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Woody Allen 
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Post Re: Woody Allen
Woody Allen is one of the great American filmmakers. In my opinion, he stands tall next to Billy Wilder as perhaps our greatest sound-era comedic filmmaker ever. (Chaplin holds the distinction of best comedic filmmaker in the history of cinema)

I was never that interested in seeing his movies--I think when I was younger, I just didn't see the appeal of the heavy neuroticism he kept bringing to his roles. But then, I saw Manhattan Murder Mystery, and I was hooked. Because MMM could essentially be looked at as the sequel to Annie Hall, I immediately watched that and there was no turning back. I've seen every one of his movies except perhaps the last few dramatic ones and a few of his dramatic films of the mid-80s.


Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:22 am
Post Re: Woody Allen
Robert Holloway wrote:
Hi PeachyPete

Woody Allen is certainly old, if you class over 70 as old. But he is not senile.

Anyone who can write and direct a major movie is clearly not suffering from senility. By most directors standards Vicky Christina Barcelona is not a bad film at all.

Rob


I was being sarcastic. I was pointing out that I don't think Match Point is anywhere near his best film. It's a good film, but not one of his best. I don't think he's senile at all, that was just to add a little comic relief to the discussion. Apparently, it was an unsuccessful attempt. :oops:


Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:08 pm
Post Re: Woody Allen
PeachyPete wrote:
Robert Holloway wrote:
Hi PeachyPete

Woody Allen is certainly old, if you class over 70 as old. But he is not senile.

Anyone who can write and direct a major movie is clearly not suffering from senility. By most directors standards Vicky Christina Barcelona is not a bad film at all.

Rob


I was being sarcastic. I was pointing out that I don't think Match Point is anywhere near his best film. It's a good film, but not one of his best. I don't think he's senile at all, that was just to add a little comic relief to the discussion. Apparently, it was an unsuccessful attempt. :oops:



Hi PeachyPete

Apologies if I missed your intended tone. It's often hard with mere words on a screen and no vocal inflection or facial signs :-)

I agree with you completely that MatchPoint is neither his best or one of his best films. I think the reason we keep hearing the expression "Return To Form" is more about hope and wishful thinking.

Rob


Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:23 pm
Post Re: Woody Allen
I would regard it as one of his best films (based on the 15 or 20 that I've seen up to now).

Of those I've seen I'd categorize them in 3 tiers. Great, Very Good and Mediocre.

Great
Crimes & Misdemeanors
Manhattan
Annie Hall
Match Point
Another Woman
(I know there are others that belong here...)

Very Good
Mighty Aphrodite
Sleeper
Alice
Zelig
Bullets Over Broadway
Sweet and Lowdown
Vicki Cristina Barcelona
Deconstructing Harry
Melinda and Melinda
Everyone Says I Love You

Mediocre
Small Time Crooks
Scoop
Celebrity


Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:37 pm
Post Re: Woody Allen
My list:

The Masterpieces and The Excellent

Manhattan
Annie Hall
Zelig
Hannah and Her Sisters
Bananas
Love and Death
Interiors
Stardust Memories
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Everyone Says I Love You

The Great and the Good

Bullets Over Broadway
Mighty Aphrodite
Deconstructing Harry
Sweet and Lowdown
Match Point
Vicky Christina Barcelona
Take the Money and Run
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex *But Were Afraid to Ask
Sleeper
Broadway Danny Rose
Manhattan Murder Mystery
Melinda and Melinda

The Mediocre and Worse

A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
Celebrity
Small Time Crooks
What's Up, Tiger Lily?

Although I'm a definite Woodyphile, there are still several I have not yet seen (Another Woman, Alice, September...a lot of his recent output). I will add that, in my opinion, Allen is justifiably revered for his writing...but he is VERY underrated as a visual director; his eye, in fact, is nearly equal as that of Hitchcock, Kubrick, Scorsese, and Lang. Evidence: Manhattan (really, enough said)...but also Zelig, Interiors, and most recently Vicky Christina Barcelona.

Erik


Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:48 pm
Post Re: Woody Allen
BUMPed for a great Woody Allen interview:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/arts/i-squandered-my-chances-says-woody-allen/story-e6frg8n6-1225885877887

Quote:
"You can imagine how frustrating it is when I do these movies with Scarlett Johansson and Naomi Watts and the younger guys get them, and I'm just the old guy, the director," he said.


Quote:
Is he happy with his films? "No," he says firmly. "I've squandered an opportunity that people would kill for. I have had complete artistic freedom. Other directors don't get that in their lifetime. But I have a very poor record given the opportunities I've had. Out of 40 films I should have 30 masterpieces, eight noble failures and two embarrassments, but it hasn't worked out that way.


Quote:
The six he prizes: Purple Rose of Cairo, Match Point, Bullets Over Broadway, Zelig, Husbands and Wives and Vicky Cristina Barcelona.


Also BUMPed because this whole thread was a fun read ( :lol: @ Pete and Rob). Let's add something to it! Is Woody Allen really old and senile? With such a daunting filmography, will anyone attempt a Woody Allen project?


Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:50 pm
Post Re: Woody Allen
I'll be repeating myself here and applying this repetition to Woody Allen. He's in good company.

And, so, I repeat: ignore the authorial trespassing of Woody Allen. His recent interview in The Australian reads like the woe-is-me false catalog of a terminal Philip Roth (another 30s-born New Yorker that has spent a good portion of his career lamenting the weight out "Social Judaism" while mining it for some outstanding insights). Woody Allen, in his droopiest Droopy Dog mode, should be taken with a gigantic grain of salt; he casually applies labels like "failure" when his comparisons are as inapt as confusing books for egg whites. He says,

Quote:
"Many of the films are enjoyable by the mean standards of movies, but look at what has been accomplished by people who have done beautiful things - Kurosawa, Bergman, Fellini, Bunuel, Truffaut - and then look at my films. I have squandered my opportunities and I have nobody to blame but myself."


What price glory, Woody? Casting aspersions by gross omission of many of his masterpieces is either a way of deepening validation for things like Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Match Point or a nasty lack of good judgement. Whatever happened to the "Joie de vivre" Woody that showed a love of the process (writing, acting and directing) just through the energy on screen?

Woody Allen is growing old and unreliable -- best to let his past work speak for him as he's clearly been waylaid by celebratory spectacles of his spooky fantasy life (see Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Match Point -- when 33% of his 6 preferred movies aren't very good there's a problem with the microphone, his memory or his honesty).

So, you know, these:

Deconstructing Harry, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Hannah and Her Sisters, Everyone Says I Love You, Annie Hall and the underrated Cassandra's Dream.

Crimes and Misdemeanors, his best movie and greatest dramatic performance, even contains his funniest line:

[describing a sex act that has left him feeling nauseous]
"A strange man defecated on my sister."


Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:03 pm
Post Re: Woody Allen
majoraphasia wrote:
Woody Allen is growing old and unreliable -- best to let his past work speak for him as he's clearly been waylaid by celebratory spectacles of his spooky fantasy life (see Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Match Point -- when 33% of his 6 preferred movies aren't very good there's a problem with the microphone, his memory or his honesty).

Directors often have questionable favorites within their own catalog. Kubrick's favorite was Eyes Wide Shut and Coppola friggin' hates The Godfather.


Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:02 am
Post Re: Woody Allen
Pedro wrote:
majoraphasia wrote:
Woody Allen is growing old and unreliable -- best to let his past work speak for him as he's clearly been waylaid by celebratory spectacles of his spooky fantasy life (see Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Match Point -- when 33% of his 6 preferred movies aren't very good there's a problem with the microphone, his memory or his honesty).

Directors often have questionable favorites within their own catalog. Kubrick's favorite was Eyes Wide Shut and Coppola friggin' hates The Godfather.


It isn't his favorites being questionable but his dismissal of a great career as "failed". His "equable" (and that's from the interview) responses underscore the reality of Allen as we've always known: he's lonely, depressed and not being entirely truthful. This isn't the first time a great artist has done this -- it's a kind of rite of passage for late-in-life geniuses. (See also: Bergman, Nabokov, Vonnegut, Updike and virtually every other artist that still has a following 40 years into a career).


Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:09 am
Post Re: Woody Allen
majoraphasia wrote:
It isn't his favorites being questionable but his dismissal of a great career as "failed". His "equable" (and that's from the interview) responses underscore the reality of Allen as we've always known: he's lonely, depressed and not being entirely truthful. This isn't the first time a great artist has done this -- it's a kind of rite of passage for late-in-life geniuses. (See also: Bergman, Nabokov, Vonnegut, Updike and virtually every other artist that still has a following 40 years into a career).

Have you seen Bergman Island?


Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:11 am
Post Re: Woody Allen
Pedro wrote:
majoraphasia wrote:
It isn't his favorites being questionable but his dismissal of a great career as "failed". His "equable" (and that's from the interview) responses underscore the reality of Allen as we've always known: he's lonely, depressed and not being entirely truthful. This isn't the first time a great artist has done this -- it's a kind of rite of passage for late-in-life geniuses. (See also: Bergman, Nabokov, Vonnegut, Updike and virtually every other artist that still has a following 40 years into a career).

Have you seen Bergman Island?


I have a copy (it comes with The Seventh Seal on the second disc, as you likely know) but I've been nervous about it... I'd read that Bergman found "less than five" of his movies good.

How was Bergman Island?


Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:14 am
Post Re: Woody Allen
majormajor wrote:
How was Bergman Island?

Haven't seen it. Watch it and let me know! I own it, too, but I'm doing my whole decade focus thing, which has been quite stunted due to work.


Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:20 am
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Post Re: Woody Allen
ed_metal_head wrote:

Quote:
Is he happy with his films? "No," he says firmly. "I've squandered an opportunity that people would kill for. I have had complete artistic freedom. Other directors don't get that in their lifetime. But I have a very poor record given the opportunities I've had. Out of 40 films I should have 30 masterpieces, eight noble failures and two embarrassments, but it hasn't worked out that way.




I think that Woody Allen is way too hard on himself. He's made a lot of really good work, and some of his films that were artistic failures were ones where he was at least trying to do something different. I give him credit for that.

And Jesus, he made Manhattan, which I think is one of the best films of the 1970s. I would argue that contrary to what Allen says, at least half of his output is notable in one way or another. And that's a pretty good track record.

_________________
Death is pretty final
I'm collecting vinyl
I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world.


Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:37 am
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Post Re: Woody Allen
majoraphasia wrote:

Crimes and Misdemeanors, his best movie and greatest dramatic performance, even contains his funniest line:

[describing a sex act that has left him feeling nauseous]
"A strange man defecated on my sister."


Honestly I never heard that much buzz about Crimes and Misdemeanors before I came here. It's always Annie Hall, Manhattan and Hannah. I love all of those and I find the very idea that Crimes is their equal (or possibly surpasses them) to be terribly exciting (not in that way...)

I mean, just read the first two pages of this thread. Every second person lists Crimes as their favourite Allen movie. God Damn...

Sexual Chocolate wrote:
ed_metal_head wrote:

Quote:
Is he happy with his films? "No," he says firmly. "I've squandered an opportunity that people would kill for. I have had complete artistic freedom. Other directors don't get that in their lifetime. But I have a very poor record given the opportunities I've had. Out of 40 films I should have 30 masterpieces, eight noble failures and two embarrassments, but it hasn't worked out that way.




And Jesus, he made Manhattan, which I think is one of the best films of the 1970s. I would argue that contrary to what Allen says, at least half of his output is notable in one way or another. And that's a pretty good track record.


I'm not actually Jesus, but yes Manhattan is some movie. I'm more of an Annie Hall guy myself, but when I merely think about that Gershwin score I almost get goosebumps. Almost.

Who knows, maybe Woody is just downplaying his movies so that he can hear people tell him: "No Woody, that's not true. You made a lot of great ones."


Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:54 pm
Post Re: Woody Allen
ed_metal_head wrote:

Who knows, maybe Woody is just downplaying his movies so that he can hear people tell him: "No Woody, that's not true. You made a lot of great ones."


I fear it's something far simpler than that:

"No Woody, that's not true. You made a lot of great ones and you're so smart and..."

Scarlett Johansson removes her top to reveal the hopes and dreams of Woody Allen with areolae so glorious The Gods of High Places weep the sweet sap of Spirit of '35's most stunning cock.

Sayeth Woody (every chance he gets) "The heart wants what it wants," and so is revealed a career that is equal parts exorcising demons and getting his prick wet. The wetter the prick the better the script, the better the script the better the movie, the better the movie the wetter the prick.

Cynical? Maybe. But a Woody buried in muff is the best Woody for us all. And you can quote me on that.


Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:58 am
Post Re: Woody Allen
C'mon, his name IS Woody, for crying out loud. I was hoping for some more insightful analysis from you Major. ;)


Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:54 am
Post Re: Woody Allen
I'm not going to lie, I don't like Woody Allen much. More often then not he gets on my nerves. He does have talent, I can't deny that and I do think he makes a better director than an actor because most movies that have his name attached that I do like he actually doesn't star in.

There are exceptions though in his acting, I am glad you mentioned "Sleeper." I love that movie. I'll also admit that "Everything you wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask" is an immaturely guilty pleasure.


Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:30 am
Post Re: Woody Allen
Chie1989 wrote:
I'm not going to lie, I don't like Woody Allen much. More often then not he gets on my nerves. He does have talent, I can't deny that and I do think he makes a better director than an actor because most movies that have his name attached that I do like he actually doesn't star in.

There are exceptions though in his acting, I am glad you mentioned "Sleeper." I love that movie. I'll also admit that "Everything you wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask" is an immaturely guilty pleasure.


I always liked Allen as an actor, especially in his own movies. The why is for a simple reason: since he always includes an Allen character (Branagh in Celebrity, for example) it's better to see him play himself rather than watch another do a caricature.


Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:29 pm
Post Re: Woody Allen
majoraphasia wrote:
ed_metal_head wrote:

Who knows, maybe Woody is just downplaying his movies so that he can hear people tell him: "No Woody, that's not true. You made a lot of great ones."


I fear it's something far simpler than that:

"No Woody, that's not true. You made a lot of great ones and you're so smart and..."

Scarlett Johansson removes her top to reveal the hopes and dreams of Woody Allen with areolae so glorious The Gods of High Places weep the sweet sap of Spirit of '35's most stunning cock.

Sayeth Woody (every chance he gets) "The heart wants what it wants," and so is revealed a career that is equal parts exorcising demons and getting his prick wet. The wetter the prick the better the script, the better the script the better the movie, the better the movie the wetter the prick.

Cynical? Maybe. But a Woody buried in muff is the best Woody for us all. And you can quote me on that.


You might be onto something there... [nytimes.com]


Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:24 am
Post Re: Woody Allen
ed_metal_head wrote:


Now that was funny. Vintage Allen funny.

Quote:
JULY 3

Scarlett came to me today with one of those questions actors ask, “What’s my motivation?” I shot back, “Your salary.” She said fine but that she needed a lot more motivation to continue. About triple. Otherwise she threatened to walk. I called her bluff and walked first. Then she walked. Now we were rather far apart and had to yell to be heard. Then she threatened to hop. I hopped too, and soon we were at an impasse. At the impasse I ran into friends, and we all drank, and of course I got stuck with the check.


Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:37 am
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