By Sander H. Lee
This new textbook is an abridgment of the author’s prior Woody Allen’s Angst: Philosophical Commentaries on His severe Films (McFarland, 1997; “invaluable”—Choice.)
5 major subject matters are explored: the need of a lot of his characters to floor their lives in conventional moral values regardless of their recognition that such values may well now not determine; the competition among pessimism and optimism all through his motion pictures; gender matters in relation to romantic love, sexual wish and the continuing alterations in our cultural expectancies of either women and men; the concept that modern American society is quickly descending into barbarism accurately due to societal failure to take care of a feeling of person ethical accountability; and a critique of psychoanalysis as a mode for realizing human behavior.
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Extra info for Eighteen Woody Allen Films Analyzed: Anguish, God and Existentialism
First, how has Allan managed to overcome his ineptness sufficiently to recreate the Casablanca scenario, and second, is there anything about the 46 Casablanca scenario that makes it particularly susceptible to being recreated in life? Upon reflection, one sees that Casablanca itself is filled with a kind of existential ambiguity. After all, Rick Blaine is not really a heroic figure until the film’s end. He starts the film as the hard-boiled expatriate café owner who believes in nothing and only looks out for himself.
This change, made by Allen but possibly suggested by Ross, has two effects on the film. First, placing Allan in a movie theater emphasizes the fact that we are watching a film about film’s effects on its audience. Second, though we may miss hearing Bogart himself remark that the falcon, like film, is “the stuff dreams are made of,” the use of Casablanca draws our attention more directly not just to the influences of film, or the Bogart mystique of male heroism, but, more specifically, to the impact of Casablanca itself.
Sonia asks him to describe what it is like to be dead, but all he can tell her is that it’s worse than the chicken at a lousy restaurant. In his concluding monologue, spoken directly to the audience, Boris shares his final reflections from beyond the grave on the philosophic issues raised in the film. Unfortunately, death seems to have done little to deepen his understanding. His insights at the end of his life are just as ludicrous and no more compelling than his earlier remarks. At the end, we see Boris comically dancing with Death as they move away from us.