Few filmmakers have a work ethic (or cause controversy) quite like Woody Allen. The writer/director/actor almost consistently delivers a new film every year – a hugely impressive feat for a man who is now 85 years old. Allen is a perfect conveyor belt of moviemaking that constantly delivers without ever feeling like a product that has been churned out without care (well, most of the time). It’s obvious that Allen likes to work and he has a well oiled machine that lets him do this.
2020’s A Rainy Day In New York was Allen’s 48th film as writer-director and while it’s far from his best work, it does have a certain amount of zing to it. The year also saw the publication of his autobiography Apropos of Nothing and Allen’s 49th film, Rifkin’s Festival will have its world premiere at the San Sebastián International Film Festival on September 18, 2020.
Anyone who watches Allen’s work will be able to understand what interests him as a filmmaker. You’ll see his obsessions with neuroses, failed relationships, paranoia, jazz and New York. What Allen is able to do is create a unique setting for each tale that incorporates these obsessions. If there was ever a strong argument for the auteur theory, then it’s Allen’s cinematic output. His character and persona are woven deep into each of his films, even the ones which he doesn’t star in.
It has become something of a running joke that every new Allen film is a return to form, or that his new work isn’t as good as his earlier, funnier films. Looking back at his work over time, it’s hard to agree with this. All of these films include something that is worth your time, be it a performance, the music or Allen’s trademark dialogue. Admittedly, Woody’s oeuvre is an acquired taste, but once you’re onboard with his style of moviemaking then you’re smitten.
Top Five Woody Allen Films
Annie Hall (1977)
Hannah And Her Sisters (1986)
Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)
Match Point (2005)