Woody Doc + Rome-Pic Cast

Being a huge fan of Robert Weide‘s Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl docs, I’m delighted that he’s assembled a three-hour “American Masters” Woody Allen doc that will air this fall on PBS.

Cynthia Littleton‘s 4.13 Variety story says that Woody Allen: A Documentary will cover the whole magilla (childhood, early career as a TV writer and standup comic, What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, Louise Lasser, What’s New, Pussycat?, the stage play of Play It Again Sam) through his most recent pic, Midnight in Paris, which will open the Cannes fest next month.

“The prolific nature of Woody’s output has provided me with an embarrassment of riches,” Weide told Littleton. “Even with three hours at my disposal I feel the heartbreak of all the things I have to leave out. In fact, Woody will have made three features just in the time it’s taken me to make this one documentary.”

Things he’s going to leave out? Like what? He’s got three hours to fiddle with.

Allen, meanwhile, has locked down a cast for the Rome-based feature that he’ll shoot this summer — Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Penelope Cruz and Alec Baldwin. (The Eisenberg casting is hilarious — on his own steam JE is the GenY embodiment of Allen’s attitude, personality and philosophy.) I’m just hoping that the untitled film will at least try to use backdrops like the Foro Romano, the Colliseum, Campo di Fiori, Vatican City, Trastevere, etc. in an atypical way.

13 thoughts on “Woody Doc + Rome-Pic Cast

  1. DiscoNap on said:

    Hopefully it will actually be set in the Vatican.

  2. Jesus, I must be the only one who doesn’t GET Ellen Page. She’s popping up all over the place in such a variety of different genres and with different respected filmmakers but I can’t help thinking when I see her that SOMEBODY had to be a better choice. Anyway…a bit off topic. Sorry.

    Can’t wait for this. I was thinking this could almost be a mini-series doc, but 3 hours should suffice. I’m just concerned it’s a rehash of much of what we’ve already seen and heard thru the years. I wonder how much involvement and/or participation Woody was granted – if any at all, i.e. doc interviews (not stock) and if they’ll devolve into his personal issues at length. Looking forward to it regardless.

  3. “If it bends, it’s funny. If it breaks, it isn’t.” — Francis the Talking Mule

    That was my first thought.

    But I am super-excited for this. Should be terrific.

  4. Allen told a British newspaper, the Guardian, last month that he has written himself a small part in the film he’s making in Rome this summer.”But it is no big deal, it’s an amusing turn, so I’ll do it.”

  5. Looks good — I’m excited for this.

    I was kind of resistant to Page at first, too, but lately she’s really been winning me over. She exerted so much whimsy and force of personality in the otherwise-dreadful Super, I’ve got nothing but respect.

    She was fine in Inception, I thought. I’m curious — who else in her age range would have preferred there?

  6. I think she was fine in Inception too, though her role was uninteresting. She was basically there to listen while Leo unloaded exposition. An update of those stock characters from serials (“Gee, Dr. Whizmeister, how does an atomic engine work??”)

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