Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of hight quality "short" films. Easy…
Love and Death
Set in 19th-century Russia, Allen is a cowardly serf drafted into the Napoleonic war, who would rather write poetry and obsess over his beautiful but pretentious cousin. Allen's cowardice serves him well when he hides in a cannon and is shot into a tent of French soldiers, making him a national hero. A hilarious parody of Russian literature, Love and Death is a must-see for fans of Allen's films.
Smart, sophisticated, and goofy, Woody Allen's "Love and Death" is the kind of pleasing comedy that caters to everybody who aced Russian Lit. in college. Sending up 19th century Russian literature, Allen puts his personal spin on life in the time of the Napoleonic wars.
In epic, costume drama fashion, "Love and Death" skewers both love and death as presented by the great Russian novelists. There are battlefield skirmishes, duels, flirtatious ladies, and Allen's anachronistic-in-context commentary to hold it all together. Most importantly, there is the aforementioned love and death in great supply.
The film is colorful and expansive; it is executed on a much larger scale than Allen provides today. Still, the token Allen humor regarding sex, love, family,…
Performances : 6.5/10
Story : 8/10
Production : 7.5/10
Overall : 7.33/10
Extremely funny. What stood out the most to me was the delivery of most of Allen's lines. Very reminiscent of the Marx brothers, and it was glorious. Love and Death probably had the most laugh out loud scenes out of any of his films that I've seen in a while, unfortunately I just didn't love what the story was about. Honestly my high rating is mostly just for the yucks. Oh, and for the copious amounts of Ingmar Bergman references.
Long live Woody.
The December Challenge: Film 8
I have something of a love/hate relationship with the films of Woody Allen, by which I mean that I love the vast majority of them but hate the fact that I can never decide which is my favourite. The last time I watched Love and Death I made the following claim;
”It’s not the funniest of Allen’s films (as I said earlier, there are some moments of pure gold but there is certainly some dross that hasn’t quite passed the test of time) but in terms of its creativity and the clear dedication and devotion that Allen had for it, it’s a fantastic film to watch.”
This is where I have a real problem…
Woody Allen's hysterically funny satire of Russian literature and European cinema is one of his best comedies. Arguably containing the highest number of laugh-out loud gags as any film he has ever made, Love and Death sees Allen as cowardly pacifist Bruno, forced to enlist in the Russian army when Napoleon invades. Inadvertently becoming something of a war hero, the perennially randy Bruno convinces his saucy cousin Sonja (a brilliant Diane Keaton) to marry him, and she, in turn, persuades him to carry out her deviously conceived plot to assassinate the occupying French conqueror on a visit to Moscow. Whilst most overtly taking Tolstoy's War and Peace as its main inspiration, translated through the anachronistic filter of Allen's nebbish Manhattanite…
I was pleasantly surprised at how hilarious this was, something I was not expecting at all. Its slapstick style was complimented incredibly by the over-use of sarcasm, an attack of clichés, and Woody Allen's typical deconstruction of love (and I guess of death, too). A clever parody of Russian literature, its references are easy to pick up, and the dialogue, one of Allen's most genius qualities, is exceptionally brilliant. The third collaboration between Allen and Diane Keaton, and their pairing before Allen's breakthrough Annie Hall, their chemistry is spot on, and it is through their leads that this film is so easily yet thoroughly enjoyable.
Pound-for-pound, one of the funniest movies ever made, with nary a gag in sight that doesn't provoke a full belly-laugh. Also, no, you're Don Francisco's sister.
Love and Death is one of Allen's first explorations of satire in a Russian sense, and like a lot of his earlier films, it has the same sort of problems that prevent it from being considered one of Woody's "greats".
The worst comedies have no meaningful thematic elements or like a significant and interesting story -- they focus on one-liners and jokes, hoping they carry the film. For Allen theme is never an issue, that is always apparent and usually handled pretty well. Like a lot of his earlier films however, the plot either kicks it in to gear to early and begins to fall flat, or takes forever to really center in on something.
In the case of Love…
"Love and Death" is pure early Woody Allen comedy at its best. As an avid reader of Russian literature I picked up on all the inside jokes and references so that definitely increased my enjoyment. Even though it's a silly comedy it does have beautiful set pieces. Granted, some of the jokes fall flat but I still laughed out loud a lot of times. An intelligent feelgood movie.
I'm certain I would appreciate the homage to Russian literature more if I had actually read more than one piece of Russian literature in my lifetime.
Sorry, Woody. I feel like I failed you on this one.
A passable, but overrated, comedy from director Woody Allen.
In the giant filmography of Woody Allen many movies are worshiped by his different way to make comedies. Some of them are more subtle, like his most known classic "Annie Hall", a modern criticism of relationships. But in "Love and Death" things are diferent. The jokes are so acidic and funny, like about the formation of lawyers, the village Idiot, the snow dinner. Not the most famous of Woody Allen, but the most funny and my favorite.
Witty and absurd. A pleasure.
Really damn funny. Irreverent and full of punch lines that land at an amazing ratio. One of the more impressive aspects is Allen giving Keaton plenty of those said punch lines, whether they be visual or audio and she knocks them out of the park. It's such an odd setting to drive the plot forward but it all works, whether it's the philosophical musings or repetitive dialogue.
It's a comedy!
The lowest highbrow comedy I've ever seen. Also the second "Love and..." movie I've seen about assassinations.
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…