Film The Guardian's asking readers to suggest what they're favourite Woody Allen film is so they can have some free content over the next couple of days. Since it's an impossible question, since I began this, I decided that although there are films I could have chosen for personal reasons with stories, that I'd go unsung. Here we are then in their required two hundred odd words:
What's your favourite Woody Allen film?
Melinda and Melinda
At the time it felt like a purposeful summation before he cut ties with New York and a particular way of telling stories, an experimental goodbye to all that, and a thank you to his fans for paying attention to his career so far, because it’s mostly the fans who’ll notice the many intertextual reference he’s included, I think on purpose. The structure, comedy playing off against tragedy reminds us of Hannah and Her Sisters, Celebrity and Crimes and Misdemeaners but in much sharper relief. As is always the case up until then, the comedy is underscored by jazz numbers all if which have appeared in his previous films, the tragedy by classical music. He’s also still writing for his older acting company even if the actors are new. Listen to the rhythms and you realise that Radha Mitchell, who’s superb incidentally, is essentially playing a Mia Farrow like figure in the comedy, but Judy Davis in the tragedy. Will Ferrell’s his avatar, Johnny Lee Miller filling the Tony Roberts role. He also returns to many of the same locations of the past and utilises them in scenes which are either thematically similar or sometimes the opposite. Amazing.
All of which reminds me that I really have to get around to watching From Rome With Love. But I'm only half way through Torchwood's CofE and I still have four seasons of Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood's Miracle Day and the Moffat era of Doctor Who to get through before November 23rd first. Like so many other things, it will have to wait.