Monday, April 02, 2007

New Look

Do you like my new look?

I'm emerging from my month of death by insane, dysfunctional, impossible, challenging case from hell. I'm still processing what I've taken from this experience, which are mostly good lessons. But because talking about that is boring and depressing, I will tackle more interesting subjects, such as:

Why I hate Annie Hall.

First and foremost, it's a vehicle for pretension and self-definition. Any cinematic or cultural value the movie has is destroyed by the sheer number of faux-intellectual poseurs and self-defining hipsters who try to use it as a way to tell, rather than show, their interesting intellectualism. Get over yourselves, fuckers. I challenge someone to actually articulate to me why the movie is so great, aside from giving faux-intellectuals the opportunity to wink at each other and out-clamor each other on which little intellectual gem they picked up on as being in on Woody's joke. I mean really, people. Does making sure everyone around you knows that you picked up on the Fellini reference somehow make you smart? You know, you can love movies like Coming to America or American Pie and still be smart. You can also find movies like Annie Hall repellant and still be smart. Just like what you like because you actually like it and not for some other disingenuous reason and be done with it!

As part of my challenge, tell me, what technical cinematic qualities were great? What about it opened up or defined the genre? What was particularly new or telling about the acting or the characters? And no, Annie Hall's cool, iconic, menswear style of dress does not count, because that was all Diane Keaton, and had nothing to do with Woody Allen's direction.

Second, I just could not relate to it on any level. I realize this is a weak point, as a great movie is not defined by the audience's ability to relate to it. But I fully acknowledge the greatness of movies to which I cannot relate at all, or in fact disliked, including The Godfather I and II, Goodfellas, Midnight Cowboy, Raging Bull, and Kill Bill Vol. 1. Truly, I don't know why Alvie and Annie clicked, or why they were so attracted to each other. It seemed more a vehicle for Woody Allen to declare to the world why he is misunderstood and to explain why he really is a catch for intellectual, kooky women. This is in contrast to When Harry Met Sally, which to me is the great defining romantic comedy. You get why Harry and Sally loved each other, and why they worked. There are some similarities between the two movies. The major difference is this one is good.

Third, and perhaps least important due to its total subjectivity (as opposed to the rest of this post), it beat Star Wars for best picture in 1977! The nerve! As far as cultural relevance goes, I find Star Wars to be far more lasting and relevant. Give me a great space opera over a self-defining kooky intellectual comedy any day.


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