Woody Allen, A Documentary: American Masters
Nov. 21, 2011
Robert Weide’s two-part documentary features unprecedented access to reveal the notoriously
private film legend’s life and creative process
Iconic writer, director, actor, comedian, and musician Woody Allen allowed 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 followed the notoriously private film legend over a year and a half to create the ultimate film biography. Woody Allen, A Documentary: American Masters airs Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 9 p.m. on Eight, Arizona PBS.
“This is the Woody doc everybody has been waiting for, and I am delighted that this creative giant is finally assuming his rightful place in the American Masters library,” says Susan Lacy, series creator and executive producer of American Masters, an eight-time winner of the Emmy®
Beginning with Allen’s childhood and his first professional gigs as a teen — furnishing jokes for comics and publicists Woody Allen: A Documentary chronicles the trajectory and longevity of Allen’s career: from his work in the 1950s-60s as a TV scribe for Sid Caesar, standup comedian and frequent TV talk show guest, to a writer-director averaging one film-per-year for more than 40 years. 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 Christina Barcelona,” and the box office smash “Midnight in Paris.”
Exploring the ultimate “independent filmmaker’s” writing habits, casting, directing, and relationship with his actors, Weide traveled with Allen from the London set of “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” — a major coup “considering Woody has never allowed so much as an EPK [Electronic Press Kit] crew on his sets,” claims Weide — to the Cannes premiere of “Midnight in Paris.” He also filmed Allen at home, in the editing room and touring his childhood haunts in the Midwood section of Brooklyn.
American Masters’ Woody Allen: A Documentary also touches on Allen’s contributions as a writer for the theater and his casual pieces for The New Yorker, as well as his frequent moonlighting gig as a clarinet player with a New Orleans-style jazz band. “He never refused a request and he never declined to answer a question,” says Weide.
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