Woody Allen: Film by Film Thread

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by RayS, Aug 29, 2015.

  1. stepeanut

    stepeanut Only the innocent can lie with conviction

    I’ve only seen the film once, and couldn’t recall the name of the character. If it’s Mrs Weinstein then yes, that’s a problem. Still, the accent itself didn’t stand out as poor enough to take me out of the scene.
     
  2. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    If you watched it without the subtitles setting in "Forced", it's worth seeing again. At minimum, watch the Swedish scene again, "Forced". :)
     
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  3. stepeanut

    stepeanut Only the innocent can lie with conviction

    The default setting is with the subtitles enabled. That’s how I watched it.
     
  4. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    I had a different experience with the viewing program I used, so I had to double back to watch the Swedish scene again. All good. :)
     
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  5. mike s in nyc

    mike s in nyc Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york, NY
    All interesting thoughts! In some ways, this film is a bit of a 'victory lap/greatest hits' thing for Woody, something his long-time fans (like most of us here, frankly) will have some fun with... and let's be honest, he's probably not getting much of a 'new' audience these days anyway, so why not play to 'us', right? (we can all hope for one more mainstream masterpiece, but don't hold yer breath, i guess?) .

    I didn't have a problem with the 'spanish accent' with the teacher, probably because, frankly, there were bigger 'this wouldn't happen in real life' problems all the way thru, tho as said earlier , didnt stop me from enjoying it (tho yeah, its not 'one of his great ones, of course!)

    Someone mentioned Bob Dylan (and yeah, i'm a big fan as well) and in some ways its a bit like some of his recent stuff- I don't imagine tons of 'new' fans for Dylan's 2020 album 'rough and rowdy ways', but the folks who have been there listening to bob for a long long time will be diggin' it. (not an exact comparison, tho- Dylan's recent stuff, compared to Woody's in terms of their respective overall output, I think Bob wins that one, and I bet has pulled in some new fans. (and here's a question, have the two ever crossed paths?) .

    Did anyone get the sort of 'flashback to Annie Hall' in that segment with that bit about the couple in bed, and 'do they smoke a joint or not' bit (or was I just imagining that scene?) And of course yeah, the 'lester' character in Hannah, the film festival setting of 'stardust memories', the flashbacks here and there, all from the Woody toolbox. I loved the 'old classic cinema' bits, actually, and wished there were even more of them. (That "Kane" one with the kid playing with the sled out the window was one of the best)

    One last thing about the prior one 'Rainy Day'- seems a number of folks here really disliked Timothee C.'s acting- it took two viewings and some serious suspension of disbelief to get the 'woody-specific' dialogue coming from a 20-year old character, but I thought Timothee C did a great job- and in general, he's a fine actor. Known perhaps most for 'call me by your name' but I'd also recommend 'beautiful boy' in which he plays a young man (based on a real story of a father and son) with drug problems, etc. But I digress...
     
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  6. mike s in nyc

    mike s in nyc Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york, NY
    Finally, as a kind of PS, but tangentially related to Woody, has anyone seen the film "Shiva Baby"-- a wild, disturbing yet funny-as-hell ride, with the faces all photographed in extreme close-up just like 'stardust memories'. Very '-ish' which is to say some will love it (I did)... and some will hate it.
     
  7. stepeanut

    stepeanut Only the innocent can lie with conviction

    This loving tribute from Allen is as close as they ever came, I think:



    Bob reciprocated with “Song to Woody”, of course.
     
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  8. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    If Woody's claim of never watching his old movies is true, perhaps he forgot he even did the scene in "Annie Hall" that the scene in "Rifkin's Festival" clearly echoes.
     
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  9. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Where is Rifkin’s Festival available to watch?
     
  10. stepeanut

    stepeanut Only the innocent can lie with conviction

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  11. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    On the sinister “dark web.” You have to sign a non-disclosure agreement to watch it, too. ;)
     
  12. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    I'm going to throw out a few more thoughts on this now that others have been able to see it. As others have mentioned, there are plenty of bits to gripe about here. I noticed the "cardiologist" sign outside the Dr.'s office as well on my 2nd viewing and had the same issues as Ray about going back for hearing and/or skin issues.
    However, the "I want the opinion of a qualified medical professional" might have been my favorite joke in the film. Flashbacks to McLuhan.
    A couple of the stupidest things were small things for me. "Let me buy you a drink": cut to ONLY the Dr. having a drink and our hero just sitting at the table. Who does that? Shortly afterwards, Doc says she's feeling tired, puts her head down and is instantaneously asleep. Ludicrous! Woody in his prime wouldn't have had such sloppiness (or would he?).

    Perhaps I'm being too lenient but, like @smilin ed, I enjoyed this film overall. I really like the framework/structure of it. To me, it hearkens back to the types of films that are my favorite Woody films: where there are some flights of fancy involved (time travel, dream sequences, "magical realism"). In his prime, I think this could have been a great film. I mentioned to Ray that I enjoy watching those old "Woody Allen Specials" from the late 60s on youtube. You see glimpses of the brilliance to come, even if there are sometimes flaws that bring things down just a bit. That Woody Allen/Candice Bergen sketch is comedy gold, if you've never seen it! Similarly, I look at Rifkin and love the ideas, even if the 85-year old director is maybe not executing as well as he once did.

    I've seen a few Bergman films, Jules & Jim, Bicycle Thief and a handful of others, but I'm not as up-to-speed as I should be, so the specific references to classic Euro films are somewhat over my head. My only Fellini film viewing is "Stardust Memories." :D But Woody usually has things in his films that are over my head, so I'm ok with that. :) Like mike mentioned above, this was almost a "greatest hits" film for Woody. I, too, thought the bedroom scene was straight out of Annie Hall. And the director echoed Lester. And the Spanish lover's quarrel echoed Vicki Christina Barcelona. And I think there was a reference to a French boulevard in the rain.

    But we're used to that, right? As much as I like Match Point, I mark it down for being a lesser version of Crimes & Misdemeanors. I'm not as big a fan of Everyone Says I Love You as most, and that's largely because a major plot point is recycled straight out of Another Woman (which I find a better film). The nods to previous Allen works in this film - whether intentional or not - were slighter to me than those "steals" so I'm not marking down for that.

    I thought there were plenty of decent jokes (and a few awful ones) in the film. I won't spoil them here for the handful of folks who stumble upon this thread, but there was one that I don't think was even meant to be that funny, but it was an LOL moment for me. When asked about a potential threesome; Mort suggests his brother's wife would be his choice. Woody just never get societal norms, does he?
    :biglaugh:
     
  13. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    One other OT thing: was amused to see @stepeanut point out that many of us are Dylan fans here. And we’re not talking casual fans. I’ve only seen Bob 26 times and I know some of you guys can beat that handily. I have all his released music and I think I’m not alone in that. Funny coincidence.
     
  14. mike s in nyc

    mike s in nyc Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york, NY
    26 is respectable! when was your first show? I'm somewhere between 75 and 80 shows (starting in 1978, so I've had 41 years or so!) , so yeah, well beyond casual, but I know several people who have seen him 200 or 300!

    And back to Woody, first 'film of his seen in a movie theater the week it was released? 'love and death' (ha, almost said love and theft!) in 1975.

    One of my great "Woody-I've seen but few have" moments is seeing, in about 1980 at Lincoln Center, a production of the play "Floating light bulb' with bea arthur. great stuff, too bad they didn't film it at the time. A bit semi[autobiographical, perhaps (the young kid besotted with doing magic tricks to make sense out of a crazy universe..)
     
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  15. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    Mighty Aphrodite: “Children grow up, they move out! Sometimes to ridiculous places like Cincinnati, or Boise, Idaho!”

    That’s me! Been in Boise since ‘99 and Seattle prior to that (after college: 1987-1999). The West is BIG! If someone doesn’t play here, the most likely alternate cities are SLC (a 5hr drive), Portland (6.5hrs) or Seattle (just under 8hrs). And Bob frequently skips the Pacific NW altogether on his tours. So my first show was ‘88 and most recent was ‘16, but I’ve had to TRAVEL for most of those. Last June three shows were announced in the OR/WA area (on my birthday weekend, no less!) but you can guess what happened...

    Despite that, I’ve had a one-on-one encounter w/Bob and two w/Woody! Not bad for living in the boondocks!
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
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  16. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    Yes, as you say, there are reminders of 5 or 6 of his previous films, and probably more if we tried a little harder to find them. But hey, John Fogerty can't help but write John Fogerty songs either. :)
     
  17. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    I don't know that it's a coincidence. I'd wager that the positive correlation between Dylan fans and Allen fans is statistically significant. And maybe even higher for Leonard Cohen and Woody Allen.

    I "retired" from Dylan concerts in 2006 after 60 or so shows. I've seen every film Woody's ever made and/or been in in any significant way, so that number has to hover around 60 as well. Not to sound haughty or self-congratulatory, but I believe their work attracts intellectuals and pseudo-/semi-intellectuals, urbanites, and liberals - you know - New York, Jewish, left-wing, liberal, intellectual, Central Park West, Brandeis University, the socialist summer camps ...
     
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  18. stepeanut

    stepeanut Only the innocent can lie with conviction

    That was wonderful. I love being reduced to a cultural stereotype.

    I’m an urbanite, and you can sign me up for semi-intellectual, I guess, but I don’t relate to those other tags at all. Then again, I’m not an American, so I don’t feel the need to fall into the usual Conservative or Liberal partisan lines that define and divide your society. I did live in New Orleans, LA, for seven years, though.

    I own every film Woody has made available on either BD or DVD, including all his key actor-for-hire performances, but that forms only a part of a much larger film collection. There are a couple of dozen more directors, at least, where I own their complete filmographies.

    As for Dylan, I remain a keen collector of everything he does, with a focus these days on vintage, high-end rarities. I, too, am retired from seeing him perform live. My last time was 2009, but in truth I lost interest in 2003, when he made the switch to playing keyboards onstage.
     
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  19. smilin ed

    smilin ed Forum Resident

    Location:
    Durham
    Count me in.
     
  20. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    This might be old news, but "A Rainy Day in New York" is currently streaming "free" as part of Amazon Prime, at least in the USA.

    And an intriguing interview snippet provided on the Woody Allen Pages:

    "I have a script ready and shooting was scheduled for last summer in Paris, but the pandemic has changed everything. We will go back when possible. All I can say is that it is a film that moves along the same lines as Match Point."
     
  21. stepeanut

    stepeanut Only the innocent can lie with conviction

  22. John Lucey

    John Lucey Forum Resident

    I finally got to see Rifkin’s Festival so my reactions are fairly fresh. And I definitely don’t disagree with some of the more negative thoughts or criticism on this page—it’s just that those flaws didn’t bother me as much.

    As I told Mr. Jinks, I enjoyed the movie more than I didn’t. Some of the scenes are incredibly clunky and I kept thinking, “maybe another take of this scene would have worked better?” But I also found myself incredibly comforted by the movie. Is that really a bad thing? And keep in mind, Husbands and Wives is one of my favorite movies ever and that is hella uncomfortable.

    I also thought Shawn was great in some scenes and almost sleepwalking through others. He had an amazing delivery on some of his one-liners and he is pretty moving in some of the final scenes.

    All in all, I thought that the acting was great, it looked beautiful and I really enjoyed the music.

    I did find Anaya to be captivating and it’s very believable that Mort (or anyone) would be taken with her. I also liked the way her story played out (no spoiler).

    I laughed many times during the movie and yes, some of the jokes were misfires. I liked all of the old movie homages though the last one was the only one to make me laugh. And I laughed a lot at that one.

    I will definitely watch it again and probably like it more the second time around…I usually do with his films.

    So where does that leave me? It’s definitely later day Woody. I liked it more than Rainy Day, Wonder Wheel or Cafe Society but quality-wise, it’s in the same ballpark as all of those for me. (I know that some of you like Wonder Wheel and I still need to watch it a second time). I’d watch it again. Heck, the only one that another rewatch gives me serious pause is Anything Else.

    I’ll read some of the other comments and reply back.

    Thank you all—I really enjoy our community here.

    John
     
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  23. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    I watched “A Rainy Day in New York” again yesterday, and I still like it much better than “Rifkin’s Festival”. A matter of taste I guess.
     
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  24. John Lucey

    John Lucey Forum Resident

    You may be right about that. The more I think about Rainy Day in comparison to Rifkin, I might prefer it too. All this talk just gives me more reasons to watch more Woody movies!
     
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  25. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    Has anyone else given the "Woody Allen Pages" first podcast a spin?

    The Woody Allen Pages

    It's on my favorite film, "Crimes and Misdemeanors", so it had my attention. Needless to say I'd love to see the scrapped footage from the Cliff half of the film, including Sean Young's deleted role. I assume Woody summarily destroyed it, though.
     

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