Friday, March 4, 2011

Deconstructing Harry

1. Deconstruction in literature is the process of examining contradictions in a text to prove that there is no one truth. There are multiple interpretations of meaning. At the end of the movie, someone says that although Harry's stories are sad, she enjoys deconstructing them to find the happiness that lies underneath.

2. Deconstructivism is a movement (especially in architecture) that focuses on fragmentation as a source of stylistic innovation. The outward manifestation of inner struggle.

3. Woody Allen plays a writer writing about writers who lately has a writing block although he is being honored for his work. The not being able to write about writing about writing telescopes the film so that we look at it very closely, so close as to obscure the metaphor.

4. Through his stories and flashbacks, Harry's relationship with women is seen as a series of failures and now he can't get anyone to go with him to the honoring ceremony except a prostitute.

5. "I can't love," Woody Allen says. He goes from one doomed relationship to another because he knows that if he ever stays with any one person he will be unveiled for the miserable person he is.

6. "You put your art in your work. I put it in my life," Billy Crystal's character tells Woody Allen. He returns to the idea that although he might not know how to live, he can reinterpret things in art and try to redeem himself.

7. "This is not a book. We are not characters in a fictional... thing," Woody Allen tells Elisabeth Shue. Which is simultaneously true and not true. The internal contradiction of the statement proves the deconstruction that Woody Allen is performing in this movie. He is simultaneously hiding himself through fiction and revealing himself. "It's me thinly disguised. In fact, I don't even think I should disguise it anymore. It's me."

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