WOODY ALLEN BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
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
2009 Life Is Bearable at Times...
2009 Le grand journal de Canal+
2009 Whatever Works
2008 Vicky Cristina Barcelona
2008 Cinema 3
2008 At the Movies
2008 Música de cine
2008 El club
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
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 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 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 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 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 The Impostors
1997 Deconstructing Harry
1997 Wild Man Blues
1997 Count Mercury Goes to the Suburbs
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
1989 Crimes and Misdemeanors
1989 Somebody or The Rise and Fall of Philosophy
1989 New York Stories
1988 Another Woman
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
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 Question de temps: Une heure avec Woody Allen
1978 The South Bank Show
1978 Film '72
1977 Annie Hall
1976 The Making of 'The Front'
1976 The Front
1975 Love and Death
1972 Every Thing You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask
1972 Play It Again, Sam
1971 Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story
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 What's Up, Tiger Lily?
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 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
1950 The Colgate Comedy Hour