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Archive for August 29th, 2009

hannah 1

(USA 1986 105m) DVD1/2

E.E.Cummings, page 112

p  Robert Greenhut  d/w  Woody Allen  ph  Carlo di Palma  ed  Susan E.Morse  m  various  art  Stuart Wurtzel

Woody Allen (Mickey Sachs), Mia Farrow (Hannah), Michael Caine (Elliot), Dianne Wiest (Holly), Carrie Fisher (April), Barbara Hershey (Lee), Lloyd Nolan (Evan), Maureen O’Sullivan (Norma), Max Von Sydow (Frederick), Daniel Stern (Dusty), Sam Waterston (David Tolchin), Tony Roberts, Julie Kavner, J.T.Walsh, John Turturro,

As soon as one sees those plain white credits on a black background accompanied by instrumental versions of old ditties we know we’re back in Woody territory.  To be honest, his directly previous run of films, from A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy through Zelig, Broadway Danny Rose and The Purple Rose of Cairo were quite underwhelming.  But perhaps they were necessary steps on the way to this, his third – and to date last – masterpiece, seven years after his second, Manhattan.  Like all his best films, it’s a homage and love letter to so many things, a nod to everything from Bergman to Chekhov, and a billet doux to his beloved Manhattan.  Its intricate, delicately plotted narrative is worthy of Dickens, let alone Chekhov, but its depiction of a close-knit family and their overlapping love affairs is quite delicious, if faintly incestuous when analysed in full.  A film summed up perfectly by Barry Norman as “not exactly a comedy, but a very funny drama.” (more…)

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