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Wild Man Blues (1997)

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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... See full summary »

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Barbara Kopple
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4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Letty Aronson ... Herself - Sister of Woody Allen
Soon-Yi Previn ... Herself (as Soon Yi Previn)
Dan Barrett Dan Barrett ... Himself - the Trombonist
Simon Wettenhall Simon Wettenhall ... Himself - the Trumpeter (as Simon Wettenthall)
John Gill John Gill ... Himself - the Drummer and Vocalist
Greg Cohen ... Himself - the Bassist
Cynthia Sayer Cynthia Sayer ... Herself - the Pianist
Eddy Davis Eddy Davis ... Himself - the Band Director and Banjoist
Woody Allen ... Himself - The Clarinetist
Nettie Konigsberg Nettie Konigsberg ... Herself - Mother of Woody Allen
Martin Konigsberg Martin Konigsberg ... Himself - Father of Woody Allen
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fine Line

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Italian

Release Date:

17 April 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blues del hombre salvaje See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$54,458, 19 April 1998

Gross USA:

$425,788
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Woody Allen's parents, who were well into their 90s at the time of filming, appear on-screen late in the film. This marked the first time that Martin Konigsberg and Nettie Konigsberg had anything even remotely to do with their son's film career (although they were consistently satirized throughout the years). See more »

Quotes

Woody Allen: The Europeans like pictures that drone on, and I'm good at making pictures that drone on.
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Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

References Annie Hall (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Rule Britannia
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Words by James Thomson (1740)
Played as background music while in London
See more »

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User Reviews

Witty and enjoyable but you need to be a reasonable fan of Woody Allen
2 May 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Woody Allen and the New Orleans Jazz Band set out on a tour of eighteen cities in seven countries in Europe. Accompanying them is Barbara Kopple, who has been given total access to the musician and filmmaker Allen as he does the shows and the time in between. The end result is a documentary that takes in Allen's love for this rather `crude' form of jazz but also allows for some insights into his personal life, his relationship with Soon Yi and his famous obsessions and neuroses.

I bought this film as a Woody Allen fan and as someone who, while not a fan, certainly enjoys a bit of old fashioned jazz music on a hot sunny night. For both these reasons I enjoyed this film, even though the description of it as a `documentary' is maybe not the most fitting as it implies a certain amount of probing into the subject. Rather than digging, Kopple basically just seems to point the camera and leave it running. She doesn't really ask any questions of Allen or his family and seems content to let him and his companions just talk freely - it made me wonder how many countless hours of footage she must have shot to come up with what she uses here. So if you are looking for insight in Allen then you won't get it here. Likewise, if you are looking for a great deal of discussion or insight into the music then you'll be let down; in this area Kopple also mostly just films the band playing.

That is not to say that the film is bad, because it isn't, but there isn't a great deal of substance to it unless you are Woody Allen fan. As a fan, there isn't a great deal of insight into Allen's life or situation - the conclusion we are left with is no more of an understanding than we started with, that he is a witty little man who is filled with little complexes and neuroses while also being a very private person. The value of the film is that we actually get to see that during the course of the movie. Allen is funny and quite relaxed but a `real' documentary would have pushed harder into the darker issues of Allen's life - many viewers will be annoyed by how the film just accepts Soon Yi without ever really asking any questions or even hinting at the many issues behind their relationship.

Overall I enjoyed this film but then I like Woody Allen's humour and was interested to seeing if his onscreen personae is similar to his real life character. However it isn't really insightful and it is only a scene near the end with Allen and his parents (yeah - I was surprised they were still alive too!) that gives a little background and is interesting. A light, witty and quite enjoyable film but I can't imagine that anyone other than fans of Woody Allen and jazz will get a great deal from this.


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