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Woody Allen

Hollywood’s top 10 maverick directors

Article: Hollywood’s top 10 maverick directors

Hollywood demands plenty from directors. In a forest of remade classics, “Chipmunks” sequels and other safe, dependable investments, studios want bankable reasons to invest in innovation. Indie filmdom has long been a launchpad for Hollywood careers, but only a select few filmmakers can claim to have gone against the grain with enough force to change…

Happy Hanukkah: Eight Movies That Make Us Say ‘L’Chaim!’

Article: Happy Hanukkah: Eight Movies That Make Us Say ‘L’Chaim!’

Grab your matches and slap on your yamaka, because as of last night Hanukkah is officially in full swing. In our opinion, there’s nothing better to do after you light the menorah, eat your share of latkes and open countless presents than to sit down in front of the TV and watching a great movie…

The outstanding independent films of 2011

Article: The outstanding independent films of 2011

It is impossible to argue against the fact that 2011, though not terribly good for Hollywood, was a particularly smashing year for smaller, specialty films. “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” “Midnight in Paris” – Woody’s biggest hit to date — “Tree of Life,” “Shame,” “Melancholia,” “The Artist” and “We Need to Talk About Kevin” are just…

Is this the age of fanfiction films?

Article: Is this the age of fanfiction films?

Last week, film critic Drew McWeeny wrote a really interesting piece at HitFix called “Muppets, Avengers, and Life In The Age Of Fanfiction.” It was inspired by a conversation with his colleague, TV critic Alan Sepinwall, who described the new “Muppets” movie as “the greatest work of fanfiction [he'd] ever seen.” That spurred McWeeny to…

Five underrated Woody Allen movies

Article: Five underrated Woody Allen movies

The two part Woody Allen documentary on PBS this week has got a lot of people thinking and talking about the prolific filmmaker again. Everyone agrees on his best work — “Annie Hall,” “Manhattan,” “Hannah and Her Sisters” — and just about everyone agrees on his worst stuff — “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion”…

Is Woody Allen a genius?

Article: Is Woody Allen a genius?

Every decade or so there is a felt need among the cognoscenti to reassess the value of proto-American indie director Woody Allen’s work. In his “European Period” – or, more accurately, his “European Financing” period — Allen is, at present, enjoying unprecedented success. “Midnight in Paris” has now, against all odds, surpassed “Hannah and Her…

“Midnight in Paris” and the Summer of Nostalgia Movies

Article: “Midnight in Paris” and the Summer of Nostalgia Movies

The following post contains SPOILERS for “Midnight in Paris.” Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” isn’t just the director’s funniest and most charming film in years, if not decades. The damn thing is relevant too, a movie all about modern movie culture. Given “Midnight in Paris”‘ subject — a man so obsessed with the past he…

Can’t Be At Cannes 2011, Thursday Edition

Article: Can’t Be At Cannes 2011, Thursday Edition

It sucks not being at the Cannes Film Festival. To keep you up-to-speed on all the latest developments with the minimum amount of pain and jealousy, we’ll be providing frequent roundups of all the biggest news and best reviews. This is the first; future installments, along with all our Cannes coverage, can be found here.…

The Curious Cameography of Woody Allen

Article: The Curious Cameography of Woody Allen

With reports out of France that Woody Allen is shooting a cameo for the film “Paris Manhattan,” a comedy from first-time director Sophie Lellouche in which part of the plot revolves around a pharmacist (Alice Taglioni) so obsessed with his work she prescribes DVDs of his films to patients, the 75-year-old filmmaker continues a tradition…

New York: Filmmakers Love You

Article: New York: Filmmakers Love You

New York City has long been a favorite backdrop for filmmakers. The skyscrapers, famous skyline, renowned landmarks, mountains of garbage, notable mass transit system, beautiful parks, and streets lined with crazy people are an alluring setting for everything from romantic comedies (Weekend at Bernie’s 2), tragedies, (Autumn in New York), mysteries (Desperately Seeking Susan), adventure…

Directors as Swoopers and Bashers

Article: Directors as Swoopers and Bashers

This week sees the release of this year’s Woody Allen movie, “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.” Inspired by a description of writers given by Kurt Vonnegut in “Timequake,” not to mention Allen’s prolific career, in this week’s IFC News podcast we try dividing some of our favorite filmmakers into two categories — swoopers…

Back to the Future with Woody Allen’s ‘Sleeper’

Article: Back to the Future with Woody Allen’s ‘Sleeper’

Woody Allen’s futuristic comedy Sleeper is a hilarious look at a future filled with scientific advances, modern gadgets, and strangely oversized fruit. The film is filled with anachronisms including a Dixieland score played by Allen with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and New Orleans Funeral & Ragtime Orchestra. It’s just one of the many quirks…

Have comedies become unfunny? Nah, they’re doing just fine.

Article: Have comedies become unfunny? Nah, they’re doing just fine.

In the type of piece that seems calculated to bait the entire internet into yelling “you’re wrong!” (thereby driving traffic), the Independent‘s Ben Walsh has issued a snarky denunciation of the current state of cinematic comedy: “Put simply, Hollywood comedies just aren’t funny anymore.” “The art of sharp, snappy, witty dialogue has vanished,” he sighs.…

“Hey old man, you home tonight?”: Seven cinematic atheists.

Article: “Hey old man, you home tonight?”: Seven cinematic atheists.

Friday sees the release of Alejandro Amenabar’s “Agora” (alliteration!), which stars Rachel Weisz as a philosopher/scientist and courageous atheist suffering at the hands of rabid Christians in fifth-century Alexandria. The Catholic Church, predictably, is not pleased: “Your film is going to awaken hatred against Christians in today’s society,” wrote Antonio Alonso Marcos, president of the…

Let’s Get Physical (Comedy)

Article: Let’s Get Physical (Comedy)

“Micmacs,” the new film from “Amelie” director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, may be set in modern day Paris, but stylistically it’s a throwback to older movies — particularly silent comedies and slapstick, with its elaborate, near wordless set pieces. “Micmacs” provided the inspiration for this week’s podcast, in which we talk about physical comedy, apparently both the…

Cannes Review: “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.”

Article: Cannes Review: “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.”

Reviewed at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Woody Allen has preempted criticism of his latest breezy exercise in romantic neurosis by opening and closing his film by evoking Shakespeare’s famous line: “It is a tale full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” While that claim may be facetious — Allen returns here to familiar territory…

The Fandom Menace

Article: The Fandom Menace

Fans keep the movie industry alive: buying tickets, anointing stars, reading magazines and websites. But when movies put fans on-screen they’re often depicted in negative ways: threatening stars, demanding attention, murdering people who threaten their dreams. If a movie features a character defined by their fandom, odds are they’ve got some issues, be they psychological…

Did Woody Allen ruin romantic comedies?

Article: Did Woody Allen ruin romantic comedies?

In a thoughtful appraisal better than “The Back-Up Plan” deserves, the New York Times‘ Manohla Dargis doesn’t so much review the movie as the entire landscape of the contemporary romantic comedy, one of her favorite topics. She observes a decline from the days of witty banter to “speeches about feelings”: “Freud might have hit Hollywood…

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