Tag Archives: Zelig

The Set of 400: #99 – My Favorite Pope Pius XI Cameo

Today! Because I myself felt that one could really think of him as the ultimate conformist –

Zelig (1983)

Directed by Woody Allen (x10)

Starring Woody Allen (x7), Mia Farrow (x5), Patrick Horgan, Michael Jeter (x3), Peter McRobbie (x2), Alice Beardsley, Mary Louise Wilson, Deborah Rush (x3), Jeanine Jackson, Susan Sontag, Saul Bellow, John Rothman

My third favorite Woody Allen movie, and my second favorite film of 1983 – if anything he made could be described as visually ambitious, it’s Zelig. Figure, even the other more supernatural/fantasy/science fiction movies he made were still grounded very much in Woody’s comic sensibility or modern day coasting – Sleeper, Midnight in Paris, Melinda and Melinda, Deconstructing Harry. The exception, maybe, is Purple Rose of Cairo, which has very definite visual effects elements and a slightly more elaborate plot than Woody’s films from that point on. But Zelig is the rare triumph of visual trickery in the Allen catalog – I’m not 100% on this, but am pretty confident this is the only of his films to receive Best Visual Effects nominations from anyone (the BAFTAs, incidentally). While he may have never made a good action director, were he inclined, Zelig actually points to a greater capability in complex effects-driven storytelling than you would’ve thought possible from him. Continue reading

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