Sunday, January 30, 2011

Another Woman

I'm trying to think of anything redeeming about this movie. There just didn't seem anything to like about it. Like Hannah and Her Sisters, it is full of people saying exactly what they are thinking. The acting wasn't very good with people just reciting lines that expurgated their psyches.

The same criticisms that were used against various things in the movie, I could use against it: it is overblown, sentimental, theatrical. At one point the main character has a dream in which her life is represented on a stage as theater. It can't be unintentional. And maybe there is an aspect I'm missing. I think it has something to do with Ingmar Bergman's Scenes From a Marriage type films.

I don't require Woody Allen to be funny all of the time. But I can't help but think that this is a very depressing era for him. And he so desperately wants to wring something meaningful out of his experience. Maybe this isn't his experience. Maybe this is fiction or his opinion of society. Maybe it is an indictment.

There is one aspect that I do like about this movie, which I haven't even bothered to summarize. And it is when the main character is renting out the space to get some writing done and she starts to hear Mia Farrow's voice coming through the vents. It isn't overly subtle, but it's the closest thing to subtlety we're going to get, so I'll take it.


September is the future.
Things are coming to an end: a marriage, a book, an illness, a legend, a storm, a month. And despite the fact that almost everyone carries around with them a haunting emptiness, there is still something to look forward to. There is always the next thing that will come whether you're ready for it or not.
This is another of Woody Allen's chamber dramas in which he refuses to let the characters escape the confines of the house or their predicaments. Mia Farrow plays the martyr again in a long string of unrequited love.
Whatever Woody has been trying to express with these similar plots and structures, he probably gets the closest to successfully pulling it off here. That doesn't necessarily make it a great film, but at least there is something happening.

Radio Days

Radio Days doesn't really have a plot and is more of a series of nostalgic vignettes set in Woody Allen's youth of the forties. It is probably meant to imitate the radio shows that the vignettes are structured around. But by putting images to the stories, it does not accurately capture the experience of huddling around a box with a voice coming out of it. It was a different era then, and a lot has changed. "What a world," Julie Kavner who plays Woody's mom says. "It could be so wonderful if it wasn't for certain people." So some things are the same. But it's hard to imagine this generation being able to relate at all to the outdated mode of communication and entertainment which was the radio. I mean, they can hardly even relate to the times when this movie was made, when Seth Green was young enough to play the young Woody Allen. I can hardly relate to it. Which is why, although I found it mildly humorous throughout, I didn't find it to be all that marvelous.