Monday, July 31, 2006

Scoop

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Although I am enough of a film buff to have inflicted my opinions on the unsuspecting masses, I rarely go to the movies these days. They are expensive and I get so many great films on DVD or via Turner Classic Movies, that going to a theater seems a waste.

However, I did go to see Woody Allen's latest film, Scoop, yesterday afternoon. I won't offer a review, in fact I can't. My mind doesn't work fast enough to take in all of the detail of a movie without a pause/rewind function, which is why I review books -- they wait around for you. But back to the movie -- it stars the insanely beautiful Scarlett Johansson as an American journalism student vacationing in London, who pairs up with an aging magician (Allen) to investigate a tip in a murder case from a dead reporter. It sounds kind of crazy, but it works out.

A recent Washington Post profile notes that "with the possible exception of Charlie Chaplin, nobody has ever directed, written and acted in as many standout movies as Woody Allen, and he did it without anyone else, except for an occasional co-writer, vetting his lines." He is in one sense a hard working director, but the same Post profile notes that Allen doesn't kill himself to make a picture:

Perfectionism is not his style. Asked why he doesn't try the Stanley Kubrick approach to filmmaking, which involved fine-tuning for years, Allen plaintively says he doesn't have it in him.

"Kubrick was a great artist. I say this all the time and people think I'm being facetious. I'm not. Kubrick was a guy who obsessed over details and did 100 takes, and you know, I don't feel that way. If I'm shooting a film and it's 6 o'clock at night and I've got a take, and I think I might be able to get a better take if I stayed, but the Knicks tipoff is at 7:30, then that's it. The crews love working on my movies because they know they'll be home by 6."

People (meaning me) would probably pay to see Scarlett Johansson, who was also in Allen's previous film, Match Point, fold laundry for 90 minutes. But part of her appeal comes from the quirky, offbeat movies that she appears in, such as Sophia Coppola's Lost in Translation. Cynics may suggest that this post was merely an excuse to post her picture and I have no satisfactory response to that charge.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Probably your best post ever.