Monday, November 15, 2010

On Self-Indulgence

The first hot chocolate of the season. And in a delightfully oversized red mug! Perfection.

To continue the theme of self-indulgence, I watched the movie Annie Hall tonight, my first Woody Allen flick (as part of my attempt to watch AFI's Top 100 List...the one from 2007. As of tonight, I'm now at 28/100). 

I found the movie quite self-indulgent, and not just because I couldn't help myself. It seemed like the kind of movie anyone who has ever vaguely considered writing a script would write, in the way that he or she would most likely write about any little thing they found interesting, every funny line they've ever thought was even slightly entertaining, or every scenario they found influential or ironic in and about their own lives. And then came the scene in which Allen's character is writing a script about his life, which ends up almost identical to the previous scene, and I had to laugh. Touché, Mr. Allen. 

What really struck me about the film, however, was the fact that I ended up really liking it. It wasn't necessarily shocking; I am a sucker for quirky movies and Allen seems about as quirky as they come (or neurotic...whichever). But the movie actually struck a cord with me. I loved how there wasn't a "happy ending," but that there was resolution. I loved that there was an overall purpose, despite the Family Circus-like path it took to get there. I loved how life-like it was.

Watching a film like this, with an interesting story, a unique way of telling it, and an actual (gasp) point to the film made me wonder why I ever watch bad movies. When you've had delicious, fresh mild cheddar, you can't ever really go back to the store-brand, pre-packaged kind.

Well, you can, but you'll be disappointed.


  1. Great thoughts, Bethany. I saw part of Annie Hall in Intro to Film (probably the first ten minutes) and wasn't too interested in the rest. I might have to give it another chance, though.

    I think I'll go pour myself a nice big cup of hot chocolate now. :)

  2. I was reading this a paragraph at the time and was getting a little nervous when you were discussing this movie's self-indulgence. I mean yeah, it's self-indulgent, but it's a movie made by a neurotic New Yorker, so what do you expect? And despite that, it's so playful and interesting that yeah, one manages to like it even despite itself.

    So, same conclusion.