12 June 2010

Woody Allen: Day One

A few weeks ago I was trying to decide on a film project for the summer. Not having a full-time job for the summer is going to be a blessing (sleep) and a curse (income) this year and I wanted to have something to look forward to. Last summer I watched the entire series of The Sopranos and then re-watched two of my favourite television series, Alias and Will & Grace. My goal this summer is to watch every film that Woody Allen has directed in chronological order, including the 1994 television film Don't Drink the Water and New York Stories, the 1989 film that included segments directed by Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. Along with watching all of his films, a number that totals forty-one, I am going to try and rank the films to come up with my own list of Woody Allen films.

First on my list is What's Up, Tiger Lily? The film was released in 1966 and was Woody's second screenplay to be produced after What's New Pussycat? in 1965. The film is wickedly funny and features great dialogue. Woody Allen took two previously released Japanese films (International Secret Police: Barrel of Gunpowder and International Secret Police: Key of Keys) and removed the entire audio track. He then altered the sequence of the film and put in his own soundtrack. The original film, which is thought to be a clone of the James Bond franchise, became a story about the search for the world's best egg salad recipe. The idea for the film was genius and Woody Allen certainly made a name for himself with What's Up, Tiger Lily? The dialogue is so funny that it is hard to pay attention to the events on screen at times.

Woody Allen's complaint about the film, and I would agree, is that musical numbers by The Lovin' Spoonful were inserted into the film during post production. These scenes serve no purpose.

One film down, next up: Take the Money and Run.

My list:
1. What's Up, Tiger Lily?

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