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
Tony Roberts' character makes reference to his dating a Playboy Playmate. In his final shot in the movie, Roberts is shown talking to Candy Loving, who was indeed Playboy's 25th-Anniversary Playmate. See more »
While this film doesn't get the praise and respect of, say, "Annie Hall" or "Manhattan," I think it is a brilliant look into the mind of a film director. How much of Woody Allen is Sandy Bates? Some, I'm sure, but I think it's more interesting to compare Sandy to Woody Allen's "persona"--that is, who the public thinks he is.
The structure of the film is also quite interesting to me. Allen had done a very non-linear story structure, mixed with occasional flights of fantasy, in "Annie Hall," but "Stardust Memories" does that and piles on a movie within a movie within a movie, and manages to both comment on all that, at the same time as he's telling the story of the brilliant, but self-absorbed Sandy Bates.
A great movie, that you probably should see more than once to appreciate.
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