Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Wake up! It's time for Sleeper (1973)

By Steve Evans 

Woody Allen’s Sleeper (1973), our film du jour, tells a Rip Van Winkle tale of a neurotic little man (played by guess who?) put into cryogenic sleep and awakened 200 years later into an incompetently managed police state, which is sorta what we can expect if wee Donny Trump gets elected. Sleeper is straight-up slapstick, with sight gags reminiscent of the silent era. Devotees of silent film will discern bits of Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton throughout Sleeper, although Woody has said he made the picture in tribute to Groucho Marx.  Woody’s character is more like Chaplin, though – a spry Everyman tangling with an impossibly obnoxious bureaucracy run by idiots. Co-stars Diane Keaton, fresh off her performance in The Godfather and in an altogether completely different role.

The humor of Sleeper would not work nearly so well without the wonderful music score, featuring Woody on clarinet performing with the New Orleans Preservation Hall Jazz Band playing Dixieland like they’re on fire. I miss Woody Allen being silly.

All aboard the Orgasmatron.

Cinema Uprising copyright © 2016 by Steve Evans. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. My favorites are Hannah and her Sisters and Crimes and Misdemeanors, but his silly period is so great too. That marching band cello from Take the Money and Run is one for the ages...


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