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Woody Allen: A Documentary (2011)

Woody Allen , Antonio Banderas , Robert Weide  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Woody Allen, Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Penelope Cruz, Larry David
  • Directors: Robert Weide
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: February 14, 2012
  • Run Time: 192 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0064NTZKI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,091 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

so engaging and enlightening that it seems too shorta treasure trove --The New Yorker

avidly enjoyablecandy for Woody buffs --Entertainment Weekly

fascinating, funny and insightful --Hollywood Reporter

Product Description

Product Description

Iconic writer, director, actor, comedian, and musician Woody Allen allows his life and creative process to be documented on-camera for the first time. With this unprecedented access, Emmy®-winning, Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Robert Weide follows the notoriously private film legend over a year and a half to create the ultimate film biography.

Beginning with Allen s childhood, WOODY ALLEN: A DOCUMENTARY chronicles the trajectory and longevity of Allen s career, from his work as a TV scribe, standup comedian and frequent TV talk show guest, to a writer-director averaging one film-per-year for more than 40 years. Director Weide covers Allen s earliest film work in Take the Money and Run, Bananas, Sleeper, and Love and Death; frequent Oscar® favorites such as Annie Hall, Manhattan, Zelig, Broadway Danny Rose, Purple Rose of Cairo, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Husbands & Wives, Bullets Over Broadway, and Mighty Aphrodite; and his recent globetrotting phase with Match Point, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and the recent success Midnight in Paris.

Features interviews with: actors Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Penelope Cruz, John Cusack, Larry David, Mariel Hemingway, Scarlett Johansson, Julie Kavner, Diane Keaton, Martin Landau, Louise Lasser, Sean Penn, Tony Roberts, Chris Rock, Mira Sorvino, Naomi Watts, Dianne Wiest and Owen Wilson; writing collaborators Marshall Brickman, Mickey Rose and Doug McGrath; cinematographers Gordon Willis and Vilmos Zsigmond; Allen s sister Letty Aronson; longtime manager Jack Rollins; casting director Juliet Taylor; pals Dick Cavett and Martin Scorsese; and others.

Special Features

  • Closed Captions
  • 12 Questions with Woody Allen
  • Exclusive Deleted Scenes and Interviews
  • Interview with Director Robert B. Weide

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Premiering as a part of the PBS American Masters series "Woody Allen: A Documentary" is an impressively scaled and professionally comprehensive project on the enigmatic filmmaker. Allen is a true Hollywood renegade--a man who has followed his passions and interests and made a career out of making the films he wanted without regard for commercial compromise. Such examples of contemporary auteurs are pretty rarified in this business of show, and Allen has become and remained an unlikely and inspirational trailblazer for over forty years. Allen, however, remains an intensely private and aloof persona, so this massive (over 3 hours) compilation of interviews and film clips is a rare treat. While the 2002 Richard Schickel special (he is also on hand as an interviewee for this piece) "Woody Allen: A Life in Film" offered a glimpse of what Allen thought of his film legacy, it lacked the sheer scope of this new documentary. "Woody Allen: A Documentary" definitively showcases the highlights of Allen's career as well as any other piece of film that I've seen. And that makes it pretty special indeed.

Director Robert Weide follows a course that is largely chronological. While Allen (and his sister) do offer some insight about his childhood and family, this really just serves as an introduction. Seeing Allen revisit his old childhood haunts is unexpectedly intimate. And while there are some other personal moments interspersed throughout including his music and the dissolution of his relationship with Mia Farrow, the topic here is focused primarily on Woody Allen, the professional. Allen, it seems, almost fell into show business and had early stints as a writer, comedian, and performer before breaking into filmmaking. His first foray into studio movies was the wildly successful "What's New Pussycat?
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Writer, and So Much More November 30, 2011
Format:DVD
After watching this outstanding documentary of Woody Allen's unparalleled career, unprecedented in its access, candor and insight, I was left with an even greater recognition that Mr. Allen is a writer who makes films, not a film-maker who writes. From his earliest one-liners up to the present day, Woody has continued to grow and change, but never at the cost of either his professional integrity or his vision. Perhaps it has served us well that Woody Allen seems to view the majority of his work as either mediocre or as abject failures, for rather than stifling his spirit, such dubious self-analysis seems only to have fueled his ambition and illuminated his vision. And while even I, one of his most ardent fans, would admit that he lost his way occasionally with films such as Curse of the Jade Scorpion or Small-Time Crooks, somehow I always knew that he'd be back. I've come to feel that some of those comparative underachievements were nothing more than the "vacations" of a man who has never really taken one. But at his best, there's simply no one better. From Take the Money and Run, Bananas, Sleeper and Love and Death, to the richer Annie Hall, Mahattan, Hannah and Her Sisters, Purple Rose, Danny Rose, Zelig, Crimes and Misdemeanors and Midnight in Paris (and many others!), Woody Allen has proven that cummulative greatness will ultimately supercede what C&M's Judah Rosenthal called, "The superficial pay-off of the moment." To recognize the stature of this incomparable artist, one need only review the list of outstanding actresses, actors and cinematograpers who either have been, or who are waiting to be called for Mr. Allen's next project, sight-unseen.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Overview of Entire Amazing Career December 3, 2011
Format:DVD
This is an excellent documentary about Allen's entire career. There are many, many film clips and they are all choice highlights from his films. Interspersed with these clips are interview segments with Allen present day and during earlier days. There are also clips of mini interviews with the people with whom he has worked, including Tony Roberts, Diane Keaton, Scarlett Johannsen, John Cusack, Owen Wilson, Mariel Hemingway, Gordon Willis, Marshall Brickmann, Martin Scorsese, his sister Letty Aronson, now his producer, Dick Cavett and so forth. Although Mia Farrow is covered, she does not participate in any way since they have never resumed contact in any way. She was, of course, Allen's other major leading lady but he ended up having an affair and marrying her adopted daughter years ago.

Even though I have seen every single one of his movies, I really liked the choice of film clips presented here. It was very enjoyable to see them and to learn some of the tidbits about what else was going on while making them. Everyone contributed some major insight about the film clip which was unknown to us before.

I also enjoyed the way he present day took us to his old school or walked down the street with his sister and they talked to present New Yorkers. There was even old footage shown of his parents who finally died near the century mark.

Although the focus was on the work, there was enough of a human dimension presented here to make this a very important summing up of a creative life while the creator is still around to share it. If you love his work, you need this film in your collection.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woody Allen: A Documentary - portrait of an artist December 30, 2011
By Galina
Format:DVD
I admire Woody Allen as a man of many talents, a writer, comedian, musician and filmmaker. His best films have everything I look for in a comedy (or dramedy, he is especially good in making them) - brilliance, wit, clever writing, hilarious and sinister twist in the plot, amazing performances, authentic feel of the era and great musical score. I admire his respect for the audience: "I never write down to them. I always assume that they're all as smart as I am... if not smarter."

For someone who has been a fan of Allen's works for many years and seen every movie he was a part of, whether as a writer/ director, star or all of the above, Woody Allen: A Documentary is the next best thing to watching Allen's films. I was entertained, learned something new about my favorite film-maker, and once again was fascinated with his productive and unique career that has spanned over six decades. The DVDs with Allen's films don't usually include a lot of bonus materials, such as making of behind the scenes; so, watching the documentary filled with the clips from many Allen's films and listening to the interviews with the stars have added to better understanding of the man behind 40 + films many of which belong to the best ever made.

Allen is known as a multi-talented artist - the stand-up comedian, musician, actor and, of course, a film director. But the documentary confirmed what I've assumed already - that he considers himself primarily a writer who has been writing for a living since he was 15 and started composing the jokes and one-liners for a local paper making $75 a week - not bad for a teenager back in the 1950s. At the age of 19, he started writing scripts for the most popular television shows of the time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully intimate documentary
Documentary director Robert Weide gives us an uncommonly intimate view of reclusive director Woody Allen. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Director Bob
5.0 out of 5 stars Take the Long View = W. Allen Created much Artistic Hilarity!
This is a good ‘overview’ of Woody Allen’s Life & Works – as some have already noted, Not necessarily a deeply probing analysis = not attempting to ascertain the particular... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Book & Music thief, from HI
5.0 out of 5 stars A Portrait of the Artist
After watching Woody's films for four decades it was nice to learn a little about their creation. I was delighted to hear him bad-mouth his film “Manhattan”. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tojagi
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it very much
Very entertaining documentary showing highlights of Woody Allen's life since childhood.
Family and actor friends talk about him,
All in all, fun to watch
Published 3 months ago by Ines Monsegur
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect
For the most part, this is a well directed and edited documentary about an incredible career. My only disappointment is that they fell into the trap of repeating the incorrect (yet... Read more
Published 5 months ago by MPANYC
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this one
If you're a Woody Allen fan (and even if you're not), you can't miss this funny and insightful chronological look at Woody's movies and insights from him and of those around him. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lee Herman
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed so much !
Following the progression of his views on life through his personal experiences, writing, and film. Even though lengthy.... I found it totally fascinating !
Published 6 months ago by Groober
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Fan Should See This
I knew Woody Allen was a genius, but I had no idea! This two-part odyssee through the life of this reclusive-yet-worldly artist explains so, so much.
Published 7 months ago by Robert Potter
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT DOCUMENTARY
I love this Woody Allen DVD. I have watched it twice. It is filled with great scenes from his movies
Published 7 months ago by Shirley Ross Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Warts and all
Frank self-portrait of the usually reclusive Allen is surprisingly revealing and insightful. Allen uses no artifice in discussing his life and art very unpretentiously
Published 8 months ago by duke1029
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Please answer the question about subtitles!
According to the back of the box (viewed on another site), the DVDs are "closed caption" encoded. There is no mention of separate "subtitle" options.
Feb 14, 2012 by A Customer |  See all 3 posts
Spanish subtitles? Be the first to reply
is there any english subtitles Be the first to reply
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