Woody Allen

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Woody Allen
Allan Stewart Konigsberg
BirthplaceThe Bronx, New York, U.S.
Actor, director, screenwriter, comedian, musician, playwright

Allen, Woody,

1935–, American actor, writer, and director, one of contemporary America's leading filmmakers, b. Brooklyn, N.Y., as Allen Stewart Konigsberg. Allen began his career writing for television comedians and performing in nightclubs. His early film comedies, which often depict neurotic urban characters preoccupied with sex, death, and psychiatry, include Sleeper (1973) and Annie Hall (1977; Academy Award, best picture). Much of Allen's later work in comedy and drama explores these themes as well as a sophisticated New Yorker's various other preoccupations.

A prolific filmmaker, he has made more than 40 motion pictures. Among his later films are the stylish Manhattan (1979); Broadway Danny Rose (1984), a New York comedy; the probing family drama Hannah and Her Sisters (1986; Academy Award, best screenplay); the 1930s comedy Radio Days (1987); the searing Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989);the bittersweet domestic drama Husbands and Wives (1992); the romantic and partly musical Everyone Says I Love You (1996); and the fictional jazz biography Sweet and Lowdown (1999). Several subsequent films failed to achieve the critical and popular plaudits earned by many of his earlier films, but Match Point (2005), a tale of wealth, lust, crime, and luck set in London, did much to revive his flagging reputation. Allen turned to Catalonia, Spain, for his sensual, melancholy-tinged comedy Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), and to Paris for his atmospheric Midnight in Paris (2011; Academy Award, best original screenplay). Blue Jasmine (2013), the story of a rich matron fallen on hard times, echoes Tennessee WilliamsWilliams, Tennessee
(Thomas Lanier Williams), 1911–83, American dramatist, b. Columbus, Miss., grad. State Univ. of Iowa, 1938. One of America's foremost 20th-century playwrights and the author of more than 70 plays, he achieved his first successes with the productions of
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's Streetcar Named Desire, and Magic in the Moonlight (2014) replays the debate between rationalism and superstition in a period romantic comedy. Allen also has written humorous prose pieces and plays. In 1992, in a bitter public dispute, Allen left Mia Farrow for her adopted daughter, and then sued the actress for custody of their children and lost (1993).


See his The Insanity Defense: The Complete Prose (2007); biographies by E. Lax (1991), J. Baxter (1999), and M. Meade (2000); E. Lax, Conversations with Woody Allen (2007); studies by D. Jacobs (1982), F. Hirsch (rev. ed. 1990), S. B. Girgus (1993), and D. Brode (1997); Woody Allen on Woody Allen (1995); documentary film Wild Man Blues (1998), dir. by B. Kopple.

Allen, Woody (b. Allen Stewart Konigsberg)

(1935–  ) film actor, director, scriptwriter, playwright; born in New York City. He began his career writing jokes for columnists and comedians, then appeared in nightclubs with his own material, establishing the persona that would persist through most of his ensuing works: the flustered neurotic, obsessed with sex and death. His first film, as scriptwriter and actor, was What's New, Pussycat? (1965), and he went on to write, direct, and star in a series of films, some lightweight, some heavy, but the best of which—such as Annie Hall (1977), for which he won three Oscars—drew on his inimitable brand of verbal-situational absurdism. He is the author of two Broadway hits and collections of humorous essays, many of which first appeared in the New Yorker, and is a talented clarinetist who plays regularly in a New York jazz club. Said to be as neurotic in real life as in his scripted roles, he had a long-term relationship with one of his leading actresses, Mia Farrow, with whom he had a daughter. In 1992, their relationship dissolved in recriminations when he acknowledged an attachment with one of her young adopted daughters.
References in periodicals archive ?
Unsurprisingly, the essays draw heavily upon Allen's own testimony in three interview books: Stig Bjorkman's Woody Allen on Woody Allen (1994), Richard Schickel's Woody Allen: A Life in Film (2003), and Eric Lax's Conversations With Woody Allen (2009).
Alice spends her life fixated on Woody Allen and his philosophies.
Then in the summer of 1992 the laughter stopped for 57-year-old Woody Allen.
It is not going out on a limb to suggest that most moviegoers would merely like the Woody Allen that they grew up with, or the Woody Allen that they have heard of, and that they demand another Annie Hall or another Hannah and Her Sisters.
She went on to add: "It's a movie with Woody Allen.
I'd like to -- you know -- when I'm a grandmother, to have done a Woody Allen film," said Bruni-Sarkozy.
Star and Shadow's Rebecca Knight said: "I think it's not the best Woody Allen film so we just wanted to show it in a humorous vein.
And maybe that's all we should expect from Woody Allen, who is in the twilight of his career and doesn't have the cinematic equivalent of anabolic steroids to lift him into the realm he enjoyed as a younger man.
To these events we Americans owe countless things: the comedy of Woody Allen and Lenny Bruce; the popularity of psychoanalysis .
Woody Allen, whose career has embraced the combined real-life roles of director, scriptwriter, author, producer, actor, and American composer, has also shown us the man within, thanks to a strong autobiographical element in great films such as Annie Hall, Interiors and Manhattan.
Exclusively documented and informatively written, Sean Penn: His Life And Times explores many interesting intricacies of the friendships, career moves, family and landmarks of Sean Penn's life, including interviews from his colleagues and friends Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, Woody Allen, Susan Sarandon, Bono, Christopher Walken, Angelica Huston, and many more recognized and praised individuals.
Many theorists of humor, such as Woody Allen, Henri Bergson, and Charlie Chaplin, have emphasized its educational and liberatory value in revealing the plethora of absurdities, injustices, and abuses that characterize social life, thereby exposing humor's considerable potential in transforming and reforming society's abusive and reactionary tendencies.