This smoothly edited collage splices snippets of dialogue from director Woody Allen's movies; brief excerpts from his previously published monologues, essays, interviews, sketches and plays; and hitherto unpublished stand-up routines. Interwoven with film clips and photographs, plus paintings by Marc Chagall, Edvard Munch, Paul Klee, Grant Wood and others, the selections are loosely organized around Allen's abiding themes and obsessions--his childhood, love's highs and lows, intellectuals' pretensions, psychoanalysis, New York City vs. Los Angeles, etc. Some of the excerpts are hilarious, others tend to be repetitious. Allen's unique brand of existential humor shines through as he keeps bumping into life's incongruities and takes on the Big Questions of love, death, God, suffering and the meaning of it all. (Nov.)
This enjoyable book is the written equivalent of a collection of film clips. It offers a compilation of brief excerpts from Allen's published and unpublished works of the previous three decades, including his screenplays, stand-up routines (previously available only on records), magazine pieces, plays, interviews, and more. The text is loosely organized into chapters on typical Allen subjects (e.g., death, love, analysis, religion, sex, family, and New York) and heavily illustrated with film stills, art, and photographs. Editor Sunshine does a good job of selecting from the mass of material available and arranging the pieces to their best advantage. Much of the book's content will be familar to Allen's fans. Public libraries should purchase as demand merits.-- Marianne Cawley, Kingwood Branch Lib., Tex.
Sunshine has focused solely on Allen's cinematic and literary achievements rather than the man himself in this entertaining career scrapbook. Sunshine has mixed the text of various stand-up monologues, many never before published, with piquant excerpts from Allen's film dialogues, irreverent essays, absurdist plays, blunt interviews, and surreal stories. This anthology effectively defines Allen's sly and dry sense of humor and highlights his favorite themes, including the misery of childhood and the inanity of parents; the mysteries of God and death; the not-so-great outdoors; the pretension inherent in the rhetoric of art, academia, and analysis; and, of course, the ever-troubling emotions of lust and love. Although Allen quips, "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve it through not dying," we know that he is, after all, merely human and that his work--funny, poignant, and contradictory as it is--will certainly outlast us all.