Woody Allen deserves a three hour documentary, and with Robert B. Weide’s Woody Allen: A Documentary, the artist’s life and work is put into great perspective. Done originally for PBS, the two part film covers his early years working as a joke writer and stand-up through to his transition into master class filmmaker. For those looking to get a handle on a career that now spans over 50 years, it’s a clear, concise work that reminds why he used to be hilarious, and why he’s now revered as one of America’s greatest working filmmakers. Our review of the DVD of Woody Allen: A Documentary follows after the jump.
One of the most prolific yet elusive auteurs working today is Woody Allen. The writer-director is a legend, cranking out nearly one film a year for the past 43 years. Most filmmakers are lucky to make one great film in their career, but Allen’s resume sports multiple masterworks. Woody has shied away from press coverage for most of his life, but he recently granted unprecedented access to Emmy-winning director Robert Weide in order to create the definitive Woody Allen documentary. The three and a half hour film Woody Allen: A Documentary provides viewers with a comprehensive and intimate look into the life and filmography of Allen, with fascinating insights from the man himself and those closest to him. I’m not exactly a Woody aficionado, but I found the film to be one of the most comprehensive and absorbing documentaries I’ve seen in a long time.
Recently I got the chance to speak with Weide about the film. During our extended conversation, Weide talked about how he finally got Allen to agree to the documentary, compiling interview subjects for the film (including who turned him down and who was tough to get), what he learned about Allen after following him around for an extended period of time, what kind of bonus features are included on the DVD and what extra material he wishes he could have put on the home video release, and much, much more. Weide also talked about the possibility of a season 9 for Curb Your Enthusiasm and gave an update on his Kurt Vonnegut documentary, for which he’s currently seeking financing. Hit the jump to read on.
Beginning Sunday Night, PBS’ American Masters series will air Woody Allen: A Documentary, and the film’s trailer has been posted online. No matter your thoughts about the hit-and-miss aspect of his later films or how you feel about his personal life (which shouldn’t matter in the first place if you’re appraising his art), Woody Allen is a legend of American cinema. Director Robert Weide (Curb Your Enthusiasm) was allowed unprecedent access to Allen and followed him through the making of You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger through the premiere of Midnight in Paris (a film which will probably earn Allen his 15th Oscar nomination for screenwriting). Along the way, Weide conducted a plethora of interviews with Allen’s peers and the actors he’s worked with over the course of his long career. While the trailer makes the movie looks more like a celebration of Allen rather than a warts-and-all documentary, Allen is a director who should be celebrated for his work and I’m excited to see how Weide has approached his subject.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. Woody Allen: A Documentary is a three-and-a-half film that will air in two parts. Part one will run Sunday, November 20 from 9-11 PM, and part two airs Monday, November 21 from 9-10:30 PM. Click here for what producer Brett Ratner had to say about the documentary.