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MacGuffin

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Re: Woody Allen
« Reply #240 on: December 18, 2005, 12:36:36 AM »
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Stardust Memories
Woody Allen on his prolific career -- The ''Match Point'' director revisits the highlights of career
by Josh Rottenberg, Entertainment Weekly
 
Stepping gingerly into an elegantly appointed hotel suite in Beverly Hills, shoulders slouched, eyes casing the room, Woody Allen looks a little out of his element. No surprise: This is the man who raised feeling uncomfortable — in social settings, in love, in a cold and godless universe — to an art form, and, as anyone familiar with his life and work knows, Los Angeles is not exactly his turf. As the Brooklyn-bred filmmaker quipped in his 1977 masterpiece Annie Hall, Los Angeles is ''a city where the only cultural advantage is that you can make a right turn on a red light.''

Settling into a sofa, Allen says he enjoys visiting L.A., ''but I could never live here. I need a more close-packed city. And I don't like the sunshine.''

But Allen has been straying outside his comfort zone more and more lately. Even as his films have struggled to find an audience, he has entered into new partnerships, like a three-picture deal with DreamWorks from 2000 to 2002, that step up the pressure on him to at least break even at the box office. In 2001, he split with his longtime friend and producer Jean Doumanian in a bitter legal battle. The next year, he stunned audiences by making his first-ever appearance at the Academy Awards — in a tuxedo, no less.

His new film, Match Point — his 36th — represents another unexpected turn. Filmed in England, with a mainly British cast, it's a straight-up Hitchcockian thriller: the story of a social-climbing tennis pro (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who dives into a passionate, ill-fated affair with his brother-in-law's fiancée (Scarlett Johansson). Since debuting at the Cannes film festival — where Allen walked the red carpet and did his best to smile for the cameras — Match Point, in limited release Dec. 28, has been heralded as a return to form for the director and earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Drama.

Allen seems wary of the buzz. ''People like to talk,'' he says dismissively. The reality is, after 50-plus years in show business, he's heard it all. He's been hailed as a comic genius and attacked as a self-indulgent narcissist. His films have been celebrated as cultural events (Annie Hall, Manhattan, the list goes on) and panned or, worse, ignored (September, Anything Else, that list goes on as well). His persona as the neurotic Everyman made him an unlikely folk hero, while his offscreen life — most notably the revelation in 1992 of his affair with his current wife Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his longtime girlfriend and cinematic muse Mia Farrow — brought scorn from some quarters. Allen says he tunes out the background din of acclaim, disdain, and everything in between: ''Even when I'm embraced, I'm not embraced warmly. It doesn't matter to me.''

Earlier this month, Allen turned 70. He's a little hard of hearing and moves more slowly than he used to. Yet he keeps plugging away, making a film a year with a regularity you can set a watch to. His parents lived to be 93 and 100, and with his next comedy, Scoop, already in the can, he shows no signs of stopping.
 
This constant forward motion (''like a shark,'' to quote Annie Hall again) means Allen doesn't look back much. But today, he offers ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY a rare opportunity to revisit some of the highlights of his legendary career. Seen through his famous thick-framed and far-from-rose-colored glasses, it seems the hits and misses are sometimes one and the same.

TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN 1969
Having won fame as a stand-up comic, Allen had transitioned into films as a writer and actor with What's New, Pussycat?, What's Up, Tiger Lily?, and Casino Royale. Still honing his comedic style, he made a promising solo directorial debut with this madcap mockumentary about a hapless would-be criminal.

I felt I was ready to direct, but the people in my corner said, ''People will resent it. They'll think, Who is this guy?'' So I tried to get Jerry Lewis, because I thought he was quite a good comedy director, and he agreed to direct it. But we couldn't work it out with the studio, and Jerry went off to do something else. Then this new company, Palomar Pictures, formed, and they were willing to take a chance on me. The picture was very well received critically, but two or three years after it came out, they had still not broken even. I knew I was not destined to be a cash cow. But even when I was a cabaret comic, I always had a tough time getting an audience. They'd book me into Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and they'd have half a house. By the third night, the head waiters would be pulling the potted plants in so they could make the space much smaller for the audience.

SLEEPER 1973
A nonstop Orgasmatron of inspired silliness, this futuristic Rip Van Winkle comedy displayed Allen's growing storytelling skill, though the difficulties of creating the world of 2173 (giant bananas and all) forced him to pour his salary into reshoots. Most important, the film showcased his comedic chemistry with a young actress named Diane Keaton, with whom he had been romantically involved.

Marshall Brickman and I wanted to write a movie that wasn't just gag-gag-gag. I was good at writing gags, but to write a story with a real plot and real characters — that was much harder. I was used to working as a comic, where if you don't hear the laughs for 60 seconds, it's disconcerting. I had a small budget, and I was working in the future, so every car had to be built, every costume had to be designed. Fortunately, my costume designer was Joel Schumacher. He had, like, a $10,000 budget to do all the costumes, but he was brilliant and inventive and he did it.

I knew Diane very well. I had done a play with her, Play It Again, Sam, we had lived together, and we were very close. I just felt she had a limitless comic talent. I've always felt that the two great movie comediennes of all time were Judy Holliday and Diane Keaton.

ANNIE HALL 1977
Allen's artistic breakthrough had a difficult birth. In its two-hour-and-30-minute rough cut, the film (originally titled Anhedonia) was a formless collection of comic bits and pieces. After extensive and ruthless editing, the 93-minute film that emerged would become one of the most iconic romantic comedies in Hollywood history. Audiences didn't just love it — they luhrved it, they luffed it, and the film earned Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actress for Keaton. Allen, however, was a no-show at the Oscars.

The movie was originally supposed to be what my character was thinking, in a not really coherent fashion. It was this abstract experimental idea of my mind at work, and the relationship was one big part of it, but there were many other parts. And I shot it that way. But when Marshall Brickman saw the first cut, he said, ''I wrote it with you and even I can't follow it.'' So we restructured it and reshot the ending many times. I was able to find the love story, and audiences were charmed by it beyond my expectations. I didn't save outtakes or any of that stuff. I'm not a big nostalgia person.

They gave the Oscars out Monday evenings in those days. I always played clarinet with my jazz band on Monday evenings, and it was something I always looked forward to. I don't like to fly. I don't like to get into a tuxedo. So I'm not going to suddenly cancel my band and fly to California. People made a big deal out of that, but I don't write movies to win awards.

INTERIORS 1978
Allen's abrupt turn toward drama with this somber, Bergmanesque portrait of a family falling apart brought him his first major critical drubbing.

I didn't see it coming. There were people who loved it, and there were other people who thought I was committing a crime: I was in bad faith, I had violated my contract with the audience. I didn't feel it was fair. I thought I should be able to try something, even if I made the worst film in the world. After Interiors I knew there would be consequences if I tried to make that kind of film again. But I did it. Because the alternative is letting other people tell you exactly what to do in your career. Maybe they're even right, but, you know, it's hard to live that way.

MANHATTAN 1979
A wistfully romantic ode to Allen's hometown and an indelible portrait of angsty urbanites in search of love, this gorgeously shot, Gershwin-drenched comic drama grossed nearly $40 million, Allen's biggest hit up to this point, and was hailed as another triumph — by everyone but Allen himself.

I was so disappointed when I saw my final cut, I thought, If this is as good as I can do at this point, I shouldn't be making films. I went to United Artists and said, ''Look, don't put this out. I'll make another film, no charge.'' They thought I was nuts. And it was a very, very big hit. Audiences don't have the same criteria I do. They say, Okay, you had some grandiose idea and maybe you failed, but we like this film. So once again, I shut up and just felt I got away with it. I got off with my life.

STARDUST MEMORIES 1980
The most polarizing film of Allen's career concerns a successful director, played by Allen, whose midlife crisis plays out across a surreal, Fellini-esque canvas. Many were angered by the film's bitter, mocking portrayal of critics and moviegoers as sycophants and vulgarians.

I certainly did not think my audience was stupid or grotesque, the way they seemed to be portrayed in the movie. I never had those thoughts — and if I did, I was much too smart to express them. I had an idea about an artist who had everything in the world and still couldn't beat his sense of mortality — that's all that was interesting to me. But it was not taken that way. It was taken as an act of hostility. I've played the part of the neurotic so intensely and so often, when a movie like Stardust Memories comes out, it's very hard for audiences to separate [me from the character]. Chaplin could put on the little tramp's hat, but I go on the screen like this, so they make the assumption that I'm that guy. But it's not me. A few months after the movie came out, John Lennon was murdered. In my movie, I show that exactly: The relationship between the audience and the entertainer is very often a kind of worship but also homicidal. I felt I had a good insight into that world.

HANNAH AND HER SISTERS 1986
This novelistic look at the tangled lives and loves of three Manhattan sisters earned over $40 million, topping Manhattan as Allen's biggest-grossing film. But in his mind, it didn't come out the way he had intended.

I had written a different ending that was not as upbeat: Michael Caine's character is still hopelessly in love with [his wife] Hannah's sister, who has married another guy because he couldn't bring himself to act, and he's stuck with Hannah and it's going to be a nothing marriage. And I shot that ending. But when I looked at it, it was like the picture dropped off the table. It was negative — and not like a good, Chekhovian negative, it was an inept negative, a downer. So I guided the thing instinctively to an ending where all the characters came out happy, and the picture was very successful. But I never felt positive about it. I felt I had a very poignant idea, but finally couldn't bring it home.

CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS 1989
One of Allen's most deft balancing acts of comedy and drama juxtaposes a morality play about a prominent ophthalmologist (Martin Landau) who plots to murder his mistress, with a comic story featuring Allen as a struggling filmmaker.

For me, the interesting story was Marty Landau's story, and as I was putting that picture together, I so regretted that I had my story in there. I thought, My God, if I had made this film just about Marty and his predicament, it would have been so much of a better movie. As soon as I put myself in the picture, I felt that it ratcheted down in substance instantly, because I can only play a clown, a joker. I'm always seduced by serious stuff. I wish my gift in life had been Tennessee Williams' gift or Ingmar Bergman's or Eugene O'Neill's. It wasn't — my strong point was comedy. Comedy can never go as deep, by its very nature; when a situation becomes tense, you make a joke and it relieves it. These are just personal feelings of mine. Other people don't feel that way.

HUSBANDS AND WIVES 1992
Allen's most caustic look at relationships in crisis hit theaters as his personal troubles were exploding in the press, bringing his decade-plus-long on-screen and offscreen partnership with Farrow to a crashing end.

The movie had no relation to my life in any way. But when it came out, my private life was all over the headlines. I could always work under stress, though. Whenever things go bad, the two things I've always been able to do are lose myself in work and lose myself in sleep. Work has always been a lifesaver. I can immerse myself in the problems of the second-act finale and avoid having to face the problems that are really unpleasant and that I can't deal with.

SWEET AND LOWDOWN 1999
Sean Penn and Samantha Morton earned Oscar nominations for this bittersweet period piece about a callously self-absorbed jazz guitarist who is as reprehensible in his life as he is brilliant in his art.

I liked that movie — it was one of the ones, like The Purple Rose of Cairo [1985] or Husbands and Wives, that came out very much the way I wanted it to. I had that idea almost from the start of my career, around the time of Bananas [1971], and I was going to play the guitar player. I went to United Artists and they said, ''We assumed you were going to do comedies when we signed this contract.'' So I took it back and two weeks later I gave them Bananas. Years later, I rewrote it for Sean. When I was younger, I could have played it, but I never would have brought to it Sean's acting skill and his tortured persona.

MATCH POINT 2005
Critics are hailing Allen's latest as a comeback, but in his mind, he's never gone anywhere.

I had the idea for a while to do a murder story where the murderer kills the victim's next-door neighbor so it looks like the other murder was just in passing, to deflect the police. Then when I made the guy a tennis player, the metaphor came of getting the bounce one way or the other, and the thing evolved from there. People impute to it calculation and going in a different direction and ''this is what's happening in his private life so he does this or that.'' None of that ever enters into it remotely. I just sit in a room or walk the streets in New York and think, Gee, what should I do next? It's always just by sheer chance. I could make 10 movies in a row that would be as serious as Interiors or as light as Small Time Crooks. There's no way of me knowing. I'm just happy to get any ideas.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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MacGuffin

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Re: Woody Allen
« Reply #241 on: December 19, 2005, 02:10:10 AM »
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Woody Allen is mediocre and makes miserable films: Woody Allen

In his trademark pessimistic style, US cinema legend Woody Allen said he is a "mediocre" director of "miserable work".

"I've disappointed myself most of the time," the New Yorker told BBC television, rejecting claims he is a film artist.

In London for the world premiere of his new film "Match Point", set in the British capital, Allen said: "People think I'm an intellectual because I wear glasses and they think I'm an artist because my films lose money".

Allen's movies have often been better received in Europe than in America but he said he was grateful for any US acclaim as it would have overlooked his "glaring faults and miserable work".

"I'm one of the smallest money making Academy Award winners in history," the 70-year-old said, referring to his Oscars for "Annie Hall" in 1977 and "Hannah and Her Sisters" in 1986.

"My relationship with the American audience is exactly the same as it has always been: they never came to see my films, and they don't come now.

"I've often said that the only thing standing between me and greatness is me," he mused.

Summing up his giant filmography as "mediocre", Allen said "Match Point", "Husbands and Wives" (1992) and "The Purple Rose of Cairo" (1985) were "three films of mine that are good films. Those are good films by anybody's standards".

Allen claimed he had led a pretty dull, middle-class life.

"I was married a couple of times. I'm not a dope addict, I don't drink. I'm not really a neurotic," he said.

He touched on his love of playing the clarinet.

"I'm a terrible clarinet player. But I play with my heart. I don't have a great ear for music," he said.

"It thrills me and it amazes me" that people turn up to watch his band, he said.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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MacGuffin

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Re: Woody Allen
« Reply #242 on: January 02, 2006, 06:44:08 PM »
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Allen, Mediapro team for Spanish pic
Source: Hollywood Reporter

MADRID -- Woody Allen has signed on to shoot a film with Spanish production house Mediapro in 2007, the Barcelona-based producer said Monday. Allen will write and direct the English-language script that will use international and Spanish actors and is expected to shoot in the first half of 2007. No other details were immediately available. "I'm happy to be able to work with Mediapro and make a film in Spain," Allen said in a statement released by the production house. "I hope that I'll be able to enjoy my stay in Spain, a country that has become very special to me." In recent years, Mediapro produced Oliver Stone's "Comandante," along with Isabel Coixet's "The Secret Life of Words" and Fernando Leon's "Mondays in the Sun."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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MacGuffin

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Re: Woody Allen
« Reply #243 on: April 04, 2006, 11:22:50 PM »
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Williams packs for Paris with Allen film role
Source: Hollywood Reporter

Michelle Williams has signed on to star in Woody Allen's untitled Paris-set movie. It is Williams' first role since her Oscar-nominated turn in "Brokeback Mountain."

Like most of Allen's movies, story details are being kept under wraps, though it is understood to focus on young Americans in the City of Lights. Production begins in the summer.
 
Written and directed by Allen, the movie is being produced by Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum and Gareth Wiley. Vincent Maraval, Benjamin Waisbren and Daniel Wuhrmann are exec producing.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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eward

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Re: Woody Allen
« Reply #244 on: April 05, 2006, 12:08:18 AM »
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jesus christ, the mans a machine
"Do you laugh at jealousy?"

"No, I don't even laugh at seasickness! I happen to regard jealousy as the seasickness of passion."

MacGuffin

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Re: Woody Allen
« Reply #245 on: April 11, 2006, 11:12:02 PM »
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Krumholtz's number up for Allen pic
Source: Hollywood Reporter

David Krumholtz, star of CBS' "Numbers," has signed on to star opposite Michelle Williams in Woody Allen's untitled Paris-set movie.

Like most of Allen's movies, story details are being kept under wraps, though it is understood to focus on a trio of young Americans in the City of Lights. Production begins in the summer.
 
Written and directed by Allen, the movie is being produced by Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum and Gareth Wiley. Vincent Maraval, Benjamin Waisbren and Daniel Wuhrmann are exec producing.

The movie is being co-produced and distributed by Virtual Films and Wild Bunch, with On Pictures taking distribution rights for Spain and TF1 having distribution rights for France.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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MacGuffin

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Re: Woody Allen
« Reply #246 on: April 18, 2006, 07:31:14 PM »
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Woody was Just Kidding About That Whole Paris Thing

Oops. Michelle Williams? David Krumholtz? Cancel those Paris plane tickets, and never mind about that job. Look at this way -- now, instead of counting your money and adding "Starred in a Woody Allen movie" to your list of accomplishments, you can go look for work! Ah, the struggles of life in Hollywood. It turns out, you see, that Allen's mysterious (the people at Variety are hilariously pleased with themselves for uncovering the fact that it was going to be about "Americans in Gaul." Gee, ya think?) Paris project isn't actually, um, happening any more. According to elusive insiders, the budget was getting out of control, so Woody just punted and ran back to London, his new favorite city in all the world.

Now, instead of filming in Paris, Allen is going to shoot a third film in London (Match Point was filmed there, as was the upcoming Scoop) before heading off to Spain next year, where he has already agreed to mount a production.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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ElPandaRoyal

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Re: Woody Allen
« Reply #247 on: April 19, 2006, 06:06:31 PM »
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Stardust Memories
Woody Allen on his prolific career -- The ''Match Point'' director revisits the highlights of career
by Josh Rottenberg, Entertainment Weekly
 
Stepping gingerly into an elegantly appointed hotel suite in Beverly Hills, shoulders slouched, eyes casing the room, Woody Allen looks a little out of his element. No surprise: This is the man who raised feeling uncomfortable — in social settings, in love, in a cold and godless universe — to an art form, and, as anyone familiar with his life and work knows, Los Angeles is not exactly his turf. As the Brooklyn-bred filmmaker quipped in his 1977 masterpiece Annie Hall, Los Angeles is ''a city where the only cultural advantage is that you can make a right turn on a red light.''

Settling into a sofa, Allen says he enjoys visiting L.A., ''but I could never live here. I need a more close-packed city. And I don't like the sunshine.''

But Allen has been straying outside his comfort zone more and more lately. Even as his films have struggled to find an audience, he has entered into new partnerships, like a three-picture deal with DreamWorks from 2000 to 2002, that step up the pressure on him to at least break even at the box office. In 2001, he split with his longtime friend and producer Jean Doumanian in a bitter legal battle. The next year, he stunned audiences by making his first-ever appearance at the Academy Awards — in a tuxedo, no less.

His new film, Match Point — his 36th — represents another unexpected turn. Filmed in England, with a mainly British cast, it's a straight-up Hitchcockian thriller: the story of a social-climbing tennis pro (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who dives into a passionate, ill-fated affair with his brother-in-law's fiancée (Scarlett Johansson). Since debuting at the Cannes film festival — where Allen walked the red carpet and did his best to smile for the cameras — Match Point, in limited release Dec. 28, has been heralded as a return to form for the director and earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Drama.

Allen seems wary of the buzz. ''People like to talk,'' he says dismissively. The reality is, after 50-plus years in show business, he's heard it all. He's been hailed as a comic genius and attacked as a self-indulgent narcissist. His films have been celebrated as cultural events (Annie Hall, Manhattan, the list goes on) and panned or, worse, ignored (September, Anything Else, that list goes on as well). His persona as the neurotic Everyman made him an unlikely folk hero, while his offscreen life — most notably the revelation in 1992 of his affair with his current wife Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his longtime girlfriend and cinematic muse Mia Farrow — brought scorn from some quarters. Allen says he tunes out the background din of acclaim, disdain, and everything in between: ''Even when I'm embraced, I'm not embraced warmly. It doesn't matter to me.''

Earlier this month, Allen turned 70. He's a little hard of hearing and moves more slowly than he used to. Yet he keeps plugging away, making a film a year with a regularity you can set a watch to. His parents lived to be 93 and 100, and with his next comedy, Scoop, already in the can, he shows no signs of stopping.
 
This constant forward motion (''like a shark,'' to quote Annie Hall again) means Allen doesn't look back much. But today, he offers ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY a rare opportunity to revisit some of the highlights of his legendary career. Seen through his famous thick-framed and far-from-rose-colored glasses, it seems the hits and misses are sometimes one and the same.

TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN 1969
Having won fame as a stand-up comic, Allen had transitioned into films as a writer and actor with What's New, Pussycat?, What's Up, Tiger Lily?, and Casino Royale. Still honing his comedic style, he made a promising solo directorial debut with this madcap mockumentary about a hapless would-be criminal.

I felt I was ready to direct, but the people in my corner said, ''People will resent it. They'll think, Who is this guy?'' So I tried to get Jerry Lewis, because I thought he was quite a good comedy director, and he agreed to direct it. But we couldn't work it out with the studio, and Jerry went off to do something else. Then this new company, Palomar Pictures, formed, and they were willing to take a chance on me. The picture was very well received critically, but two or three years after it came out, they had still not broken even. I knew I was not destined to be a cash cow. But even when I was a cabaret comic, I always had a tough time getting an audience. They'd book me into Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and they'd have half a house. By the third night, the head waiters would be pulling the potted plants in so they could make the space much smaller for the audience.

SLEEPER 1973
A nonstop Orgasmatron of inspired silliness, this futuristic Rip Van Winkle comedy displayed Allen's growing storytelling skill, though the difficulties of creating the world of 2173 (giant bananas and all) forced him to pour his salary into reshoots. Most important, the film showcased his comedic chemistry with a young actress named Diane Keaton, with whom he had been romantically involved.

Marshall Brickman and I wanted to write a movie that wasn't just gag-gag-gag. I was good at writing gags, but to write a story with a real plot and real characters — that was much harder. I was used to working as a comic, where if you don't hear the laughs for 60 seconds, it's disconcerting. I had a small budget, and I was working in the future, so every car had to be built, every costume had to be designed. Fortunately, my costume designer was Joel Schumacher. He had, like, a $10,000 budget to do all the costumes, but he was brilliant and inventive and he did it.

I knew Diane very well. I had done a play with her, Play It Again, Sam, we had lived together, and we were very close. I just felt she had a limitless comic talent. I've always felt that the two great movie comediennes of all time were Judy Holliday and Diane Keaton.

ANNIE HALL 1977
Allen's artistic breakthrough had a difficult birth. In its two-hour-and-30-minute rough cut, the film (originally titled Anhedonia) was a formless collection of comic bits and pieces. After extensive and ruthless editing, the 93-minute film that emerged would become one of the most iconic romantic comedies in Hollywood history. Audiences didn't just love it — they luhrved it, they luffed it, and the film earned Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actress for Keaton. Allen, however, was a no-show at the Oscars.

The movie was originally supposed to be what my character was thinking, in a not really coherent fashion. It was this abstract experimental idea of my mind at work, and the relationship was one big part of it, but there were many other parts. And I shot it that way. But when Marshall Brickman saw the first cut, he said, ''I wrote it with you and even I can't follow it.'' So we restructured it and reshot the ending many times. I was able to find the love story, and audiences were charmed by it beyond my expectations. I didn't save outtakes or any of that stuff. I'm not a big nostalgia person.

They gave the Oscars out Monday evenings in those days. I always played clarinet with my jazz band on Monday evenings, and it was something I always looked forward to. I don't like to fly. I don't like to get into a tuxedo. So I'm not going to suddenly cancel my band and fly to California. People made a big deal out of that, but I don't write movies to win awards.

INTERIORS 1978
Allen's abrupt turn toward drama with this somber, Bergmanesque portrait of a family falling apart brought him his first major critical drubbing.

I didn't see it coming. There were people who loved it, and there were other people who thought I was committing a crime: I was in bad faith, I had violated my contract with the audience. I didn't feel it was fair. I thought I should be able to try something, even if I made the worst film in the world. After Interiors I knew there would be consequences if I tried to make that kind of film again. But I did it. Because the alternative is letting other people tell you exactly what to do in your career. Maybe they're even right, but, you know, it's hard to live that way.

MANHATTAN 1979
A wistfully romantic ode to Allen's hometown and an indelible portrait of angsty urbanites in search of love, this gorgeously shot, Gershwin-drenched comic drama grossed nearly $40 million, Allen's biggest hit up to this point, and was hailed as another triumph — by everyone but Allen himself.

I was so disappointed when I saw my final cut, I thought, If this is as good as I can do at this point, I shouldn't be making films. I went to United Artists and said, ''Look, don't put this out. I'll make another film, no charge.'' They thought I was nuts. And it was a very, very big hit. Audiences don't have the same criteria I do. They say, Okay, you had some grandiose idea and maybe you failed, but we like this film. So once again, I shut up and just felt I got away with it. I got off with my life.

STARDUST MEMORIES 1980
The most polarizing film of Allen's career concerns a successful director, played by Allen, whose midlife crisis plays out across a surreal, Fellini-esque canvas. Many were angered by the film's bitter, mocking portrayal of critics and moviegoers as sycophants and vulgarians.

I certainly did not think my audience was stupid or grotesque, the way they seemed to be portrayed in the movie. I never had those thoughts — and if I did, I was much too smart to express them. I had an idea about an artist who had everything in the world and still couldn't beat his sense of mortality — that's all that was interesting to me. But it was not taken that way. It was taken as an act of hostility. I've played the part of the neurotic so intensely and so often, when a movie like Stardust Memories comes out, it's very hard for audiences to separate [me from the character]. Chaplin could put on the little tramp's hat, but I go on the screen like this, so they make the assumption that I'm that guy. But it's not me. A few months after the movie came out, John Lennon was murdered. In my movie, I show that exactly: The relationship between the audience and the entertainer is very often a kind of worship but also homicidal. I felt I had a good insight into that world.

HANNAH AND HER SISTERS 1986
This novelistic look at the tangled lives and loves of three Manhattan sisters earned over $40 million, topping Manhattan as Allen's biggest-grossing film. But in his mind, it didn't come out the way he had intended.

I had written a different ending that was not as upbeat: Michael Caine's character is still hopelessly in love with [his wife] Hannah's sister, who has married another guy because he couldn't bring himself to act, and he's stuck with Hannah and it's going to be a nothing marriage. And I shot that ending. But when I looked at it, it was like the picture dropped off the table. It was negative — and not like a good, Chekhovian negative, it was an inept negative, a downer. So I guided the thing instinctively to an ending where all the characters came out happy, and the picture was very successful. But I never felt positive about it. I felt I had a very poignant idea, but finally couldn't bring it home.

CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS 1989
One of Allen's most deft balancing acts of comedy and drama juxtaposes a morality play about a prominent ophthalmologist (Martin Landau) who plots to murder his mistress, with a comic story featuring Allen as a struggling filmmaker.

For me, the interesting story was Marty Landau's story, and as I was putting that picture together, I so regretted that I had my story in there. I thought, My God, if I had made this film just about Marty and his predicament, it would have been so much of a better movie. As soon as I put myself in the picture, I felt that it ratcheted down in substance instantly, because I can only play a clown, a joker. I'm always seduced by serious stuff. I wish my gift in life had been Tennessee Williams' gift or Ingmar Bergman's or Eugene O'Neill's. It wasn't — my strong point was comedy. Comedy can never go as deep, by its very nature; when a situation becomes tense, you make a joke and it relieves it. These are just personal feelings of mine. Other people don't feel that way.

HUSBANDS AND WIVES 1992
Allen's most caustic look at relationships in crisis hit theaters as his personal troubles were exploding in the press, bringing his decade-plus-long on-screen and offscreen partnership with Farrow to a crashing end.

The movie had no relation to my life in any way. But when it came out, my private life was all over the headlines. I could always work under stress, though. Whenever things go bad, the two things I've always been able to do are lose myself in work and lose myself in sleep. Work has always been a lifesaver. I can immerse myself in the problems of the second-act finale and avoid having to face the problems that are really unpleasant and that I can't deal with.

SWEET AND LOWDOWN 1999
Sean Penn and Samantha Morton earned Oscar nominations for this bittersweet period piece about a callously self-absorbed jazz guitarist who is as reprehensible in his life as he is brilliant in his art.

I liked that movie — it was one of the ones, like The Purple Rose of Cairo [1985] or Husbands and Wives, that came out very much the way I wanted it to. I had that idea almost from the start of my career, around the time of Bananas [1971], and I was going to play the guitar player. I went to United Artists and they said, ''We assumed you were going to do comedies when we signed this contract.'' So I took it back and two weeks later I gave them Bananas. Years later, I rewrote it for Sean. When I was younger, I could have played it, but I never would have brought to it Sean's acting skill and his tortured persona.

MATCH POINT 2005
Critics are hailing Allen's latest as a comeback, but in his mind, he's never gone anywhere.

I had the idea for a while to do a murder story where the murderer kills the victim's next-door neighbor so it looks like the other murder was just in passing, to deflect the police. Then when I made the guy a tennis player, the metaphor came of getting the bounce one way or the other, and the thing evolved from there. People impute to it calculation and going in a different direction and ''this is what's happening in his private life so he does this or that.'' None of that ever enters into it remotely. I just sit in a room or walk the streets in New York and think, Gee, what should I do next? It's always just by sheer chance. I could make 10 movies in a row that would be as serious as Interiors or as light as Small Time Crooks. There's no way of me knowing. I'm just happy to get any ideas.


Nice to see the man looking back on his career even if only for talking shit about his own work. It's funny how he hates "Manhattan", probably the best movie ever made...
Si

©brad

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Re: Woody Allen
« Reply #248 on: April 19, 2006, 09:42:07 PM »
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was it necessary to quote that whole thing?

Jannemanneman

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Re: Woody Allen
« Reply #249 on: April 20, 2006, 03:01:44 AM »
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was it necessary to quote that whole thing?
I guess it was..  :ponder:

polkablues

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Re: Woody Allen
« Reply #250 on: April 20, 2006, 03:42:09 AM »
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Now, instead of filming in Paris, Allen is going to shoot a third film in London (Match Point was filmed there, as was the upcoming Scoop) before heading off to Spain next year, where he has already agreed to mount a production.

Woody Allen's career is turning into the last five seasons of the Simpsons.  "This week, Woody goes to India... with hilarious results!"
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

ElPandaRoyal

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Re: Woody Allen
« Reply #251 on: April 20, 2006, 04:34:27 AM »
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was it necessary to quote that whole thing?

Yes.

Quote from: MacGuffin
Woody Allen's career is turning into the last five seasons of the Simpsons.  "This week, Woody goes to India... with hilarious results!"

 :lol:
Si

Pubrick

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Re: Woody Allen
« Reply #252 on: April 20, 2006, 10:54:01 AM »
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was it necessary to quote that whole thing?
I guess it was..  :ponder:

introduce yourself before posting again.
under the paving stones.

samsong

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Re: Woody Allen
« Reply #253 on: May 11, 2006, 05:47:32 PM »
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i really love Sweet and Lowdown.

polkablues

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Re: Woody Allen
« Reply #254 on: May 11, 2006, 06:41:17 PM »
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And I like pie, but I don't spontaneously post about it.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

 

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