Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Reluctant Film Art of Woody Allen$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Peter J. Bailey

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813167190

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813167190.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 30 May 2020

Everyone Loves Her/His Illusions

Everyone Loves Her/His Illusions

The Purple Rose of Cairo and Shadows and Fog

(p.149) 11 Everyone Loves Her/His Illusions
The Reluctant Film Art of Woody Allen

Peter J. Bailey

University Press of Kentucky

These films are considered together in this chapter not only because they are two of Allen’s greatest cinematic accomplishments, but because they share so many elements in common—including their very hedged conclusions affirming the value of art. In Purple Rose, Cecilia’s Depression era infatuation with Hollywood movies provides her with the only consolation her grim working-class existence affords; Kleinman, the Kafkaesque protagonist of Shadows and Fog, escapes the murderous political atmosphere of his European town to sign on with the circus as assistant to the Great Irmstedt, the circus magician. Cecilia ultimately chooses the actor who plays Tom Baxter in Purple Rose rather than the character, since she concludes that she must side with reality over illusion; reality proves unreliable when the actor flees back to Hollywood, betraying all the romantic promises he had made to her. Kleinman’s commitment to magic (Allen’s favorite shorthand for art) is compromised when Irmstedt’s craft fails to capture the killer who has been terrorizing the town, a roustabout affirming that “everyone loves his illusions,” even though they are nothing but illusions that fail to alter the realities of the human condition.

Keywords:   “cheek to cheek”, Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers, artifice of cinematic resolution, Depression America, Jewel Theater, political factions, Franz Kafka, film noir, German Expressionism, Fritz Lang, M, Kaufman Astoria Studios

Kentucky Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .