21 Dec 2009

Love And Death

This may be my favourite Woody Allen film. Love And Death is a homage and send up of the epic Russian literature of the like of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy. You don't know anything literature? Neither do I and most people who have seen this but its make no difference. This is laugh out loud from beginning to end.

Allen is the odd one out in a world of glorious Russian stereotypes and Napoleon's invasion of the Motherland. We see him first as a small boy struggling with the contradictions of religon and patriarchy before he blossoms into a young man...struggling with the contradictions of religon and patriarchy but mostly war and his love for his cousin, Diane Keaton.

The on-screen interaction between Keaton and Allen leaps forward from Sleeper they slip between farce, epic monologues and lyrical waltz's with ease. The film again looks great while the score is dominated by bouncy Russian classics.

Love And Death was the last hurrah (for a while) of the carefree gags of Allen's youthful output. While Anne Hall still has them they are tightly bound up in that film's leap forward into a more mature and introspective vision. So find and watch Love And Deathso get a taste of what real comedy can be.

The trailer below is not the best quality so sorry about that. However, it still gives a good taste of the film. An even better sample is the clip which is much better quality and shows off the perfect balance of Love And Death between Allen's roots in absurdism, the developing on screen relationship with Diane Keaton and the ingenius philosophical comical lyricism which came to dominate his future productions.

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