Suffering from writer's block and eagerly awaiting his writing award, Harry Block remembers events from his past and scenes from his best-selling books as characters, real and fictional, come back to haunt him.
A director is forced to work with his ex-wife, who left him for the boss of the studio bankrolling his new film. But the night before the first day of shooting, he develops a case of psychosomatic blindness.
A comedic biopic focused on the life of fictional jazz guitarist Emmett Ray. Ray was an irresponsible, free-spending, arrogant, obnoxious, alcohol-abusing, miserable human being, who was also arguably the best guitarist in the world. We follow Ray's life: bouts of getting drunk, his bizzare hobbies of shooting rats and watching passing trains, his dreams of fame and fortune, his strange obsession with the better-known guitarist Django Reinhardt, and of course, playing his beautiful music.Written by
Martin Lewison <email@example.com>
Woody Allen had planned an initial version of this movie (originally titled "The Jazz Baby") as his first film for United Artists. When UA insisted upon a comedy, Allen shelved the idea for nearly three decades. See more »
Railroad freight cars have reporting marks for railroads that did not exist in '30's See more »
When we try to understand genius, or love, or "why?", we run into the same problem that the ancients encountered:
"I went to the poets I took them some of the most elaborate passages in their own writings, and asked what was the meaning of them thinking that they would teach me something. I must say that there is hardly a person present who would not have talked better about their poetry than they did themselves. That showed me in an instant that not by wisdom do poets write poetry, but by a sort of genius and inspiration; they are like diviners or soothsayers who also say many fine things, but do not understand the meaning of them." Socrates, The Apology
So here we have Woody telling a story about a storyteller, who talks and struts endlessly (Penn has a ball with this), but can only say anything through music, and he can't explain a bit of it. Much like Woody, who prattles on about every neurosis, but speaks volumes through his control of the medium. It's just something he's born to do.
And this is the only way to understand Django -- with only two working fingers on his fretting hand (accidental disfigurement), he reinvented the whole medium of guitar. The new shape of his hand forced him into holding octaves - which can be done on guitar with two adjacent fingers, unlike on the piano - and changing the way leads and comping - here, self-accompaniment - were played. His art was the necessary step before Les Paul, and thence to Wes Montgomery, and so on to you and me.
Here is devotion without hagiography, because all of this is wrapped into "one of those Emmett Ray stories", where you can 'never be sure' of what is truth, confabulation, or exaggeration.
Brilliance. Bravo, to all.
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