Wednesday, June 02, 2004


The opening credits for Woody Allen's Sleeper are enough to tell you that this is a Woody Allen film. The same fonts, some familiar names, the simple scheme, and jazz music running along in the background. The film itself rings closer to other early efforts like Bananas besides being an homage to the Marx Brothers, and the silent comedy film with its masterful exponents Keaton and Chaplin. Being a futuristic movie (set in 2173), there are digs at 2001: A Space Odyssey (and HAL's voice Douglas Rain can be heard enjoying a dig at himself!). There's a lot of funny dialogue and several entertaining sequences of slapstick and buffoonery, but the eventual direction of Allen's work rears its ugly head occasionally: you can see the growing obsession with sex, women, Jewish humour, New York, himself, and strains of neurotic behaviour. Keep watching for references to A Streetcar named Desire, The Navigator, Duck Soup, Modern Times, THX 1138 and A Clockwork Orange. And cool buildings too ("The Sculptured House" in Denver, CO, which serves as the rebel hideout, and The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Foothils Laboratory in Boulder, CO).

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