Sunday, November 27, 2011

Woody Allen: A Documentary

For over 40 years, at a remarkable pace of about a film a year, Woody Allen has been bringing his comedic, and dramatic sensibilities to the movie world fashioning such diverse classics as "Annie Hall", "Manhattan", "Hannah and Her Sisters", "Match Point", and "Midnight in Paris". For this extensive documentary, the reclusive neurotic gives a rare interview as he traces his life and career from his childhood in Brooklyn where he takes us to his old schoolyard and the movie houses he frequented in his youth. From there we are given a glimpse of the nightclubs where he got his start as a stand-up comedian as well as the appearances network talk shows hosted by Steve Allen and Dick Cavett. From there, Woody takes us through the ups and downs and successes and scandals of his impressive film career. Enhanced by stock footage and interviews with his business partners including his sister Letty Aronson, Jack Rollins, and Charles H. Joffe as well as collaborators such as Diane Keaton, John Cusack, Scarlett Johansson, and Naomi Watts, we are given a wonderful exhibition and celebration of a true American treasure.