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Woody Allen DIRECTOR


Woody Allen was born Allen Stewart Konisberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York to a Jewish family. His father, Martin, worked an assortment of jobs, while his mother, Nettie, was a bookkeeper. Growing up, he found no particular interest in school, and instead spent much of his time performing magic tricks and making up jokes. When he was fifteen he began selling some of his jokes to a local newspaper. He also started to write for a number of talk shows like “The Colgate Comedy Hour” (1950). After high school, Allen enrolled at New York University as a motion picture major, and later, City College of New York, but flunked out.

He continued to do work for TV after dropping out of school, even working with Sid Caesar on “At the Movies” (1959) and “The Sid Caesar Show” (1963). In the early sixties he began additionally guest starring on TV talk shows, starting with “The Pat Boone-Chevy Showroom” (1962). His humor –unlike most other comedians – focused on his own Jewish character that had bad luck with life and even worse luck when it came to women. His doubt filled, anxiety driven performances poked fun at all aspects of life, and entertained audiences in a way that had never been done before.

In 1965 Allen made his film debut, as both an actor and writer, for Clive Donner’s “What’s New, Pussycat?”. While the experience he had on set was unfavorable and he promised himself he would never do another picture, it turned out to be so successful that only a year later he was back in the movie scene. “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?” (1966) proved to be the writer’s first flick as a director, on top of being an actor and writer for it. After appearing in 1967’s “Casino Royale” Allen’s career really took off, marking the beginning of one of the most successful and strange careers in American film history.

He starred as an incompetent bank robber escape in his next picture, “Take the Money and Run” (1969), which he directed and wrote, too. His following films also encompassed his extremely creative joke style, putting him as one of the best comic filmmakers of his time. A few of them also starred his ex-wife, Louise Lasser, whom he married in 1966 but divorced in 1969. Movies like “Bananas” (1971), a political satire, “Every Thing You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask” (1972), a series of loosely related shorts demystifying various sexual myths all while making fun of the self help craze, “Play it Again, Sam” (1972), about a divorced man with an alter-ego, and “Sleeper” (1973), a futuristic comedy, established Allen’s standing as a major comical force. “Play it Again, Sam” turned out to be more than just a popular picture; it united Allen and its leading actress, Diane Keaton. They were only romantically involved for a year, but Keaton would return to star in many of his future movies.

With 1975’s equally eccentric period comedy “Love and Death”, the director showed his desire to be taken more serious as a legitimate filmmaker. It raised philosophical questions and presented a love for art and literature while still putting a spoofy spin on Russian culture. Allen’s want to inject more meaning in his pictures showed even more so with “Annie Hall” (1977), a contemporary romantic comedy that took home four Oscars, including ones for Best Picture, Best Writing, and Best Director. While it contained the trademark Allen humor, it also employed sophisticated narrative methods and explored themes that reflected the filmmaker’s own life problems. He followed “Annie Hall” with two more profound pictures, “Interiors” (1978) and “Manhattan” (1979). The latter, showcased brilliantly in black and white, was hailed as a masterpiece.

Later films such as “Stardust Memories” (1980), “A Midsummer Night’s Sex Story” (1982), where he met future wife Mia Farrow, “Zelig” (1983), “The Purple Rose of Cairo” (1985), “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986), “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989), and “Alice” (1990) exhibited his recently crafted combination of humor and gravity. In the eighties, especially, these somber and philosophical attitudes were the undertone of most of his features. “Stardust Memories” Allen considers his best work, but with “Hannah and Her Sisters”, he won his second Academy Award for Best Writing. As well, “The Purple rose of Cairo” was named as one of the 100 best films of all time by Time Magazine.

Throughout the 1990s, Allen worked outside the Hollywood system to put out low budget features that were well enjoyed by his loyal fans. He stayed loyal to his own vision and avoided mainstream trends, something many large movie icons cannot say about themselves. 1992’s “Shadows and Fog” wasn’t one of the director’s better, but he quickly got back into the game with the drama “Husbands and Wives” (1992). The film’s main idea, a crumbling marriage, was soon realized by Allen himself as he and his wife, actress Mia Farrow, divorced upon discovery of his affair with her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn (whom he later married).

His subsequent film, a dark comic thriller titled “Manhattan Murder Mystery” (1993), marked the return of Diane Keaton, but failed at the box office. After, the director returned to lighter fare with the period comedy “Bullets Over Broadway” (1994). It turned out to be a major success, earning an impressive seven Oscar nominations. “Mighty Aphrodite” (1995), a quirky romantic comedy, scored two more Academy Award nods.

1996 brought a first for Allen: a musical comedy. “Everyone Says I Love You” (1996) could be seen in a similar light as those done with Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger. However, it also mixed some of Allen’s own personal style, as he himself is a very accomplished musician. In fact, he plays the clarinet at a jazz club every week and has put his music in a number of his movies.

The filmmaker earned his thirteenth Oscar nomination for Best Writing for his next film, “Deconstructing Harry” (1997), a dark comedy documenting the events that occur when a writer (Allen) has a severe case of writer’s block. This picture is just one example of the director/writer also putting himself as the lead character, as he does in a majority of his films. However, he did not write or direct the next film he was in. “Wild Man Blues” (1997) documented Allen not as a filmmaker, but as a clarinet player. A year later, he switched it around and directed/wrote, “Celebrity” (1998), but did not appear in it.

For the next fourteen years, Allen consistently put out one movie per year, although he only acted in a handful more, including voicing Z in “Antz” (1998), having a supporting role in “Scoop” (2006), and starring alongside Ellen Page and Jesse Eisenberg in “The Bop Decameron” (2012). 1999 saw “Sweet and Lowdown”, a mock-docudrama starring Sean Penn as a fictionalized 1930s jazz guitarist. After, Allen signed a deal with DreamWorks Pictures. His first work here was an unexpected mainstream, yet successful, comedy called “Small Time Crooks” (2000). Two disappointments, “Curse of the Jade Scorpion” (2001) and “Hollywood Ending” (2002) followed however. Allen’s subsequent films, “Anything Else” (2003) and “Melinda and Melinda” (2004), garnered mixed reviews, but he finally made his comeback with Scarlett Johansson’s “Match Point” (2005). Strangely enough, it was a crime thriller and didn’t even contain the director’s typical quirky humor. Nevertheless, it earned him his fourteenth Academy Award nomination for Best Writing, which is a record. With twenty one total Oscar nominations –acting, directing, and writing combined – he actually holds the record for most nominations in these three categories put together as well.

He teamed up again with Johansson in “Scoop” (2006), then filmed “Cassandra’s Dream” (2007), and returned to the actress in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008). 2009’s black comedy, “Whatever Works”, follows the tale of a messy love triangle formed as the result of a failed suicide attempt. 2010’s romantic comedy, “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger”, documents a pair of married couples as their aspirations, passions, and stresses lead them to insanity. “Midnight in Paris” (2011), starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, and Kathy Bates, is a romantic comedy about a family that takes a trip to France for business and discovers what is missing in their lives. Allen’s most recent flick, “The Bop Decameron”, is set to release in 2012.

Throughout his entire career, the filmmaker managed to make a name for himself. With his idiosyncratic comedy, he created his own cult following. Many times he would even impress mainstream critics. The director/writer/actor thus has earned many prestigious awards and honors during his multi-decade reign. He has eighty eight awards with his name on them, not limited to a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Directors Guild of America, Career Golden Lion from the Venice Film Festival, and a Special Achievement Award from the London Critics Circle Film Awards. Additionally, he was nominated for ninety three more. On top of that, Empire Magazine named him #89 of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history and #43 of their Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time, and Entertainment Weekly voted him the 19th greatest director of all time.

2012       Bop Decameron 

2011       Midnight in Paris

2011       Episódio Especial

2010       You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

2010       Nyhetsmorgon

2009       Life Is Bearable at Times...

2009       Le grand journal de Canal+ 

2009       Whatever Works 

2009       Sdelka

2008       Vicky Cristina Barcelona

2008       Cinema 3  

2008       At the Movies 

2008       Música de cine 

2008       Èxit 

2008       El club 

2008       Seitenblicke 

2008       Speechless 

2007       Sophia: Ieri, oggi, domani 

2007       Brother Theodore 

2007       Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts

2007       La nit al dia  

2007       Cassandra's Dream

2006       Scoop 

2005       Match Point

2005       Sunday AM  

2005       Corazón de... 

2005       Filmmakers in Action 

2005       The Ballad of Greenwich Village

2005       Filmmakers vs. Tycoons 

2005       The Outsider

2005       The Culture Show 

2005       On the Trail of Sigmund Freud 

2004       Estravagario 

2004       Ceremonia de apertura del festival de cine de San Sebastián 

2004       François Truffaut, une autobiographie 

2004       Je t'aime... moi non plus: Artistes et critiques  

2004       Melinda and Melinda

2003       Entertainment Tonight 

2003       Silenci?  

2003       Anything Else 

2003       Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin 

2003       100 Years of Hope and Humor 

2003       Last Laugh 

2003       Sid Caesar Collection: Buried Treasures - The Legend of Sid Caesar

2003       Sid Caesar Collection: Buried Treasures - The Impact of Sid Caesar 

2003       Sid Caesar Collection: Buried Treasures - Shining Stars

2002       Woody Allen: A Life in Film

2002       Estudio de actores 

2002       The Magic of Fellini      

2002       Montreal Writer

2002       Hollywood Ending 

2001       Sounds from a Town I Love

2001       The Concert for New York City

2001       The Curse of the Jade Scorpion

2001       All About Desire: The Passionate Cinema of Pedro Almodovar

2001       HARDtalk

2001       The Sid Caesar Collection: The Fan Favorites - The Professor and Other Clowns 

2001       The Sid Caesar Collection: The Fan Favorites - Love & Laughter 

2001       Caiga quien caiga  

2001       Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures

2001       Hail Sid Caesar! The Golden Age of Comedy

2001       The Sid Caesar Collection: The Fan Favorites - The Dream Team of Comedy 

2000       Buñuel en Hollywood 

2000       Ljuset håller mig sällskap 

2000       Waiting for Woody

2000       The Sid Caesar Collection: Inside the Writer's Room 

2000       The Sid Caesar Collection: Creating the Comedy 

2000       The Sid Caesar Collection: The Magic of Live TV 

2000       Small Time Crooks 

2000       Company Man   

2000       Picking Up the Pieces

1999       Sweet and Lowdown 

1999       Àgora 

1999       Howard Cosell: Telling It Like It Is  

1998       NY TV: By the People Who Made It - Part I & II 

1998       Sugar Ray Robinson: The Bright Lights and Dark Shadows of a Champion 

1998       The Secret World of 'Antz'

1998       Celebrity

1998       The Impostors

1998       Antz    

1997       Deconstructing Harry

1997       Wild Man Blues

1997       Count Mercury Goes to the Suburbs

1997       Continuarà...

1997       Avisa'ns quan arribi el 2000  

1997       Just Shoot Me!  

1997       Dennis Pennis R.I.P. 

1997       Liv Ullmann scener fra et liv 

1997       Mundo VIP

1997       The Language Master

1997       Cannes... les 400 coups 

1997       Wild Man Blues  

1996       Días de cine

1996       Corazón, corazón 

1996       Everyone Says I Love You 

1996       The Sunshine Boys

1995       Une aspirine pour deux 

1995       Mighty Aphrodite 

1994       La senda 

1994       Don't Drink the Water 

1994       Bullets Over Broadway

1993       Manhattan Murder Mystery

1992       Husbands and Wives 

1992       Showbiz Today 

1991       Shadows and Fog 

1991       Scenes from a Mall

1990       Alice  

1989       Crimes and Misdemeanors

1989       Somebody or The Rise and Fall of Philosophy

1989       New York Stories

1988       Another Woman 

1987       September 

1987       King Lear 

1987       Radio Days

1986       Meeting Woody Allen 

1986       Hannah and Her Sisters 

1985       The Purple Rose of Cairo

1984       Broadway Danny Rose 

1983       Zelig 

1982       A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy

1982       L'oeuvre et la vie de Woody Allen 

1982       The Marx Brothers in a Nutshell

1981       The Subtil Concept

1980       Stardust Memories

1980       To Woody Allen from Europe with Love  

1979       Manhattan 

1979       EscenarI

1979       Question de temps: Une heure avec Woody Allen 

1978       The South Bank Show

1978       Film '72 

1978       Interiors

1977       V.I.P.-Schaukel 

1977       Arena

1977       Annie Hall

1976       The Making of 'The Front' 

1976       The Front  

1975       Love and Death  

1973       Sleeper 

1972       Every Thing You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask  

1972       Play It Again, Sam 

1971       Bananas 

1971       Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story

1971       Cinema  

1971       Plimpton! Did You Hear the One About? 

1971       Fight of the Century

1970       Frost on Sunday 

1970       Hot Dog

1970       Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You 

1969       The Sorrow and the Pity

1969       Take the Money and Run 

1969       The Dick Cavett Show

1969       The David Frost Show 

1969       The Joe Namath Show   

1968       The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

1967       The World: Color It Happy     

1967       The Kraft Music Hall 

1967       The Dean Martin Comedy Hour  

1967       Our Place 

1966       Gypsy

1966       What's Up, Tiger Lily? 

1966       Hippodrome 

1966       Dusty     

1966       Gene Kelly in New York, New York

1966       What's Up, Tiger Lily?

1966       Casino Royale 

1965       What's New Pussycat 

1965       The Ed Sullivan Show 

1965       The Andy Williams Show  

1965       The Best on Record

1965       Hullabaloo 

1965       The Woody Allen Show 

1965       Woody Allen 

1964       The Eamonn Andrews Show

1963       The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 

1963       The Sid Caesar Show 

1962       The Laughmaker

1962       The Merv Griffin Show 

1962       The Jack Paar Program 

1962       The Jack Paar Tonight Show 

1960       The Pat Boone-Chevy Showroom  

1960       Hooray for Love

1960       Candid Camera 

1959       At the Movies 

1958       The Garry Moore Show

1956       Stanley

1950       The Colgate Comedy Hour  

Matinee Classics - Woody Allen and Mia Farrow

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