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Please Give dir. Nicole HolofcenerPlease Give dir. Nicole Holofcener
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23 Sep 10
Feminist encounters in the Big Apple

Why do we love Annie Hall, protagonist of one of Woody Allen's most famous films set in NYC? It must be her style! Behold the modern woman: original, emancipated, entertaining - a lady in a suit - but look at that suit! As an intellectual, she is not free from doubts, but she passionately fights her problems on the Freudian couch. We will be happy to see her again at the 1st AFF in the Classical Classics section.

"None of Woody Allen's muses had an impact on fashion comparable to Diane Keaton's. Annie Hall's style is still easily recognizable today. British model and television presenter Alexa Chung refers to it every day, and some hints of it can even be spotted in Kate Moss' outfits. Diane Keaton gave Annie her own everyday image: a set of heavily masculinized clothes. Not to mention the famous Ralph Lauren tie. Variations on the men's suit theme went well with Annie Hall: a distinguished, well-mannered young lady from the high society, buttoned up to her neck, was someone who tempted men mostly with her fantasy (or made them fantasize about what was hidden under all those layers of clothing). She did not have to wear a swimsuit. She also seemed a perfect match for Allen, both on the screen and in real life."

Katarzyna Drogowska: The suit revived

Annie Hall shown at the 1st AFF

Meanwhile, female directors and actresses take control in New York City. It is they who create the female role models the Big Apple offers us today. In order to find out, it is worthwhile watching the latest tragicomedy by Nicole Holofcener, who learned the job as a director on none other than Woody Allen's sets. Please Give (screened as part of the Highlights section) is a female version of a typical New York film drama, starring Holfcener's favorite actress, an arthouse diva Catherine Keener, and the celebrity Rebecca Hall. The plot is a pretext for creating complex portraits of women. The director of cult classic Walking and Talking uses her camera as if it were an X-ray machine to show the characters in her usual brilliant manner. Weaknesses and contradictions, as well as funny and tragic mix-ups: life in NYC involves many dilemmas and quite a few adventures.

Being Catherine Keener (interview)

New York is also where 23-year-old Aura, protagonist of Lena Dunham's film Tiny Furniture (Spectrum section), grew up. The movie focuses mostly on women and on the relationships between them (it is significant that Dunham cast herself as Aura, her mother and sister play Aura's mother and sister, and the other actors are also the director's friends). The author of the film is ironic and detached, and she is quite harsh on the women portrayed in the film, without, however, drawing caricatures: she rather creates multidimensional and non-obvious characters. The relationships between them are often difficult, but they also involve a lot of affection and intimacy. Filmmaker Magazine hailed Ms Dunham as one of the 25 New Faces of American cinema.

Lena Dunham in Filmmaker Magazine

We also suggest you should look at the Big Apple from the feminine point of view together with Kamila Sławińska, author of the book Nowy Jork - przewodnik niepraktyczny (New York. An Unpractical Guide) about the many years she spent in the city: she wrote for us about Steven Soderbergh's new film And Everything Is Going Fine, screened in the American Docs section.

Kamila Sławińska's NYC blog

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