10.20.2010

Deconstructing Harry (1997)

written and directed by Woody Allen
with: Woody Allen

Harry Block (Allen), a successful writer, is going through a creative crisis. Unable to come up with ideas for his subsequent novel, his life is interrupted by scenes and characters from his previous work, entering a world that mixes fiction and reality. Block is depressed and desperate, uncomfortable with life and continually complaining. Alcoholic, whore-addicted and pill-dependent, he has gone through three marriages and six psychiatrists. However, he is motivated by an honorary award he is going to receive at the University he attended and from which he got kicked out of. 

Deconstructing Harry is precisely what the film tries to do. We learn all about Harry's psychological problems and social alienation by appreciating the constant surreal interruptions of characters and scenes from his books, who are based in people that part of his real life. 

The film has plenty of hilarious moments, some bright dialogues, intriguing absurdities and ironies, and a spark of natural brilliance. In Deconstructing Harry, Allen was unafraid to experiment, with unexpected jump cuts and repetitions, the creation of the "i'm-out-of-focus" scenario (pure genius) and his view of heaven and hell, but most importantly, it's honest and feels personal, including some of his often criticized personality traits. 

At times, the film feels Bergmanesque, with the psychological exploration and the sudden introduction of imaginary characters, particularly sharing many similarities with Wild Strawberries. 

Worth a look. 
Rating: 8.25/10

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dan Zukovic's "DARK ARC", a bizarre modern noir dark comedy called "Absolutely brilliant...truly and completely different..." in Film Threat, was recently released on DVD through Vanguard Cinema(http://www.vanguardcinema.com/darkarc/darkarc.htm), and is currently
debuting on Cable Video On Demand. The film had it's World Premiere at the Montreal Festival, and it's US Premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival. Featuring Sarah Strange ("White Noise"), Kurt Max Runte ("X-Men", "Battlestar Gallactica",) and Dan Zukovic (director and star of the cult comedy "The Last Big Thing"). Featuring the glam/punk tunes "Dark Fruition", "Ire and Angst" and "F.ByronFitzBaudelaire", and a dark orchestral score by Neil Burnett.

TRAILER : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPeG4EFZ4ZM

***** (Five stars) "Absolutely brilliant...truly and completely different...something you've never tasted
before..." Film Threat
"A black comedy about a very strange love triangle" Seattle Times
"Consistently stunning images...a bizarre blend of art, sex, and opium, "Dark Arc" plays like a candy-coloured
version of David Lynch. " IFC News
"Sarah Strange is as decadent as Angelina Jolie thinks she is...Don't see this movie sober!" Metroactive Movies
"Equal parts film noir intrigue, pop culture send-up, brain teaser and visual feast. " American Cinematheque