Making a film about a filmmaker can be a very tricky thing but Robert B Weide has attempted it with his new depiction of Woody Allen, creatively called “Woody Allen: A Documentary”. What your opinion of the result is depends on how big of a fan you are, writes Alexandra Zeevalkink.
He is the master of filmmaking, no doubt about that, and with somebody who makes as many films as he has it is unavoidable that some of his work is not even worthy of a DVD re-release. However, some of his movies have also changed the way films are being made, as fellow filmmaker Martin Scorsese points out in the latest two hour long documentary about the director, actor, screenwriter and comedian Woody Allen.
The documentary itself unfortunately forgets that film is all about the visual. Yes, it has some great talking heads featuring in it, such as Diane Keaton, Larry David, Penelope Cruz and Sean Penn, but Weide doesn’t present us with anything more visually stimulating than some classic clips and behind the scenes footage.
Another flaw is its objectivity. It would be unfair to say that it avoids the controversial issues that have surrounded his persona in the past altogether, but more than a mere few passing minutes they apparently weren’t worth. Perhaps this is difficult when 50 per cent of this film consists of Allen talking himself. It is also a shame that Allen’s great humour hasn’t rubbed off on the film, solely the long dialogues. They provide us with a lot of interesting information though but the entire format of this documentary is more suitable for television than a cinematic release. However, for the real Woody fans it is no doubt a must.