Armando Iannucci’s ‘The Death of Stalin’ is a darkly perfect satire for a reality that feels stranger than fiction

The film turns the real-life machinations of Stalin’s subordinates into an uproarious, political spoof. And its timing couldn’t be better.

“I feel like Trump, in his own way, is killing art,” actor David Duchovny told me recently. “I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the difference between art and gesture, because it seems like there’s so much gesture everywhere. I’m interested in politics, but I’m thinking about it all the time. It’s exhausting. But then art is a luxury, so maybe this is the time when we have to deal with what’s real.”

 Duchovny’s comments came back to me while watching Armando Iannucci’s “The Death of Stalin,” a film about the power struggle in the Soviet Union in the immediate aftermath of the brutal leader’s death. A remarkable, dark comedy, it turns the real-life machinations of Stalin’s subordinates into an uproarious, political spoof through some of the more biting satire in recent memory. And the timing is impeccable: Today’s news seems stranger — and less funny — than ever.

“In extreme situations, when everything is falling apart, people should turn to humor,” says Monty Python alum Michael Palin, who plays Stalin intimate Vyacheslav Molotov. According to Palin, the comedy of the Pythons and the comedy in “The Death of Stalin” aren’t all that dissimilar. Both speak truth to power and shine a spotlight on the ridiculousness of it all, making the movie feel perfectly tailored for the Trump era.

“Humor is a very strong force for dealing with people who have gone power mad,” Palin told me. “It’s the one thing that they can’t really deal with; they can deal with any kind of opposition, but being laughed at they really don’t like.” [ . . . ]

Read More at Source: NBC NEWS Armando Iannucci’s ‘The Death of Stalin’ is a darkly perfect satire for a reality that feels stranger than fiction

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