After Deconstructing Harry comes this record of clarinetist Woody Allen's 1996 European tour with his New Orleans jazz band (18 concerts, seven countries). The film was commissioned by Allen's producer Jean Doumanian, and the director apparently secured editorial freedom and 'access all areas'. This is a standard rockumentary: concert footage plus backstage eavesdropping, played out against the highs and lows of a sell-out tour. True to type, Allen gets seasick gliding round Venice in a gondola, and insists on twin suites everywhere he and companion Soon-Yi Previn stay - he needs his own personal shower. It's hardly a revelation, but Allen emerges as genuinely neurotic. He's also funny (especially on the discrepancy between the adulation of the crowds and his films' meagre takings) and not particularly likeable (there's no interplay with the band off-stage, for example). The horrors of Stardust Memories are very real to him. The only person who seems to break through this self-protective bubble is the singularly no nonsense, thoroughly unfazed and self-assured Soon-Yi.
Wild Man Blues
Cast and crew