We Were Movie Gangsters

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Miranda’s Favorites: 1. Annie Hall

By Miranda (missjazzage)

Endearing, sweet, subtle, and reflective, this film holds all the elements that allow me to say “Yes, yes this is my film.” I’m not quite sure how to describe it, but when you watch a certain movie there is something about it that appeals to very part of your personality that it, in essence, IS your personality. If that’s not true for you, then it is for me. Actually most of the films on this list I feel about the same but Annie Hall does so more than the others.

I was completely engrossed in this film right from the very moment it began when it started. The first thing the viewer sees is a medium close-up shot of Alvy Singer (Woody Allen), placed in front of a tarnished gold backdrop, he tells two jokes that describes him and then proceeds to tell the audience in essence what the film is about: his relationship with Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). Even in these first few minutes, Singer’s personality shows and the viewer already can begin to characterize his being. The only thing we know about Annie at that moment is that she is completely different from Alvy’s personality.

And, indeed, Annie Hall is completely different than Alvy. The viewer is given an introduction to Alvy’s early life and into his present day life. Where Alvy is paranoid, cultured, and a bit judgmental, Annie is relaxed, naive, and open to new things. I suppose one way to contrast the two is in their clothing: Annie wears the loose fitting clothing (especially the outfit known as the “Annie Hall” look) and Alvy wears more fit clothes. I would believe that in one way it would express their personalties while also expressing the contrast of the two.

Overall the two of them are on such different levels from one another that they can’t be together.

A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark.

They don’t move forward because together they cannot function. It still makes me sad to be honest. In that last scene where they’re saying good-bye. The sun is setting and, rather than being up close with Alvy and Annie, the camera is inside a restaurant looking out onto Alvy and Annie saying good-bye. This indicates the end of their relationship and that perhaps the true good-bye is almost too painful and sad to watch. The lingering of Alvy watching Annie walk away, the crosswalk’s signal “DON’T WALK” and Alvy’s short, lower tone of voice evokes the true love and emotion he has for Annie. Then, once Alvy leaves the frame and the story is Annie and Alvy is complete, the crosswalk changes to “WALK.”

After watching a few of Allen’s other movies, I feel that this one is truly a masterpiece. It’s quirky unity somehow seems to fit nice and snug that the viewer is satisfied with the overall form. I highly recommend this film to any person new to film as I believe, especially for those who’ve experienced their first love, could relate. For me however, I don’t think that’ll be for quite some time! :)