Hall of Idols #34: Woody Allen

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Thirty-fourth installment in a series exploring very important people in my life.

Let me start explaining how this will work: I listed 65 idols of mine. Every Friday (with the exception of those reserved for the Rock Chain posts) I’ll draw one of the names (following a system that it’s really not important to be explained here) and talk about it.

Therefore, the order in which the names will appear doesn’t necessarily shows where they rank in my preference.

As a final introductory note, this is also not a biography article. I’ll just write how I feel about people represented in it, their talent and their importance in my life.

I must admit I’m a sucker for films with heroes, special effects, monsters and fantasy creatures. Sci-fi and action stuff in general. And I’m gonna be honest and admit that I don’t like films with deep analysis of human nature and things like that. Unless if they are product of one director: Woody Allen. His ability to make this kind of movies is unmatched and never short of genius.

Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg December 1, 1935 in New York City (NY). He was born in the Bronx bur raised in Brooklyn. He had a difficult relationship with his mother and was bullied in High-School. He then went to New York University to study communication and film. However, he learned more with self-study than in class.

He had a daily writing routine of fifteen hours and at 19 he was already writing scripts for The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show and even Candid Camera episodes.

As with anybody in the Hall of Idols this is not a biography piece, therefore I won’t bother you detailing such long and eventful career. I wanna talk about his movies (although he is just as good as stand-up comedian and playwright).

The first movie I watched by Woody was Play It Again, Sam. I thought it was absolutely brilliant. Those dialogues with the Humphrey’s Bogart character from Casablanca are nothing short of genius and the scene where he is so nervous with the girl that the record flies from the sleeve across the room is hilarious. And how about the character played by Tony Roberts, who is always calling people giving the number of where he is?

I love Woody self-deprecating humor. He makes fun of his hypochondria in such a classy way. He managed to be fun even portraying his dysfunctional family (rather romanticized, of course) in the wonderful Radio Days.

And how about some hilarious situations: in Take the Money and Run the robber is tortured by an “insurance salesman”, in Annie Hall he justifies not being in the Stones concert in Altamont because his “raccoon got hepatitis”, in Silver Lining the main character got psychosomatic blindness, in Just Like Anything Else he seems to be a shy comedy writer but he is a violent short-tempered person and how about in Everybody Say I Love You when he tries to conquer Julia Roberts in the Tintoretto Museum in Venice and the only thing he knows about him is: “Chiaro/Escuro”. There are many others and the space is not even near enough to talk about it here.

However, he is naturally funny as you can see on the great documentary Wild Man Blues that shows him touring Europe with his Jazz band. The dialogue with his father when he comes back to New York is funnier than even some of his movies.

To wrap it up, I must talk about Midnight in Paris. That a guy with a career that long, having written and directed what he did is able to a film like that is proof (if any was needed) that he is a consummate genius. I mean, it’s like a science-fiction movie, Woody Allen style! And anybody who is even vaguely familiar especially with the works of Hemingway, will notice how the things he says seems written by him and not by Woody! Wonderful, wonderful stuff.

Therefore, Woody, I can assure you that being in the Hall of Idols for you is just like anything else. Welcome!

Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal” winner of the NABE Pinnacle Awards 2014 Fall edition.

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You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

Add me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/carlo.antico

Follow me on twittter: @CarloAntico

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