Film Flick Friday: Annie Hall

Friday, April 20, 2012



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Anhedonia, It Had to Be Jew, A Rollercoaster Named Desire, Me and My Goy- all were possible film titles for  one of Woody Allen’s definitive masterpieces. Annie Hall  would become  the 1977 Best Picture (beating out Star Wars) and, eventually,  the American Film Institute’s 31st best American Movie of all time. But it might not have become either if they hadn’t found a title where people knew all the words (for the record ,anhedonia means the inability to take pleasure in things). Billed instead as Annie Hall and tag-lined a “neurotic romance,” the film captures something about love in a modern setting that ran true the 70s culture that produced it.  

Credited as being a turning point in  actor, director and  writer Woody Allen’s career, Annie Hall  is more than just some good laughs. Its comedy to tackle serious subjects, and many moviegoers have the tantalizing suspicion of  it having autobiographical roots.  According to Allen, they are a bit off  base." “The stuff that people insist is autobiographical is almost invariably not. It's so exaggerated that it's virtually meaningless to the people upon whom these little nuances are based. People got it into their heads that Annie Hall was autobiographical, and I couldn't convince them it wasn't.” True, Annie was co-star Diane Keaton’s nickname, and Hall was her maiden name, she and Allen had had a romantic relationship, and the clothes she wore in the film were own (though, if the costume designer had had their way, they wouldn’t have been! They had proclaimed Keaton’s fashion sense- which  would inspire a fashion craze, as “too weird.”). But, in fact, Annie Hall started out life as a screenplay for a murder mystery with the would-be lounge singer as only a minor role- a big leap from real life. Once in production, a lot of improvising happened as well , including  Woody Allen sneezing into cocaine, and finding the character Alvy’s childhood home in Brooklyn  after spying a house with a roller coaster built over it  during a location scouting trip. Perhaps most poignantly though, the ending scene was a last minute addition

lDtMBTaSiq5ySFhg8HFxSGIKs5l Told in a nonlinear fashion,  with
many unusual  visual  storytelling tactics- including  a cartoon segment, talking directly the audience and a literal  walk down memory lane-
 Annie Hall tells the story of Alvy Singer and  love in New York City.  Though  we see sections of story about his previous girlfriends and wives, at different times, the story centers on one love in particular- that of Annie. Annie is a WASP in from the midwest, trying to make it as a lounge singer and in her and Alvy we finally have  love interests too quirky and nonfunctional to envy. Just because they are a pair of  odd ducks though doesn’t make it hard to watch. On the contrary, perhaps their flaws give us hope that all weirdos will find a way and even if they don’t, well, it's still good entertainment.

1 comment

  1. i should really watch this! thanks for sharing :)

    Visit my blog? xx Miss Beatrix (http://missbeatrix.blogspot.com)

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