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Critical Analysis: Woody Allen

Discussion in 'Entertainment Forum' started by popdisaster00, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. popdisaster00

    I'm usually deluded Moderator

    Woody Allen Filmography

    Notable titles include (but are not limited to):
    Annie Hall
    Manhattan
    Hannah and Her Sisters
    Midnight in Paris
    Vicky Cristina Barcelona
    Husbands and Wives

    While it would be nice to focus the discussion on his filmography, I also totally understand that some might want to discuss his controversies and allegations over the years and how those have altered your perception of him and/or his work.
     
  2. WordsfromaSong

    Trusted

    I'm a huge fan of his work regardless of the allegations against him, but they've definitely had an affect on the way I watch his stuff now. I saw Crimes and Misdemeanors for the first time the other day, which was great, but I couldn't help but think about how its themes could relate to what he's been accused of. The fact that he spends several scenes hanging out with a young girl didn't help either.
     
  3. smoke4thecaper

    hold on, let me catch my breath Prestigious

    I absolutely adore (almost worship) Annie Hall. It's a perfect American comedy to me. Cliche, I know, but it's a film that stuck with me from an early age and really got me into exploring an auteur's work.

    Woody's early comedies (basically up to Stardust Memories) were some of my very first interactions with satire/parody, and I still think Bananas and Sleeper hold up. His 80's stuff is mostly pretty great, but the rest has been incredibly mixed. Until recently, I hadn't really given his latter-day films much of a chance. I'd say since Midnight in Paris, he's been much more focused. Still fun to jump into his dizzying filmography just to see how scattered his record has been.

    However, IMO, nothing beats that 1-2 punch of Annie Hall and Manhattan.
     
  4. Jake Gyllenhaal

    I’m a surfer! Supporter

    He's still one of my favorite filmmakers and I'm able to separate the art from the artist. And it's worth noting for a man of his age, he still consistently writes and directs a new film every year. Sure, he's had more misses than hits in the last 15 years. And I don't mind that whenever he appears in one, he's basically playing the same character.
    I would say my favorite period of his was during the 80's with Mia Farrow. The irony being that when he wrote characters for her to play, her characters usually suffered from emotional abuse from husbands or were cheated on.

    Personal favorites:

    70s
    Sleeper
    Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex
    Annie Hall
    Manhattan

    80s
    Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
    Broadway Danny Rose
    Purple Rose of Cairo
    Hannah and Her Sisters (personal favorite)
    Radio Days
    Crimes and Misdemeanors

    90s
    Manhattan Murder Mystery
    Bullets Over Broadway
    Deconstructing Harry

    2000s
    Small Time Crooks
    Match Point
    Scoop

    2010s
    Midnight in Paris
    Blue Jasmine
     
    smoke4thecaper likes this.
  5. OhTheWater

    Let it run Supporter

    Can't really get interested in him after I read more and more horrible things about him. Annie Hall was good
     
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  6. wisdomfordebris

    Trusted Prestigious

    Annie Hall and Manhattan are two of my favorite movies and I used to rewatch them somewhat regularly, but I very consciously haven't watched either since the allegations. I don't know how my perception and adoration of Annie Hall might be affected, nor am I sure if I want to find out, but I have no doubt that parts of Manhattan would make me sick if I watched it again.

    But all that aside, yeah, my favorites are Annie Hall, Manhattan and Bullets Over Broadway, which is criminally under appreciated.
     
  7. kyle Jun 13, 2016
    (Last edited: Jun 14, 2016)
    I'm pretty sure the only Woody Allen movie I've ever seen is Midnight in Paris.
     
  8. Victor Eremita

    Not here. Isn't happening.

    I just can't separate the artist from the art with this piece of shit. His status got him cleared of sexually assaulting a child and I can't get over that.
     
  9. iCarly Rae Jepsen

    I want your stupid love Supporter

    I will never financially support him again, Manhattan is the only movie of his I've seen where his gross views on teenage girls really show but not sure if I can watch anything else he's done
     
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  10. Nathan

    Always do the right thing. Supporter

    I got really into his work my first year of film school, my roommate and I would watch a couple Woody Allen films every week. He truly has made masterworks and even his mid-range quality fare is quite strong when compared to the average filmmaker. Given his prolific output, the quality of his work even more wildly impressive. He's obviously had a huge impact on film and culture as a whole. That being said, while I admit I do have the desire to see films he's made post my awareness of the allegations against him, I haven't yet been able to bring myself to see his stuff post-Blue Jasemine, the last film I saw before I learned of the allegations.

    Outside of the obvious big names like Annie Hall and Manhattan, I think Radio Days, Hannah and Her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors, and Manhattan Murder Mystery are the films of his that I had the strongest fondness for. I even remember really liking a lot about Vicki Christina Barcelona for it's depiction of fluid sexuality and strong performances from the cast.

    But I have not and maybe will not be able to view his work now without the allegations in mind. I have re-watched Annie Hall since I knew of the allegations, and while I can recognize what a masterpiece it is in so many ways, the fact that he is the face of it (and so many of his other films) has marred my enjoyment of it on a personal level.

    The primary reason I haven't been able to reconcile engaging with his work post-allegations is that, where does the consuming of his art become supporting him, and thus become enabling him? Of course if I were to see something like Cafe Society, I would do so in a way that doesn't financially support him, but if I were to write about it or praise it, would that reinforce that his art matters more than his sexual assault? Even if I recognize what a monster he is, and were to disclaim any writing or discussion about his work with the caveat that I detest everything about him as a person and what he did, if I were to gain any enjoyment from his latest films, even if it were to praise something like Joaquin Phoenix's performance or the cinematography, is that too much? I don't know. So I haven't engaged.
     
  11. ForestOfAllusion

    Old Aesthetic Supporter

    Crimes and Misdemeanors is my personal favorite.
     
  12. Nick

    @fangclubb Prestigious

    i can't critically analyse him, nor watch his films, sorry. horrid man.
     
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  13. ChaseTx

    Nuke the site from orbit. The only way to be sure Prestigious

    I've only seen Manhattan, which is a good movie but really sketchy considering.
     
  14. Morrissey

    Trusted

    With directors taking longer and longer between projects, it is such a comforting feeling that Woody Allen comes out with something new at least once per year. There is a constant push to mark his newer films as beneath the quality of his earlier work, but the judgement of his films never makes much sense: Whatever Works is a terrific comedy that was dismissed by audiences while Midnight in Paris was a cheap conceit that became Allen's most successful film. There are two legitimate bad films in Allen's canon: Anything Else and A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy. The rest offer something worth watching.

    One of the values of Allen's career and his diverse approach to storytelling is that it becomes harder and harder to predict where the films are going. In 300 million dollar superhero movies, you know the outcome before the opening scene, but a confrontation between his two lead characters in Irrational Man is far more thrilling because we have seen Allen go either way in determining who gets to live and who gets to die. The narrators have always been fluid, the message always dependent on the film. This is an underrated quality in his films; as great as someone like Spielberg or Malick is, they are often doing a repetition of their original thesis. Too many people dismiss his work due to how frequently it comes out, and only engage intellectually when critics say it is "one of the good ones", but anyone who wants to try can find plenty to think about in most of his work.
     
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  15. Garrett

    just looking for a little hope Moderator

    Midnight in Paris is amazing.
     
  16. TJ Wells

    Trusted Prestigious

    I would argue the two truly bad films in his canon are Magic in the Moonlight and You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, and I bet every other Woody fan would pick different ones. That's what I love about him.