Tag Archives: Woody Allen

I'll take the cheap applause

applause2Mark Evanier pointed to what is likely Woody Allen’s first-ever podcast interview. (Likely because Woody has no idea what a podcast is, he noted.) I listened to it – it’s 35 minutes long – and I got one takeaway.

The interviewer asked him how he felt about that instant applause that established comedians get when doing stand-up. They don’t have to do anything except walk on stage; sometimes just having the name announced. Isn’t this just cheap applause? Continue reading I'll take the cheap applause

Woody and Mia and Dylan

WoodyAllenOn the sidebar of Facebook, there was this sponsored ad from The Ranking, with Woody Allen’s picture with the caption: “Should he get any awards?” “Dylan Farrow allegations have refueled the scandal. Does he deserve any award? Vote!”

But when you click through, the actual question is: “Do you think that Dylan Farrow´s statements will influence on the Oscar Academy Awards?” Continue reading Woody and Mia and Dylan

Please don't sue me, Mr. Faulkner!

From 1949; per Wikipedia description, image is in the public domain
I missed this initially, but a couple months ago, a federal judge in Mississippi nixed a lawsuit brought by the heirs of William Faulkner. In dispute was the claim that “Woody Allen’s 2011 film ‘Midnight in Paris’ [had] improperly used one of William Faulkner’s most famous lines.” The librarian in me was pleased with the outcome but ticked that the suit was filed in the first place.

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” Faulkner wrote in the book, ‘Requiem for a Nun.’ “In the movie, actor Owen Wilson, says: ‘The past is not dead. Actually, it’s not even past. You know who said that? Faulkner. And he was right. I met him too. I ran into him at a dinner party.'”

Read the judge’s ruling. The Faulkner heirs claimed violation of copyright law but SONY Pictures, the defendant, claimed the Fair Use provision in the law, Continue reading Please don't sue me, Mr. Faulkner!

MOVIE REVIEW: Blue Jasmine

It’s true: after over 30 years of watching Woody Allen movies, I have had to limit myself to those that review well. That’s because bad Woody Allen films are perhaps more painful to me than the bad films of other writers and/or directors.

I watched Midnight in Paris, which I liked. I avoided To Rome with Love, , because it was critically savaged. Perhaps if I were seeing as many movies as I did 15 or 16 years ago, I would be more willing to take cinematic risks. Blue Jasmine got mostly great reviews, and understandably so.

But the title Jasmine is a bit difficult to like. She’s this odd mixture of two characters, one real, one fictional. Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: Blue Jasmine

MOVIE REVIEW: Midnight in Paris

I loved Woody Allen pictures. Annie Hall is my favorite, but I’m also fond of many other of his films from the 1970s and 1980s. But at some point, somewhere in the mid-1990s, they became really hit or miss for me. Now I only go if they are reasonably reviewed. So when last year’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger got mediocre reviews, I just passed on it, unseen. Bad Woody is painful Woody, because it really reminds me of what was.

So when Midnight in Paris got some positive feedback, I got the Wife to go to the Spectrum Theatre for a Tuesday night show Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen is 75

I have noted more than once that Annie Hall is my all-time favorite movie; moreover, it was commercially successful and critically acclaimed. Nominated for five Academy Awards for the 1977 season, it won four – Best Picture, Best Actress (Diane Keaton), Best Director (Woody Allen), Best Original Screenplay (Allen and Marshall Brickman), losing only Best Actor (Allen).

Yet, when making a list of his six best movies – ZELIG, PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO, HUSBANDS AND WIVES, VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA, BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, MATCH POINT – Annie Hall was not among them. Is it unreasonable to suggest that a director is mistaken about his own films? Continue reading Woody Allen is 75

30-Day Challenge: Day 2: Favorite Movie

Considering all of the movies I’ve seen, all the GREAT movies I’ve ever seen, it is surprisingly easy for me to pick my favorite:

Annie Hall (1977).

It was my touchstone picture for a number of years. I saw it four times in the movie theater, and it was one of the first films I purchased on VHS.

It’s the roller coaster in Coney Island, which I loved as a child. It’s early Christopher Walken, bizarre as he would later become.

The opening of the film was more story, fewer jokes, my kind of humor. It reminded me of seeing Woody Allen on Ed Sullivan in the 1960s. The film also features Paul Simon, one of my music icons of that decade.

I related to Alvy Singer. Continue reading 30-Day Challenge: Day 2: Favorite Movie