Friday, June 6, 2008
The Transplendent Woody Allen
As I mentioned in my previous posts, the brilliant Woody Allen is a
favorite here at the Manor. A multi talented director, writer, actor,
comedian, playwright and musician, he has garnered countless
awards, nominations and distinctions.
But it all boils down to one thing. I like him because he makes me
laugh. As soon as his familiar black and white credits, set to jazz,
start to roll, I know giggles are in store. In most of his older films, he
portrays himself, a neurotic writer, wearing his trademark thick,
black 1960's style glasses, corduroy pants and tweed jacket. He
pokes fun at his own neurotic persona and phobias by often including
a funny psychoanalysis scene in his movies.
Allen’s films span a wide range. His earliest films are full of screwball
comedy. Annie Hall (1977) includes more sophisticated humor and
Interiors (1979) introduces his darker dramas. Many of his works in
the 1980’s combine both comedy and tragedy. Born Allen Stewart
Konigsberg, in Brooklyn, to a Jewish family, he often portrays his
ethnicity, as well as bases many of his films in his beloved New York.
And have you ever noticed that he often includes an opera in many
of his films? The L.A. Opera is fortunate enough to support him in his
operatic directional debut in their 2008-09 season! Love and Death
(1975), Annie Hall (1977), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and
Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) are a few of my personal
favorites, that star the hilarious Woody, himself. In more recent
films, he has cast other actors in the roll he would normally play, but
in my little book, no one can quite fill his shoes...or should I say his
Click (here) for Woody's opening monologue in Annie Hall.