VOTW: Woody Allen Discusses Career In Uncut 1987 Interview

YouTube seems to unearth wonders on a regular basis. A new (irregular) video of the week is a recently uploaded interview with very little detail. It is a one hour long interview with Woody Allen in 1987. It’s a British interview of some sort (can anyone identify it?), and it’s rare because Allen did very few interviews at this time, and would do pretty much none at all a year or so later. It seems to be for a show called Woody Allen Profile. It aired in

UPDATE: Twitter legend @Dene71 tells us it’s from a BBC2 interview with Christopher Frayling. The show was just called ‘Woody Allen’ and aired on 13th November 1987.

Allen is promoting the release of Radio Days in the UK, and has just finished September at this point. He talks about his process at this point – a film a year. They go back to the beginning, from What’s New Pussycat, Allen’s first writing project, Take The Money And Run through Hannah And Her Sisters.

It’s a wonderful in depth interview, and it’s nice to see Allen talk about each film individually. It’s not often that he does that. And he would soon make too many for this to happen again. What is funny is how many times Allen apologises for ‘downgrading’ his own work. Oddly, they don’t touch on A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy at all. That poor film.

Lots of revelations, even for us. Most interesting is Allen’s clear articulation of his original vision for Annie Hall, and that ambiguity in the final moments of Manhattan. I wish someone would sit down with Allen and go film by film on the ones he has made since.

We are looking to do more regular videos of the week. If you see a great video, please send it through and let us know.

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  1. Wonderful. The interviewer is the historian Christopher Frayling..
    (All of that footage filmed but re-shot in Woody’s features, sometimes with different actors, would make fascinating Extras on DVD releases. It’s unlikely to happen, given Woody’s aversion to DVD Extras, but what interesting cinema history all the same and there’s sure to be things to appreciate in his ‘first draft’ footage. Woody isn’t the most reliable judge of his own work, disdaining many classics, so any merit in ‘alternative’ scenes/portrayals would pass him by. I sure hope he archives all that unused footage over the years.) (After all, this fine interview itself is an outtake, right?)

  2. This was an interview that kicked off a month-plus of BBC2 showing his films through the beginning of January. (Actually, kicked off is wrong, they screened Annie Hall a few days before). You can check the full schedule by starting at the bottom of this page and clicking “next”:
    He was on the Radio Times that week:

    I watched nearly all the films as a 17 year old and he became one of my favorite filmmakers.

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