Crisis in Six Scenes Screen 4 articles

Crisis in Six Scenes

2016

Crisis in Six Scenes Poster
  • It’s far from the worst thing that Allen has done recently but nowhere close to his finest work; it’s consistently better directed than acted and better acted than written, as is the case with much of his output post-2000. The most telling thing about it is its structure: There isn’t any to speak of. Allen seems to have paid no attention to the demands of serialized narrative; his version of a TV series is a feature-length motion picture meat-axed into 23-minute chunks.

  • Every new Woody Allen entry becomes reminiscent of all preceding ones, but Crisis is truly a sloppy pastiche: the counterculture montage promises the confrontational craziness of Bananas, the vignette-based narrative of pre-Annie Hall yukfests, the boilerplate neuroses and hypochondria, the misfired exoticism of black people and Jewish stereotypes, and good grief almighty, the vain efforts to silence and push away a beautiful young woman or else face incrimination.

  • It is in effect, Woody Allen's “American Pastoral.” Like Philip Roth’s 1997 novel... It has the virtues and the faults of Allen’s later films—which is to say that his ideas come to the fore in sharp focus, sketched with clear and decisive lines, but sometimes the sketchiness detaches them from the context of lived experience and turns them merely assertive and hermetic.

  • Even before the truly strange final two episodes,Crisis (which, yes, has its share of stupefyingly dull passages) is a fairly fascinating iteration of familiar jokes and anxieties with some significant new concerns. It turns out to be unexpectedly serious about a question almost never raised in American movies of any size: To what extent are we obligated to be political citizens? How conscious are we of the necessity to think about that and what can actually be done?

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