Welcome, reader! According to Antony Hegarty in this second decade of the new century our future is determined. What will it be? Stays all the same and do we sink away in the mud or is something new coming up? In this blog I try to follow new cultural developments.

Welkom, lezer! Volgens Antony Hegarty leven we in bijzondere tijden. In dit tweede decennium van de eenentwintigste eeuw worden de lijnen uitgezet naar de toekomst. Wat wordt het? Blijft alles zoals het is en zakken we langzaam weg in het moeras van zelfgenoegzaamheid of gloort er ergens iets nieuws aan de horizon? In dit blog volg ik de ontwikkelingen op de voet. Als u op de hoogte wilt blijven, kunt u zich ook aanmelden als volger. Schrijven is een avontuur en bloggen is dat zeker. Met vriendelijke groet, Rein Swart.

Laat ik zeggen dat literaire kritiek voor mij geen kritiek is, zolang zij geen kritiek is op het leven zelf. Rudy Cornets de Groot.

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rage at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Dylan Thomas.

Het is juist de roman die laat zien dat het leven geen roman is. Bas Heijne.

In het begin was het Woord, het Woord was bij God en het Woord was God. Johannes.

maandag 18 juli 2011

Movie review: Annie Hall (1977), Woody Allen

A most charming movie, typical for the seventies.

I was delighted to see Annie Hall again, one of my favorite movies in the seventies. Although there are elements in it that are oldfashioned now - like all those flashbacks about older relationships that might have been necessary to give Annie Hall more weight - the heartbeat of the movie - the relationship between Alfy Singer and Annie Hall - is still very alive. I still remembered that great scene in which the lovely and insecure Annie has a conversation with Alfy after playing tennis. It was the first time they met, Alfy was invited to play by his friend Rob. Anyway, Annie doesn’t know how to make contact with Alfy who is busy with this tennisbag. She says Hi and after some laughing her next word is Bye, but he keeps her standing a few times. She asks him for a lift, although she has got a car and Alfy came by cab. She says she is going downtown but has to go uptown. Annies insecurity is so clear, that it was overdone to let her drive with fast speed in her VW car.

Before we got to know Alfy already. He speaks to us before the movie starts and explains about himself in a humoristic way, about being neurotic and also about being Jewish. We see him as a young boy with his mother at the doctors. This mother complaints that he doesn’ t do his homework. Alfy says that the universe is expanding and one day it will explode. ‘That is not a reason not to do your homework,’ his mother answers. Later in his life Alvy became a screenplay writer and sees a psycho-analyst three times a week for fifteen years.

Annie is really astonished when she hears about that, when they drink a glass of wine in her appartment after having arrived there safely (see photo), but she doesn’t have a judgement and that is probably why Alfy is so fond of her. He is full of judgementsm, not only negative ones. Annie sings in a café but not so well, and Alfy encourages her. Alfy says to Annie in a bookstore that there are two sorts of people, those who are horrilbe like the blind etcetera and those he are miserable. They may be glad that they belong to the second group.

We see a typical seventies atmosphere about relationships, in which the partners not want to make a commitment. After a while Annie wants to move in with Alfy, but Alfy doesn’t like that. Alfa wants to have more sex than Annie and tries to seduce her with romantic red light in the bedroom and gives her a sexy costume as a present. Annie however more and more doesn’t react the way he wants. She takes classes in adult education because Alfy insists, but when her teachers like her, Alfy is jealous. Alfy also stimulates her to see a psychiatrist. Her progress is very quick. Their splitting up has a lot to do with her analysis. She has become more herself. As a singer Annie is invited (by a musicmaker played by Paul Simon) to come to L.A. to make a record of her songs, but Alfy is hooked to new York and doesn’t like to go to the West. Finally they go their because his friend Rob moved there. Back in N. Y. Annie decides to go back to L. A. They divide their books and split up as friends. Alfy is directing a play in which two actors copy their last conversation but with a happy end.

A funny element in the movie is that Alfie sometimes speaks directly to the audience and even solves problems. One day Alfy and Annie want to go to a movie. Alfy doesn’t want to go to a Bergman movie with Liv Ulmann because they are two minutes too late. In another movietheatre they wait in a row. A man behind him is speaking very loudly to the woman next to him in a negeative way about Fellini. Alfy is annoyed. When the man starts to criticize Marshal mcluhan Alfa confronts him with the mediaguru who stands in the hallway all at the sudden. Alfy also speaks to people on the street to ask about their relationship. A couple says they are just very boring and that is the way they keep up with eachother.

Annie Hall still is Woody Allen at his best as can be heard in this quote: “Love is too weak a word for what I feel — I luuurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F’s, yes I have to invent, of course I do, don’t you think I do?”
—Alvy to Annie.

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