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About Woody Allen
« on: December 09, 2017, 04:53:22 PM »
Woody Allen, born in 1935, American motion-picture director, actor, and writer, many of whose films are humorous depictions of neurotic characters preoccupied with love and death. Allen frequently stars in his own movies.

He was born Allen Stewart Konigsberg in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of 15, using the name Woody Allen, he began to write quips for newspaper columnists. He then wrote for radio and television performers, joining the staff of television comedian Sid Caesar in 1957. From 1961 to 1964 Allen worked as a comedian in nightclubs, where he drew the attention of a film producer and was hired to write and act in the motion picture What’s New, Pussycat? (1965).

Allen’s own first film, What’s Up, Tiger Lily? (1966), was actually made from a forgettable Japanese spy thriller that Allen transformed by dubbing it with absurd dialogue in English. He made his true directorial debut with Take the Money and Run (1969), followed by Bananas (1971), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (1972), and Sleeper (1975). All featured Allen in his characteristic role of the befuddled underachiever.

Allen’s first major critical success came with Annie Hall (1977), in which he plays a comedian who falls in love with a singer played by Diane Keaton. Annie Hall won Academy Awards for best picture and best screenplay; Allen won the Academy Award for best director, and Keaton won for best actress. Allen famously snubbed the Oscar ceremony that year because it coincided with his weekly appearance playing jazz clarinet at Michael’s Pub in New York.

Allen’s film Interiors (1978) was a somber psychological drama, while Stardust Memories (1980) was an obviously autobiographical work. Around this time Allen also made what is regarded by many critics as his greatest film, Manhattan (1979), a deft comedy about the romantic anxieties of a New York television comedy writer, noted for its inspired title sequence set to Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin and for its luminous black-and-white photography. Allen’s 1982 film, A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, the first of a new association with Orion Pictures, was also the first of many to feature his future partner, Mia Farrow.

Allen’s subsequent films include the spoof newsreel documentary Zelig (1983); Broadway Danny Rose (1984), a comedy about a failed talent agent; the 1930s takeoff Purple Rose of Cairo (1985); the family sagas Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and Radio Days (1987); Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), about adultery; Husbands and Wives (1992), a dissection of marriage; the comic suspense story Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993); the mob comedy Bullets over Broadway (1994); the marital comedy Mighty Aphrodite (1995); and the musical Everyone Says I Love You (1997).

An acrimonious separation from Farrow occurred in 1992 over his affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, whom Allen married in 1997. After his marriage Allen made Deconstructing Harry (1997) and Celebrity (1998), two films that were notably more cynical in tone than his previous work. In 1999 Allen wrote and directed Sweet and Lowdown, a comedic biopic about the life of a fictional 1930s jazz guitarist, Emmett Ray, starring Sean Penn. He starred in, as well as wrote and directed, the crime capers Small Time Crooks (2000) and The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001). In Hollywood Ending (2002) an aging filmmaker tries to cover up the fact that he has been struck blind during the making of a movie. Allen returned to romantic comedy in 2003 with Anything Else, and in 2004 wrote and directed Melinda and Melinda, a comedy exploring the same events from contrasting standpoints, comedic and tragic. Match Point (2005) was Allen’s first film made in Britain. This morality tale of ambition and social climbing set amid London’s high society was his biggest commercial success in two decades. He stayed in the British capital to shoot the murder mysteries Scoop (2006) and Cassandra’s Dream (2007). Allen has received Academy Award nominations in various categories for many of his films.

Allen wrote and starred in the plays Don’t Drink the Water (1966; motion picture, 1969) and Play It Again, Sam (1969; motion picture, 1972). A 1994 film version of Don’t Drink the Water was Allen’s first made-for-television movie. He has also published collections of short humorous writings, including Getting Even (1971), Without Feathers (1976), and Side Effects (1980).

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