Renowned filmmaker Sandy Bates is in a professional transition, directing largely comedies early in his career now wanting to direct more serious movies so that he can explore the meaning of life, most specifically his own. Most are fighting him all along the way, including the movie going public, who continually tell him that they love his movies especially the earlier funny ones, to studio executives who are trying to insert comic elements wherever possible into his current movie in production. He reluctantly agrees to attend a weekend long film festival of his movies. Despite the throng of requests for his time, he is further able to reflect on his life as he addresses the questions at the post screening Q&A sessions. He also reflects specifically on his love life as his current girlfriend, married Isobel, shows up unexpectedly, and as he starts to fall for festival attendee Daisy - at the festival with her Columbia professor boyfriend, Jack Abel - who reminds him of Dorrie, a ... Written by
This film largely stemmed from a riposte by Woody Allen to a hostile article written about him by novelist Joan Didion, and to the Academy's seeming indifference to his "serious" film Interiors (1978). This explains the film's relatively sour mood towards the critical community and indeed the movie-going public. See more »
In my opinion, Stardust Memories is Allen's greatest achievement. The film perceptively explores the relationships between art and reality, between the artist and his work, between the work and its consumers. Beyond its philosophic concerns though, this is also an incredibly funny film. There are more genuinely funny moments within this serious film than in many of Allen's earlier pure comedies. It skewers the movie industry, the movie-going public, Allen's own earlier work, Allen's present insecurities (surprise!), and a number of other targets. Intelligent, thought provoking, and at times hilarious, this film is an overlooked gem in the Allen canon.
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