Director: Woody Allen
Year Released: 1978
Massive amounts of Bergman cribbing, down to the melodramatic last sequence where everybody almost drowns in a beautifully dismal gray sea. How Ingmar pulls off such transfixing intensity is beyond me - his films feel like they were taken out of pages from someone's diary. Interiors with all the Allenesque verbal ruminations on the nature of "artistic talent" and "artistic merit" and "channeling hostility" (there is far too much armchair psychoanalysis, and it doesn't come off right with the actors he's chosen), is simply pretentious, the extreme level of pretentiousness is caught in the last shot where all the daughters' heads fill the frame perfectly. In his overwhelming cinematic canon, this is one of the lower points in terms of his dramatic efforts - Another Woman is equally strained and heavy-handed ('All these windows! Ah! They're from my soul!'). In 1979 he followed this with Manhattan, which successfully blends drama with a potent dose of Allenisms - there's a picture about intellectualism and writer's block that does work (and how). An Allen film without Allen somehow feels incomplete.