Viewers of the Funhouse TV show (now in its 25th year in Manhattan!) will know of my admiration for the work of Alan Rudolph, who has finally returned to filmmaking after a sejour of 15 years. His new film, Ray Meets Helen, premiered in NYC last week at the Quad Cinema, and I was very pleased to be able to interview Alan at much length for the show.

This was the second time I’ve interviewed him, the first being an abbreviated talk at the press junket for Afterglow that let me know he is, by turns, mellow and rapier-sharp, cynical and sentimental, and one of the best commentators on the filmmaking process. Clips from that talk are on YouTube here and here.

I don’t want to give away the nature of the many things we spoke about in this wonderfully lengthy (nearly three hours!) interview, but it was a far-reaching chat that moved chronologically from his dad Oscar Rudolph’s work as an actor in silent movies to Ray Meets Helen. (Nearly a century of major-studio and independent filmmaking, folks.) 

Ray was released theatrically last week in ten cities across the country. It is also available on various streaming platforms; the list and links can be found on the film’s official site. I wanted to post Alan’s reflections on the film as soon as I could and encourage you to check it out – it’s a characteristically absurdist romance from Rudolph that is as moving as it is oddly funny.

In the video below he talks about the film’s plot and stars and also reflects on the film’s very unique position as a “senior” romance (without that aspect ever being addressed in the dialogue or action). He also talks about his efforts to remove cultural “signposts” from his movies to make them timeless (which they are indeed).

If you’re on Facebook and are a fan of Alan’s work, visit the Alan Rudolph fan page. (Disclosure: I’m co-administrator.) And because many people ask the classic question with cult filmmakers (“What’s the best film to see first?”), I would recommend one of the following: Choose Me, Trouble in Mind, The Moderns, and Afterglow.