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A Companion to Woody Allen

Peter J. Bailey (Editor), Sam B. Girgus (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4443-3723-5
600 pages
April 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Woody Allen (1444337238) cover image


Edited by two renowned Allen experts, A Companion to Woody Allen presents a collection of 26 original essays on the director’s films. Contributions offer a number of divergent critical perspectives while expanding the contexts in which his work is understood.

  • A timely companion by the authors of two of the most important books on Allen to date
  • Illuminates the films of Woody Allen from a number of divergent critical perspectives
  • Explores the contexts in which his work should be understood
  • Assesses Allen’s remarkable filmmaking career from its early beginnings and investigates the conflicts and contradictions that suffuse it
  • Discusses Allen’s recognition as a global cinematic figure
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors viii

Acknowledgments xii

Introduction 1
Peter J. Bailey

Part I Biography/Autobiography/Auteurism 13

1 The Stand-up Auteur 15
Cecilia Sayad

2 Which Woody Allen? 35
Colleen Glenn

3 Woody Allen and France 53
Gilles Menegaldo

4 “Raging in the Dark”: Late Style in Woody Allen’s Films 73
Christopher J. Knight

5 A Difficult Redemption: Facing the Other in Woody Allen’s Exilic Period 95
John Douglas Macready

6 Comic Faith and Its Discontents: Death and the Late Woody 116
Robert M. Polhemus

Part II Movies about the Movies 145

7 Critical Theory and the Cinematic World of Woody Allen 147
Stephen Papson

8 Crimes and Misdemeanors: Reflections on Refl exivity 170
Gregg Bachman

9 Play it Again, Woody: Self-Reflexive Critique in Contemporary Woody Allen Films 188
Claire Sisco King

10 Jazz Heaven: Woody Allen and the Hollywood Ending 207
Christopher Ames

Part III Allen and His Sisters: Cultural Critiques 227

11 “Here . . . It’s Not Their Cup of Tea”: Woody Allen’s Melodramatic Tendencies in Interiors, September, Another Woman, and Alice 229
Cynthia Lucia

12 “It’s Complicated, Really”: Women in the Films of Woody Allen 257
Joanna E. Rapf

13 Woody Allen’s Grand Scheme: The Whitening of Manhattan, London, and Barcelona 277
Renée R. Curry

14 Love and Citation in Midnight in Paris: Remembering Modernism, Remembering Woody 294
Katherine Fusco

Part IV Influences/Intertextualities 319

15 Taking the Tortoise for a Walk: Woody Allen as Flâneur 321
William Brigham

16 Lurking in Shadows: Kleinman’s Trial and Defense 339
Iris Bruce

17 Woody Allen and the Literary Canon 359
William Hutchings

18 “Who’s He When He’s at Home?”: A Census of Woody Allen’s Literary, Philosophical, and Artistic Allusions 381
J. Andrew Gothard

19 The Schlemiel in Woody Allen’s Later Films 403
Menachem Feuer

20 Barcelona: City of Refuge 424
Brian Bergen-Aurand

Part V Philosophy/Religion 441

21 Woody Allen and the (False) Dichotomy of Science and Religion 443
Mark T. Conard

22 The Philosopher as Filmmaker 460
David Detmer

23 Disappearing Act: The Trick Philosophy of Woody Allen 481
Patrick Murray and Jeanne A. Schuler

24 Love, Meaning, and God in the Later Films of Woody Allen 504
Sander Lee

25 Hollywood Rabbi: The Never-Ending Questions of Woody Allen 520
Monica Osborne

26 Allen’s Random Universe in His European Cycle: Morality, Marriage, Magic 539
Richard A. Blake

27 Afterword: The Abyss: Woody Allen on Love, Death, and God 559
Sam B. Girgus

Index 573

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Author Information

Peter Bailey is Frank P. Piskor Professor of English at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, where he has taught American Literature, creative writing and film studies for 32 years.  In addition to The Reluctant Film Art of Woody Allen (2001), he is the author of Reading Stanley Elkin (1986) and Rabbit (Un)Redeemed: The Drama of Belief in John Updike’s Fiction (2006). He has also published on Frank Conroy, Robert Coover, Joan Didion, Frederick Exley, John Irving, and Ronald Sukenick, and he is secretary of the national John Updike Society.

Sam B. Girgus is Professor of English at Vanderbilt University.  He is a prolific author whose publications include The Films of Woody Allen (2nd edition, 2002) and Levinas and the Cinema of Redemption: Time, Ethics, and the Feminine (2010). He also has edited several works, including The American Self: Myth, Ideology, and Popular Culture (1981). He is a recipient of a Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship and other scholarly and teaching awards, and has lectured and taught extensively in universities throughout America and the world.

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“I recommend this book for academic libraries that support upper-level film studies, media and literature programmes.”  (Reference Reviews, 1 October 2014)

“Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above.”  (Choice, 1 October 2013)

“Peter J. Bailey and Sam B. Girgus have assembled a thoughtful and lively band of critics to the making of A Companion to Woody Allen. The result is a collection that explores the themes and techniques of Allen’s films. It is a must-have book for every Woody Allen buff.”
Sanford Pinsker, Franklin and Marshall College 
“An impressively wide-ranging work—well-written, rigorously argued, lucid, accessible, balanced essays on Woody Allen’s life and art (including the myriad and manifest connections between the latter two).”
David Shields, author of How Literature Saved My Life

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