“Woody Wednesday” A 2010 review of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopelessmeaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of his own secular view. I salute him for doing that. That is why I have returned to his work over and over and presented my own Christian worldview as an alternative. Take a moment and read again a good article on Woody Allen below. There are some links below to some other posts about him.

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An Analysis of Woody Allen’s Film, Annie Hall

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Truly, Woody Allen is one of the most influential film makers of the last 40 years. Annie Hall shows us how and why.

Andrew Smith
on Mar 22, 2010
 

Allan Stewart Konigsberg, a.k.a. Woody Allen, was born in the Bronx on December 1, 1935. As one of the most creative cinema writer/director/producers of his time, Annie Hall (1977) is a mirror to Allen’s life. His work draws from interests in literature, psychology, Jewish culture, philosophy, European cinema and New York City, where he was born and has lived his entire life.

He first became hooked on movies upon seeing Snow White, and “from that day theatres became his second home,” according to WoodyAllen.com. He has played the clarinet since the age of 15, and continues playing it to this day. While appearing socially awkward and clumsy, Allen was said to be quite good at sports in his youth and popular amongst peers.

His type of creativity relies on a certain amount of interaction within culture. Parts of his humour rely on timeliness. We can see then how if his works are to stay relevant, he needs to still be connected to larger frames that operate within society. While a mathematician may lock themselves away, a comedian cannot afford such a luxury.

What makes Woody Allen a creative success, may lay in part to feeling detached from the world, feelings which he explores in Annie Hall . “In 1959, Woody began seeing a psychiatrist, feeling melancholic for no identifiable reason. Ever since he sees an analyst once a week or so, with occasional breaks, not much for treatment but to talk to an objective person unlinked to his personal life,” says WoodyAllen.com. In this film, and in a lot of his works, analysts and jokes feature as large parts of his wit. “The ambiguous reference to the poetically imaginative and the nimbly amusing which ‘wit’ had enjoyed from Elizabethan times was split during the neo-classic age into the meaning of ‘propriety’ which we have observed and a second and lighter meaning of ‘sheer wit’ or repartee in comedy” (Wimsatt, 1957. p243).

Annie Hall

Annie Hall is both a comedy and a tragedy, and contains solid examples of creativity in comedy. It is a film about the absurdity of the human condition. As such, we will explore key scenes from the film and how Woody Allen’s unique style creates comedy through ridicule, jokes, pairing of opposites.

We know that the relationship between Annie Hall and Alvy Singer is doomed from the beginning, because most of the film occurs in flashback. This style also allows great freedom in the structure. “Wit is the Lustre resulting from the quick Elucidation of one Subject, by a just and unexpected Arrangement of it with another Subject” (Wimsatt, 1957. p243). The film can leap back and forth randomly in time, creating different emotions for the viewer. We can dart from romance, to joy, to sorrow, and so on.

Woody Allen is a master of all the best known tools of comedy. In the scene following the opening monologue, begins the flashbacks to visit his childhood. He begins with a caricature of his mother and her need to control, and goes on to talk about his earlier life using farce. “My analyst says I exaggerate my childhood memories, but I swear I was brought up underneath a rollercoaster in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn. Maybe that accounts for my personality which is uh, a little nervous I think” (Alvy, in Annie Hall).

Alvy appears to be a vehicle, as are a lot of his characters, for the issues surrounding Woody Allen’s real life. The character is a classic figure for comedy: a controlling, suspicious male who is consumed by jealousy. When paired with the light-hearted, somewhat ditzy “la dee-da” Annie Hall,

it creates a foundation for comedy. “Relational opposites… cannot be known without the other; to know what a ruled person is you must know whether the ruler is a general or an archbishop. Thus a word which names both parts of a relation may be more precise than a word which only names half of it. Another reason is that, case which out to be distinguished, but being anxious on the point you find it hard to remember which is which. To the senses they may be opposite, but they excite the same feelings” (Empson, 1966. p195). Allen uses a combination of his natural wit, filmic devices, and specific narrative structure to tell this comedy effectively.

Here is a complete list of all the posts I did on the film “Midnight in Paris”

What can we learn from Woody Allen Films?, August 1, 2011 – 6:30 am

Movie Review of “Midnight in Paris” lastest movie by Woody Allen, July 30, 2011 – 6:52 am

Leo Stein and sister Gertrude Stein’s salon is in the Woody Allen film “Midnight in Paris”, July 28, 2011 – 6:22 am

Great review on Midnight in Paris with talk about artists being disatisfied, July 27, 2011 – 6:20 am

Critical review of Woody Allen’s latest movie “Midnight in Paris”, July 24, 2011 – 5:56 am

Not everyone liked “Midnight in Paris”, July 22, 2011 – 5:38 am

“Midnight in Paris” one of Woody Allen’s biggest movie hits in recent years, July 18, 2011 – 6:00 am

(Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)July 10, 2011 – 5:53 am

 (Part 29, Pablo Picasso) July 7, 2011 – 4:33 am

(Part 28,Van Gogh) July 6, 2011 – 4:03 am

(Part 27, Man Ray) July 5, 2011 – 4:49 am

(Part 26,James Joyce) July 4, 2011 – 5:55 am

(Part 25, T.S.Elliot) July 3, 2011 – 4:46 am

(Part 24, Djuna Barnes) July 2, 2011 – 7:28 am

(Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso) July 1, 2011 – 12:28 am

(Part 22, Silvia Beach and the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore) June 30, 2011 – 12:58 am

(Part 21,Versailles and the French Revolution) June 29, 2011 – 5:34 am

(Part 16, Josephine Baker) June 24, 2011 – 5:18 am

(Part 15, Luis Bunuel) June 23, 2011 – 5:37 am

“Woody Wednesday” The heart wants what it wants”jh67

I read this on http://www.crosswalk.com which is one of my favorite websites. Life Lessons from Woody Allen Stephen McGarvey I confess I am a huge film buff. But I’ve never really been a Woody Allen fan, even though most film critics consider him to be one of the most gifted and influential filmmakers of our […]

“Music Monday”:Coldplay’s best songs of all time (Part 6)

  “Music Monday”:Coldplay’s best songs of all time (Part 6) This is “Music Monday” and I always look at a band with some of their best music. I am currently looking at Coldplay’s best songs. Here are a few followed by another person’s preference: My son Hunter Hatcher’s 15th favorite song is “trouble.” Even though […]

“Woody Wednesday” Allen once wrote these words: “Do you realize what a thread were all hanging by? Can you understand how meaningless everything is? Everything. I gotta get some answers.” jh31

Woody Allen, the film writer, director, and actor, has consistently populated his scripts with characters who exchange dialogue concerning meaning and purpose. In Hannah and Her Sisters a character named Mickey says, “Do you realize what a thread were all hanging by? Can you understand how meaningless everything is? Everything. I gotta get some answers.”{7} […]

“Music Monday”:Coldplay’s best songs of all time (Part 5)

“Music Monday”:Coldplay’s best songs of all time (Part 5) This is “Music Monday” and I always look at a band with some of their best music. I am currently looking at Coldplay’s best songs. Here are a few followed by another person’s preference: Hunter picked “Don’t Panic,” as his number 16 pick of Coldplay’s best […]

Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible has to say about it jh55

(If you want to check out other posts I have done about about Steve Jobs:Some say Steve Jobs was an atheist , Steve Jobs and Adoption , What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life? ,Steve Jobs versus President Obama: Who created more jobs? ,Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible has to say about it ,8 things you might not know about Steve Jobs ,Steve […]

“Woody Wednesday” A review of some of the past Allen films jh32

I am a big Woody Allen fan. Not all his films can be recommended but he does look at some great issues and he causes the viewer to ask the right questions. My favorite is “Crimes and Misdemeanors” but the recent film “Midnight in Paris” was excellent too. Looking at the (sometimes skewed) morality of […]

Good without God?

(The signs are up on the buses in Little Rock now and the leader of the movement to put them up said on the radio today that he does not anticipate any physical actions against the signs by Christians. He noted that the Christians that he knows would never stoop to that level.) Debate: Christianity […]

“Music Monday”:Coldplay’s best songs of all time (Part 4)

Dave Hogan/ Getty Images This is “Music Monday” and I always look at a band with some of their best music. I am currently looking at Coldplay’s best songs. Here are a few followed by another person’s preference: For the 17th best Coldplay song of all-time, Hunter picks “42.” He notes, “You thought you might […]

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