Reel Brandeis

Woody Allen and Brandeis, part I

In “Annie Hall” (1977), Alvy (Allen) meets and, in a rush of words, stereotypes Allison (Carol Kane), the young woman who will become his first wife: “You, you, you’re like New York, Jewish, left-wing, liberal, intellectual, Central Park West, Brandeis University, the socialist summer camps and the, the father with the Ben Shahn drawings, right, and the really, y’know, strike-oriented kind of … Stop me before I make a complete imbecile of myself.”

Woody Allen and Brandeis, part II

In “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986), Holly (Dianne Wiest) — who will become the second wife of Hannah’s ex-husband Mickey (Allen) — sizes up a friend’s easy patter with a prospective beau, an architect: “Where did April come up with that stuff about Adolf Loos and terms like ‘organic form’? [Pause] Well, naturally. She went to Brandeis.”

Clothes make the character

Drew Barrymore’s character wears a Brandeis shirt in the rom-com “Music and Lyrics” (2007). And Kevin Spacey dons a Brandeis cap to play Jack Abramoff ’81 in “Casino Jack” (2010).

Life reflects art

When does change really take root? When people see it reflected in “the social culture,” said U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, as he declared his support for gay marriage during a May appearance on “Meet the Press.” He singled out one culture-changing milestone, which starred Debra Messing ’90. “I think ‘Will & Grace’ probably did more to educate the American public [about gay rights] than almost anything anybody’s done so far,” Biden said.