- a fan to film director Sandy Bates (Woody Allen)
"You want to do a service for mankind' Tell funnier jokes."
- a space alien to film director Sandy Bates (Woody Allen)
"What do you think was the significance of the Rolls-Royce'" "I think it represented his car."
- one audience member to another, as they leave a screening of Sandy Bates's (Woody Allen's) latest film.
Sight and Sound - 12/01/1980
"...The women, complex, sharply and invariably affectionately observed, are here the fabric of the plot..."
New York Times - 09/26/1980
"...This scathing, audacious new film finds [Allen] using [comedy] full-force for the first time....Imbued with a very special bravado..."
New York Times - 12/28/1980
Included in the New York Times "10 BEST FILMS OF 1980"
Marking perhaps his first public consideration of himself as an artist, Woody Allen's STARDUST MEMORIES is also a bold narrative exercise that recalls the European cinema that Allen admires. Allen stars as Sandy Bates, a celebrated filmmaker who travels to a weekend retrospective of his films. There, he is assaulted by his fans and critics, and can only find refuge in the companionship of his friend's wife Daisy (Jessica Harper of SUSPIRIA fame), and in his memories of an intense relationship with beautiful but insane Dorrie (Charlotte Rampling). As the weekend continues, he struggles with his feelings of inadequacy, haunted by the repeated comment "I liked your earlier, funny films better."
The most obvious point of reference for the film, as many have pointed out, is Fellini's 8 1/2: both deal with filmmakers questioning their own purpose and path, both combine comedy and pathos, and Allen's use of black and white cinematography and scenes of absurdity seem lifted almost directly from Fellini's film. Allen's examination of his career employs a nearly plotless structure, driven more by character and theme, with a rather daring temporal editing structure that causes his memories of the past to flow neatly into the present. It differs from his later films that deal with similar thematic material, such as the caustic DECONSTRUCTING HARRY and CELEBRITY, in that Allen seems to place equal blame on both himself and those he feels expect too much from him. STARDUST MEMORIES is truly unique, a film made by an artist on the edge of a divide in his career and considering if his actions are worthwhile or even legitimate. Although it may not be for everyone, for anyone with even a passing interest in Allen it must be seen.
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