Confirmed plenary speaker: Professor Annette Kuhn (Queen Mary, University of London)
Since its release on 27th April 1977, Annie Hall has established itself as a key film for Woody Allen’s career and the history of romantic comedy more generally. At the 1978 Academy Awards, it won Oscars for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress. In addition to its central place in Allen’s oeuvre (film critic Roger Ebert called it “just about everyone’s favorite Woody Allen movie”), it is regularly cited as one of the greatest film comedies. In 2015 it was voted the funniest screenplay ever by the Writers Guild of America.
The film has also been credited with influencing contemporary directors such as Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach and Richard Linklater, and is a clear reference point in films like When Harry Met Sally (1989), (500) Days of Summer (2009) and Frances Ha (2012). Diane Keaton’s performance as Annie Hall continues to resonate four decades on, and has been celebrated and denigrated for, among other things, the creation of a specific cinematic character, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and even a fashion look.
To mark the fortieth anniversary of the film’s release, the University of Sheffield is hosting a one-day conference to consider the importance of Annie Hall and its cultural influence. We are particularly interested in conversations stimulated by revisiting the film in the current political climate of President Trump’s government. To that end we welcome papers on all aspects of the film, including its reception and reputation.
Suggested topics may include but are not limited to the following:
- Annie Hall and “New Hollywood”
- Annie Hall as an auteur film
- Annie Hall as (auto)biography
- Annie Hall and fashion
- Annie Hall and feminism
- Annie Hall and whiteness
- Annie Hall and film genre
- Annie Hall and film theory
- Annie Hall and psychoanalysis
- The role of art, transformation and performance
- Representations of the city
- Representations of migrant experience
- Representations (or non-representations) of race
- Romance and sex
- Music and voiceover
- The problem of the Hollywood ending
- Thinking about Annie Hall as (or as not) a Woody Allen film
- Thinking about Annie Hall as a Diane Keaton film
- Annie Hall in 1977 versus Annie Hall in 2017
- Allen’s influences in Annie Hall and/or the influence of Annie Hall today
- Thinking about Annie Hall in the age of Trump
Proposals for 20-minute papers (maximum 200 word abstracts, plus a short biographical note of no more than 50 words) are due by 10th April 2017, and should be sent to Annie.Hall@sheffield.ac.uk.
We encourage proposals from anyone with an interest in Annie Hall, including established academics, graduate students and independent scholars.
The conference organisers will notify participants whether they have been accepted by mid-April.
In addition to academic papers, the conference will include a special screening of an Allen related film at a local cinema and a conference dinner at the end of the day.
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