol Khrustalyov is the recipient of that highest of movie accolades, a five star P Badshaw review! tbf on him it is a decent little review.

calzino, Monday, 21 December 2020 00:43 (eight months ago) link

eight months pass...

Fuck off back to Georgia, dead boy.

papal hotwife (milo z), Monday, 13 September 2021 22:18 (five days ago) link


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