Woody Allen: a metamorphosis of good taste called ‘Caf Society’

The denial of an imminent retirement, for a director who continues to delight us with the written pages of his cinema, waiting for Paris

Woody Allen: a metamorphosis of good taste called 'Caf

Thinking about it, what could we expect from a director who has given us fifty years of film career, distilling every nuance of his humanity, poured into a profession that more shows you for who you are and the better the artist who deserves to be celebrated? On the other hand, for Allen, cinema has always been that intelligent emotion that resolves itself into a counter-time of laughter, just like that swing that transpires from every fragment of that umpteenth masterpiece of his, Caf Society. The miracle of Midnight in Paris repeated itself, recounting a journey through time through the dialectic of the actors who marvelously absorb the author’s neurotic anxieties. For Owen Wilson it was a magical transport towards that Lost Generation of the Twenties in a Paris populated by artists who celebrated the best of world art, from Ernest Hemingway, Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Salvador Dal and Picasso, in that passage offered at the toll of a midnight framed by the bohemian atmosphere of a Parisian capital suspended between the dreams of the protagonist.Here, a young Jesse Eisenberg becomes the spokesperson for a director who tells himself once again, with his eighty-six years of age who does not prove, at least cinematically, rather improving himself by giving us the first film shot digitally, framing the protagonists in that photograph embellished by Vittorio Storaro, right from the first shot, among the architectural lights of the star system of a cinema mecca in the glittering golden age of the thirties. Here he is again, the third son of a Jewish family in the Bronx, a humble watchmaker who aspires to something better than his father’s shop life, with a notorious brother (Ben, played by Corey Stoll) who can’t extricate himself from the underworld that has decided to hugging since he was a teenager, and a sister married to a Methodist philosopher who knows no temptation other than prosaic devotion to his wife. Thus began a journey towards their artistic aspirations, watered down by a fugitive that tries desperately to get away from it, perhaps because of a family that does not want to believe in the determination of those who seek only to resolve their existence by trying to improve it with a job a little too over the top. You will find Uncle Phil (played by Steve Carell), busy and famous Hollywood agent, among authors and actors who will not be able to distract him from that first meeting with the secretary Vonnie (a newfound Kristen Stewart), unaware of a destiny that is lost in the problematic decisions of the protagonists. The young twenty-five year old, lover of her uncle, who lets herself go into the arms of her naive nephew, and then decides to marry the first, while the hopeless young man finds a wife (Veronica, played by Blake Lively), without forgetting the face of that great love. The result of the formula is always the same, that is the impossibility of reconciling reason and feeling, having to adopt the most unfortunate solution to continue living a life that has offered us the best, but which can always return, giving us a smile that abandons itself to hope of those who do not want to give up believing in their dreams. For us mere mortals, we just have to thank Woody Allen once again for yet another page of cinema that he deserves to be remembered, as the merits of a Radio Days that transports us into the melancholy of those who have lived through the years of a change that will remain indelible, like every generation that recycles itself in the decades that write the history of our life.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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