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Woody Allen
(Aka Allen Stewart Königsberg)
(Actor, Director, Writer)
[1935 - ]

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Profile created June 23, 2007
Biographical
  • Woody Allen on Woody Allen: In Conversation With Stig Bjorkman (1994) by Stig Bjorkman and Woody Allen
    Over the course of his long directing career, Woody Allen has portrayed contemporary American life with an unmistakable mixture of irony, neurotic obsession, and humor. Woody Allen on Woody Allen is a unique self-portrait of this uncompromising filmmaker that offers a revealing account of his life and work. In a series of rare, in-depth interviews, Allen brings us onto the sets and behind the scenes of all his films. Since its original publication, Woody Allen on Woody Allen has been the primary source of Allen's own thoughts on his work, childhood, favorite films, and inspirations. Now updated with one hundred pages of new material that brings us up to his Hollywood Ending, Woody Allen on Woody Allen is a required addition to any cinephile's library.

Humor
  • Getting Even (1971)

  • Without Feathers (1975)
    Here they are--some of the funniest tales and ruminations ever put into print, by one of the great comic minds of our time. From The Whore of Mensa, to (God (A Play)), to No Kaddish for Weinstein, old and new Woody Allen fans will laugh themselves hysterical over these sparkling gems.

  • Side Effects (1986)
    A humor classic by one of the funniest writers today, Side Effects is a treat for all those who know his work and those just discovering how gifted he is. Included here are such classics as Remembering Needleman, The Kugelmass Episode, a new sory called Confessions of a Bugler, and more.

  • Complete Prose of Woody Allen (1992)

    • Without Feathers--"Getting through the night is becoming harder and harder," writes Woody Allen in his secret journal. "Last evening I had the uneasy feeling that some men were trying to break into my room to shampoo me."

      Throughout, Allen grapples in his wildly inventive way with the targets that obsess him: death, God (or lack of God), women (or lack of women), intellectuals, the arts, and even dentists.

      There is a distinct romantic strain that runs through much of his writings, which the author describes as "either Byronic or moronic." Allen is forever at war with the universe and claims unequivocally that he is "two with nature." His artistic ambition, as he puts it, is to "forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race. And then see if I can get them mass-produced in plastic."

      Getting Even--Investigates such significant subjects as Organized Crime, the invention of the sandwich, the secret diary of a Latin revolutionary, and a day in the life of Count Dracula.

      Represents Woody Allen as

      • psychologist: "...death is an acquired trait."

      • historian: "I did not know Hitler was a Nazi. The truth was, for years I thought he worked for the phone company."

      • philosopher: "I do not believe in an afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear."
         

    • Side Effects--Discusses such subjects as the nature of relativity, the UFO menace, and the predicament of modern man:

      "Ah, God, how the mind boggles when it turns to moral or ethical considerations. Better not to think too much. rely more on the body--the body is more dependable. It shows up for meetings, it looks good in a sports jacket, and where it really comes in handy is when you want to ge a rubdown."

      Whether he is musing on philosophy, science, world events, or offering the ultimate in restaurant reviews, The Complete Prose of Woody Allen displays the author's versatility and virtuosity with the written word--and his special brand of humor.

Non-fiction
See also:
  • Great Comedians Talk About Comedy (1968) by Larry Wilde  with contributions by Dick Gregory,  George Burns, Jack Benny, Jimmy Durante, Joey Bishop, Johnny Carson, Maurice Chevalier, Milton Berle, Phyllis Diller, Shelley Berman, and Woody Allen

  • The Reluctant Film Art of Woody Allen (2000) by Peter J. Bailey
    For three decades, no American filmmaker has been as prolific—or as paradoxical—as Woody Allen. From Play It Again, Sam (1972) through Celebrity (1998) and Sweet and Lowdown (1999), Allen has produced an average of one film a year, yet in many of these films Allen reveals a progressively skeptical attitude toward both the value of art and the cultural contributions of artists.

    In Shadows and Fog, one of Allen’s characters says of a circus magician, “Oh yes, everyone loves his illusions!” In examining Allen’s filmmaking career, The Reluctant Film Art of Woody Allen demonstrates that his movies often question whether the projected illusions of magicians/artists benefit audience or artists. Other Allen films dramatize the opposed conviction that the consoling, life-redeeming illusions of art are the best solution humanity has devised to the existential dilemma of being a death-foreseeing animal.

    Peter Bailey demonstrates how Allen’s films repeatedly revisit and reconfigure this tension between image and reality, art and life, fabrication and factuality, with each film reaching provisional resolutions that a subsequent movie will revise. For example, Bailey contends that in Manhattan, Allen’s cinematic romanticizing of the Manhattan cityscape contrasts thematically with the shallowness of the movie’s characters, while he reads Hannah and Her Sisters as a film in which Allen allowed his desire to project a resolution affirming the family to overwhelm his predominantly realistic impulses. Merging criticism and biography, Bailey identifies Allen's ambivalent views of the artistic enterprise as a key to understanding his entire filmmaking career.

  • Woody Allen: A Life in Film (2003) by Richard Schickel
    This book reprints a four-hour conversation between Mr. Schickel and Mr. Allen and includes a long essay of introduction by Mr. Schickel, which places Woody Allen's entire career in critical perspective, as well as a complete filmography. Readers will find Mr. Allen's reflections on his major preoccupations--the battle of the sexes; the conflict between reality and fantasy in his major films; mortality, religion, and the role that chance plays in the unfolding of our lives. The book also offers insights into Mr. Allen's working methods as a writer and the growth of his skills as a director.

  • Woody Allen and Philosophy: You Mean My Whole Fallacy Is Wrong? (2004) by Aeon J. Skoble and Mark T. Conard
    Comedian, writer, director, actor, musician, and deep thinker, Woody Allen is clearly trying to say something, but what? And why should anyone care? Fifteen philosophers representing different schools of thought answer these questions, focusing on different works and varied aspects of Allen's multifaceted output. These essays explore such topics as how Schopenhauer's theory of humor emerges in Annie Hall; why, for all his apparent pessimism, Allen gives a brighter alternative to the Bogartian nihilism of film noir; the importance of integrity for the Good Life, as found in Manhattan; and the fact that just because the universe is meaningless and life is pointless is no reason to commit suicide. Also here are droll, probing essays on why hedonism is a health hazard, and why, despite the fact that Earth may be swallowed by a black hole and crushed to the size of a peanut, the toilet continues to overflow.

  • Woody Allen (2006) by Kathie Coblentz and Robert E. Kapsis
    Woody Allen (b. 1935) is one of America’s most idiosyncratic filmmakers, with an unparalleled output of nearly one film every year for over three decades. His movies are filled with rapid-fire one-liners, neurotic characters, anguished relationships, and old-time jazz music. Allen’s vision of New York—whether in comedies or dramas—has shaped our perception of the city more than any other modern filmmaker.

    Woody Allen: Interviews collects over twenty-five years of interviews with the Oscar-winning director of Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors, and Bullets Over Broadway. The book’s interviews reveal a serious director often at odds with his onscreen persona as a lovable, slapstick loser. Allen talks frankly about his rigorous work habits, his biggest artistic influences, the attention he devotes to acting, screenwriting, and directing, and how New York fuels his filmmaking.

    Along with discussing film techniques and styles, Allen opens up about his love of jazz, his Jewish heritage, and the scandal that arose when he left his longtime partner Mia Farrow for her adopted daughter. Including four interviews from European sources, three of which and now available in English for the first time, Woody Allen: Interviews is a treasure trove of conversations with one of America’s most distinctive filmmakers.

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