The son of director Oscar Rudolph, writer-director Alan Rudolph followed in the footsteps of mentor Robert Altman, embracing a similar kind of ensemble picture while pursuing his own personal, less satiric, more human vision. Despised by mainstream Hollywood, he has managed to stay true to his idiosyncratic muse and remain in the game despite never having had a breakthrough commercial success. Rudolph’s dialogue has a snappy, flirtatious quality, and his distinctive “pan-and-zoom” style allows audiences to experience performances that are not built from cut to cut. It is not unusual for a Rudolph film to contain four or five shots that are as long as six or seven minutes, unheard of in this era of high-tech editing. Actors who like working with him because he lets them get into real-life rhythms wave their usual salaries, enabling him to adhere to ridiculously low budgets, and he frequently reteams with his talent, knowing that subsequent collaborations will only be richer.
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Very auteur-driven movie. I've never heard of Alan Rudolph before, and I still can't link him to any good movie I remember. Wich is weird, because The Moderns is a quite interesting exercise in directing. On a side note, this movie seems to echo a lot of themes about art in cinema: F for Fake, The Thomas Crown Affair (the remake) and Great Expectations (Cuarón's) all seem to talk about the same themes of value in art
Rudolph's mise en scene here is sinuous and graceful, camera movements clearly defined in purpose and flawlessly etching space, while remaining attuned to the characters and catching color in brief, luminous glimpses. His zoom proves among the most exhilarating to be found in cinema, evidenced by a percussive, brief sequence of a piano player harshly pounding the keys; Rudolph's zooms here visually evoke the exciting, rhythmic punctuation of the music.