A Woodman for all seasons

hannah-and-her-sisters

Beginning later this month, Vancity Theatre is throwing a year-long Woody Allen party.

Woody Allen 4 Seasons: Woody in Winter looks back on the Brooklyn-born auteur’s oeuvre, cherry-picking flicks according to seasons. The whole thing kicks off Dec. 22 with a documentary, some of Allen’s finest comedy/dramas, and that one with Madonna.

In total, Vancity (1181 Seymour St.) will screen seven Allen flicks (and the documentary) between Dec. 22 – Jan. 4 (before resuming, presumably, in the spring). Here are some of the highlights…

Woody Allen: A Documentary (2012) – Director Robert B. Weide compiles interview clips with Allen collaborators, including Diane Keaton, Larry David and Scarlett Johansson. The doc is more concerned with Allen’s unparalleled body of work than his private life, so don’t expect much by way of the subject’s separation from Mia Farrow.

Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) – You can fine complete showtimes for Vancity’s Woody Allen 4 Seasons at Vancity.com. But it’s worth noting that this one is screening on Boxing Day (for you Americans, it’s the Canadian version of Black Friday), and we can’t think of a better way to spend the afternoon than with one of Allen’s warmest, funniest and most humane films.

The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) – Another classic. Woody’s fondness for science fiction and fantasy tropes often gets overlooked, but some of his best comedy is based on ideas that stray from reality. In this 1930s-set romantic comedy, Jeff Daniels plays a movie actor who steps off the screen and into the arms of a suffering hausfrau (Mia Farrow).

Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) – In this one, Allen juggles a couple of overlapping stories, one serious and one not-so serious. A stellar performance by Martin Landau is just one reason to catch (or revisit) Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Love & Death (1975) – Allen’s last “funny one” (to paraphrase his own Stardust Memories) before Annie Hall took him to the next level as a director and writer. This slapstick comedy satirizes Russian literature – try making that in today’s superhero-dominated market.

Madonna and Woody Allen on the set of Shadows and Fog. Photo: ultimatemadonna-xavier69.blogspot.ca.

Madonna and Woody Allen on the set of Shadows and Fog. Photo: ultimatemadonna-xavier69.blogspot.ca.

The other movies in the winter portion of the series include Radio Days, Everyone Says I Love You and Shadows and Fog (the one with Madonna). Visit viff.org for showtimes and ticket info.

 

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