Annie Hall

Location as Identity in "Annie Hall"

Through intense visuality and the complex connections among various characters, Woody Allen in Annie Hall suggests an inextricable connection between geographical location and identity in terms of class, religion, politics, and interpersonal relationships. Within the film, key characters are presented, defined and developed for the audience through both where they exist geographically in 1970s America and how they perceive other locations culturally. From depicting this intersection between location and identity in society, Allen delivers a personal overview of regional differences in this period.

Allen's character of Alvy Singer is largely defined both by his upbringing in Brooklyn and his proud self-identification as a Manhattanite. Young Alvy's early anxiety is shown in a scene with his mother in a doctor's office, where he explains his fear that the entire universe is inexorably expanding towards dissolution. This is the first instance of Alvy's cosmopolitan attitude: even as a child, he contemplates the entire universe itself and reaches a conclusion about life based on far-off cosmic events. Furthermore, a contrast is established between Alvy's broad, abstract thinking and the relatively down-to-earth...

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