23 February 2012

Woody Allen

I've been catching up on Woody Allen's latest movies recently via iTunes - on the premise that a trip to the cinema was too expensive and time-consuming to be worth the risk. I'm not sure which is worse - Midnight in Paris or Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Both are pathetically self-indulgent, full of cliches, and predictably referential to an astonishing degree

Midnight in Paris opens with a series of amazingly unimaginative shots of Paris that come straight from tourist postcards. The conceit of the main character stepping out of one time zone to mix with Hemingway, Scott-Fitzgerald, Picasso, et al in the 1920s is milked ad nauseam and to no real end.

We learn nothing from this magical slippage, and neither does the protagonist as he exits the film with a new conquest and his prospective in-laws left abandoned in another fictional realm

Vicky Cristina Barcelona is an old man's wet dream. Having wisely decided not to feature himself as the male lead in his fictions, Allen substitutes Javier Bardem - who just happens to seduce not one American female tourist, but her friend as well. And he happens to be married. But no matter: when the wife turns up she accomodatingly accepts the arrangements, and so he then enjoys a menage a trois. This is sheer authorial wish-fulfilment of the most juvenile kind

It's all a long way from the serious achievements of Interiors, Another Woman, September,  and Crimes and Misdemeanours.


Mary Alice said...

I couldn't agree more about these two films. And that's before we start on the phoney accents and cheap and inaccurate representations of Europe, whether that be 19th or 21st Century.

Chocolate box Paris is something we can really do without from Allen. 'A Yankee in King Arthur's Court' was a far superior such time- shift film that celebrated magic without the coyly smug allusions to cultural icons recognised mainly by left wing elitists.

Come on Woody! You made a right Annie Hall's of this one! let's see more of the serious stuff or pack it in. Even your laurels are wearing thin!

MANTEX said...

Blimey! "A Yankee in King Arthur's Court" - you must certainly be over twenty-one Mary Alice. But just as a point of interest, how would laurels wear thin?