Thursday, September 18, 2008

Interview Magazine, Woody Allen

Douglas McGrath, who co-wrote Bullets Over Broadway, has contributed a fairly good conversation with Woody Allen to Interview. It veers into tiresome retread at points, but on the whole it's worthwhile.
DM: I guess what I’m asking, though, is if there is one of your films that tells us the most about your philosophy of life? If someone couldn’t meet you and wanted to know what Woody is really like or what gives us the most sense of his worldview—his fears, his optimisms, his anxieties, his hopes—is there one film that kind of best sums that up?
WA: Well, to date—if it’s just that—I would probably say Anything Else [2003].
DM: Really?
WA: Yeah. You’d get it in a more abstract way in Purple Rose, because clearly I do believe that reality is dreadful and that you are forced to choose it in the end or go crazy, but that it kills you. So that film does sum up a great feeling that I have about life—I mean a large feeling that I have about it. But in terms of just me personally as a kind of wretched little complaining vantz, I think you would see that in Anything Else. There’s a lot of me in there.
DM: Very interesting. You’re full of surprises.
WA: Well, it is me. I’m not saying that Anything Else is my best film, though I didn’t think it was a bad film at all—I think that one is better than many films of mine that were more successful. I won’t say that it’s never the case, but very often there’s no correlation between the quality of one’s work artistically and its commercial success. Everybody knows that.
Curious about Anything Else. In GSF's opinion it's Allen's best film this decade, and one sure to receive higher marks in retrospective. If you're looking for a little fun, try watching Annie Hall and Anything Else back to back. Why is this fun? You'll see. We hope to write more about Anything Else in the coming weeks.

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