Jen Yih1 Comment

Film: Woody Allen Starter Pack

Jen Yih1 Comment
Film: Woody Allen Starter Pack

Woody Allen

is one of the most controversial people in Hollywood.

If you don't know who Woody is, well, he made a grand debut in 1965 in his first screenplay called What's New Pussy Cat? Since then he's written, directed, and even starred in 45+ feature films that debut around the world. On the dark side of things, there's lawsuits & chatter about him being a pedophile. So is he, or isn't he a pedophile? An article from Monster Children sums it up quite well. Read more there on that. 

I'm in love with Woody Allen's narcissistic, pessimistic, pretentious yet romantic and magical films no matter what way you slice it. From the first time I ever saw Vicky Cristina Barcelona, I was hooked. Maybe because I'm self-absorbed and truly felt like I could relate to Vicky and Cristina at the same time, or maybe, I was Penelope Cruz or was I the struggling artist? But that's just it, Woody's characters are either talking about sex, love, art, or the meaning of life. All of them are struggling with one or all of those topics, wondering if the meaning of life is purposeful at all or maybe just short sprints of bliss via long conversations over wine, entertainment by the arts, sex, and fleeting love. 

I stumbled on a Woody Allen and Philosophy book at Powell's in downtown Portland and was happy to discover that many philosophers agreed with me.

"Other than sex and art, the one thing that the characters in Allen's movies talk about most is the meaning of life, in one form or another. So, throughout Allen's body of films and writing, is there a consistent position on the meaning and value of life that's expressed by his characters? Despite all the jokes and gags in his work, the focus on romantic love, and the desire and struggle of his characters for self-expression through art, I think the answer is yes, there is a position on the issue and it's that life is inherently and utterly meaningless. In September for example, Lloyd, a physicist, explains to Peter what he does for a living. He didn't work on the atomic bomb, he tells Peter, but rather on 'Something much more terrifying than blowing up the planet.' Peter asks, 'Is there anything more terrifying than the destruction of the world?" Lloyd replies: 'Yeah - the knowledge that it doesn't matter one way or the other, that it's all random, radiating aimlessly out of nothing, and eventually vanishing forever. I'm not talking about the world. I'm talking about the universe. All space, all time, just a temporary convulsion. And I get paid to prove it."

Other than the fallacy and mockery he makes of life, Woody is a romantic to the core so at least he believes in love and art. Each film is beautifully captured from the winding streets of Rome to charming cafes in Paris, his films will take you on a world tour, reconfirm your own curiosities, allow you to fall in and out of love, and typically just under 90 minutes. 

Movies for You

Vicky Cristina Barcelona :: a story of two best friends that travel to Barcelona for the summer. 

To Rome with Love :: multiple love stories intertwined together, showcasing all the nuances and romantic alleyways in Roma. 

Midnight in Paris :: Owen Wilson steps back in time to meet the greats in one of the richest cities in the world. 

Magic in the Moonlight :: Socialite, Emma Stone is magic and wonder. 

Cafe Society :: A real life love story, it's not always about happy endings.

Purple Rose of Cairo :: stretches the lines between real life and cinema. 

Annie Hall :: who doesn't love Diane Keaton?