“I just felt there was something instinctive in me that could make a movie. The fact that I had never touched a camera, or done any filming or studying of movies—didn’t mean anything to me. I just knew how to make it,” says the man who had made more than 50 films, four Academy Awards and having the reputation of one of the best standup comedian ever. Woody Allen movies always made it to the center stage through his unique style of lightning humor, eloquent dialogues and traditional Jazz soundtracks in the background.
Woody Allen emerged as an established standup comedian and comedy writer in the US in the 50s and focused on slapstick comedies in the first few years. He is also considered as a part of the New Hollywood era. He started his career as a joke supplier for an advertising firm in the 50s. Later, he became a gag writer for Garry Moore and Sid Caesar. His 1969 film, Take the Money and Run brought him enough recognition and he has been making one movie per year after that, alternating between comedies and drama.
“I’m a compulsive worker,” says Allen, “what I really like to do best is whatever I’m not doing at the moment.” Annie Hall (1977), Manhattan (1979), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Stardust Memories (1980), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), and Match Point (2005) are considered as his best films.
Allen was rather intuitive in his casting preferences but maintained a strong professional bond with cinematographer Gordon Willis, to whom he referred to as the best cameraman in the world in this video. In this face-to-face conversation, Allen remembers his sparkling meeting with legendary Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman and how they shared their views on unanimous rejections of a movie and its consequences on the filmmaker.
Allen’s habit of abandoning his movies after release is very popular in Hollywood, as he never watches his movies again. He also maintains a stand that he doesn’t care about what people think and doesn’t worry about the box office. But, he stresses the importance of an outside opinion about the film for a filmmaker in the conversation. According to him, after working such a long period with the project, it would be very difficult for the filmmaker to have a perspective about it.
Allen is keen to maintain his multifaceted persona as a filmmaker, writer, comedian, and part-time musician and no wonder his career is a colossal effort spanning a number of disciplines like movies, theater, and literature.
Written By: Ragesh Dipu
Image Courtesy: www.thefocuspull.com