Maybe he needed the eggs.
That’s our best guess as to what’s going on in this confounding — but sometimes funny — video that just turned up online. Brooklyn-based filmmaker J.D. Oxblood has posted the trailer to an unfinished romantic comedy he’s calling #AnnieHall, a Brooklyn-based, present-day find-and-replace riff on Woody Allen’s epochal 1977 film.
In this iteration, Annie Hall is Minnie Wohl, a “nice Yeshiva girl” who resists being dragged by her lover to see The Battle of Algiers, Oxblood’s replacement for The Sorrow and the Pity. Allen’s Alvy Singer, meanwhile, is now a blond goy, a comedy writer whose paranoia that the world’s prejudiced against him now has a tinge of Tea Party dada: Rather than insist that he was subjected to the question “Jew eat?” this tanned schlemiel carps that a Pakistani called him “Whitey.”
Yes, this cover/adaptation/whatever changes Annie Hall around to re-tell the story from a perspective we just never get to hear in our society: a Brooklyn dude who’s into Woody Allen movies. But it’s easy to carp. What Oxblood has whipped up is fascinating, and it offers some legitimate laughs:
You can see that whitey scene unfold at full length in Oxblood’s almost twelve-minute short film. Other changes, both clever and risible: While Alvy Singer could produce Marshall McLuhan on command, Oxblood’s version can only claim to have Slavoj Zizek on FaceTime; Annie’s “Grammy Hall” in Wisconsin is now a bubbe in Queens; marijuana is now Xanax; and the target of the NYC chauvinism this time isn’t L.A. — it’s the suburbs, where the male leads are from. Oxblood’s best line: “We grew up in the suburbs. It’s like being in the desert without the benefit of solitude.”
Whether it all works or not we’ll leave to you — but we can all agree that its twelve minutes are another case of life offering too-small portions. Oxblood’s website promises an upcoming Kickstarter to finance a full feature. We’re reaching out to Oxblood with questions, chief among them: “In the original, Annie goes to an Alice Cooper concert and brings home a program, like she went to hear the Philharmonic or something. Will you also be updating the stuff Allen got wrong?”
If you’re so inclined, Annie Hall is currently streaming on Netflix.
(Thanks to a friend in San Francisco for the tip!)
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