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Back to the Start

January 5th, 2013 § Leave a Comment

After what some would consider an all-too premature masterpiece in a long and verdant career, “Annie Hall,” we flip it back a few years to his early stuff. Considered by many to be his most exuberant and best years of filmmaking (we’re calling this series “Woody Allen in the 70s,” so I think you can tell what our bias is), “Bananas” and “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Sex” are in my mind his first two truly big movies from the standpoint of JPM.

I do like the earlier 60s stuff (let’s not mention “Casino Royale”), but Allen pulls of a 1-2-3 in ’71-’73 with these two and “Sleeper” that has been met by few other films and fewer filmmakers in terms of the aforementioned JPM. What is JPM? It’s something I just made up while rewatching “Bananas!” It stands for “jokes per minute,” and some jokes in “Bananas” are only given a few seconds of screen time before its on to the next gag. The full tilt, pellmell humor barrage stands in no-small debt to Allen’s love of silent era movie gags, ranging from the surreal to the visceral.

Show your love for Allen’s early career brilliance this week, with a one-two punch of the best humor of the early 70s. “Everything” even features one of Wilder’s best performances (outside of a Brooks film)! Some of my favorite comedians in some of my favorite comedies, say no more!

My one complaint about this film: this is bestiality, not sodomy. Could've squeezed in another sketch with a homosexual where everyone knows it but him, or something...

My one complaint about this film: this is bestiality, not sodomy. Could’ve squeezed in another sketch with a homosexual where everyone knows it but him, or something…

Join us next week for my favorite Allen film “Manhattan” (his best, sorry “Annie Hall”) and be challenged by Allen’s strangest 70s film, “Love and Death.”

—holidayed out and happy to be back, dan

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