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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: December ::
Othello and Woody Allen
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1978  Thursday, 1 December 2005

From: 		Richard Burt <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 30 Nov 2005 17:45:54 -0500
Subject: 	Othello and Woody Allen

Melinda and Melinda, 2005

dir. Woody Allen. USA. Sound, col. 100 mins.

The film grows out of a dinner conversation between two characters, Sy 
and Al, one of whom is played by Wallace Shawn, who played Wally in 
Louis Malle's My Dinner with Andre (1981). Sy and Al, sounding a lot 
like Wally and Andre, differ as to whether life is really comic or 
really tragic. Another tells a story, which the film skips over, and 
asks Sy and Al if it is tragic or comic. The film then tells this story 
twice, with the film alternating between Al's tragic sequences and Sy's 
comic sequences. In the tragic story, an alcoholic, out-of-work actor 
married to a shopaholic rich woman from Park Avenue talks to a student 
about Desdemona and Othello just before it becomes clear he is sleeping 
with her. The film, which is full of romantic triangle and infidelities 
and has a black male character in both comic and tragic versions, has 
some very loose parallels with the play. In the comic story, Will 
Farrel's character mentions having done King Lear, with a limp. (He 
plays all his roles with a limp.)

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