(click image to enlarge)
The multi-award winning American filmmaker, Woody Allen (born 1935), began his career in his teens by selling jokes to Broadway writers, and was soon writing scripts for television shows. He also wrote short stories and cartoon captions for The New Yorker and other magazines. During the 1960s, he supplemented his writing by performing stand-up comedy, developing the persona of an insecure, intellectual ‘nebbish’ through a series of monologues. Typically, this was the character that he played when he appeared in own films, the first of which were slapstick comedies, including Take the Money and Run (1969) and Sleeper (1973). The romantic comedy, Annie Hall (1977) proved a major turning point, introducing a new level of seriousness and, in the process, garnering four Academy Awards. This was followed by Interiors (1978) and Manhattan (1979), which revealed the influence of European art cinema. Allen’s films of the 1980s are often considered the most developed of his oeuvre and include the romantic comedy fantasy, The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), and the comedy dramas, Hannah and Her Sisters (1986, winner of three Academy Awards), and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). However, Allen himself thinks that the psychological thriller, Match Point (2005), which divided opinion, is possibly his best film.