Now that Woody Allen’s newest film, Blue Jasmine, is set to hit movie theaters across the country, film experts are trying to figure out whether it’s going to be a hit or a flop. Over his fifty odd year career, Woody has had plenty of both. Yet he’s nothing, if not prolific: He’s managed to turn out about a film every 12 months since he was in his twenties. Amazing isn’t it? He has almost 50 movies to his credit and at 77, he shows no sign of slowing down.
What fascinates me about Woody is that he’s managed to make so many wildly different films, from comedies to thrillers, with so many wildly different themes. Just think about the creativity it takes to come up with Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters, Bullets Over Broadway, Match Point, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and my personal favorite, Midnight in Paris, which won an Oscar for best original screenplay.
As one film analyst put it, “…his vision has been so singular over the years that audiences don’t always know what to expect, because sometimes, it seems like he’s just making movies for himself.” In a world dominated by megabudget Hollywood blockbusters, Woody has managed to reign supreme as the “king of indie directors,” and pursue his singular vision without compromise or interference. Is he making movies for himself or for his viewers? In the end, I’m not sure it matters. Many writers, JK Rowling among them, have said they essentially write the stories they want and need to write without having an audience in mind. That’s part of what writing dangerously is all about, isn’t it? So let’s dip into our own bottomless wells of creativity, just as Woody does — and write on!