Masters of Cinema : Woody Allen

                              Multi-Oscar-winning and still amazingly prolific, Woody Allen is one of a handful of American filmmakers who can truly wear the label 'auteur'. Woody Allen remains one of the truly great figures in American humour and American cinema. In a circumstance unusual for Hollywood cinema, Allen wields a notoriously tight control over all aspects of his work – casting, writing, shooting and editing – and, beyond this, is so glorified that he is not required to submit a script for studio approval. 
  • Woody Allen was born on December 1, 1935, in New York City. Following high school, Allen went to New York University, but he soon dropped out as a result of poor grades. At nineteen, Allen began writing scripts for TV-shows.  In 1960, Allen decided to become a stand-up comedian. He soon became an extremely popular comedian and appeared frequently on television and in nightclubs. 
  • Allen is a celebrated movie writer and director, considered a pioneer in filmmaking. Allen draws much of his inspiration for the films from New York City, European cinema and psychology.
  • Trade Mark : Frequently plays a neurotic New Yorker. A lot of his movies feature at least one character who is a writer. This is often Woody himself. His films often include opening Narration or the protagonist talking directly to the audience. References to famous writers and literary classics. His female characters are often free spirited but naive. 
  •  He has more Academy Award nominations (14) for writing than anyone else, all of them are in the Written Directly for the Screen category.
  • Was voted the 19th greatest director of all time by Entertainment Weekly. Ranked #4 in Comedy Central's 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time. Ranked #10 in Empire (UK) magazine's Greatest Directors Ever! poll.
  • Refuses to watch any of his movies once released.
  • His variety of neuroses include: arachnophobia (spiders), entomophobia (insects), heliophobia (sunshine), cynophobia (dogs), altophobia (heights), demophobia (crowds), carcinophobia (cancer), thanatophobia (death), misophobia (germs). He admits to being terrified of hotel bathrooms.
  • Manages his one film per year schedule by setting strict budgets. Actors large and small receive the same salary. Writes his scripts on a typewriter.
  • He directed, wrote and starred in five of the American Film Institute's 100 Funniest Movies: Annie Hall (1977) at #4, Manhattan (1979) at #46, Take the Money and Run (1969) at #66, Bananas (1971) at #69 and Sleeper (1973) at #80.
  • Match Point (2005) was his first film to make money in seven years. Of his own movies, Match Point (2005) is his favorite.
  •  While best known for his romantic comedies of "Annie Hall" and "Manhattan," Woody has made many transitions in his films throughout the years. Transitioning from his "early, funny ones", to his more storied and romantic comedies of "Annie Hall, to varied works of "Crimes and Misdemeanors,"  "Deconstructing Harry;"  to the self-destructive darkness of "Match Point." 
Woody Allen's Quotes :
"I'm not afraid of dying . . . I just don't want to be there when it happens."
"There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?"
"The two biggest myths about me are that I'm an intellectual, because I wear these glasses, and that I'm an artist because my films lose money. Those two myths have been prevalent for many years."
"Most of life is tragic. You're born, you don't know why. You're here, you don't know why. You go, you die. Your family dies. Your friends die. People suffer. People live in constant terror. The world is full of poverty and corruption and war and Nazis and tsunamis. The net result, the final count is, you lose - you don't beat the house."
"If my films don't show a profit, I know I'm doing something right. "

                                        Woody Allen is known for revolutionizing the comedy film genre in the 1970's. Among the innumerable fine aspects of Woody Allen's films is the fact that he takes his inspiration from various forms of art - film, painting, philosophy, opera, poetry, music and others.
When asked if he wanted to achieve immortality throubgh his work, Woody Allen famously commented that he wanted to achieve immortality by not dying. At 76, Woody is as active and relevant as he's ever been at any point of his career. Maybe Mr. Allen will achieve his goal of immortality after all.


Manreet Sodhi Someshwar said...

Happy to meet another Woody fan.

I watched 'Midnight in paris' recently and had a thoroughly good time:) Woody Allen is that kind of magician!

Arun Kumar said...

Thanks for the comment Manreet