literature, cinema, fine arts

New York Stories (1989)

Being Woody Allen

  • Produced by Müpa Budapest
  • Müpa Film Club

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The sketch film, also known as an anthology film or an omnibus film, is a strange thing. It consists of independent, separate films that are the work of one or more directors. It's no problem, though, if there is something to connect these short films together. In this case, it is the location: New York City. We still must admit that this is not a titanium-strength link. It is more about giving three very big-name directors of the era - Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Woody Allen - the chance to show their stuff on the same canvas. It is the task of the esteemed viewer to decide which of them makes for the best show.

There is no doubt that Scorsese and Coppola were in the more difficult situation, as they both prefer grander epics, while Allen has made sketch films before, not to mention the fact that he can freely incorporate independent episodes into his stories at any point. One can guess that it was his film that turned out to be the funniest. Or who knows… It depends on how you look at it. There is no doubt that the title - Oedipus Wrecks - is itself also a joke. This play on words also sounds like 'rex' and rhymes with ‘complex'. It then immediately invokes Freud, even though Freud never devoted a separate volume to the Yiddishe mame. Unfortunately, this term is not one that can be translated precisely, even though it may seem to simply mean a Jewish mother. The mother of the successful New York lawyer in his 50s, however, is a more complicated phenomenon. Since it is impossible to define it exactly, it would definitely be wiser to simply go ahead and watch this film. Because the Yiddishe mame is a tiger mum when it comes to her cubs, but at the same time, she is the one who expects her child to succeed and conform, and she can never be satisfied with him in his miserable life - even while remaining lethally proud of him. On the other hand, she is unable to bear the thought of the little brat arranging his own life according to his own standards, tastes and urges, because the life of the seedling is, in a certain sense, a public matter, and what would they say if... But if we stick to Sigmund Freud, the mother of Sheldon Mills (originally Millstein) is the superior self, the superego. Oy vey! A no-win situation.

In English, with Hungarian subtitles.

The discussions before and after the screening will be conducted in Hungarian.

Presented by: Müpa Budapest
  • director
    Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola
  • host
    András Réz

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