auteur theory and analysis of woody allen and his manhattan

auteur theory and analysis of woody allen and his manhattan...

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Lauren Claret Theoretical Essay: Auteur Theory and Analysis of Woody Allen and His Manhattan After his sci-fi slapstick Sleeper and the intellectual comedy of Love and Death , Woody Allen turned forty. This milestone in his life was probably related to introspective nature of his next few films. He released a film in 1972 that would define the term “romantic comedy” for many filmmakers, critics, and fans. Annie Hall began Allen’s “mature” phase as audiences watched him work out his neuroses out on the big screen, as well as their own. After going for full dramatic effect in Interiors , Allen returned to the style of Annie Hall and made Manhattan , a black and white picture of life and relationships that was no doubt just as personal as Annie Hall . Blake even suggests that “ Annie Hall seems merely a rough draft for the much stronger Manhattan ” (77). Allen has said that Manhattan is "a mixture of what [he] was trying to do with Annie Hall and Interiors ” (Girgus, 58). Each of the characters in Manhattan represents and aspect of the city that Allen’s character, Isaac, muses about in the opening shots. Much has been made of the idea that this movie is solely a valentine to Woody’s favorite city, but, like Annie Hall , it says so much more about what in the past and future humans worry about and what we look for in all of our relationships and the city of Manhattan is a perfect metaphor. Filmed effectively in black and white, the movie is sandwiched between two montage shots of Manhattan set to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” Bailey notes that the cinematic framing of the cityscape in long shots evokes a “romantically inflationary distance” (48). In other words, it is easy to idealize New York City from this distance. Girgus’s book The Films of Woody Allen is a useful compendium to Manhattan . One of his more palatable opinions is that the opening montage conveys Allen’s and Isaac’s celebration of the magnificence of Manhattan’s “unnatural, urban setting” (Girgus, 47). But, Isaac, whom the audience first hears narrating the montage as possible openings for his book, puts forth two different ideals: the tough, romantic New York and the “metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture.” Isaac says in the final re-write of “chapter one” that “New York was his town and always would be.” But, which version of New York is Isaac’s town?
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Lauren Claret Theoretical Essay: Auteur Theory and Analysis of Woody Allen and His
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