Download A Companion to Woody Allen by Peter J. Bailey, Sam B. Girgus PDF

By Peter J. Bailey, Sam B. Girgus

Edited through well known Allen specialists, A better half to Woody Allen offers a set of 26 unique essays at the director’s motion pictures. Contributions provide a few divergent serious views whereas increasing the contexts during which his paintings is understood.

  • A well timed better half via the authors of 2 of an important books on Allen to date
  • Illuminates the flicks of Woody Allen from a couple of divergent serious perspectives
  • Explores the contexts within which his paintings can be understood
  • Assesses Allen’s awesome filmmaking profession from its early beginnings and investigates the conflicts and contradictions that suffuse it
  • Discusses Allen’s attractiveness as an international cinematic figure
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Extra resources for A Companion to Woody Allen

Example text

From year to year, we never know what to expect from Woody Allen. The five films he made just between 1977 and 1982, for example, oscillate wildly between sentimental romantic comedy and serious, existential dramas: Annie Hall (1977), Interiors (1978), Manhattan (1979), Stardust Memories (1980), and A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (1982). Like his rapidly swinging tastes in stories, Allen’s career, too, has had its ups and downs, and he has often thwarted expectations by either disappointing audiences greatly or surprising them wonderfully.

For his part, Allen has continually professed that he has little in common with the characters he plays, but the fact that he repeats this protest from interview to interview attests to the public’s perception that he simply plays himself. Allen, cognizant of this confusion, also demonstrates awareness that the slippage between his onscreen and offscreen persona may account for much of his success. In an interview with Eric Lax (2007: 354), Allen speaks frankly of this misunderstanding: ERIC LAX: [I]t’s so easy for viewers to confuse the person I’m talking with now with the identically dressed person who’s on the screen, who sounds precisely like you.

Such a structure grants Allen the opportunity to perform the “anticipatory self-depreciation” found in Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground – in Stardust, says Stam, such a practice “consists in demonstrating [the director’s] advance knowledge of all possible criticisms of himself and his work” (197). Stardust articulates this anticipated reaction to criticisms through the opposition between the “emptiness” of popular cinema and the “meaningfulness” of art cinema. ” On the other, the protagonist protests the rewriting of his dramatic screenplay by studio executives, showing dismay towards their interference with his artistic processes.

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