Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Woody Allen's latest obligation, Cassandra's Dream opened last week to mostly blah reviews.

It’s the third of his “English-Cycle”.

There was a time when a new Woody Allen flick meant something. 

But alas those days are gone.

In my humble estimates his last great film was in 1992 (Husbands & Wives). Since then he’s made two very good movies Bullets Over Broadway (1994) and Sweet and Lowdown (1999) but even those were rather slight films, elevated by the excellent acting. He’s done two fairly enjoyable films Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) and his “wow, so un-Woody” Match Point (2005). Mostly though he’s directed a bunch of junk. The thought of say, a second viewing of either Scoop (2006), Melinda and Melinda (2004), Anything Else  (2003), Hollywood Ending (2002) or egads, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001) sound like some Abu Grave type torture to me. But maybe worse of all, his oh-so overrated (by many) lowbrow epic Deconstructing Harry (1997), yuck.

But still, I always want to believe! So I’ll probably drag myself to Cassandra’s Dream, hoping to get a vibe that Woody has returned to planet earth and started making films about human beings again. My faith rest in the fact that this is the dude who's Big-ThreeHannah & Her Sisters (1986), Manhattan (1979) and Annie Hall (1977) might rival any other directors Big -Three... Yeah I said that. 

I might put Woody's Big-Three up against, um, any Big-Three....

The Godfather 1 & 2 and Apocalypse Now, yeah? Believe it or not I might go with The Woodmiser.

George Stevens? What are his? A Place in The SunShaneGiant. How about Hitchcock’s VertigoNorth By Northwest, Notorious. Or Wilder’s Double IndemnitySunset Blvd. and Some Like It Hot. I might stick with Allen, it close though. However Wilder and Hitch have a Big-Ten that know one can touch (My big-ten, I try but nobody wants to touch).

They must really need to make their money back because the normally press shy Woody has been doing more press then I recall for past films (he’s really trying to sell himself as just a normal-one-of-the-guys’, maybe he’s gonna run for office).

- There’s a on-camera “Ten Questions” from Time Magazine, he mentions having offered three other scripts to Sean Penn before Sweet And Lowdown.

- Or you can read some of it here.

- He did a fairly long radio interview on something called The Leonard Lopate Show. Interestingly he explains his new working relationship with monotony composer Philip Glass.

And in print....

- In the Daily News he’s boringly modest “I can see the influence of Spielberg, Coppola, Scorsese - but I don't see my influence anyplace”. He’s obviously not then aware of Whit Stillman or Wes Anderson or heard the jazzy scores of most romantic comedies.

- He gushes over his cancer-voiced thespianette Scarlett Johansson and admits to having an IPhone to MTV

- And he tells Cineaste that he not a Purple Noon fan

- With the Washington Post he comes off as grumpy, "I do feel disconnected [from today's culture]. And I don't want to be connected there, because I don't like it," he explains. "The culture, at the moment, is not one that inspires me."

For old times sake. Check this out.

Woody Allen Interviews Billy Graham



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