The Death of Stalin

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Armando Iannucci, the creator of HBO’s Veep, received an Academy Award nomination for writing 2009’s In the Loop. His long-awaited follow-up, The Death of Stalin, premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, where its black humor delighted audiences and critics alike.

Russia, 1953: The mood under Stalin’s despotic regime is one of rampant paranoia. Spouses inform on one another, the secret police are always listening, and death squads roam the streets executing “traitors.” One morning, the dictator is found comatose after a massive stroke, triggering an absurd, hysterical, and deadly power grab among his closest sycophants and confidants.

Writer/director Iannucci brings his singularly hilarious misanthropy to this decidedly bleak setting, tackling real-world figures for the first time in his career. A murderer’s row of great British and American actors, including Steve Buscemi, Andrea Riseborough, and a never-better Jason Isaacs, bring Stalin’s inner circle of cronies and backstabbers to uproarious life. The Death of Stalin is a painfully relevant, pitch-black morality tale that shows what happens when too much power is concentrated in the hands of too few.

Fri. 1/19, 6:15 p.m., Grand, SLC
Sat. 1/20, 5:45 p.m., MARC, PC
Sat. 1/27, 11:30 p.m., Prospector, PC

YEAR 2017

SECTION Spotlight

COUNTRY France/United Kingdom/Belgium

RUN TIME 107 min

COMPANY IFC Films

PHONE (646) 273-7214

Credits

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Artist Bio

Armando Iannucci

Armando Iannucci is a writer and broadcaster who has written, directed, and produced numerous critically acclaimed television and radio comedy shows. His screenplay for the film In The Loop was nominated for an Academy Award, and his iconic BBC series, The Thick of It, was nominated for 13 BAFTA Awards, winning five. Iannucci's HBO series, Veep, has picked up numerous awards, including 17 Emmys, and he is currently adapting Charles Dickens's David Copperfield for film.