“A Long Day’S Journey Into A Little Night Silence”
By Raymond Benson
Woody’s Allen’s first dramatic feature film, Interiors
, released in 1978 on the heels of his hugely successful and Oscar-winning masterpiece, Annie Hall, was met with praise by some and head-scratching by others. Most critics, however, acknowledged that the picture was a step the artist needed to take in his evolution as a filmmaker.
Prior to Annie Hall, Allen’s films were zany comedies—the “early funny ones,” as facetiously described in a later work, Stardust Memories
. Beginning with Annie, Allen made a quantum leap forward in originality, confidence, and stylistic maturity. He reinvented the romantic comedy. In many ways, Annie Hall is a movie with a European sensibility. It could be argued that Allen’s body of work post-Annie resembles the kind of material made by a director like, say, Francois Truffaut
—small, well-written, intimate gems about people,