Oct 29, 2007

Screening on 04th Nov 2007 : Woody Allen's THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO

The Purple Rose of Cairo
- at 84 minutes,it's short but nearly every
one of those minutes is blissful. -New York Times

A film by Woody Allen
Year : 1985
Nominated for Oscar and another 14 wins & 11 nominations
English with English sub titles ; Run Time : 84 Minutes
4th Nov 2007 ; 5.45 pm ; Ashwin Hospital Auditorium, Ganapathy

Konangal – Call : 94430 39630

The Purple Rose of Cairo is not merely one of the best movies about movies ever made. It is still more unusual, because it comes at its subject the hard way, from the front of the house, instead of from behind the scenes. Its subject is not how movies work but how they work on the audience. –Time Magazine

The Purple Rose of Cairo

A delightful tale centered on how cinema can change lives, if only when the lights are down, Woody Allen combines romance with intelligence to great comic effect.

Click here to view clipping from 'Purple Rose Of Cairo'

Jeff Daniels playing the dual roles of Tom, a character in the film-within-the-film, and Gil, the actor who portrays Tom. Tom literally breaks the fourth wall, emerging from the black-and-white into the colorful real world on the other side of the cinema's screen. He is drawn out by Cecilia (played by Mia Farrow), a film buff who goes to the movies to escape her bleak 1930's Great Depression life and loveless marriage to Monk (Danny Aiello). The producer of the film finds out that Tom has left the film, and he and Gil fly cross-country to the New Jersey theater where it happened. This sets up an unusual love triangle involving Tom, Gil and Cecilia.

The Purple Rose of Cairo contains so many wonderful elements that it seems arbitrary to pick out any as special, yet there is one theme which runs strongly throughout the entire film. This is the manner in which common relationships are turned upside-down, most obviously with the transition of Baxter from fiction to reality. Further along this resonates with the abandoned film cast switching from performing to viewing, as they wait to finish their scene, and the flipped relationship of Cecilia and Monk. Perhaps this is Allen's way of indicating that a movie, no matter how frivolous, can have a worthwhile impact on its audience (together with the fact that the real world can never be as perfect as the fictional, that this is a pipe-dream)? If so, it can all be summed up in the expression of Mia Farrow as she sits entranced while Astaire and Rogers dance their hearts out; in a series of subtle graduations her face transforms from a mask of sorrow to radiant joy (even though the world outside remains as horrid as ever). Such is the power of the moving-picture!

It also recalls Mr. Allen's own small classic of a story, ''The Kugelmass Episode,'' about a professor of humanities who becomes so infatuated with Madame Bovary that he finds himself inside the Flaubert novel making mincemeat of the plot line.

Though Mr. Allen does not actually appear in ''The Purple Rose of Cairo,'' his work as the film's writer and director is so strong and sure that one is aware of his presence in every frame of film. It doesn't overwhelm the contributions of the others, but illuminates them, particularly the glowing, funny performance of Miss Farrow. It's as if this wonderful actress, in spite of her English stage credits and all of her earlier films, was finally awakened only when Mr. Allen cast her in ''A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy,'' ''Zelig'' and, most spectacularly, ''Broadway Danny Rose.''

On a side note, the performances and script are both excellent (each bolstering the other). There's a wealth of humour to be found in the story, particularly in the way Baxter tries to apply movie precepts to the real world, although this is leavened by a deep emotional counterbalance (skillfully applied by Allen). If anything, The Purple Rose of Cairo is a touch too manipulative, notwithstanding the terrific finale.

Woody Allen

Woody Allen (born Allen Stewart Königsberg on December 1, 1935) is a three-time Academy Award-winning American film director, writer, actor, jazz musician, comedian, and playwright. His large body of work and cerebral film style, mixing satire, wit and humor, have made him one of the most respected and prolific filmmakers in the modern era.[1] Allen writes and directs his movies and has also acted in the majority of them. For inspiration, Allen draws heavily on literature, philosophy, psychology, Judaism, European cinema and New York City, where he was born and has lived his entire life.

Allen was born and raised in New York City to a Jewish family; his grandparents were Yiddish and German-speaking immigrants. Nicknamed "Red" because of his red hair, he impressed students with his extraordinary talent at card and magic tricks.Though in his films and his comedy persona he has often depicted himself as physically inept and socially unpopular, in fact Woody Allen was a popular student, and an adept baseball and basketball player.

Click here to watch Woody Allen interview - you can continue the interview further with links provided here.

Click here to view Woody Allen's monologue from his film Annie Hall

To raise money he began writing gags for the agent David O. Alber, who sold them to newspaper columnists. At sixteen, he started writing for stars like Sid Caesar and began calling himself Woody Allen, which would remain his moniker (although it's unclear if Allen ever legally adopted the stage name). He was a gifted comedian from an early age. After high school, he went to New York University where he studied communication and film, but, never committed as a student, he was thrown off his course due to lack of punctuality and commitment. He later briefly attended City College of New York.

His first movie production was What's New, Pussycat? in 1965, for which he wrote the initial screenplay. He was hired by Warren Beatty to re-write a script, and to appear in a small part. His first conventional effort was Take the Money and Run (1969), which was followed by Bananas, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask), Sleeper, and Love and Death.

In 1972, he also starred in the film version of Play It Again, Sam, which was directed by Herbert Ross. All of Allen's early films were pure comedies that relied heavily on slapstick, inventive sight gags, and non-stop one-liners. Among the many notable influences on these films are Bob Hope, Groucho Marx (as well as, to some extent, Harpo Marx) and Humphrey Bogart.

Annie Hall marked a major turn to more sophisticated humor and thoughtful drama. Allen's 1977 film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture – an unusual feat for a comedy. Allen’s has written and directed 43 movies till dates which includes many greats like Manhattan, Hanna and Her Sisters .

Allen continues to write roles for the neurotic persona he created in the 1960s and 1970s; however, as he gets older, the roles have been assumed by other actors.

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