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Happy Birthday, Woody Allen!


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Happy Birthday, Woody Allen!
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Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2005-12-01, 16:53

Today is Woody Allen's 70th birthday. And the old codger is still making movies!

Has anyone seen his latest film, Match Point? I saw the Apple trailer and was really looking forward to it, especially as it shows off London's rapidly developing South Bank, but it sadly didn't live up to my expectations when I watched it last month.

I think the actors were overawed by the stature of their director, because there are instances of palpable uncertainty in the acting that let the film down. Also, Chris is a poorly developed character: the supposed ambition on which the story hinges is inadequately portrayed. And Scarlett Johansson is a real disappointment. She is crude and vulgar, a far cry from her perfect performance in Lost in Translation.

Does anyone feel very differently? Match Point received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival so the critics obviously like it. And interestingly, the people in the French cinema where I watched it were very impressed. Am I and the odd one out here? And if so, is it because I'm British?
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Franz Josef
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: London, Europe
 
2005-12-01, 16:59

A big fat Happy Birthday to him - an insightful, gifted writer. Yet to see Match Point.
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SKMDC
superkaratemonkeydeathcar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: chicago
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2005-12-01, 17:13

it's not out in america yet, but thanks for ruining for us mr. ebert!

ah i keed!

seriously it starts in L.A. and NYC Dec 28th and goes wide (as they say) on January 20. He did a big Q & A with a screening the other night (new york) and answered questions for over an hour and was said to be charming and fairly un-neurotic. I wonder if it was taped?
tonight TCM is showing a documentary and a few films including Stardust Memories which has really aged well. I recommend it highly, the opening scene is classic.

I like Woody when he gets nostalgic, so my favorite Woody is Radio Days and second Purple Rose of Cairo. Ironically he's not in either.
The worst has to Celebrity with Kenneth Brannagh's incredibly hideous Woody imitation throughout the film, although it has a great scene where Charlize Theron rolls out her enormous tongue.

"What's a Canadian farm boy to do?"

Last edited by SKMDC : 2005-12-01 at 18:03.
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curiousuburb
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Join Date: May 2004
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2005-12-01, 17:32

Sleeper is teh best Woody film.

Everything you wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask is second best.
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thegelding
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2005-12-01, 17:41

My brain! It's my second favorite organ!


g
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superkaratemonkeydeathcar
 
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2005-12-01, 18:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousuburb
Sleeper is teh best Woody film.

Everything you wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask is second best.
oh you like his earlier funnier films.....


Quote:
Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night.
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Dorian Gray
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2005-12-01, 19:19

Ah, didn't realise it wasn't out in the States. I want you all to go see it on release day then and report back!

Match Point is certainly worth seeing, but given the subject matter (luck) I was expecting to be blown away.

Let's hope Woody's having a great day anyway!
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Luca
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2005-12-01, 19:53

I saw Bananas just last weekend and it was hilarious. One of my favorite things about Woody Allen movies is how they so closely mimic Charlie Chaplin. There was actually a scene in the movie that was completely silent except for a piano in the background, where Woody tried to stop a pair of thugs (one of whom was played by Sylvester Stallone). He even had Chaplin's "innocent" expression and body language down perfectly.

Yeah, Woody Allen is awesome. He's kind of a freak, but then, so was Charlie Chaplin. It's interesting how they both also tended to form romantic relationships with their co-stars (or they made their lovers into their co-stars, I'm not sure which way it worked). Either way, his movies are funny and ridiculous.
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Mac+
9" monochrome
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: I'm here
 
2005-12-01, 20:00

Quote:
I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.
I haven't seen any *recent* Woody Allen films for ages, but I do own the first box set of his DVDs which includes my favourites from what I've seen so far: Annie Hall and Sleeper. (Although I love the cinematography in Manhattan!)

I also have The Night Club Years which still makes me laugh. Here's The Moose - classic routine.

Without Feathers is a pretty good read too.

Actually, as an aside, every time I see or hear obtuse humor I thank God that there are people on Earth with such a gift. I could certainly never do it, but I love the way they allow their mind to work and how they can concoct such surreal situations for our (and perhaps their) entertainment.

Happy Birthday Woody.
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SKMDC
superkaratemonkeydeathcar
 
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2005-12-01, 20:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca
I saw Bananas just last weekend and it was hilarious. One of my favorite things about Woody Allen movies is how they so closely mimic Charlie Chaplin. There was actually a scene in the movie that was completely silent except for a piano in the background, where Woody tried to stop a pair of thugs (one of whom was played by Sylvester Stallone). He even had Chaplin's "innocent" expression and body language down perfectly.

Yeah, Woody Allen is awesome. He's kind of a freak, but then, so was Charlie Chaplin. It's interesting how they both also tended to form romantic relationships with their co-stars (or they made their lovers into their co-stars, I'm not sure which way it worked). Either way, his movies are funny and ridiculous.
Watch any Bob Hope movie from the forties, and that is pretty much the persona that he plays in (his earlier funnier films*) all his pre-Manhattan films, and a few after that, nervous nellie always quick with a line.
I never noticed the Chaplin thing before but you're right Luca, there are a lot of Chaplinesque moments in Sleeper also.

*in Stardust Memories his character is an ex comedian turned filmaker attending a retrospective of his movies and people keep coming up to his character saying, "Oh Sandy Bates! I love your work, especially your early funny films!"

"What's a Canadian farm boy to do?"

Last edited by SKMDC : 2005-12-02 at 17:51.
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thuh Freak
Finally broke the seal
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2005-12-02, 12:39

I saw Woody at Cafe Carlyle (manhattan's UES) this passed monday. He plays in a n'orleans style jazz band many mondays of the year. ... let's just say that its a good idea he's got talent in comedy and movies ... the band was good though.

i started to watch one of his flicks last night on tcm. b&w, didn't catch the title. i got kind of disinterested tho once i sparked my bowl. he's got a lot of great and funny movies. one that springs to mind: What's New, Pussycat?
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SKMDC
superkaratemonkeydeathcar
 
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2005-12-02, 18:04

He just wrote "What's New Pussycat". (he didn't direct it) In the documentary that preceded the marathon last night (the b&w film you saw was the above mentioned Stardust Memories) he said that he was so disappointed with how Pussycat turned out that he decided then and there that only he would direct anything he would write in the future. He never had that idea for a career path until then.
Another thing he mentioned in the documentary was that Sleeper was meant to be a silent film, the idea being the people in the future had lost the need for speech. He changed his mind (although many of the silent gags remain) because he didn't have Chaplin's physicality to pull it off for a whole movie.

ThuhFreak, he's been doing that gig at the Carlyle over thirty years! I saw him play in the early eighties. In fact he wasn't at the Academy Awards to get his Oscar for Annie Hall because he was playing that night.

"What's a Canadian farm boy to do?"
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