As part of its Long Play program, the Australian Centre of the Moving Image (ACMI) presents the Australian premiere of Woody Allen: A Documentary. Spanning the remarkable career of arguably America’s premier auteur, comedian and neurotic, it will screen from 1 – 18 June.
For 60 years, Woody Allen has been a prolific filmmaker giving us cause to laugh, cry, contemplate and at times cringe. His distinctive voice has developed over the years from a comedy writer for television to producing some of the most seminal films in cinematic history. Featuring interviews with Allen, his collaborators and admirers, such as Diane Keaton and Penelope Cruz, Martin Scorsese; this documentary explores his career and artistic practice comprehensively for both those new to Allen, and for those who have been with him since the early days.
Including his ‘funny works’ like Bananas and Take the Money and Run, the Oscar winning Annie Hall and Manhattan and even his most recent Midnight in Paris; writer, director and producer Robert Weide (best known for his long time pursuits directing/producing Curb Your Enthusiasm) takes us on a journey through Allen’s early days outside film as a stand-up comic and sometimes writer for The New Yorker, and explores the artistic journey of his writing practice and relationships with his actors. A plethora of interviews with colleagues and those close to Allen studs the documentary providing insight and background.
Taking a year and a half to make, Weide stated that “… Woody will have made three features just in the time it’s taken me to make this one documentary.”
This level of detail and unfettered access to one of the world’s movie greats gives us a unique and intimate view into a world that is often caged in self-deprecation and elusiveness. “… it’s those small moments that stay with you ..” noted the Hollywood Reporter; “…Allen sitting on the side of his bed, glancing at the random scraps of paper where he jots down movie ideas and then forgets them and moves on, or admitting that he really doesn’t have anything to say, in short uncomfortable social situations, to the actors who work in his films.”
ACMI Film Programmer Kristy Matheson said “as well as being rapturous love letters to the city of New York, Allen’s films wear their obsessions on their sleeves.” Through his ongoing love affair with jazz, his homage’s to film heroes Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini to his quest to find meaning in the absence of god, Allen is a true original.
Woody Allen: A Documentary screens as an extended run from 1 to 18 June in conjunction with ACMI’s Jazz On Film program (3 to 9 June) within this year’s Melbourne International Jazz Festival. Two other Woody classics will show at ACMI during Jazz On Film, Sweet and Lowdown and Bullets Over Broadway. For program information, session times and tickets please visit: acmi.net.au