Stardust Memories -Woody Allen


The artist sits in front of a white canvas, an empty piece of paper, a silent musical instrument. What to fill it with? Where do all those colours, sounds, words come from?

We have the sweating artists, who have the skills and not always the idea and they torment themselves in front of the empty surface. Then we have the artists with the ideas but not the skills to transform them in a work of art. Then there are some persons with love for art, with an extraordinary brain activity and probably with hearts broken too many times.

Well, these are the artists that cannot be anything else, but artists. They pour their life into their work and the result gives them back their life anew. It sounds like therapy.

What is the inner source of a work of art, which is just a surface open to the most hilarious misinterpretations? It may not be very important, maybe the hilarious interpretations are more interesting than the initial idea.

But here we have in Stardust Memories an ars poetica and it seems like Woody Allen’s whole process of creating and living is disclosed. It could be quite embarrassing to face the artist in such a cruel light. Woody Allen is merciless to himself but merciful to us, he keeps our smile active although his heart and brains are bleeding. The director gives us the inner sources off all his creation.

Haunting memories of past relations, misplaced feelings pour over the artist while he is confronting the world admiring his work. It really sounds like any other Woody Allen movie. But this time the hell of creation and dealing with personal problems blend in an almost nightmarish universe. There is a big resemblance between this confession and Fellini´s 8½. There is definitely no copying. In Fellini`s work we can feel the artist´s light heart towards all his haunting characters and ideas. This gives him the power not to make a comedy out of his confession. Allen cannot confess without being ironic and this is a proof of him being much more miserable.

A perfect work of art comes out of a perfect quest for equilibrium, comes out of perfect mistakes, and perfect illusions. Artistically he wants to take the express train, in life he accepts the cheapest one, he loathes as an artist and he calls that “not a compromise but getting lucky”. Oh, how much illusion in this too, and he knows it; the suffering will never end, but he also knows that his art will see him through the day.

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