Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Love and Death
Love and Death
IMDB Page (external link)
Mildred Cram &
Donald Ogden Stewart (uncredited)
|Non-original music by:||Sergei Prokofiev|
|Release Date:||June 10 1975 (U.S.A.)|
|Related movies and references:|
|Awards:||1975 Berlin International Film Festival,
Love and Death is a 1975 comedy by Woody Allen. Starring Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, Love and Death is a satirical take on Russian epic classic novels. Coming in between Sleeper and Annie Hall, Love and Death is in many respects an artistic transition between the two. Keaton and Allen, as Sonja and Boris, Russians living during the Napoleonic Era, engage in philosophical debates. Allen retains his trademark glasses despite their chronological absurdity.
The dialogue and scenarios satirise Russian novels, particularly those by Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, such as The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment, The Gambler, The Idiot, and War and Peace. The plot involves the assassination of Napoleon. The humour functions on a number of levels; in the content and also in the visual style which almost directly transliterates literary syntax into filmic. The final shot of Keaton is a reference to Bergman's "Persona". Jokes include: references to wheat and a man who loves herring. This film is the first in Woody Allen's filmography to incorporate his trademark white-on-black credits.
When Napoleon advances to invade the Russian Empire during the Napoleonic wars, Boris Grushenko (Woody Allen), a coward and pacifist scholar, is forced to enlist in the army desperate and disappointed hearing the news that his cousin Sonja is to wed a herring merchant. He inadvertently captures a group of enemy soldiers, but to no avail, the French army reaches Moscow. He returns and marries Sonja, with philosophical debates, and no money. Though Boris thinks that the French invasion of Moscow should put an end to the war, his wife (Diane Keaton) draws a plan to assassinate Napoleon at his quarters.
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