Neurotic, obsessed, at the same time sometimes slapstick-stupid and yet also highly intelligent, the humorous films of Woody Allen did more in the '70s and '80s to characterise his home city of New York and the America Jewish experience than those of any other single director. Although recent years have seen him mired in ongoing controversies, he remains a valid and skilful filmmaker with now more than 50 movies to his credit. Zagreb's Kino Tuškanac pay tribute to the director this week, showing some of his best-loved and most iconic movies from the '70s, '80s and '90s, over an eight-day period beginning today.
The marathon begins at 19.00 on Monday 7 January 7 with 1989 film 'Crimes and Misdemeanors' in which Martin Landau plays a successful Jewish doctor who is having an affair. One of Allen's best comedy dramas, it features a brilliant and familiar ensemble cast containing Mia Farrow, Anjelica Huston, Jerry Orbach, Alan Alda, Sam Waterston, Joanna Gleason and Allen himself.
On Tuesday 8 January, Tuškanac's Woody Allen season moves into its standard format, showing two films each night for the rest of the duration. Earlier films begin at 19.00, later films begin at 21.00. 1973's 'Sleeper' is up first and sees Allen awake after 200 years of being cryogenically frozen. The later film is 1987's affectionate and music-filled 'Radio Days'
On Wednesday 9 January 1980 film 'Stardust Memories' focusses on a film director whose audience regard his earlier work as much funnier than later efforts. Despite this being a key criticism of his own career, Allen claims the film is not autobiographical. It stars Charlotte Rampling, Jessica Harper, Marie-Christine Barrault and Sharon Stone. Later, 1992's 'Husbands and Wives' at times uses a mock documentary style to examine the interpersonal relationships of a group of friends. It was the last of the 13 films Allen made with Mia Farrow and also stars Sydney Pollack, Judy Davis, Juliette Lewis and Liam Neeson.
Thursday 10 January sees an early screening of 'Zelig' from 1983 in which Allen plays the chameleon-like Leonard Zelig, whose life is examined via a series of documentary-style interviews and using mock 1920s black-and-white newsreel-style footage. Later that evening, in 1974's hilarious 'Love and Death', Allen and Diane Keaton play a Russian couple whose marriage is bereft of love and money.
On Friday 11 January, two of Allen's best-loved movies. Diane Keaton excels in 1977's beautifully shot romantic comedy 'Annie Hall'. Another homage to New York occurs at 9pm with George Gershwin's music lending an unforgettable backdrop to the black and white 'Manhattan'.
Saturday 12 January sees a stellar ensemble cast of Mia Farrow, Michael Caine, Barbara Hershey, Dianne Wiest, Carrie Fisher, Maureen O'Sullivan, Lloyd Nolan, Max von Sydow, Richard Jenkins and John Turturro followed over two years as members of an extended family in 1986's 'Hannah And Her Sisters'. Allen regards that evening's later film 'The Purple Rose of Cairo' as one of his best. Jeff Daniels's archaeologist emerges from a movie and enters the life of Mia Farrow, a member of the cinema audience.
On Sunday 13 January, 'Broadway Danny Rose' from 1984 sees a group of comedians recounting the life and loves of Danny Rose, a terrible talent manager who has a wife, a lover and unwanted connections to the mafia. The later film, 1978's 'Interiors' is one of Allen's more serious affairs from the period and depicts three adult sisters whose parents are about to undergo a divorce.
The penultimate evening of the season takes place on Monday 14 January 14 and begins with 1988's 'Another Woman'. Gena Rowlands plays a philosophy professor who is trying to write a book, but who becomes intrigued by the therapy sessions she can hear coming from the room next door. 1972's hilarious, seven-part collage 'Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)' is up later.
Tuesday 15 January sees the season come to a close, with 1971's 'Bananas', in which Allen travels to a South American country in the middle of a revolution, shown in the earlier slot. 1993's 'Manhattan Murder Mystery' features ensemble regulars Diane Keaton, Anjelica Huston and Alan Alda return in a tale which sees a couple investigate the death of their neighbour's wife.
All films cost 20 kuna, or 10 kuna for cinema members.