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Title: 'Only Woody Allen gets to do that?' : the influence of Annie Hall on contemporary American cinema
Author: Hannington, Jessica
ISNI:       0000 0004 9356 9262
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis is the first exploration of Woody Allen’s influence on contemporary American cinema. It focuses specifically on the impact of Annie Hall (dir. Woody Allen, 1977), Allen’s most iconic film, on American film and television of the last ten years, specifically those that, like Annie Hall, take place in New York and are centred on a breakup that is expressed through memory. They all have central female protagonists who, like Annie, finally find artistic and personal fulfilment on their own. I examine Allen’s own oeuvre post-Annie Hall, as well as Tiny Furniture (dir. Lena Dunham, 2010), Girls (HBO: 2012-2017), Frances Ha (dir. Noah Baumbach, 2012) and Appropriate Behavior (dir. Desiree Akhavan, 2014). Allen’s films have mostly focused on the breakups of heterosexual white middle-class people, often to the detriment of the depiction of other races, social classes, and sexualities. My analysis uses intersecting methodologies, including feminist film theory, Black feminist theory, queer theory and disability theory to unpack the way these post-Annie Hall films repeat reductive and harmful stereotypes of different social groups, or mark their deviation from his work by focusing on a nuanced expression of these marginalised idenitites. This thesis makes an important contribution to the field by highlighting the complicated nature of Allen’s influence on contemporary American cinema. I demonstrate how this influence is characterised by a compulsion to repeat and a desire to separate, underpinned, no doubt, by Allen’s biographical scandals and a changing landscape that makes the filmmaker’s legacy all the more uncertain.
Supervisor: Ellis, Jonathan S. ; Rayner, Jonathan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available