Woody Allen: A Life in Film

Woody Allen: A Life in Film

by Richard Schickel
     
 

This book reprints a four-hour conversation between Mr. Schickel and Mr. Allen and includes a long essay of introduction by Mr. Schickel, which places Woody Allen's entire career in critical perspective, as well as a complete filmography. Readers will find Mr. Allen's reflections on his major preoccupations—the battle of the sexes; the conflict between reality

Overview

This book reprints a four-hour conversation between Mr. Schickel and Mr. Allen and includes a long essay of introduction by Mr. Schickel, which places Woody Allen's entire career in critical perspective, as well as a complete filmography. Readers will find Mr. Allen's reflections on his major preoccupations—the battle of the sexes; the conflict between reality and fantasy in his major films; mortality, religion, and the role that chance plays in the unfolding of our lives. The book also offers insights into Mr. Allen's working methods as a writer and the growth of his skills as a director.

Editorial Reviews

America: The National Catholic Weekly
A breezy, readable entry to Allen's vast bibliography...with an excellent Introduction and Afterword.
— Richard A. Blake
Foreword
The author pleads a strong case that as a gifted writer and actor of limited range, Woody Allen deserves a more prominent position in the motion picture arts.
Booklist
Even those who have lost who have lost patience with Allen's recent efforts will want to read what he has to say about his 1970s masterworks.
— Gordon Flagg
RAINBO ELECTRONIC REVIEWS
It's an easy read and fans will enjoy it.
Chicago Tribune
His analysis of the films...is...intelligent....These [films] inspire some of Schickel's most entertaining writing.
The New York Times
While Allen's work seems to highlight a continuing struggle in dealing with death, he makes it clear in an interview with the film critic Richard Schickel in Woody Allen: A Life in Film that he himself is not encumbered by existential gloom. For Allen, the relief from the inevitable cycle of life and death is magic and fantasy, common ingredients in his films (for example, ''Stardust Memories,'' ''Alice'' and ''The Purple Rose of Cairo''. — Richard Simon Chang
BUFFALO NEWS
Schickel may well be the smartest, most practiced and least axe-grinding interviewer Allen has ever had.
Hartford Courant
Thoughtful, critical insights into Allen's screen works...This book also offers new stuff for Woody loyalists to savor.
NEWPORT NEWS PRESS
...Thoughtful, critical insights into Allen's screen works.
Virginia Quarterly Review
Schickel is a thoughtful observer and critic, a lively writer....
Forecast
...Fascinating biography of a giant in film...
National Catholic Weekly
"A breezy, readable entry to Allen's vast bibliography...with an excellent Introduction and Afterword."
Publishers Weekly
Part overview of the director's cinematic career, part interview with Allen himself, this handy book couldn't have been written by someone with more impeccable credentials. As Time's longtime film critic, Schickel is one of the deans of the milieu. He approaches his subject with an obvious admiration (Schickel immersed himself in studying every one of Allen's films for a month each), but manages not to engage in too much idol worship. The sit-down interview with the reclusive director is the most revealing section, filled with fresh glimpses into his films. There, readers learn that Annie Hall was originally called Anhedonia, until studio execs begged Allen to rename it; and that Allen sees very few of his films as artistic successes. The book's structure is quite rambling-dwelling on one film, going on to another and returning again to the first-which can be disconcerting at times. But real conversations are like that, and the book's lack of order doesn't prevent it from being a rare window into one of the great minds of modern cinema. (Sept. 5) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This slim volume by Schickel (whose previous works include biographies of Cary Grant and James Cagney and a definitive expos of Walt Disney's life and practices) consists of a 70-page introduction to Allen's films and life, followed by the edited transcript of a long interview Schickel had with Allen when he was making a 90-minute television program about Allen and his films for cable. This is an urbane and readable work and will be of great interest to avid Allen fans, but it does not add very much to the general body of critical work on Allen's films. An optional purchase for academic and public libraries where there is a strong interest in Allen's work.-Andrea Slonosky, Long Island Univ., Brooklyn, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Newport News Press
…Thoughtful, critical insights into Allen's screen works.
Buffalo News
Schickel may well be the smartest, most practiced and least axe-grinding interviewer Allen has ever had.
ForeWord Reviews
The author pleads a strong case that as a gifted writer and actor of limited range, Woody Allen deserves a more prominent position in the motion picture arts.
America: The National Catholic Weekly
A breezy, readable entry to Allen's vast bibliography...with an excellent Introduction and Afterword.
— Richard A. Blake
Hartford Courant - Owen McNally
...This book also offers new, tasty, nutritious stuff for Woody loyalists to savor.
Booklist - Gordon Flagg
Even those who have lost who have lost patience with Allen's recent efforts will want to read what he has to say about his 1970s masterworks.
Jeanine Basinger
As usual, Richard Schickel has nailed his subject, and this time his subject is a particularly hard one to nail.
Steven Bach
Witty, surprising, important (but never self-important), and—best of all—moving...a compact but very real treasure...graceful and perceptive...wonderful.
America: The National Catholic Review - Richard A. Blake
A breezy, readable entry to Allen's vast bibliography...with an excellent Introduction and Afterword.
The Buffalo News
Schickel may well be the smartest, most practiced and least axe-grinding interviewer Allen has ever had.
Foreword Reviews
The author pleads a strong case that as a gifted writer and actor of limited range, Woody Allen deserves a more prominent position in the motion picture arts.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566635288
Publisher:
Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
Publication date:
09/28/2003
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
7.10(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.87(d)

What People are saying about this

Steven Bach
Witty, surprising, important (but never self-important), and—best of all—moving...a compact but very real treasure...graceful and perceptive...wonderful.
Jeanine Basinger
As usual, Richard Schickel has nailed his subject, and this time his subject is a particularly hard one to nail.
NEWPORT NEWS PRESS
...Thoughtful, critical insights into Allen's screen works.
Publishers Weekly
A rare window into one of the great minds of modern cinema.

Meet the Author

Richard Schickel's most recent book is Good Morning, Mr. Zip Zip Zip, his memoir of growing up in the World War II years. A film critic for Time for many years, Mr. Schickel has written biographies of Clint Eastwood, Marlon Brando, James Cagney, D. W. Griffith, Cary Grant, and Walt Disney, as well as The Men Who Made the Movies, His Picture in the Papers, and Intimate Strangers, a pioneering study of celebrity. He also produces films for television. Mr. Schickel lives in Los Angeles.

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