Chiefs Culture Challenge: Annie Hall

I don’t know how I had never seen Annie Hall, either, before you ask.  I’m somewhat ashamed of myself, to be honest, but glad I was forced to remedy this in our latest edition of the Culture Challenge.  An excellent choice by Jason.  My real-time thoughts of the movie are as follows…

——

I like having Woody Allen face us right away. Feels like we’re kind of intimately linked to the character. Is he conscious of the movie of his life?  This is slightly bizarre. Are all the characters now talking straight to the camera?

I know why I like this so far, this is just a 8-minute version of Curb Your Enthusiasm. That must be why Jason picked it.

I totally sympathize with Woody Allen for not wanting to go in to the movie after two minutes. I hate doing that too. Nicely done, Woody.

The dialogue in this movie theatre scene is just exceptional. This is an absolutely amazing scene. I could watch this about ten times over.

“Why are you so hostile?” “Because I want to watch the Knicks on television.” Woody has an early onset case of Linsanity.

So does the kid on the left.

“What’d you do, grow up in a Norman Rockwell painting?”

This initial visit to Annie’s house is just about the most awkward encounter of all-time. In fact, I have no idea why Alvy is still there. Still sort of endearing, though.

“I have bad plumbing and bugs.”  “You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

Christopher Walken is here! Just tremendous. Woody Allen in a rabbi outfit! Nearly as tremendous.

“Well, I have to go now, Dwayne, I’m due back on the planet Earth.”

The only thing Annie Hall is missing.

Woody stopping random people on the street is amazing. I love when he meets the couple who admits they are shallow and empty.

“Darling, I’ve been killing spiders since I was 30.”

Hapy to see Alvy and Annie get back together. Didn’t think I would care that much about this fake romantic relationship.

It took an hour and seven minutes, but Paul Simon is here and I am thrilled. I saw his name in the opening credits. Paul Simon makes everything better.

I imagine the scene where Woody Allen sneezes and blows the cocaine everywhere was the first of its kind, since I have feel like I have seen that at least three other times.

Woody Allen calling the laugh track “immoral” is amazing. And I totally agree.

Case in point.

I’m not taking many notes because I’m just soaking in all the great lines. But Paul Simon’s character going to the Grammys is a funny little self-aware touch. Speaking of funny, Woody Allen trying to drive.

——

What a great movie.  There is no action here, no great sense of adventure, no plot twist, no one memorable scene, no overuse of music, no slow-motion – just lots of talking.  I don’t know if I’ve seen five movies in my life with better dialogue than Annie Hall.  I certainly can’t think of one off the top of my head.  I was unfairly upset at Annie Hall for a bit since it unfairly beat out Star Wars for Best Picture at the 1978 Oscars (and let’s face it, nothing should have beat out Star Wars) but it’s absolutely a deserving winner as well.I’ll probably buy this one.  Woody’s latest, Midnight in Paris, was my favorite film of 2011, and this is certainy a notch up on Midnight in Paris.  Thoroughly enjoyable.

Hey, speaking of Midnight in Paris

From Woody Allen to Woody Allen we go.  Jason, you get the 2011 version of the world’s most neurotic director for next week.  Bonne chance.

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