Clip It: Each day, Jon Davis looks at the world of trailers, featurettes and clips and puts it all in perspective.
Woody Allen hasn't written for television since the '50s, when he was crafting jokes for talk show hosts like Sid Caesar. The TV medium has changed a lot since then, so much so that Woody Allen can come full circle because, at this point, his movies are less likely to be something we'd spend 90 thousand dollars to see in the theater, and more like something we'd wait to see on various screens in our house. So Amazon TV is a smart venue for Woody Allen. That is, if you want to see Woody Allen at all. I've heard through the grapevine that he's a little controversial.
We don't know much about this particular project: A Crisis in Six Scene. But we do know It takes place in the swingin'' '60s, and according to Amazon, it's a comedy about a “guest who visits a suburban family and turns their lives upside down.” This clip doesn't have anything to do with that premise. And maybe that's why I liked it. It was simply Woody Allen being ridiculous, which is something he used to with great frequency a long time ago.
In this instance, Woody Allen sits in a chair and asks to look like James Dean, which is amazing. The barber (played by Max Casella) balks, so Woody tells him to see what he can do. I love that idea. Next time I visit Supercuts, I'm going to ask them to turn me into Idris Elba. “Just see what you can do.” What's odd is that James Dean died in the mid '50s, so it's not like he'd be a current topic of conversation in the '60s.
Woody Allen's character switches tracks and asks the barber if he read his novella. The barber tells him, in colorful detail, how boring it is. And that's it. This is what Amazon thought would be the best thing to show us. There's nothing here that's specific to the '60s or a guest turning anyone's life upside down. And yet I laughed. So there's that.
Woody Allen has quite a work ethic. He's prolific, as he averages about a movie a year. Some people take years to put together one movie, and meanwhile Woody Allen hums along and puts several of them in the can. Some of these movies feel like “first-draft-last-draft-out-the-door” but every five years or so, he makes a film that works. Is this a Midnight in Paris or a Whatever Works? We'll have to wait until it's released by Amazon on September 30th.