Woody Allen

‘When Harry Met Sally': How Nora Ephron Sold Woody Allen to the Masses

The film opens with simple, white-on-black titles, backed by an elegant, evocative jazz standard. The story that follows, framed by documentary-style straight-to-camera interviews, concerns a witty, urbane Jewish neurotic and his relationship with a sunny, fashionable shiksa. They stroll in through an autumnal Central Park and discuss death, sexual hang-ups, and New York real estate; the borough of Manhattan is captured in loving beauty shots, often backed by the music of Louie Armstrong. From that description, it would be easy to assume I was describing any number of Woody Allen films (Annie Hall in particular). But no, I’m talking about director Rob Reiner and screenwriter Nora Ephron’s When Harry Met Sally… which hit theaters 25 years ago today and made a mint — its $92 million gross easily besting any Allen film to this day. So how did Harry do so well (big money, cultural capital, ongoing influence over the romantic comedy genre) when its clear inspiration remains such an acquired taste? … Read More

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10 Clever Parody Films Worth Your Time

Quirky, indie girl meets a corporate guy. They fall in love, break up, and get back together. This is the premise for the Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd film They Came Together — but the basic narrative can be found in dozens of romantic comedies. The parody film opens in theaters this weekend. It just so happens that this weekend also marks the birthday of comedy legend and renowned producer Mel Brooks, whose works combine pop culture parody, vaudevillian gags, and frenetic farce. While masters of the parody film like Brooks found a formula for success, the genre has its share of stinkers. Here are ten big-screen parodies that are actually worth your time. … Read More

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8 Legendary Deleted Movie Scenes You’ve Never Seen

You’d think, by this point, we’d know just about all there is to know about the Indiana Jones movies, but last week (in honor of the second film’s 30th anniversary), Yahoo! Movies tracked down Nizwar Karanj, the actor on the receiving end of Temple of Doom’s notorious improvised heart removal. And he had a bit of inside information: that scene was supposed to be even gorier than it was. Yet somehow, the original version of the scene hasn’t made its way onto the Indy DVDs or Blu-rays, which makes it one more lost bit of film that somehow hasn’t reached viewers in this age of ubiquitous “Deleted Scene” bonus features. … Read More

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Louis C.K. Is the New Woody Allen

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Despite the Woody Allen Association, ‘Bullets Over Broadway’ Is an Excellent Musical

It probably wouldn’t be too outlandish to say that a new Woody Allen cultural property is not exactly what anyone is in the mood for these days, given the last few months’ worth of op-ed tell-alls, backlashes, and comment-thread arguments. Despite the fact that the production of Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical had been in the works years before Dylan Farrow became part of the cultural conversation again, it still may seem like an April 2014 Broadway opening might not be the best timing for a musical based on one of Woody Allen’s films, especially as Allen himself wrote the book. The Broadway audience, however, is limited compared to the larger audience that would respond to the release of a new Woody Allen film, and it’ll be interesting to see in the next few weeks if the critical and public response to Bullets Over Broadway will indicate a turn in the acceptance of Allen’s work. Is it possible, at this point, to compartmentalize Woody Allen, to appreciate his art while not supporting the artist?  … Read More

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‘Mad Men’ Multiplex: Which 1969 Movies Will Turn Up This Season?

From the third-season cola campaign aping Bye Bye Birdie to last year’s multiple screenings of Planet of the Apes, Mad Men has always dipped generously into the pool of period cinema to help set its scene, while simultaneously drawing inspiration from films of the era (The Apartment, BUtterfield 8, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying — starring Bert Cooper himself, Robert Morse — leap to mind). We’ve taken some guesses at the books this season’s 1969 timeframe might introduce; here are a few of the most popular movies of that year, and how they might work their way into Don Draper’s world. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s Guide to Indie Flicks to See in April

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s not much doin’ at the multiplex this April. You’ve got a new Captain America, and a Johnny Depp thing by Christopher Nolan’s regular cinematographer that could either be amazing or terrible and silly, and then — what, The Other Woman? Once again, it’s the art house to the rescue, and here are ten of the most notable and recommendation-worthy independent releases of the coming… Read More

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25 Great New York Movies You Can Stream on Netflix

Plenty of movies have been set and shot in New York City, the metropolis becoming a character of its own for each film. Part of the excitement of living in New York comes from seeing our city depicted in various ways on screen. It’s also fun to see different sides of the city than the one we know, particularly from decades past when New York looked drastically different. The good news for us is that many of the most important and iconic films set in New York are available to stream on Netflix; here’s a collection of 25 you can watch tonight.… Read More

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