Sunday, December 02, 2007

Famous Last Words- Round 1, Week 10

By the mid-80s, Woody Allen had mostly turned away from contemporary films in favor of light comic nostalgia pieces, and 1987's Radio Days (the source of last week's quiz) is one of his best from the period. A big part of what makes it work is its anecdotal nature, as a series of half-remembered vignettes and urban legends from the golden days of radio, like the case of the burglars who won "Name That Tune." There are a couple of narrative through-lines- the rise of a cigarette girl-turned-radio star played by Mia Farrow, the experiences of Allen (played by future Scott Evil, Seth Green)- but they don't insist on themselves. And the closing narration, spoken by Allen himself, addresses the bittersweet flip side of nostalgia- that it's at best a secondhand form of enjoyment, a pale substitute for actually being there.

In its way, this week's quote is no less philosophical:

“But one thing I don’t have to wonder about- I know. Someday a car will stop to pick me up that I never thumbed. Yes, fate or some mysterious force can put the finger on you or me, for no good reason at all.”

Name the film. Remember, submit your guesses to this e-Mail address by 11:59 PM EST on Saturday. See you next week.