• Woody Allen’s seventh feature (I don’t count What’s Up, Tiger Lily?) and a major change in tone for him at this point in his career. It is his first film to have a very solemn tenor (going further than Annie Hall) and first not to feature him as an actor.
  • Always look to the film after a giant masterpiece for an underrated work for a great auteur- this is a prime example (again directly after Annie Hall), Marie Antoinette from Sofia Coppola, One From the Heart is a good example as well after Apocalypse Now, certainly Ambersons, Juliet of the Spirits from Fellini—the initial reaction isn’t always a great barometer with such expectations. If Interiors had come before Annie Hall – my guess is it would easily be in the TSPDT top 1000
  • The dual meaning of the title– Geraldine Page’s Eve (really the central character of the film) is quite literally obsessed with interiors. She’s an obsessive-compulsive interior designer. Plus, the inner angst and turmoil (not only of Page’s Eve) but the entire family
  • five Oscar nominations, 92 minutes
  • Allen drew on Eugene O’Neill, Chekhov (three sisters- Hannah and Her Sisters is three sisters as well- 1986), and Ingmar Bergman—the biggest influences here- but the opening silent montage of empty rooms (stunning) is Ozu– Charlie Kaufman does something similar in 2020’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Another one of Allen’s collaborations with DP Gordon Willis—they did phenomenal work together. They made eight films together between 1977-1985

  • Apparently, the role of Eve was written for Ingrid Bergman—who could not play the role because she was working with Ingmar on Autumn Sonata (1978)

I see Todd Haynes’ Safe here as well- carefully arranged interiors—disorder/sickness. “rigid” and similar terms used by the daughters, “ice palace”.

 2019’s Swallow has a similar mode. In terms of production design this may the  high-water mark for Woody.

  • Sublime costume (Joel Schumacher- yes, the eventual successful director- does the costume) and décor- the coffee mugs match Mary Beth Hurt’s character’s robe
  • Smartly shot on the New York beach in winter, the season is so important to the film, no score
  • The color design is consistent—tans/yellows/creams/sand

Immaculate frames like the empty living room with only Page’s character in black before attempting suicide

  • Discontented people, frayed relationships—it is Woody after all so it is intellectual, highly referential, discussion of art, theater, walls of books in the décor
  • Allen’s pen has been sharper in other films—but there are still very well written scenes like the fight between the two sisters (played by Marty Beth Hurt and Diane Keaton) and father (E.G. Marshall—of course from Twelve Angry Men) about his upcoming marriage

At 63-minutes the 2-minute tracking shot of Keaton and Kristin Griffith as Flyn from left to right with the sand and ocean (waves playing a metaphor for Allen) – Allen’s camera stays behind the fence

Mary Beth Hurt at the 78-minute mark with the door ajar and Wills’ gorgeous lighting

  • Ennui- there’s Antonioni in the self-serious characters

at the funeral- Allen’s use of blocking

The final shot is a jaw-dropper—posing at the window. Keaton (also in Gordon Willis’ work in The Godfather of course) foreground left, Mary Beth Hurt middle right and Griffith in the background middle—great blocking. Gerwig would use this almost exact shot in 2019’s Little Women


  • A Must-See film