Alan Rudolph is a kindred spirit to filmmakers on the order of Jonathan Demme and his mentor Robert Altman, evincing an abiding interest in everyday and intimate human behavior, and in the social milieus we place ourselves in and/or from which we try to extricate ourselves. The son of an actor-turned-director, Rudolph learned the ropes as an assistant director; working on movies such as Nashville, he enjoyed a creative communion with Altman, who would produce a host of Rudolph’s features as writer/director. Although he would happily take the occasional studio assignment, by the 1980s Rudolph had hit his stride, remaining prolific in his output as an independent filmmaker through the beginning of this century. Actors lined up, and re-upped, to be part of his eclectic ensembles wending their way through relationship entanglements in locations ranging from the offbeat to the enshrined in memory. Despite telling several stories set abroad and in the past, the filmmaker notably traversed cities and towns in 20th-century America that were both changing and timeless, with special attention paid to his native West Coast. This first ever retrospective of his work incorporates the U.S. premiere of his first feature in 15 years, Ray Meets Helen. Prepare for sudden romance, shady doings, flights of fancy—and a wealth of cool musical accompaniment both on-screen and on the soundtrack.
Special thanks to Nellie Killian.