Ten Thousand Bytes of Cinematic Critique
In the one-word “byte” that appears before my Woody Allen comic, I chose to employ the adjective “prophetic.” Why? Because during his creative prime, the man was way ahead of his time.When I first caught up with Annie Hall, I was astonished at how many tricks it pulled and rules it broke. The movie just leaps off the screen, sometimes literally. Allen’s occasional appeals to the audience hooked me, and they were integrated so seamlessly into the film that they didn’t even seem to break the fourth wall. The device here is organic. It isn’t used for a cheap throwaway Mel Brooks-style gag.In the intervening years, we’ve seen this technique resurface in everything from Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang to Goodfellas. And this is just one example of Woody’s creativity and uniqueness. He’s one of the rare directors whose work is identifiable after only a few frames of material.New to Woody? I’m sure there are many primers floating around the internet, but since you’re already here (and since Chris asked), here are my ten favorite Woody Allen movies:10. Manhattan Murder Mystery9. Stardust Memories8. Manhattan7. Hannah and Her Sisters6. The Purple Rose of Cairo5. Match Point4. Crimes and Misdemeanors3. Bullets Over Broadway2. Play It Again, Sam1. Annie HallNotes: I have only seen around 25 Woody Allen movies. There are even some big “name recognition” classics I’ve yet to get around to. Midnight in Paris would have been #11 if this list had kept going.
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