Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tonight! PBS Reviews the Career of Woody Allen-- Sunday Journal #1

PBS' wonderful series American Masters is about to broadcast a gift to movie-lovers everywhere, with the premiere of Woody Allen: A Documentary,  tonight at 8:00pm (Chicago time).

Filmmaker Robert B. Wiede was granted access to Allen on and off the sets of his latest films.  His two-part biography (part 2 airs tomorrow, Monday November 21 at 9pm, CST) promises to be a feast of comedy, clips, and insight into this singular intellect, artist and entertainer.

I am looking forward to a look back at Allen's early days as a standup comic and perennial late-night talk-show guest; his breakout as a gag-writer as well as a writer of some of the funniest books ever written ("Without Feathers"); his foray into filmmaking with his crude, awkward but devastating comedies ("What's Up, Tiger Lily?", "Take the Money and Run"); his famous and infamous romances with leading ladies (Diane Keaton, Mia Farrow), and his maturity into a filmmaker of depth and richness, a director of some all-time classics ("Annie Hall", of course, and "Manhattan", and now "Midnight in Paris").

If you are familiar with Allen only from his films of the last decade, or his notorious recent personal life; and you love movies; you owe it to yourself to check this program out. 

I hope it lives up to the buildup I have done here, and in my mind's eye!

Later this week I will review the program, and describe my own "relationship" with Allen since I was a budding high-school film critic.

(Also up this week: reviews of "Like Crazy" and "Ides of March"... good movies both!)

Enjoy this clip from "American Masters: Woody Allen" offered by the PBS web site:

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