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Annie Hall Research Papers

Annie Hall research paper due and don’t know how to start it? How about touching on a few topics such as the Academy Awards the film won or the other films Woody Allen has produced or directed.

Woody Allen’s 1977 film Annie Hall won four Academy Awards:

  1. Best Actress (Diane Keaton)
  2. Best Director (Allen)
  3. Best Screenplay (Allen and Marshall Brickman)
  4. Best Picture

The film was a departure from Allen’s earlier, slapstick comedies such as Take The Money and Run (1969), Bananas (1971) or Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (1972).  With Annie Hall, Allen appears to have arrived as a serious director, moving into a more somber period of film such as Manhattan (1979) or Hannah and Her Sisters (1986).  It is important, then, to see Annie Hall as a pivotal cinematic moment in the career of Woody Allen.

It can also be said that, in many ways, Annie Hall is the most stereotypical “Woody Allen film” from a varied canon.  All of the classic Allen elements are present: (in this movie his character was Alvy Singer) New York City, obsession with sex, psychoanalysis, empty relationships and Allen’s own neuroses.  It begs the question as to whether Woody Allen is constantly playing himself in his movies—a neurotic, sex-obsessed, Brooklyn native who has spent a lifetime in therapy—or this is merely the character that Allan Stewart Konigsberg created and employs consistently in his films.  Is this the real Woody Allen, using film to express his inner psyche, or is this an invention of the writer/director intended to produce comic effect?

Annie Hall

Annie Hall: A Film

In raising this question, an age-old debate about the very nature of film itself can be broached.  Gerald Mast, in his Film/Cinema/Movie, explores the relationship to film and nature.  He quotes Siegfried Kracauer: “Film, in other words, is uniquely equipped to record and reveal physical reality and hence, gravitates toward it”.  However, the other side of the argument, expressed by Rudolf Arnheim, states that “cinema reduces three-dimensional life to a two-dimensional surface, removes any number of stimuli from it, and thoroughly alters our perception of it with lenses (which see unlike the eye) and camera angles (which see what the artist allows)”.  Annie Hall, then, becomes the springboard for Allen as auteur, shaping public perception of this image through his direction.

Auteur theory was first suggested by François Truffaut in 1954, and popularized in English in 1962 by Andrew Sarris.  The basic premise behind this theory is that the director of a film is equally important to the construction of the film as a work to art as an author is to a novel.  Personal vision and style became the driving force behind a film.  Thus, a film by Steven Spielberg or even John Ford is instantly recognizable for the personal touches and overall style to the film as a whole.


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