i’m not sure really how i feel about woody allen. as far as i know i think i’ve only seen like one and a half of his movies, the one being annie hall and the half being scoop during which i fell asleep. he seems like a very smart comedian, if a little too something else. what that something else is i haven’t nailed yet.
i’d say annie hall is a good movie. i’d even go so far as to say a really good movie. allen makes really insightful and funny observations on relationships and how men think. the whole movie is metafiction; weaved through the whole thing are plot devices where allen breaks the “fourth wall” and talks to the camera, where he blends well with his own fictional world but keeps referencing the real world outside of the camera. it’s really the pre-cursor movie to high fidelity, without all the music savvy and hilarious supporting characters.
i watched it for the first time when i was younger; i say younger but really it was only like two years ago max. i didn’t really get it then. i watched it again about a month ago and i understood it a lot better. and i realized that it’s a really good movie, yet mildly inaccessible, in a weird way. in a basic way, it’s just allen’s thoughts on life and love and women and sex and relationships, and nearly everybody can relate to that, but if you listen to half the movie’s dialogue, it’s all references. and obscure references too, references to literature or weird psychoanalysts and 70s culture. tons of references that i had no hope of understanding. and you know what it reminded me of? freakin’ juno. that awful movie about the pregnant teen. i bet when annie hall was released in ’77, it was really popular with loads of college douchebags who were really into the latest kurt vonnegut book and who voted for carter. it was the juno of the late 70s. except much smarter and better overall.
it is pretty slow though. there’s a good laugh about every 10 minutes or so, and there are some really long takes. at one point annie has a long monologue which is like 5 minutes with no camera cuts, just one long take. so it feels a lot slower than current movies. another reason those freakin’ hipsters love it so much. it’s feels “artsy”.
even though it was probably popular with the indie hipsters of the 70s and nowadays it’s so hipster to say it’s one of your favorite movies, i still liked it, because it is a really good movie. here’s woody’s summation of his relationship with annie.
after that, it got pretty late and we both had to go, but it was great seeing annie again, and i realized what a terrific person she was and how much fun it was just knowing her and i thought of that old joke, you know, this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says “doc, my brother’s crazy; he thinks he’s a chicken.” and the doctor says “well why don’t you turn him in?” and the guy says, “i would, but i need the eggs.” well, i guess that’s pretty much now how i feel about relationships. you know, they’re totally irrational and crazy and absurd, but i guess we keep going through it because most of us need the eggs.
perfect. i should watch more woody allen movies.