Annie Hall (Allen, 1977)

Near perfection. Probably Woody Allen’s greatest film, a giant amongst a canon of monumental work. Watching Annie Hall for the umpteenth viewing, it’s the first time I noticed the fact his patented white credits on black background are not accompanied by music, which is rare for Woody, even more startling when you realize how much energy the rest of the film contains.

Woody’s sly mixture of reflexive voice-over, his self-address to the camera, brilliant performances all around, especially by the perfect Diane Keaton, all add up to what I now believe to be one of the most enjoyable film experiences. I could go on for days about Woody’s use of color, especially in his sunset shots with Annie, the New York skyline or ocean in the background, both to mystify relationship nostalgia and parallel the sadness of breaking up, personified by Woody’s rebellion against the L.A. policeman at the end.

It speaks volumes about men and women attempting to figure each other out, yet feels so amazingly tight as a narrative; nothing is outside the realm of Alvy Singer’s (Woody) mental domain, and the film will always be a fascinating place to visit.

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