Woody Allen biography
Allen, Woody (1935- ) was born as Allen Stewart Konigsberg in Brooklyn in New York. At the age of 15 he started to use the name Woody Allen. Allen failed a film course at NYU during his first semester. Dropping out of college, he joined the NBC Writer's Program. Allen also started a lucrative secondary career as a gag writer for such comics and nightclub performers. By 1960, he had begun his own successful career as a stand-up comedian in nightclubs. Allen created humour that was based in the urban Jewish mentality. In his halting stammer, he would deliver monologues that would start fun at everything from sex and marriage to religion and politics. There he fascinated a film producer and was hired to write and act in the picture What’s New, Pussycat? This film introduced return themes found in his work: romantic complications and the belief on psychotherapy. It started his next career and he became one of American filmmakers who can rightly be labelled as an auteur. His films, dramas are rich in detail or comedies, are personal, generally light-hearted and full of Allen's interest of art, religion and love. Shortly thereafter, he debuted as a filmmaker with "What's Up Tiger Lily?" that is a retelling of minor Japanese spy thriller where he used his own storyline. For a period in the mid- to late-1960s, Allen concentrated on the Broadway stage. "Don't Drink the Water" was a movie about a family from New Jersey, which was caught up in spying in an unnamed Iron Curtain country. "Play It Again, Sam" was more successful. The central character, a film critic invokes the spirit of Humphrey Bogart as his guide through life and love. In 1969, Allen created two short films for a television special, "Cupid's Shaft" that is an honour of Charlie Chaplin's classic "City Lights" and a free adaptation of "Pygmalion" in which Allen played as a false rabbi who was hired to teach a beautiful, but stupid woman. In the same year, he wrote, directed and starred in the movie "Take the Money and Run" which parodied gangster films and cinema documentaries. "Bananas" "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*but were afraid to ask)" were satires that criticised politics and mass media
"Sleeper" from 1973 was about a man who is frozen and thawed out after two hundred years. The next movie "Love and Death" set during the Napoleonic wars.
The film satirized Russian literature and culture but contained serious philosophical questions.
The bittersweet movie "Annie Hall" received numerous accolades, including four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress (Diane Keaton), Best Director (Allen) and Best Original Screenplay (Allen and Marshall Brickman). In 1978 he showed in "Interiors" probed the angst and petty betrayals of an upper-class family with three daughters. One year later Allen wrote his most profitable, and probably his best film, "Manhattan". During the shooting of his next movie "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy" Allen found a new leading lady - Mia Farrow. During next 10 years she was casted into the many of Allan’s films. In 80´s followed films "Zelig", "Broadway Danny Rose", "The Purple Rose of Cairo", "Radio Days", at the end of the decade Allen concentrated on dramatic material e.g. "Hannah and Her Sisters" that was based on a novel by Čechov, Allen received his third Oscar for its brilliant original script. Then "September", "Another Woman" and "Crimes and Misdemeanors" came after. In the last movie Allen examined the morality of murder. The early 90´s started Allen with movie "Alice", that was based on a riff of Lewis Carroll's "Alice and Wonderland". The critically reviled "Shadows and Fog" was an allegory about anti-Semitism that combined honour to 1930´s German expressionism and 1950´s European art films. "Husbands and Wives", was one of the director's most emotionally violent films. During 90´s he wrote e.g. "Bullets Over Broadway","Mighty Aphrodite", "Everyone Says I Love You", "Deconstructing Harry", "Small Time Crooks" and the mystery "Curse of the Jade Scorpion", "Hollywood Ending," and his last movie "Anything Else", where he played with Christina Ricci, who is 45 years younger.