Tuesday, 24 December 2013
Sleeper may safely be considered as the final ‘early Woody’ since he first reached rarefied heights, and his abilities as a comic genius achieved full blossom, in his next film Love & Death. Like all his early films, this too was a campy film filled with slapstick, funny sight gags and thumbing of nose to the authorities; however, unlike them, this had minimum misfires, was uniformly hilarious, and combined sharp satirical observations into an otherwise light-hearted setting, thus displaying his fast increasing maturity as an artist and social commentator. When Miles Monroe (Woody), the nerdish and sex-obsessed owner of a health-food joint, dies on the operating table, his body is cryogenically frozen without his permission, only to be brought back to life by scientists 200 years later. He finds himself in a cold and detached police state, ruled with an iron fist by a never-seen dictator, where all lifestyle notions have been diametrically reversed, and automation is the order of the day. As he escapes in the disguise of a smart robot, he makes the acquaintance of Luna (Diane Keaton), a pretty but vacuous socialite, while trying to make his way to the underground camp striving to overthrow the regime. Featuring a jazz score with Woody himself on the clarinet, and deftly employing ‘white’ as the visual motif to symbolize the streamlined nature of life bereft of human emotions, the film combined various comedic elements, ranging from goofy slapstick, body humour and parody to pungent wisecracks and political satire, in order to touch upon a diverse range of topics that provided jabs both at the present and at the inevitable future.
Director: Woody Allen
Genre: Comedy/Sci-Fi/Social Satire/Slapstick