Saturday, 19 November 2011 INDEX

Woody Allen's Interiors (1978) is a strange film compelling in its way, but not perhaps his best work. Dark and brooding it is clearly going to be compared to Ingmar Bergman's work but reminded me more of Ridley Scott's Alien (1979), radio on film for the most part with a few shockingly beautiful shots.

Of course, Allen makes no secret of his admiration for the Swedish director. Was I mistaken or did I see some references to All These Women (or Now about These Women) Bergman's 1964 colour film? But Bergman usually (though not invariably) illuminates his scenes with a crisp, clear light. Just think of his Seventh Seal with its studio quality lighting and iconic images.

In my view Allen is as much influenced by Bob Hope as he is by the Swedish director so it is strange to see a Bob Hope look alike, E G Marshall, playing the father figure in this production.

The story itself is for me quite annoying. It concerns a group of people (revolving around three sisters) suffering profound angst and trauma, yet they seem to have all the money and opportunity in the world. They are rich, powerful and (for the most part anyway) either handsome or beautiful. I kept wanting to say to them, for heaven's sake buck your ideas up! Live a little.

It is almost as if they have to invent problems for themselves because their lives are simply too perfect.

There are few laughs in the film, none perhaps, except possibly the last scene, when the sisters position themselves beside a window in a way that clearly references Woody Allen's comedy about Russian angst, Love and Death.

Yes life is difficult, even if you have money and opportunity, but why make things worse by dwelling in neurosis and claustrophobic passions?

Posted by Jonathan Brind at 14:29
Saturday, 19 November 2011 INDEX