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Stig Bjorkman on whatever pops into his head
on November 3, 2014
I've read the first half-dozen chapters of WOODY ALLEN ON WOODY ALLEN and so far find it disappointing. Although chronologically divided by titles of Allen's films, each section offers little on the movie it's supposed to be about.
An example is the chapter on BANANAS (1971). Interviewer Stig Bjorkman steers the conversation away from the picture and toward Woody's politics (liberal Democrat), European directors (especially Swedish), the weather in Scandanavia, the general running time of Allen's movies (90 minutes or less), and editing in comedies. Finally, he says (paraphrased) "getting back to BANANAS..." mentions the courtroom scene and immediately tries pinning Woody down on why he doesn't write parts for blacks in his movies.
It's very unsatisfying for someone interested IN THE FILM.
My version of Bjorkman on SLEEPER:
SB: We come next to a comedy set in the future, SLEEPER.
WA: I was still writing funny on purpose, rapidfire just joke joke joke.
SB: In one scene, you're disguised as an automaton programmed to be a house servant.
WA: That silver paint was very uncomfortable.
SB: There's a dinner party that you're making a mess of.
WA: Typical klutzy farce I used to indulge in.
SB: Speaking of dinner, what's your opinion of smörgåsbord?
(Then there's a full page of vegetarian chat, and trading opinions on organic foods vs. non-organic.)
SB: Returning to SLEEPER, at one point you steal Hitler's nose.
WA: Yeah, silly idea...
SB: Was this written as a subconscious way of expressing dissatisfaction with your own nose?
(The balance of the chapter is ramblings on Hitler, rhinoplasty, deviated septums, allergies and "passing" as Christian.
Call it: "Everything But What You Wanted To Know About Woody Allen Movies, 'Cause It Doesn't Get Asked."