Tuesday, November 22, 2005


At 70, Is Woody Wonderful Again?

On December 1, Oscar-winner Woody Allen turns 70. He is simply the most prolific writer/director of his generation, and holds the record for most Oscar nominations by a screenwriter, with 13. But it's been nearly a decade since he was last recognized (with Deconstructing Harry). He's been nominated for Best Director six times (and won for Annie Hall). Like a magnet, he's consistently attracted a Who's Who of the best new and established talent in the industry to act in his films. Women in his movies tend to win Oscars. Diane Keaton did for Annie Hall. Mira Sorvino, for Mighty Aphrodite. Diane Wiest, twice, for Bullets Over Broadway and Hannah and Her Sisters. The sheer volume of output alone is astounding. Since 1966, Allen has directed nearly one film a year (sometimes two), giving life to many of the most unforgettable moments on screen. Granted, much of his work tends to cover similar themes, but even derivative Woody Allen is better than no Woody Allen. Now, a new buzz surrounds his latest work, Match Point. It's the kind of buzz that hasn't been heard in a while for an Allen film -- Oscar buzz. Will this be Woody's return to the top? How many of his films have you seen? I've named them below. Be sure to put them on your Nexflix or Blockbuster "to rent" list. Working backwards, from his most recent effort, here are the feature films directed by Woody Allen:
Match Point (2005), Melinda and Melinda (2004), Anything Else (2003), Hollywood Ending (2002), The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001), Small Time Crooks (2000), Sweet and Lowdown (1999), Celebrity (1998), Deconstructing Harry (1997), Everyone Says I Love You (1996), Mighty Aphrodite (1995), Bullets Over Broadway (1994), Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), Husbands and Wives (1992), Shadows and Fog (1992), Alice (1990), Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), New York Stories - segment "Oedipus Wrecks" (1989), Another Woman (1988), September (1987), Radio Days (1987), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Broadway Danny Rose (1984), Zelig (1983), A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982), Stardust Memories (1980), Manhattan (1979), Interiors (1978), Annie Hall (1977), Love and Death (1975), Sleeper (1973), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972), Bananas (1971), Take the Money and Run (1969), What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)

There must be a better measure of quality to discuss than the idiotic Oscars.
Unfortunately, in this numbers obsessed society quality is almost always measured by how many or how much of something. And often the how many or how much doesn't necessarily correlate well to the item being measured.

For example, ask someone how their church is doing they will immediately recite the most recent attendance records with no mention of any spirituality going on.

We evaluate companies on how much money they make the stockholders. It doesn't matter if they are crooked or destroy the environment while they are making the money.

The number of Oscars someone has won may point to the fact they have had some success in films, but doesn't necessarily show us the whole of that person. And it certainly doesn't show us those many many film makers who have produced quality work but don't have the right numbers.
By the way, I am not a big Woody fan Oscar or no.
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