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Name: TWILIGHT TIME
Number: TWILIGHT256-BR

STARDUST MEMORIES (1980) (SPECIAL PROMOTION) (BLU-RAY)
Starring:  Tony Roberts, Jessica Harper, Woody Allen, Daniel Stern, Charlotte Rampling, Marie-Christine Barrault
Directed By:  Woody Allen
Composed By:  Jazz Heaven Orchestra

“In Stardust Memories, Allen confronts the ultimate conundrum of the personal artist: all the stuff that gets in the way of the work becomes part of the work, then becomes essential to it. He kvetches, therefore he is – and therefore he can make a film about it and kvetch some more about doing so.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“Invokes the mood of an early Fellini film…the stylized wistfulness lingers longer than the laughs…starkly handsome and imbued with a very special bravado.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Writer-director Woody Allen plays yet another, more acidic version of himself in Stardust Memories (1980), deliberately invoking Fellini’s 8½ as he tracks a filmmaker’s attempts to deal with celebrity, fandom, the ups-and-downs of his own creative impulses, and his difficult relationships with women. The women are played by a magnificent trio of actresses – Charlotte Rampling, Jessica Harper, and Marie-Christine Barrault; the magnificent black-and-white cinematography is gifted by frequent Allen collaborator, the great Gordon Willis.

LANGUAGE: English
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.85:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1980 / B&W
89 MINUTES
RATED PG

Special Features: Isolated Score Track / Original Theatrical Trailer

Limited Edition of 3,000 Units

  
Reviews and Comments: (1)
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Posted by Mark Turner on November 22, 2017 2:29 PM
In 1980 director/writer/actor Woody Allen had been making hit comedies for several years. With the success of films like SLEEPER, LOVE AND DEATH and ANNIE HALL he was the critic’s darling. But he felt unfulfilled and turned his back on comedies for more insightful dramatic fare. While ANNIE HALL had slightly turned in that direction he followed that with INTERIORS a near total drama that didn’t do well. The next year he came out with MANHATTAN garnering praise once more as he melded drama and comedy. Then he made STARDUST MEMORIES.

Allen had admitted more than once that he was influenced by director Ingmar Bergman. Scenes in LOVE AND DEATH often reminded critics of Bergman’s films. But here he was using much of the style that Bergman used to tell a more personal story. STARDUST is perhaps one of Allen’s most autobiographical films.

He stars as director Sandy Bates, a fan favorite for the comedy films he’s made in the past who now wants to direct more serious pictures. He wants to make films that explore the meaning of life and how we fit into the scheme of things. But the studios are reluctant to let him move in that direction. They want to insert humor into his work in an effort to bank on his past successes.

Bates is convinced to attend a film festival where they will be honoring him for his past achievements. While there the fans continue to push him towards the comedies they are used to and they as well as numerous friends he runs into try to monopolize his time and attentions. Still he finds time to reminisce about his life and reflect on what he’s accomplished.

While there he also reflects on the loves he’s had over the years. Dorrie (Charlotte Rampling) continues to haunt him, appearing in his mind at various times. A troubled woman she represents his past. At the festival he meets and is attracted to Daisy (Jessica Harper) even though she’s there with a pompous college professor Jack (John Rothman). But before that romance can be set in motion Bates’ current girlfriend Isobel (Marie-Christine Barrault) arrives unexpectedly at the festival.

A combination of fantasies, dreams and reality mix to swirl around in the head of Bates as he tries to figure out his place in life. Mixed with the weekend of festival activities and adoring fans as well as friends he’s known for years he stirs the pot and by the end of the film may or may not have come to terms with his life.

As with the reality of Allen at the time the film delves into his own personal issues of leaving behind more blatant comedy in an effort to make more serious films. There was an effort to force him back to that mold which he broke from. The end result was a career where he was capable and able to make both kinds of films with more success than those who didn’t seem to have faith in him expected.

Allen’s love life was also part and parcel with his role here. He’d had more than one muse in various women, most of whom had become his leading ladies as well. That struggle with what to do not only with his work but his personal life is a major issue discussed in the film as well.

When I first saw this film I loved it. Watching it now it remains one of his better films though many might not recall it. Hopefully more will discover it and realize there is a more complex mind at work than the simple joke writer so many have thought Allen is.

Perhaps my favorite scene in the movie though involves an alien spaceship that lands and a group of aliens who talk to him. It turns out they are fans of his earlier films. One goes so far as to tell him he should go back to making funny movies.

Twilight Time is releasing this film in their standard beautiful style with a gorgeous edition in the clearest black and white cinematography seen. Extras are sparse here with just an isolated score track and the original theatrical trailer. As with all their films this one is limited to just 3,000 copies so pick one up if you’re a fan.

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