Three Minutes from Woody Allen’s Film Hannah and Her Sisters as a Distillation of the Misery That Can Be January

If asked to characterize his life at the moment, the author might very well suggest that it’s full largely of despair and also blackest despair. “Why go on?” he’s been compelled to ask recently of the stupid, unblinking moon. “Is it not just a carnival of sorrows?” he’s inquired just today, in fact, of (apparently) quite an unfriendly crow perched on the sill. A sorry state of affairs is what one finds at Chez Cistulli, is the point.

Nor is there any doubt that part of the reason for all this gloom — at least the part not regulated exclusively by the body’s reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin — is the distance, in either direction, between January 7th and any base-and-ball game of note. Regarding the calendar, one finds it’s been ca. three months since young and glorious Danny Salazar last threw a pitch in earnest for the Clevelanders. The future, meanwhile, is not unlike that desert oasis spotted by the thirsty explorer and which, upon closer inspection, is revealed to be only a mirage.

One finds a not dissimilar condition here afflicting the character Mickey, played by Woody Allen, in that same American artist’s 1986 film Hannah and Her Sisters. Driven to the end of his wits, Mickey is. Prepared to embrace the abyss, Mickey is. Saved by the spectacle of men behaving like children, is Mickey.

The conclusion one reaches — it’s obvious, really — is that the Marx Brothers ought to be employed more frequently as an antidote for suicidal depression. Another potential conclusion, though, is that despair isn’t permanent. Or, at least, that it’s probably not permanent.

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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

8 Responses to “Three Minutes from Woody Allen’s Film Hannah and Her Sisters as a Distillation of the Misery That Can Be January”

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  1. daniel says:

    The moon does not blink. This is anatomically correct.

    However Grendel, that ferocious, philosophical, nihilistic monster of lore and literature, does blink (at least the version penned brilliantly by John Gardener). And by such genetically programmed automation, he, RE Grendel, creates his own universe. Blink by blink. Or so he posits.

    The moon, if having a genetically programmed assortment of brain tissue which promotes abstract thought through intricate parallel processing, would hang in envy.

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  2. Marco says:

    Carson, this is one of the greatest sequences in the history of movies. Thank you for posting it.

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  3. James says:

    Did you just successfully identify the man in the moon as Managing Editor Dave Cameron?

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  4. Wobatus says:

    That’s the old Metro Theater on Broadway and 99th Street, which was a really great art deco space but has been gutted. It’s been empty for years. It was going to be an Urban Outfitters, an after school group space, an Alamo Drafthouse, but these all fell through. I think the owner is fairly litigious. Carson, if your life is feeling bereft of meaning, I suggest you start an effort to restore it to its former glory.

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  5. dw8 says:

    “The Brown Album” by The Band is my “Duck Soup”

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    • AynRand'ssocialsecurity# says:

      Their self titles 2nd album? If so, yes and I think I’ll listen to “Whispering Pines” right now.

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  6. brypot says:

    Thanks Carson!
    The favourite bit of my favourite movie.

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