Woody Allen, moviedom's Joe DiMaggio
Woody Allen has released at least one movie each year since 1982 -- a remarkable achievement, the filmic equivalent of Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak and Lou Gehrig's consecutive-games streak combined. (We'll count Allen's "Cassandra's Dream" as a 2007 picture -- it hit all the festivals that year and was to come out then before the Weinstein Co. pushed the release a few weeks back into 2008).
This year, Allen, closing in on 75, will continue his Iron Man performance. His "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" will be released in the fall, having now been acquired by Sony Pictures Classics, as the company announced this morning.
Of course, working that diligently or quickly isn't always synonymous with quality (just ask Clint Eastwood). Not all of the Allen movies have been masterpieces; in fact, sometimes, he seems to alternate between good movies and questionable ones. The messy "Scoop" followed "Match Point"; "Whatever Works" came after "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." (Which should augur good things for "Stranger," the London-shot film starring Naomi Watts, Freida Pinto and Josh Brolin).
But in an era when directors dither, financiers futz and pre-production can last longer than entire geologic eras, it's encouraging to see filmmakers still crank them out.
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Woody Allen. Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times