Monday, December 01, 2008

5 Off My Head - Woody's Offerings

Today is the 73rd birthday of Woody Allen. Try as I may - and to be honest, I only try in sporadic fits when I'm in the mood for Woody - I have not even come close to seeing all of Woody's films. There are several that I've seen more than once, more that I've seen just the one time, and then plenty upon plenty that I have not graced my eye upon as of yet. My loss, to be sure.

With that in mind, here in the Woodman's honor are my favorites. Tell me yours in the comments, especially if they're one of the lesser-loved ones that I've maybe not seen yet.

Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)
"I think it's a reasonable assumption that if you're dead
you don't suddenly turn up in the New York City Transit System."

Annie Hall (1977)
"Next thing you know, he'll find you keen and peachy, you know.
Next thing you know, he's got his hand on your ass."

Manhattan (1979)
"I had a mad impulse to throw you down
on the lunar surface and commit interstellar perversion."

The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
"You can't learn to be real.
It's like learning to be a midget."

Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
"A strange man... defecated on my sister."

Crimes could've made it in on the merits of Martin Landau's performance alone. I LOVE that performance. And I think it has one of Woody's best performances as well. Really really like that film.

For the record, I am not a huge fan of Hannah and Her Sisters, so don't yell at me for leaving that off. Yell at me for not being a fan, sure, but not for leaving it off.

Also, you should check out a list done by Glenn at Stale Popcorn of the same, done a couple years back. We agree on just two.


Frontier Psychiatrist said...

I would add What's Up, Tiger Lily? and Love and Death.

Death: You're an intersting young man. We'll meet again.
Boris: Don't bother.
Death: It's no bother.

Pax Romano said...

All wonderful picks ... Annie Hall is one my desert island picks (would that my island had a DVD player, TV and electricity).

A couple more you should check out are Radio Days (a gorgeous piece in which Woody reflects on his childhood), Everyone Says I Love You (a strange, but endearing musical), Shadows and Fog (dark, expressionist comedy - watch it for the whore house scene with Lily Tomlin, Jodi Foster and Kathy Bates as three chatty women of the evening).

scroggins said...

Okay. I'll bite; why aren't you a huge fan of Hannah and Her Sister? (I just watched it on Thanksgiving, so feel free to be specific in your criticism).

Petter Malmberg said...

I second Radio Days, that and Purple Rose are my favorites.
Stardust Memories and Sleeper- where he tries Fellini and Slapstick are also really good.

Adam said...

I say give Hannah and Her Sisters another go. Seriously. But aside from that... I think Husbands and Wives, Interiors, Zelig, Another Woman, Stardust Memories, Deconstructing Harry, Match Point, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and quite a few others are absolute gems.

Ross said...

I haven't seen either of them in quite a while, but I recall liking "Interiors" and "Husbands and Wives" quite a bit.

Catherine said...

I was so about to yell at you for not including Hannah..., a film which I'm reasonably confident of asserting has honestly helped me through some bad patches in my life. Other than that gem of a film, my favourites are Husbands & Wives, Another Woman and Manhattan. There are SO MANY I need to watch, though, for reals. Like Annie Hall. Which, somehow, I've never seen.

Jason Adams said...

I know I'm like the only Woody Allen fan on Earth who's never been able to get into Hannah. Believe me I've tried! I've seen it straight-through a couple of times and tried sitting through it and failed a couple more times than that, but there's just something about it that never connects for me like his other films do. It has been several years so I will probably give it another try sometime soon. Until then, it's an anomaly wrapped in a Mia Farrow shaped riddle.

And Harry, I can't really be more specific since it's been so long, it's just the consensus towards the film that I've accepted for now.

FDot said...

If you have the chance, head to the Paley Center and watch Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger story. It's a great little curio from the early 70's. Very funny and probably truer today than it was then.

Anonymous said...

Judy Davis' performance in "Husbands and Wives" is why it's one of my fav films. Check it out. Michael in DC

Dame James said...

Don't feel bad: I'm also not a huge fan of Hannah and Her Sisters. It's not a bad film by any means, but, for me, it just kinda sits there and begs me to ask "So what?" Michael Caine and Dianne Weist earned Oscars for this? What exactly did they do so extraordinarily?

My top 5 Woody's:
1. Annie Hall
2. Sleeper
3. Bullets Over Broadway
4. Interiors
5. Everyone Says I Love You

Anonymous said...

hannah and her sisters is worth going back to - even if you make your focus dianne wiest, who is absolutely endearing and heartbreakingly vulnerable in the film. Abd her best moment comes in the film's last scene, so it will keep you there all the way to the end. I also think Woody Allen's presence in the film is much lighter and more playful because of her, and it suits him.

Anonymous said...

Another vote for Another Woman. Just two words: Gena Rowlands.

(Shit, I've just realized I'm getting viral commenting everywhere, I'll shut up for a while).


Y Kant Goran Rite said...

You missed two of my favourite Woody one-liners: "Sex with you is such a Kafkaesque experience." (Duvall to Woody in Annie Hall); and "Don't know masturbation. It's having sex with someone I love." (also in Annie Hall).

My Top 5 would be
1. Annie Hall
2. Crimes and Misdemeanors
3. The Purple Rose of Cairo
4. Hannah and Her Sisters
5. Another Woman (his most morbidly underrated)

Honourable mentions go to Manhattan and Love and Death

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

That was meant to be "Don't knock masturbation.." Alas...

Also, I stupidly left Zelig and Husbands and Wives off my Honourable Mentions list

Prospero said...

Early Woody is the best. "What's Up Tiger Lily?" "Take the Money and Run;" "Sleeper" and "Bananas." Assuredly silly, but very, very stuff.

Prospero said...

Funny stuff, that should have read.

DuchessKitty said...

My faves have been covered - count me as another fan of Hannah and Murder Mystery, among others.
I also love recent films like the dark "Match Point" and the rather ridiculous but enjoyable "Scoop". I also have a sweet spot for "Mighty Aphrodite".

Anonymous said...

Manhattan and Annie Hall are classic. Purple Rose of Cairo and Deconstructing Harry are genius. Can't go past Hannah and her Sisters though. Vicky Cristina Barcelona has to be his best in a decade.