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Stardust Memories [DVD]

4.4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Woody Allen, Charlotte Rampling, Jessica Harper, Charlie Cox, Marie-Christine Barrault
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Writers: Woody Allen
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 16 July 2007
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000R34344
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,582 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Woody Allen wrote, directed and starred in this film about a comic film-maker who no longer considers himself funny. He decides to move into serious film-making, but his efforts are poorly received by critics and public alike. He withdraws to the Stardust Hotel, where a retrospective of his work is being run, and ends up reflecting on his life, his loves and his art.

From Amazon.co.uk

"Doesn't he know he's got the greatest gift anyone can have, the gift of laughter?" Woody Allen stars as filmmaker Sandy Bates, who, like John Sullivan in Preston Sturges's Sullivan's Travels, no longer wants to make comedies. As studio executives threaten to wrest control of his latest film, he reluctantly attends a weekend film-culture festival in his honour, where he is besieged by journalists ("I'm doing a piece on the shallow indifference of celebrities"), groupies ("I drove all the way from Bridgeport to make it with you"), and persistent oddballs ("Can I talk to you about my idea I have for a movie? It's a comedy based on the whole Guyana mass suicide").

After the exhilarating Manhattan, Stardust Memories was a dramatic departure that threw critics and fans for an outraged loop. But out of all of Allen's films, it is perhaps the one most ripe for rediscovery. It poses the same dilemma Stephen King would later tackle in Misery: What happens when a popular artist is held captive by an adoring audience that doesn't want him to change? The answer may come from an extraterrestrial, who in one of the many fantasy sequences advises the comedian, "You want to do mankind a real service? Tell funnier jokes."

The film is impeccably cast with Charlotte Rampling, Jessica Harper, and Marie-Christine Barrault (of Cousin/Cousine) as the three women in Sandy's life. There are also choice bits by Sharon Stone as a fantasy woman on a train, Daniel Stern as an aspiring actor, Louise Lasser as Sandy's overwhelmed secretary, Laraine Newman as an unimpressed studio executive, and Tony Roberts as Tony Roberts. My own aunt, Victoria Zussin, utters the film's most famous line as the patron who tells Sandy she loves his movies, especially "your early funny ones." --Donald Liebenson

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I know -- I'm supposed to like 'Manhattan' more. I know -- this
straddles the line between homage and rip-off when it comes to
Fellini...

But it's so physically beautiful, and so full of unforgettable moments
of humor and heartbreak, that I can watch it over and over and just see
more and more in it. It's an odd, wonderful mix of sad, angry, surreal
and very funny. It's a chilling, hysterical look at the emptiness
of being famous, at what it means to not trust your own worth, what it
means to be scared of happiness.

The jump cut sequence with Charlotte Rampling is one of the best, most
incisive pieces of film-making I've ever seen. Period.

For me, it's a tragically underrated film. I'm thrilled to see it
getting support here. I guess it can be validly criticized, but my
emotional reaction to the nit-picking is 'who cares?' This is brave,
unique, special film-making in a world with far too little.
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Stardust Memories (1980) for me is one of Woody Allen's very best films even though it doesn't seem to have dazzled critics in the same way as Manhatten or Annie Hall. The humor is bitter - verging on sour - as we chart the visit of film director Sandy Bates (Woody himself) to a festival held in his honor. Everyone congratulates him on his previous funny movies that now he'd rather forget, intent as he is on making 'serious' films. At this stage of his career Woody had had enough of the celebrity side of the film business and used the film to vent his bile on all his pet hates. In between the sycophants and fan geeks who latch on to him like leeches, Woody takes us through the women of his life, most significantly the manic depressive Dorrie (a superbly neurotic Charlotte Rampling), his current mistress, Isobel (a sexy and very feminine Marie-Christine Barrault) and the inevitable young new attraction, Daisy (Jessica Harper). His perceptions are by turn witty, poignant, bitter-sweet and revealing about the mechanisms that lie behind this nebbish schlmiel from the Bronx. His ripping-off of 8 1/2 enraged the Fellini family at the time, but it didn't stop Woody from later ripping off La Strada for Sweet and Lowdown as well! Also, there is a fair bit of borrowing from Ingmar Bergman, most notably in the 2 minute close up jump-cut feast on Dorrie's face. At the time many attacked Woody's stealing from his favorite European directors. Looking back after 30 years or so however and his 'stealing' now seems vindicated because he still managed to turn his films into something both honest to himself and uniquely American. He had spent much of the early 70s churning out 'funnies' such as Sleeper, Bananas and Love and Death.Read more ›
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Format: VHS Tape
The Woodmeister himself has declared Stardust Memories one of his best movies, and I have to agree with the funny old ferret. Allen's early career consisted of laugh-a-minute slapstick comedies, which were wonderful (especially Love & Death in 1975); from Manhattan(1979) onwards he toned everything down a bit, replacing the slapstick with human drama, although always leaving in the priceless oneliners. I feel that Stardust Memories is his best film because it manages to meld the comedy and drama together better than all of his other attempts. (I'm not a big fan of Manhattan, I think it's dull; Crimes & Misdemeanors is perhaps his second-best movie-wovie.) There's some out-and-out hilarious comedy, particularly in the scenes that show clip's from the Allen character's early films, and the drama is complex and moving. There are moments of bad taste, and the film sometimes seems geared to patronise Allen's fans, but these are brave moves, and make it all the more memorable. Beautifully shot, wonderfully acted, brilliantly written, astoundingly funny, powerfully touching, insanely insane, comically surreal, slyly self-referential, overtly recommendable to friends and family, oven-fresh and microwave-compatible.
PS Keep your eyes peeled for a blink-and-you'll-miss-it from a young Sharon Stone at the beginning. The old dear keeps her legs close together.
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Format: DVD
A film presumed autobiographical by many and, therefore, considered insulting by some. When Allen's character becomes disillusioned and unhappy with the limitations imposed upon him by his audience, his financers and his life, he seems to grow resentful and begin to attack.

Taken at face value, this is a comedy of grotesques: it's funny, desperate, purposely incoherent and confused. It's made that way, I imagine, to show the protagonist's state of mind: much of the film actually takes part therein. This film is a perfect release for DVD; the black and white photography is best seen 'sharp' and, as I say, it's the kind of movie better seen again. I started to like it the second time I saw it; now - I love it!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of Woody Allen's best films. Shot in black and white after the highly rated Manhatten, this film seems to have been underrated and neglected. In fact, it has an excellent script and great cast. Both funny and serious by turns, the film explores the dilemmas and temptations facing a popular and successful artist. The artist in question is undoubtedly Woody Allen himself, by another name. Perhaps this self-reference caused critics and audiences to baulk at the time. Influences include Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini but the film is typically Woody with some hilarious throw-away lines. Charlotte Rampling is terrific as the unstable love interest but there are other possible lovers, from casual to serious. The opening sequence (which includes a brief glimpse of Sharon Stone) is incredibly funny summing up feelings which we all have sometimes.
Highly recommended to everyone but especially to Woody Allen fans.
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