Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Woody Allen: a Documentary

Robert Weide's documentary on Woody Allen is pretty spectacular. It runs over three hours and was aired in two parts (Sunday and Monday of this week) on American Masters on PBS. It's light on Allen's personal life (although it doesn't ignore it) and heavy on his creative process, and, of course, heavy on his films, showing great clips and getting insightful commentary from film critics and collaborators.

Woody is a pretty remarkable man, a cultural figure who has been in the public eye since the early 1960s, and a man who has written and directed over forty films. There are obviously quite a few duds in that number but there are also, in my opinion, 3 or 4 great movies, and many, many good ones. The fact that one of my favorite films of his--the beautiful Midnight in Paris--came out this year is remarkable. You can never count him out.

One thing I took away from the documentary is the way in which he seems to never look back. The day he finishes final edits on his current project is the day he begins writing his next film. He doesn't read any reviews, and seems to have only a passing notion of which of his films are revered and which are not. He simply gets to work on his next project, trying to make the best film he can.

Allen directing his next film, Nero Fiddled


  1. Man, I have been seeing people talk about this documentary all week and I am so annoyed I missed it. Hopefully they will rerun it soon, because everything everyone has said about it makes it look fascinating. I just saw a picture of how they shot the dueling psychiatrist sessions in "Annie Hall".

  2. I've seen part one but failed to PVR part two... then found out my parents had it - hooray! Isn't it fascinating? Great to see faces to those names we've seen so often in the production credits as well.