Saturday, November 16, 2013

Movie Analysis opinion and stats episode 1: Annie Hall

Sim on IMBD
The other night I received a call from some mildly frantic film students who were being tested over Woody Allen's classic Annie Hall the next day. They had seen the movie several times, discussed it and yet still felt a lack of confidence -- despite feeling it was great -- in detailing why it was so good. The problem can be when  film has won BEST PICTURE film students and novice film buffs all want to find that it that is in it that makes the film resonate with critics and fans so well. 

Now I hadn't seen Annie Hall in about a decade, but it is not a film I have any trouble pontificating about to anyone who is within ear shot. (sorry couldn't resist the temptation to toss that in) So after a marvelous chat with these future film makers I decided to make Annie Hall the first episode in my Movie analysis opinion and stats. 

So if you are about to face a quiz over this film-instructor favorite, well perhaps I can offer a bit of insight. Of course those students haven't called back so perhaps I offered them more convulsion than hard essay responses. 

Annie Hall is a great film because love is long. Great romances, although in the film industry the hot ones are often a weekend, stand the test of time. People fortunate enough to have loved someone and been loved by someone know how time works on relationships--wears on it and alters it--and yet in film directors shy away from endeavors like time because of the degree of difficulty in making this come across to their viewers. It's why epic films like Gone With The Wind, A River Runs Through It, Forest Gump or Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon are so well respected. Alvy Singer sets out to show us the story of his love with Annie Hall. He is remembering this, probably from a couch in an over paid psychiatrists office, in much the same way we all remember past loves; not with chronology but sporadic bombardments of sense and sentiment.It is the out of sequence style that truly brings this film into it's greatness. We see them falling in love, but already know it won't work as we have been made aware of their recent problems. In a way Woody puts us so deeply into this stories back story and current running struggles that we resist at all cost admitting that Annie is not going to come back across that street and beg to be back with him. She will not come back, they can not get back to that innocent and captivating awkward beginning, because Alvy has changed her, fertilized her growth and now has no more nourishment to offer her. The seed has not only taken root, but taken flight and can not go back to a gardener who is obsessed with death and all it's dreary splendor.  
'What do the lobsters represent?' Okay the moment he has with Annie and the lobsters is the epitome of spontaneity and sparks a romance that will forever change both their lives. In typical man fashion when the women we love leaves us, we go right back to what worked last time i.e. carriage rides, ski trips, French restaurants, ice skating or what have you. Sadly spontaneous joy can not be replicated and what occurs instead is a stagnant failure of over expectation receiving under stimulation. The scene is genius, capturing the loneliest and lowest point of Alvy's broken heart.

Stats: This 1977 film was made for 4 million dollars, won an Oscar for best picture and grossed more than 38 million dollars. I don't give IMBD's ranking all that much credit, but they list it as an 8.1 out of 10.
Sim says SEE THIS MOVIE especially if you will be tested over it or just have any interest in film.