BFI Screen Epiphanies: Richard Curtis Presents 'Annie Hall'

on Monday, February 14, 2011
Words: Saam Das

Event: 'Annie Hall' at BFI Southbank, introduced by Richard Curtis (23 Nov '10)

I wouldn't usually write a post concerning Valentine's Day because well, it's all consumerist rubbish anyway. And no, I'm not spending this evening alone, eating ice cream out of a tub in the corner of a darkened room, watching re-runs of 'Ballykissangel'. So I’m not bitter about the whole thing, I just don’t buy into it. (I'm seeing 'Paul' tonight with a ladyfriend, in case you were wondering.)

But it's an opportunity for others to showcase their romantic side and also maybe an opportunity for them to be shown a classic rom-com. Or at least ones that somewhat subvert the genre, such as Woody Allen's 'Annie Hall'.

Thanks to American Express, I managed to catch 'Annie Hall' (along with Team FG member Gabriella) waaaaaaaaaaay back in November at an installment of the BFI Screen Epiphanies series, sponsored by the aforementioned American Express. Past events include Matt Lucas introducing 'Singin' In The Rain' and Ray Harryhausen presenting 'King Kong', which he worked on, of course.

We witnessed writer-director Richard Curtis chatting a bit about Woody Allen multiple Oscar winning comedy 'Annie Hall', followed by the film itself. For those unfamiliar with the film, it's a "masterful, charming and frequently hilarous tale of the relationship between neurotic comedian Alvy Singer (played brilliantly by Allen) and the equally insecure title character (the exuberant Diane Keaton)".

Whether they had seen it before or not, it seemed like the whole audience enjoyed watching the film but also the warm up act, which was Mr Curtis being interviewed by the artistic director of the BFI Southbank, Eddie Berg. Their interview is heroically available to watch on the BFI website meaning you can recreate my evening by simply viewing that and then popping in your DVD of 'Annie Hall'.

It's not quite the full discussion we heard when we there but covers the general topics of how Curtis was greatly inspired by 'Annie Hall', and how other modern films have been heavily influenced by the film also, namely '(500) Days Of Summer'.

Indeed, either '(500) Days Of Summer' or 'Annie Hall' would be a great way to spend this evening. Unless your love lives are going in the direction that the relationships in each film went... but that's still less depressing than seeing 'Never Let Me Go', which American Express also invited me to the other night. Alternatively, 'Die Hard 4.0' is on Film4 this evening, I hear it's passable as entertainment?

More details on the BFI Screen Epiphanies series are available here.

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