Academy Award-winner Barbara Kopple directs this documentary portrait of Academy Award and Golden Globe-winner Woody Allen, seen traveling with friends and fellow musicians during their New...
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Academy Award-winner Barbara Kopple directs this documentary portrait of Academy Award and Golden Globe-winner Woody Allen, seen traveling with friends and fellow musicians during their New Orleans jazz band's 1996 European tour. Allen's relationship with his wife Soon-Yi Previn is captured on film here for the first time, and others on the European jaunt include Allen's sister Letty Aronson. Followed by press, paparazzi, and gushing admirers, Allen returns home to face a more realistic critical assessment during "the lunch from hell" with his aged parents.Written by
According to an interview with Terry Zwigoff in 2010, he was originally approached to direct the film, but turned it down after he met with Woody Allen. He wanted to make a documentary about other aspects of his life, not just his tour of Europe, and Allen declined. See more »
I'm appropriately animate for a human being in the context in which I exist.
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Subtitles credit Letty Aronson and Soon-Li Previn. The band members are credited orally by Woody Allen as he introduces them to an audience. Allen himself is credited by marquees during the trip. See more »
This is a documentary account of Allen's tour of Europe with his New Orleans jazz band. Barbara Kopple directs effectively and seems to have the ability to be there at the crucial moment without the scenes looking staged or faked. I do not know if the film is a deliberate attempt to counter the bad publicity Allen received over his affair with the teenage Soon-Yi. Certainly the now 27 year-old Soon-Yi appears to be the dominant one of the partnership like a kindly but strict mother controlling the behaviour of her naughty child. I particularly enjoyed the breakfast scene in Madrid where she gently scolds Allen for not showing sufficient appreciation to the members of his band. She orders Spanish omelette because it seems to be the appropriate thing to have and then makes Allen eat it because it tastes like rubber. The final scene is fascinating with Allen and Soon-Yi back in New York visiting Allen's parents, both in their 90s. Both parents are dismissive of Allen's achievements and his mother confesses that she wanted him to marry a nice Jewish girl.
Allen's clarinet playing is variable. He seems to be having trouble with his reed throughout the tour. On good nights he sounds like a reasonable George Lewis imitator, on a bad night in Paris he could barely coax a note out of his instrument. The audiences loved him apart from a bejewelled invited audience in Rome that clapped politely and sat wearing bemused smiles throughout the performance
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