--WOODY ALLEN FINALLY LETS DOWN HIS GUARD FOR PBS--
Heaven help me, I love Woody Allen. And not just his "older, funnier" stuff. I hung in there straight through to 2003's "Anything Else." It wasn't until "Melinda and Melinda" that the 75 year-old filmmaker lost my rabid loyalty. "Match Point," however, was a major comeback -- a brilliant film. "Scoop" was weak but entertaining. "Cassandra's Dream" gets better with each viewing. Unfortunately, although I haven't seen his latest and biggest hit "Midnight and Paris," the three films prior to that weren't even watchable.
When you go back into the '70s and '80s, though, you're talking about a dozen or so masterpieces and near-masterpieces; movies I watch again and again and again. Allen's impact on film is forty years-old now and and his extraordinary ability to pull a success out of nowhere just when just about everyone says he's washed up, has been going on for two decades. My guess is that his impact will live for as long as he does.
And so it's good news that he's agreed to cooperate for a retrospective documentary honoring his work. Regardless of what you think of Allen personally (and I don't think much of him), he's been a major part of the cultural landscape for over forty years now -- and something of a mystery. Like many famous artists, Allen can be a loathsome character, but the work stands on its own and will for as long as there's a civilization.
Now, if someone could just convince Allen to do DVD commentary...
--OUR 10 FAVORITE JOURNALISTS IN POP CULTURE--
At first I thought someone meant they had actually found 10 REAL journalists who cover popular culture and deserve the title "great."
There are a few. But ten?
Unless it's greatest
left-wing suck up, sycophant that ain't happening.
--MTV TURNS 30--
Living in rural Wisconsin, I wasn't plugged in when MTV first aired in August of 1981, but I do remember being hypnotized by radio-with-pictures not long after thanks to a friend with access. It was amazing how compulsively watchable the network was, especially since the viewing experience was rarely about the video you were watching at the time. Watching MTV was all about waiting for what would come on next.
Wonder what MTV is all about now?
TODAY'S QUICK HITS
"DIE HARD 5" WILL SEND MCLANE AND SON TO RUSSIA
ASSAULTING A TEXTER IN A MOVIE THEATRE IS PRESENTED AS A BAD THING
SET PHOTOS FROM "DARK KNIGHT RISES"
WHY IS NO ONE EXCITED? TRAILER FOR THE NEXT GEORGE LUCAS FILM
JERRY LEWIS: "THE TELEVISION INDUSTRY HAS DESTROYED ITSELF
TRYING TO CARE. FAILING.
SEE HOLLYWOOD'S BIGGEST STARS AT WORK WITH CHILD RAPIST WHO ESCAPED JUSTICE
CLASSIC PICK FOR TUESDAY AUGUST 2, 2011
10:30 AM EST: Nothing But the Truth (1941) -- A businessman bets he can tell the truth for 24 hours. Dir: Elliott Nugent Cast: Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, Edward Arnold. BW-90 mins, TV-G.
One of those classic Bob Hope films when Paramount was in the business of finding perfect vehicles to wraps Hope's many talents around. Blazingly paced, a joke a second (most of them very funny), a terrific concept Jim Carrey's "Liar Liar" would have much success with, and the drop-dead gorgeous Paulette Goddard.
Not to be missed.
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