Woody: Movies From Manhattan

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9780879516925: Woody: Movies From Manhattan

This study traces Woody Allen's idiosyncratic progress, exploring his film-craft, characteristic themes and storylines, literary and musical influences and his approach to cinema as screenwriter, actor and director. A chronologically-arranged filmography with synopses and reviews is included.

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Review:

In this comprehensive overview of Woody Allen's filmmaking career, Julian Fox covers each period of Allen's artistic development in detail. Particularly fascinating is Fox's account of sequences that were cut from Allen's finished films. For example, in Take the Money and Run, Allen initially intended his character to be killed in a Bonnie and Clyde-style shootout, while Annie Hall was originally conceived as a murder mystery! Also interesting is Fox's focus on the financial aspects of Allen's professional life: his earnings, the cost of his movies, and their profits or losses. A filmography and bibliography are included.

From Publishers Weekly:

Anyone looking for gossip or details of Woody Allen's love life should look elsewhere than in this interpretive biography of the writer, actor and director. Allen's family background and early career in stand-up are dispensed with in a few pages, and his romantic attachments and the recent scandal with Mia Farrow are sketched only in their barest outlines, and only as they pertain to his art. But anyone interested in the making of Allen's films, and in their critical and public reception, will find this book invaluable. Fox, a film journalist and actor, offers thoughtful and insightful readings of each film, with particular emphasis on Allen as "a middle-class, New York Jewish Chekhov." What makes his presentation especially illuminating, however, are his lovingly detailed accounts of how each film was made. Each of Allen's movies, especially since Sleeper, has been the result of absolute directorial control married to utter chaos, as Allen rewrites, recasts and reinvents films already in progress, often reshooting as much as 80% of a movie. Fox's passages on the creation of Allen's breakthrough film, Annie Hall, are particularly revealing, showing that the final product, hailed immediately by critics as a masterpiece, bears little relation to the original idea, or even to Allen's conception of the film as it was being shot. Fox also explores in detail the crucial contributions of such frequent Allen collaborators as editor Ralph Rosenblum and cinematographer Gordon Willis. Not only an essential book for Allen students and fans, this is also a wonderful read for anyone curious about the day-to-day realities of filmmaking. Photos and an exhaustive filmography.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Julian Fox
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Fox, Julian
Published by Overlook Books (1996)
ISBN 10: 0879516925 ISBN 13: 9780879516925
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