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Conversations with Woody Allen: His Films, the Movies, and Moviemakingby Eric Lax
Synopses & Reviews
From the author of the best-selling biography Woody Allen—the most informative, revealing, and entertaining conversations from his thirty-six years of interviewing the great comedian and filmmaker.
For more than three decades, Woody Allen has been talking regularly and candidly with Eric Lax, and has given him singular and unfettered access to his film sets, his editing room, and his thoughts and observations. In discussions that begin in 1971 and continue into 2007, Allen discusses every facet of moviemaking through the prism of his own films and the work of directors he admires. In doing so, he reveals an artist’s development over the course of his career to date, from joke writer to standup comedian to world-acclaimed filmmaker.
Woody talks about the seeds of his ideas and the writing of his screenplays; about casting and acting, shooting and directing, editing and scoring. He tells how he reworks screenplays even while filming them. He describes the problems he has had casting American men, and he explains why he admires the acting of (among many others) Alan Alda, Marlon Brando, Michael Caine, John Cusack, Judy Davis, Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mia Farrow, Gene Hackman, Scarlett Johansson, Julie Kavner, Liam Neeson, Jack Nicholson, Charlize Theron, Tracey Ullman, Sam Waterston, and Dianne Wiest. He places Diane Keaton second only to Judy Holliday in the pantheon of great screen comediennes.
He discusses his favorite films (Citizen Kane is the lone American movie on his list of sixteen “best films ever made”; Duck Soup and Airplane! are two of his preferred “comedian’s films”; Trouble in Paradise and Born Yesterday among his favorite “talking plot comedies”). He describes himself as a boy in Brooklyn enthralled by the joke-laden movies of Bob Hope and the sophisticated film stories of Manhattan. As a director, he tells us what he appreciates about Bergman, De Sica, Fellini, Welles, Kurosawa, John Huston, and Jean Renoir. Throughout he shows himself to be thoughtful, honest, self–deprecating, witty, and often hilarious.
Conversations with Woody Allen is essential reading for everyone interested in the art of moviemaking and for everyone who has enjoyed the films of Woody Allen.
Drawing on a series of interviews and dialogues with the acclaimed filmmaker that span from 1971 to the present, the author of Woody Allen offers an eye-opening look at the entire world of making movies from the perspective of the artist's own work, his development as as an artist, and his ideas about screenwriting, acting, directing, editing, and more. 50,000 first printing.
In discussions that begin in 1971 and end in 2009, Allen talks about every facet of moviemaking through the prism of his own work as well as the larger world of film, and in so doing reveals an artist's development over the course of his career. He speaks about his influences and about the genesis of his ideas; about writing, casting, acting, shooting, directing, editing, and scoring--and throughout shows himself to be thoughtful, honest, self-deprecating, always witty, and often hilarious.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Eric Lax is also the author of Woody Allen: A Biography and coauthor (with A. M. Sperber) of Bogart. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Esquire, and the Los Angeles Times. He is an officer of International PEN and lives in Los Angeles.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Table of Contents
The idea — Writing it — Casting, actors, and acting — Shooting, sets, locations — Directing — Editing — Scoring — The career.
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