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We are now in an era where truly great directors are hard to come by. There are so many directors-for-hire and complete hacks out there that it is much easier for the production company to hire someone who doesn’t care how the final product looks than to hire someone with an artistic style.
Luckily, Woody Allen is still alive and kickin’ at 76-years-young, and he surprisingly released his biggest box office hit of all time in 2011 with “Midnight in Paris.” He’s been making films for over 40 years, and “Annie Hall” still remains his most recognizable work, released 35 years ago to critical acclaim.
Starring Allen himself and Diane Keaton, the story features a non-linear retelling of the brutal relationship between the two. Allen plays New York comedian Alvy Singer, who first meets Annie Hall (Keaton) at a tennis club. Their relationship develops into an unorthodox one, but it is also often beautiful and uproariously funny in typical Woody Allen style.
Woody Allen gets rid of all realism within his own filmmaking approach when he starts talking directly to the camera, breaking the fourth wall and then placing his current characters in the movie back in time 30 years without them ever seeming the least bit startled. This is an almost outdated characteristic of a true auteur – actually doing things within film that are imaginative and not following the bland clichés of the Hollywood studio system.
For the record, this is a wonderful companion piece to Marc Webb’s 2009 release “500 Days Of Summer – which all in all is just a first-rate remake of “Annie Hall.” That is not a bad thing by any means, as this film is a wonderful film to remake especially if you use a completely different cinematic style than Allen, as Webb did. Allen’s work is much more controlled than Webb’s, so if you’re into quickly edited, modern film technique, I recommend the newer movie.
It’s amazing to consider the fact that Woody Allen is still making work comparably as great as his earlier movies. His non-linear storyline in "Annie Hall" is so oddball but so daring and commendable at the same time. He builds hilarity in his gags by holding shots for so long and creating suspense, and at the most tautest moment he is able to do something intelligently funny with the gag.
Woody Allen is a delightful all-time great filmmaker – some proof lies within the cast that agreed to play in this movie including Keaton, Carol Kane and Christopher Walken. One thing you should know about him going into the movie is that he always acts as himself – he literally plays the same character every time. That’s a quirky characteristic of a great auteur, and you gotta dig that, so check out "Annie Hall" when you have the chance.
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