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 Posted:   Feb 24, 2011 - 6:32 AM   
 By:   The Man-Eating Cow   (Member)

[ZELIG (1983) - few comedies are this clever, this inventive, this visually creative, and this effective. No movie like it. None.

Robert Zemekis totally ripped it off for FORREST GUMP. When he got the Best Picture Oscar, he should have thanked Woody Allen.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 24, 2011 - 1:20 PM   
 By:   Disco Stu   (Member)

Not a Woody fan but "Sleeper" is okay. "Zelig" was fun as a concept, and the special effects used to make it look as if it played in the 30s were some of the best I saw. Most fun moment of the film is the scene where he takes over the characteristics of the group he's in so much that he, completely against his life long habit, becomes very argumentative and even starts to become violent.

Best scene of any WA film, and a great scene on its own:




D.S.

 
 Posted:   Feb 26, 2011 - 8:58 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I've always been impressed with how well Woody writes for women. His female characters are always so much more interesting than the fellas. He particularly did well with Mia Farrow, as her two best performances are IMO:

Dramatic: The Purple Rose of Cairo

Comedic: Broadway Danny Rose

Something about "Rose" being in the title, I guess. I really love her in "Purple Rose", as she gives a truly wonderful performance. I first saw the movie years ago one gloomy Sunday afternoon on local TV.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 26, 2011 - 9:50 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Ooh, don't know where to start - I love so many of them.

I'd certainly include HANNAH AND HER SISTERS and THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO. The first because it's just so spot-on about absolutely everything, and the second because it looks like flimsy whimsy on the surface but is unexpectadly probing about the nature of fantasy vs reality.

Must mention MANHATTAN, which may just have about my favourite Woody line (something like "I was sharing this taxi with this woman - my God she was so gorgeous, I mean just stunning, I could hardly keep my eyes on the meter.")

And I think INTERIORS is an absolute masterpiece. The Gordon Willis photography and the "rebirth" on the beach at the end are just amazing. Be warned though - this is NOT funny!

Underappreciated ones I liked (for whatever reason - maybe I was just in the mood and they're not really that good) are EVERYBODY SAYS I LOVE YOU and that one with Sean Penn as the jazz guitarist... SWEET N' LOW or something?

 
 Posted:   Feb 26, 2011 - 10:00 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Besides Hannah and her Sisters and Annie Hall, I've only seen his later stuff: the British trilogy, Whatever Works, Tall Dark Stranger. I will definitely be seeking out many of the films recommended here.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 26, 2011 - 1:49 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

I want to put in a word for the overlooked "September." This was a huge financial flop for Allen, primarily, according to Mia Farrow's autobiography, because the film was made twice. During the first filming, Allen filmed two or three versions of every scene, took all of the footage into the editing suite, cut the film together and then decided that he hated it. He then rewrote the entire script, fired and recast virtually every major part, and re-filmed the entire thing.

The final resultant feature, is I think, one of his best. The film has one of Allen's smallest casts (there are only six principal characters, and only nine in the entire film), and all of the action takes place in a single location. Carlo Di Palma did some great warmly lit indoor photography simulating lamplight (and candlelight, since some of the film takes place during a power outage). The plot is Allen's usual mix of romantic entanglements, with everyone seeming to love someone who doesn't love them in return. But the mechanizations are engaging and the character revelations are deeply felt.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 26, 2011 - 2:00 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Amazing timing created one of the biggest laughs in "Deconstructing Harry." The film opened on December 12, 1997. In mid-January 1998, news of the Bill Clinton - Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. I saw the film shortly after this. At one point in "Deconstructing Harry," Harry (Woody Allen) has this monologue:

"l think of f**ing every woman l meet. I meet a woman in the bank...or on the bus...l think "What's she look like naked?" Can l f**k her? This is crazy. I see guys l know that are lawyers and doctors, with families and houses. They're not so... Does the president think of f***ing every woman he meets? Oh sorry, bad example."

At this, the audience roared in recognition at this incredible coincidence of art imitating life.

 
 Posted:   Mar 1, 2011 - 9:33 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Here's that Woody Allen comic strip book I mentioned:



http://www.amazon.com/Dread-Superficiality-Woody-Allen-Comic/dp/0810957426/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1299000643&sr=1-10

 
 Posted:   Mar 3, 2011 - 6:20 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Best scene of any WA film, and a great scene on its own:




D.S.


Agree. Great scene. In fact, I started a topic stating that the Columbia professor was very "Thor-like."

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 3, 2011 - 6:34 PM   
 By:   quiller007   (Member)

Agree. Great scene. In fact, I started a topic stating that the Columbia professor was very "Thor-like."

LOL! That guy IS Thor!!! big grin

Den

 
 Posted:   Mar 4, 2011 - 3:10 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Agree. Great scene. In fact, I started a topic stating that the Columbia professor was very "Thor-like."

LOL! That guy IS Thor!!! big grin

Den


All meant in good-natured fun, of course. smile

I watched Broadway Danny Rose for the first time in ages. I don't think I'd ever seen it without commercial interruptions and in pan and scan; what a HUGE difference it made. I love Woody's line about "wandering around in North Vietnam" as they're escaping the angry mobsters in the brush.

 
 Posted:   Mar 4, 2011 - 4:27 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Gahhh!!! Inside Woody Allen artist Stuart Hample died back in September 2010.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/24/arts/24hample.html



By BRUCE WEBER
Published: September 24, 2010

Stuart E. Hample, a humorist who entertained children (and adults) as an author, playwright, adman, performer and cartoonist (and probably a few other things besides), died on Sunday at his home in Manhattan. He was 84.

"Dread & Superficiality: Woody Allen as Comic Strip"/Abrams
Stuart Hample wrote and illustrated the syndicated comic strip “Inside Woody Allen,” a series of panels that purported to reveal the mind of that famous comedian and film director.
The cause was cancer, his wife, Naomi, said.

Mr. Hample was a serious student of comedy with a special enthusiasm for socially conscious comedians like Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl and intellectual wits like George S. Kaufman and Jules Feiffer, and his own work was an odd mixture of the brainy and the madcap. He jokingly referred to himself as “a multimedia failure,” but he had a number of big successes.

As Stoo Hample, he was the author and illustrator of a number of books for young children, most notably “The Silly Book” (1961), a classic pastiche of poems, songs, jokes, drawings and goofy remarks. With Eric Marshall, he collected the missives that became the best-selling book “Children’s Letters to God” (1966).

From 1976 to 1984 he wrote and illustrated the syndicated comic strip “Inside Woody Allen,” a series of panels that purported to reveal the mind of that famous comedian and film director in all its self-analytical, overly worried, oversexed, death-obsessed glory. (Early on he used the pen name Joe Marthen.) Mr. Allen gave his permission for the strip and consulted with Mr. Hample frequently. A collection of selected strips was published as a book, “Dread & Superficiality,” last fall.

“I was a little nervous about it, but we were all friends, and if it didn’t look respectable we could bow out,” Mr. Allen said in a phone interview on Tuesday, referring to his manager, Jack Rollins, as well as Mr. Hample. “For me, as a comedian, it was promotional. And as soon as he got going, it was everywhere. Denmark, Germany, all over the place.”

Shortly before his death, Mr. Hample completed a play, “All the Sincerity in Hollywood,” about Fred Allen, the radio comedian of the 1930s and ’40s famed for his verbal dexterity and barbed wit. The play has had several readings directed by Austin Pendleton and starring Dick Cavett, who said in a phone interview on Tuesday that he and Mr. Pendleton would continue trying to have it staged.

“He was an extremely funny man,” Mr. Cavett said. “He could be funny in a good stand-up comedy way, in your living room or walking across the park. And he had a prodigious memory for comic literature and could quote whole routines — with the accuracy they deserved.”

Stuart Ertz Hample was born in Binghamton, N.Y., on Jan. 6, 1926. (Ertz was his grandmother’s maiden name.) He began drawing when he was very young, and after serving in the Navy during World War II he began performing as a musical cartoonist, creating drawings onstage as an accompaniment to symphony orchestras, his movements attendant to the time signature of the music and his images illustrative of the musical themes. In the late 1940s he was a host for two local television shows in Buffalo. He earned a degree in literature and drama from what was then called the University of Buffalo in 1950.

During the 1950s Mr. Hample appeared on the children’s show “Captain Kangaroo” as a character called Mr. Artist. He also continued to work in advertising (he claimed to have come up with the line “That’s Italian!” for Ragú spaghetti sauce) and worked as an assistant to the cartoonist Al Capp.

As a playwright, he met with minor successes and landed on Broadway once, briefly, as the book writer for a 1972 musical titled “The Selling of the President,” about how advertisers and consultants sell the image of a candidate. (It was loosely adapted from Joe McGinniss’s book about Richard M. Nixon’s 1968 campaign, and it closed after five performances.)

In addition to his wife, whom he married in 1974, and their son, Zack, of Manhattan, Mr. Hample is survived by three children from a previous marriage, Joseph, of Crescent City, Calif., Henry, of Arnaudville, La., and Martha, of Memphis; two sisters, Barbara Levy of Wyncote, Pa., and Alyse Rosen of Palo Alto, Calif.; and three grandchildren.

Asked in separate interviews to describe Mr. Hample’s gift as a humorist, Mr. Allen and Mr. Cavett answered with precisely the same phrase: “He was a great appreciator of comedy.”

“He was a great enthusiast of mine,” Mr. Allen said. “Many nights, when I’d be playing to half a house at 1 in the morning, he’d be there, and he’d laugh, out loud. But he wasn’t a shill. It was sincere. It was a saving feeling. I knew at least one guy in the house loved me.”

 
 Posted:   Mar 4, 2011 - 11:21 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Henry Rollins' open letter to Woody Allen.

 
 Posted:   Mar 4, 2011 - 2:20 PM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

Showed Shadows and Fog to my parents last weekend. I love that movie more every time I see it. It's visually perfect and a dream-like experience. The music gets stuck in my head for days.

 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2011 - 2:05 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Showed Shadows and Fog to my parents last weekend. I love that movie more every time I see it. It's visually perfect and a dream-like experience. The music gets stuck in my head for days.

A friend of mine was fascinated with this movie. I never shared his--or your--enthusiasm for it, but it's testament to the fact that most every Allen fan has a different movie of his that they pluck from obscurity to cherish. I'll give it another try, once I get the DVD...
-------

Years ago, my wife actually feared that I would become like Frederick in Hannah and Her Sisters:

"You missed a very dull TV show on Auschwitz. More gruesome film clips, and more puzzled intellectuals declaring their mystification over the systematic murder of millions. The reason they can never answer the question "How could it possibly happen?" is that it's the wrong question. Given what people are, the question is "Why doesn't it happen more often?" Of course, it does, in subtler forms.

You see the whole culture. Nazis, deodorant salesmen, wrestlers, beauty contests, the talk show. Can you imagine the level of a mind that watches wrestling? But the worst are the fundamentalist preachers. Third rate con men telling the poor suckers that watch them that they speak with Jesus, and to please send in money. Money, money, money! If Jesus came back and saw what's going on in his name, he'd never stop throwing up."

 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2011 - 7:35 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Diane Keaton winning the Best Actress Oscar for Annie Hall:

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2011 - 7:15 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Something that I've noticed with Woody's movies is how his female characters are always so much more interesting than his male characters. Diane Keaton, Mia Farrow, Diane Wiest, Samantha Morton, Elaine Stritch, Maureen O'Sullivan, Charlotte Rampling, Penelope Cruz etc. all have more to them than the men.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2011 - 8:00 AM   
 By:   Accidental Genius   (Member)

Something that I've noticed with Woody's movies is how his female characters are always so much more interesting than his male characters. Diane Keaton, Mia Farrow, Diane Wiest, Samantha Morton, Elaine Stritch, Maureen O'Sullivan, Charlotte Rampling, Penelope Cruz etc. all have more to them than the men.

Agreed! He writes so bloody well for women. And though no one can take away from the talent of the actresses themselves, he gets such amazing performances from them as well. Great thread, Jim!

 
 Posted:   Mar 11, 2011 - 9:06 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

ANOTHER WOMAN (1988) - this is perhaps Woody's most underappreciated masterpiece IMO. I like it almost as much as CRIMES for many of the same reasons, sans comedy. The multiple meanings layered within the story are fascinating to explore, the concept of self delusion coupled with insecurity and aging, played expertly by Gena Rowlands with wonderful supporting turns from Ian Holm ("I accept your condemnation.") and Gene Hackman. I think Woody is at his best when he makes films like this.


I just finished watching this for the first time in many years and I was so impressed. I was pretty young the first time I saw it, so the film has taken on new significance now. I'll come back with some thoughts on it after I've ruminated over them for awhile.

 
 Posted:   Mar 11, 2011 - 9:10 AM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

ANOTHER WOMAN (1988) - this is perhaps Woody's most underappreciated masterpiece IMO. I like it almost as much as CRIMES for many of the same reasons, sans comedy. The multiple meanings layered within the story are fascinating to explore, the concept of self delusion coupled with insecurity and aging, played expertly by Gena Rowlands with wonderful supporting turns from Ian Holm ("I accept your condemnation.") and Gene Hackman. I think Woody is at his best when he makes films like this.


I just finished watching this for the first time in many years and I was so impressed. I was pretty young the first time I saw it, so the film has taken on new significance now. I'll come back with some thoughts on it after I've ruminated over them for awhile.


I love the fact that the title has about 4 different meanings if you think about it.

 
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