When you make a movie that gives columnists, critics and the movie-going public both of Woody’s pretty damning barrels, you can’t expect to be showered in critical acclaim and haul in the big bucks at the box office. But that was never the point with Stardust Memories. It served as Allen’s attempt at his own taken on Fellini’s 8 1/2, complete with retrospective recollections of past loves and so much angst you almost choke on it.
In this way, Stardust Memories remains one of those amazingly divisive movies, but it contains moments so wonderful that they can’t be ignored, even if the rest of the piece brings you out in hives. After all, this is the movie that includes the line about Allen’s character not making movies “like his early funny ones”, a moment so self-referential there’s no way you can believe Allen’s claim that this was pure fiction. As for our favourite bit, we’re going for the opening scene: Charlotte Rampling + Woody Allen + Louis Armstrong. You can’t not.