A black-and-white film about – surprise! – death and the (mostly futile) meaning of life, Stardust Memories is the story of a director named Sandy Bates (Woody Allen) who decides he’s tired of being funny and – at the urging of his handlers/studio execs – attends a retrospective of his work that pushes him to confront far more serious aspects of life.
“I look around the world and all I see is human suffering,” Sandy tells his handlers.
Full of odd camera angles, shadows, surrealistic imagery, grotesque faces, sometimes in extreme close-up, and uproarious laughter in inappropriate places, Stardust Memories was directed by a middle-aged (45-year-old) Woody – and it shows. This is his most introspective, self-conscious, and anhedonic film to date. And forty-five is about the right age to think such thoughts. So why not?
Frankly, this movie is the cinematic equivalent of rock stars (like Robert Plant) who leave a wildly popular band and then seem to show nothing but disdain for what he accomplished, which is a massive slap in the face to the band’s fans.
In this movie, Woody seems to say to everyone – especially critics – that comedic filmmaking is bullshit and his fans are asshats for thinking they’re otherwise.
Somewhere along the way during Continue reading