WOODY ALLEN, A DOCUMENTARY
Iconic writer, director, actor, comedian, and musician Woody Allen allowed his life and creative process to be documented on-camera for the first time. With this unprecedented access, Emmy®-winning, Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Robert Weide followed the notoriously private film legend over a year and a half to create the ultimate film biography. Woody Allen, A Documentary: American Masters airs Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 9 p.m. on Eight, Arizona PBS.
“This is the Woody doc everybody has been waiting for, and I am delighted that this creative giant is finally assuming his rightful place in the American Masters library,” says Susan Lacy, series creator and executive producer of American Masters, an eight-time winner of the Emmy®
Beginning with Allen’s childhood and his first professional gigs as a teen — furnishing jokes for comics and publicists Woody Allen: A Documentary chronicles the trajectory and longevity of Allen’s career: from his work in the 1950s-60s as a TV scribe for Sid Caesar, standup comedian and frequent TV talk show guest, to a writer-director averaging one film-per-year for more than 40 years. Weide covers Allen’s earliest film work in “Take the Money and Run,” “Bananas,” “Sleeper,” and “Love and Death;” frequent Oscar® favorites such as “Annie Hall,” “Manhattan,” “Zelig,” “Broadway Danny Rose,” “Purple Rose of Cairo,” “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” “Husbands & Wives,” “Bullets Over Broadway,” and “Mighty Aphrodite;” and his recent globetrotting phase with “Match Point,” “Vicky Christina Barcelona,” and the box office smash “Midnight in Paris.”
Exploring the ultimate “independent filmmaker’s” writing habits, casting, directing, and relationship with his actors, Weide traveled with Allen from the London set of “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” — a major coup “considering Woody has never allowed so much as an EPK [Electronic Press Kit] crew on his sets,” claims Weide — to the Cannes premiere of “Midnight in Paris.” He also filmed Allen at home, in the editing room and touring his childhood haunts in the Midwood section of Brooklyn.
American Masters’ Woody Allen: A Documentary also touches on Allen’s contributions as a writer for the theater and his casual pieces for The New Yorker, as well as his frequent moonlighting gig as a clarinet player with a New Orleans-style jazz band. “He never refused a request and he never declined to answer a question,” says Weide.
About Eight, Arizona PBS
Eight, Arizona PBS specializes in the education of children, in-depth news and public affairs, lifelong learning, and the celebration of arts and culture -- utilizing the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach services, and community-based initiatives. The PBS station began broadcasting from the campus of Arizona State University on January 30, 1961. Now more than 80 percent of Arizonans receive the signal through a network of translators, cable and satellite systems. With more than 1 million viewers each week, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. Arizonans provide more than 60 percent of the station's annual budget.
Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.