8 items from 2013
Every Wednesday, FM writers Simon Columb and Brogan Morris write two short reviews on Woody Allen films ... in the hope of watching all his films over the course of roughly 49 weeks. If you have been watching Woody's films and want to join in, feel free to comment with short reviews yourself! Next up is Deconstructing Harry and Cassandra's Dream...
Simon Columb on Deconstructing Harry...
Rewind, edit and re-run. Remodel, reconstitute and reconfigure. Memory and films hold many parallels. In Deconstructing Harry, Woody Allen toys with memory and the inspiration one finds for their art. Opening credits is an edited sequence of a woman stepping out of a cab. It’s disorientating, as the film can be, as Deconstructing Harry flips between fictional stories written by Harry (Woody Allen) and Harry’s life itself. This current incarnation has a crisis of identity – he is older and single with one child he can barely visit. »
- Gary Collinson
"Anxiety, nightmares and a nervous breakdown; there's only so many traumas a person can withstand before they take to the street and start screaming." Awards season is declared officially open as Cate Blanchett becomes an early frontrunner for best actress with this magnificent portrayal of a woman on the edge.
A former New York socialite whose life has imploded in the wake of her husband's imprisonment (à la Bernie Madoff), Jasmine has been forced to park her Louis Vuitton luggage in the incongruous surroundings of her adoptive sister's San Francisco apartment, with corrosive results. Attempting to "move on" and make a new start (she is a past master of reinvention), Jasmine is finally out of her depth as she careers between ill-fitting employment, ill-judged social climbing and abysmal interpersonal relations. Meanwhile, »
- Mark Kermode
Feature Ivan Radford 30 Sep 2013 - 07:03
You can tell immediately when you're watching a Woody Allen movie. Not just from the opening credits (Windsor Light Condensed on black title cards) but from the music. Woody loves the stuff - he'd rather play clarinet with his band than go to the Oscars. He loves it so much that he joins the list of directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese who are known for using popular, pre-existing music in their soundtracks. The man has directed an astonishing 43 films in his career. Just seven of those have original scores.
Every Wednesday, FM writers Simon Columb and Brogan Morris write two short reviews on Woody Allen films ... in the hope of watching all his films over the course of roughly 49 weeks. If you have been watching Woody's films and want to join in, feel free to comment with short reviews yourself! Next up is Cassandra's Dream and Shadows and Fog...
Simon Columb on Cassandra's Dream...
Social status is rarely explicit in Allen’s films. Upper-class New Yorkers philosophising about life is more down his street, and placing characters in the top rungs of society mean relationships and death are the only things worth thinking about. Set within the cloudy and rain-sodden streets of London, Cassandra’s Dream bucks the trend as brothers Ian (Ewan McGregor) - a restaurant-owner - and Terry (Colin Farrell) - a content car-mechanic - turn to their mysterious Uncle Howard (Tom Wilkinson) for money. Ian and »
- Flickering Myth
Several Woody Allen's ago we began a very short lived series called "Familiar Faces" in which I surveyed repeat usages of the same actors in a director's ouevre. The series was short lived because my god do you know how long each post took? Nevertheless, I'd love to revive it if I've ever afforded the budget or time and I thought with Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen's 43rd complete directorial feature, rocking it at the box office the time was ripe to revisit and republish with a few minor adjustments. If you see a half point trust that it's from Play It Again Sam which Woody wrote and starred in but did not direct or New York Stories which he directed only one segment of. One of the key factors in why I don't think Woody Allen films are as strong as they used to be is his weird »
- NATHANIEL R
Podcast mate and friend Joe Reid polled several critics (including myself) for an article at Tribeca Film detailing Woody Allen's recent output as the critical hit Blue Jasmine hits theaters. I won't be able to see the new entry in his filmography until Sunday since I'm in Chicago for the weekend and limited release films only believe in Los Angeles and New York for their coming out balls. But since I took the time to write Joe notes on each film for this collective list, I thought I'd share them. I regret to inform that in doing this I have just been reminded that my proud familiar refrain "I've never missed a Woody Allen movie in the theater since I saw my first one in 1984!" is not technically true anymore. This article forced me to recall that I did not see and still have not seen Cassandra's Dream (2007) ... though I can't honestly remember why. »
- NATHANIEL R
Like clockwork, the prodigious workaholic Woody Allen releases a movie each year. And every 12 months, there is the temptation to compare Allen’s latest with his past works, given that they tend to have formed a 31 flavors-like distinction over the last five decades. There’s the more recent trend towards to the romantic (“Midnight In Paris”) and globe-trotting (“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”), familiar existential comedic worries (“Whatever Works”), and even moral-dilemma-led thrillers ("Match Point," "Cassandra's Dream") but a recent theme emerging of late is an introspective examination at the past and regret also evinced in “To Rome with Love.” That motif is also explored in “Blue Jasmine,” Allen’s latest picture which possesses a script that is at times clunky and uneven, but features an outstanding firecracker turn from Cate Blanchett that has “Oscar-worthy” written all over it in flames. In many ways, “Blue Jasmine” just can’t hope to compete with Blanchett, »
- Rodrigo Perez
Ignoring the fact that Colin Farrell's name sounds just about as Irish as it gets, there's still a shred of possibility that the southern drawl he spits as Jesse James throughout "American Outlaws" actually fooled a few theatergoers into thinking that this bushy-eyebrowed ladykiller was actually born a stars n' stripes yankee.
Let's face it: Farrell -- who currently stars in the new crime thriller "Dead Man Down" -- is a verbal chameleon, a man who has effortlessly toggled the fader on his pipes between his real Dublin-derived brogue and a convincing down-home All-American inflection throughout his two-decade-long career. Practically every role he's taken on has fit somewhere between those two points, but you'd have to subject yourself to a full-on Farrell filmography marathon to know just where each film ranks within his verbal spectrum. Accent charting clearly can't be accomplished overnight, especially when Colin Farrell is involved.
- Nick DeSantis
8 items from 2013