Tag Archives: Woody Allen
Picking Up the Pieces (2000) Alfonso Arau, Woody Allen, David Schwimmer, Angélica Aragón, Comedy, Fantasy
Renowned filmmaker Sandy Bates is in a professional transition, directing largely comedies early in his career now wanting to direct more serious movies so that he can explore the meaning of life, most specifically his own. Most are fighting him all along the way, including the movie going public, who continually tell him that they love his movies especially the earlier funny ones, to studio executives who are trying to insert comic elements wherever possible into his current movie in production.
One of Woody Allen’s earlier, more slapstick-oriented efforts, Bananas tells the story of Fielding Mellish (Allen), a neurotic New Yorker who follows the object of his affections, Nancy (Louise Lasser), to the fictional Central American country of San Marcos, where she is involved in a revolution. Nancy wants nothing to do with Fielding, but he soon becomes a guest of the country’s dictator (Carlos Montalban), before accidentally becoming the leader of San Marcos himself. Fielding is eventually shipped back to the US and tried as a subversive, but being that this is a comedy, and an especially light one at that, everything works out in the end. A far cry from Allen’s later, more somber films, Bananas still works as an often hilarious amalgam of sight gags, one-liners, and bizarre asides.
On the heels of Annie Hall, the Oscar-winning romantic comedy that rocketed Woody Allen to the front ranks of American filmmakers, Manhattan continued Allen’s romantic obsessions in a slightly darker, more pessimistic vein. Allen stars as Isaac Davis, a TV comedy writer sick of the pap he is forced to churn out and harboring dreams of being the great American novelist.
Fictional documentary about the life of human chameleon Leonard Zelig, a man who becomes a celebrity in the 1920s due to his ability to look and act like whoever is around him. Clever editing places Zelig in real newsreel footage of Woodrow Wilson, Babe Ruth, and others.
Comedian Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) examines the rise and fall of his relationship with struggling nightclub singer Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). Speaking directly to the audience in front of a bare background, Singer reflects briefly on his childhood and his early adult years before settling in to tell the story of how he and Annie met, fell in love, and struggled with the obstacles of modern romance, mixing surreal fantasy sequences with small moments of emotional drama.