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THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO

Director:

82 minutes| U.S.A.| 1985| Black and White/Colour| 35mm


‘I just met a wonderful man,’ says Mia Farrow’s downtrodden waitress, adding: ‘He’s fictional, but you can’t have everything.’ The essence of Purple Rose is in that line: its situation of what happens when a film character (Jeff Daniels) steps from the screen into the waitress’ real world; its theme of the tension between
life and fiction; its tone of wondrous humour tinged with melancholy disillusionment. Screen escapism is
rarely this delicate, this enchanting.

Allen: ‘I wrote a story based on only this: that a woman’s dream man comes off the screen and she’s in love with him, and then the real actor appears and she’s forced to choose between reality and fantasy. And of course one can’t choose fantasy, because that can lead to madness, so one has to choose reality. And when you choose reality, you get hurt.’

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