Once a year I hope for, but don’t expect, a movie to lift me away and envelop me. You may think it’s sad that I only expect one movie a year to do this to me, but I’m not talking about simple enjoyment, because I enjoy many movies. I’m talking about that feeling, a change that you perceive in the world when you’ve stepped out of the theatre. The movie continues on as you drive down the street or walk up the sidewalk. There’s something intangible or heightened. That’s how I felt after walking out of Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.
Posts Tagged ‘Woody Allen’
Woody Allen… In Vicky Cristina Barcelona he writes some of the best dialogue he’s written in years. His words roll from the mouths of these beautiful and talented actors and you wonder perhaps, maybe this was improvised, but it wasn’t.
Allen’s dabblings into commitment-phobes, people whose desires and passions are more their worst enemies than inspiration for greatness, has truly been sparked by the passion and romance he may have found in Spain. Unlike his usual still camera work, the camera here wanders in and out of focus and sways gently back and forth sometimes catching the actors’ faces just on the edge of the screen. Watching this film is like having a perpetual buzz from a delicious wine.
It’s been a week since I’ve seen Woody Allen’s new effort Cassandra’s Dream and I still remember the two main character’s names, Terry (Colin Farrell) and Ian (Ewan McGregor). Not because these brothers are really that memorable, it’s because they say each other’s names so many times there’s no possible way you could forget. It’s “Terry this”, “Terry that”, “What are you doing Terry?”, “Terry you’re not thinking Terry.” And a lot of this comes in one conversation.
Obviously a little exaggerated, but at a certain point it starts to feel unnatural. You begin to feel that these aren’t two human beings you’re watching, but constructs. A way for Allen to deal with the things he finds to be most interesting; goddless world, murder, death, sex, obsession, ambition, love…and how all of these things can corrupt or at least become rationalizations for corruption. And there’s some decent rationalizing done.
There’s a lot of repetition used as filler. We get certain things that we’re still hearing about two scenes later. Then sudddenly you’re cuaght up in what’s happening. It’s back and forth, in and out. Unrewarding then thrilling. And I have a feeling that Allen knows this. There are pieces of dialogue that point directly to him knowing this. It’s fine that he wants to be clever about it, but that doesn’t mean it works entirely. So much of it comes down to, how much do we like these characters?