Iconic writer, director, actor, comedian and musician Woody Allen allowed his life and creative process to be documented on-camera for the first time. With this unprecedented access, Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Robert B. Weide followed the notoriously private film legend over a year and a half to create the ultimate film biography. "Woody Allen: A Documentary" chronicles Allen's career - from teen writer to Sid Caesar's TV scribe, from stand-up comedian to award-winning writer-director averaging one film-per-year for more than 40 years. Exploring Allen's writing habits, casting, directing, and relationship with his actors first-hand, new interviews with A-listers, writing partners, family and friends provide insight and backstory to the usually inscrutable filmmaker. Written by
I've just seen the DVD version of the documentary, which originally aired on PBS, on American Masters. The DVD is 2 parts in total of about three and a half hours.
This wonderful documentary, directed by Robert B. Weide, traces the life and career of the movie master Woody Allen. The early footage of Allen's stand-up comic days is extremely funny, as are the archival clips of Allen as he began to appear on national shows such as Steve Allen, Johhny Carson, and Dick Cavett. As he progressed into movies, the film tracks the stages of his early comic movies such as "Take the Money and Run"(when I first noticed Allen) and "Bananas", into more serious fare such as "Hannah and Her Three Sisters" and "Crimes and Misdemeanors", as well as his more recent movies made in Europe such as "Match Point", "Wimbledon" and "Midnight in Paris"
What I found particularly interesting was Allen explaining why he did certain movies, the great as well as the clunkers. He explains what his thought processes were, how he writes them, and what goes into directing them. The film is also chocked with interviews of fellow writers and collaborators, actors and actresses he has worked with, and certain film critics. Also, there is a good amount of time devoted to hearing from his sister, as to what Woody was like as boy and their relationship today.
I've followed Allen's career for decades, the good and the bad,and I felt this film gave me a real insight into what makes Woody Allen tick. Plus it is so packed with vintage footage of TV and film that I was engrossed despite the length of the movie.
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