worksheet header.jpgworksheet footer.jpg

Annie Hall - three scenes (by Woody Allen)

Level: High. Language: Jokes, Psychology, Personality, Childhood

Hall (1977) is one of Woody Allen's most successful comedy films. Its main character is Alvy, played by Woody Allen. Alvy tells the story of his ex-girlfriend Annie and reflects on his life and what he has lost.

Task 1: Watch each scene once. Then answer the corresponding questions below.

Opening Scene - Relationships

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrxlfvI17oY 

a. What conversation do the two old women have? How does it relate to Alvy's view on life?

b. What Groucho Marx joke does he tell? How does this relate to his view on relationships?

c. Why is he thinking about Annie?




The universe is expanding

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U1-OmAICpU&feature=related 

d. Why was Alvy depressed? 





I never had a latency period

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnEIcD81cjI&feature=related 

e. What is Freud's "latency period"?

f. What are Alvy's classmates doing now (as adults)?








Task 2: Now watch the opening scene again. Complete the text below (one word per gap).

There's an old joke.  Uh, two elderly women are at a Catskills mountain resort, and one of 'em says: "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know, and such ... small ________________." Well, that's essentially how I feel about life.  Full of loneliness and misery and suffering and unhappiness, and it's all over much too _______________________.  

The other important joke for me is one that's, usually attributed to Groucho Marx, but I think it appears originally in Freud's Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious.  And it  goes like this-I'm paraphrasing: Uh ... "I would never wanna belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member." That's the __________ joke of my adult life in terms of my relationships with women.  

You know, lately the strangest things have been going through my mind, 'cause I _______________ forty, and I guess I'm going through a life crisis or something, I don't know. I, uh ... and I'm not worried about aging. I'm not one of those characters, you know.

Although I'm _______________ slightly on top, that's about the worst you can say about me.  I think I'm gonna get better as I get older, you know?  I think I'm gonna be the balding virile type, you know, as opposed to say the, uh, distinguished gray, for instance, you know?  Unless I'm neither of those two. Unless I'm one of those guys with saliva dribbling out of his mouth who wanders into a cafeteria with a shopping bag ______________ about socialism.

(Sighing)

Annie and I broke up and I still can't get my _______________ around that.  You know, I keep sifting the pieces of the relationship through my mind and-and examining my life and tryin' to figure out where did the screw-up come, you know, and a year ago we were...  in love.  You know, and-and-and ... And it's funny, I'm not-I'm not a morose type.  I'm not a depressive character.  I-I-I, uh, (Laughing). You know, I was a reasonably happy kid, I guess.  I was ___________   _____ in Brooklyn during World War Two.


Did you like this activity? Find more on Picnic English:

http://picnicenglish.blogspot.com

or follow us on Facebook or Twitter

Answers:

Task 1 -

For answers to a,b,c, see the full text in Task 2.

d. Why was Alvy depressed? 

He read something which informed him that the universe is expanding. Now he realises that if the universe is expanding, that means that one day it will break apart and that will be the end of everything. He doesn't see the point of doing his homework because he knows that the universe will end some day.

e. What is Freud's "latency period"?

The latency period is one of Freud's stages in the psychosexual development of a child. These stages are Oral, Anal, Phallic, Latency and Genital (in that order). From the video, we can imagine that the Latency Period refers to a time of life when the child is not interested in sex.

Teacher: Six year old boys don't have girls on their minds

Alvy: Well I did.

Alvy's classmate: For God's sake Alvy, even Freud speaks of a latency period.

Alvy: Well I never had a latency period, I can't help it!

f. What are Alvy's classmates doing now (as adults)?

Donald is in a profitable Trust Company. Boy 2 is president of the Pinker's Plumbing Company. Boy 3 sells tallises (typical Jewish scarves). Boy 4 used to be a herion addict, now he's a methadone addict. The girl is into leather (this means that she enjoys wearing leather clothes, possibly in a sadomasochistic way).

Task 2 -

There's an old joke.  Uh, two elderly women are at a Catskills mountain resort, and one of 'em says: "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know, and such ... small portions." Well, that's essentially how I feel about life. Full of loneliness and misery and suffering and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly.  

The other important joke for me is one that's, usually attributed to Groucho Marx, but I think it appears originally in Freud's Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious.  And it goes like this-I'm paraphrasing -: Uh ... "I would never wanna belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member." That's the key joke of my adult life in terms of my relationships with women.  

You know, lately the strangest things have been going through my mind, 'cause I turned forty, and I guess I'm going through a life crisis or something, I don't know. I, uh ... and I'm not worried about aging. I'm not one of those characters, you know. Although I'm balding slightly on top, that's about the worst you can say about me.  I think I'm gonna get better as I get older, you know?  I think I'm gonna be the balding virile type, you know, as opposed to say the, uh, distinguished gray, for instance, you know?  Unless I'm neither of those two. Unless I'm one of those guys with saliva dribbling out of his mouth who wanders into a cafeteria with a shopping bag screaming about socialism.

(Sighing)

Annie and I broke up and I still can't get my mind around that.  You know, I keep sifting the pieces of the relationship through my mind and-and examining my life and tryin' to figure out where did the screw-up come, you know, and a year ago we were...  in love.  You know, and-and-and ... And it's funny, I'm not-I'm not a morose type.  I'm not a depressive character.  I-I-I, uh, (Laughing). You know, I was a reasonably happy kid, I guess.  I was brought up in Brooklyn during World War Two.

worksheet footer.jpg