PezzFest 2018: Night Six

PezzFest 2018 Double Double Film Series

Welcome back. By now you’ve evaluated your friends, your past, your life, and you’re ready to start things anew. Right? Or maybe you just need to hash out a few difficulties.

Cheers to good movie watching — silence your cell phones, zip your lips, and let the good times roll.

NIGHT SIX: Quarrels

Bickering about anything from pies to pajamas to who stands next to who at a funeral can provide comedic and suspenseful fodder when the fate of the world is at stake.

We could be facing large-scale nuclear annihilation. But world leaders drunkenly complain about late-night phone calls, and struggle to overcome petty differences to come together and solve the crisis. The War Room is no place for arguing, but it’s in our nature to “love the bomb” of being right, rather than worry about how wrong we all actually can be.

And while all of this is happening there is a wrestling for power by a group of dim-witted “smart” party leaders who don’t want to be the first to stop worshipping the ground of their beloved leader –– even though everyone else would follow suit.

Witty, slapstick-prone power struggles among the “brightest minds” suddenly becomes a spiral into absurdity, and competing authoritarian philosophies soon outweigh the consideration of the will of the people when a small group of men just don’t want to appear impotent.

Dr Strangelove

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Across all three of his roles, Peter Sellers shines a light on a humanity that teeters on the edge of dangerous insanity. One crack in the foundation that keeps us from the brink will cause our collapse, but even that instance we must embrace the future, no matter how big the mushroom clouds will be. Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece (one of many) stands the test of time as a disastrous malfunction in communication and mismanagement of diplomacy leads to imminent destruction between the superpowers of the planet.

Sanity evades an army General, a US bomber’s crew is left in the dark, and a war room of politicians struggles to regain control of a deadly situation in this comedy disguised as thriller disguised as comedy disguised as . . . (and so on).

The Death of Stalin poster - Leslie Herman

The Death of Stalin

The Soviet Dictator that defined an era has died suddenly. What are the next steps? Who is in charge? Will the country morn? Who decides the next list of executed citizens? Also, we can’t find a good doctor because all the best ones have been rounded up and executed, so we’ve got a problem here. And really, who has time to pick the fabric for the funeral when there’s a useless puppet in charge? The squabbling council around the body of Stalin become the focal points for this hilarious, bumbling power struggle over Russia at the height of the Cold War, taking great pains to satirize Beria, Krushchev, Malenkov, and Molotov. Steve Buscemi brings it all home as Krushchev, but it’s really Simon Russell Beale who will slither his way into your soul as the devious Beria.

A disgusting lot of men, these are, but watching them sidestep urine as they debate who is going to hold Stalin by the head when they move his body is only the beginning.

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