16 October 2006

95. hannah and her sisters

finally we get to a woody allen picture, the first of many on this list. i've seen several of his films so far, and i can honestly say this: i don't like woody allen. i've read interviews with him, and the interesting part is that i love a lot of his ideas about film: using good music (including lots of jazz), very basic titles and credits, keeping the cost down by forgoing frills, lots of talking and snappy dialogue, long takes and few cuts that let the actors to actually act and finds rhythms inside a scene, lots of medium shots that compliment comedy.

so i like his craft, but i think the main problem i have with his movies is the woody allen character him/itself -- the nebbish persona he portrays, popping up in almost every film.

that must be it, because there's a lot of stuff to like in this movie. the writing is solid (i've even heard there was a push to award it the first pulitzer for screenwriting!), putting us immediately into a specific world with a specific conflict and a large cast of interrelated characters. the structure is fine too, giving us vingettes of 2 years, strung along and marked by thanksgivings. as such, this is a movie about cycles. the cycles that relationships take, where a man can feel so apart from his wife that he fucks her sister, and then a year later feels so unbelievably close to his wife that his past infidelity seems like a bad dream. its about the cycles of art, how building styles or music change over the years: art deco to red brick; cole porter to punk. its about the cycle of life, a thanksgiving table filled with three generations of family, and ending with the ultimate gift: a bun in the oven, borne out of love.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

have you seen CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS? i liked that one a lot. and of course, ANNIE HALL and MANHATTAN. Oh, and I also like LOVE AND DEATH. actually, I like Woody Allen a lot. I walk away from his films thinking in his syntax, his verbal cadences...I think probably the biggest criticism of Woody Allen is the tendency for everyone in his films to talk like Woody Allen. (Case in point: SCOOP, where Scarlett Jo talked exactly like him...)

5:27 PM  

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