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January 19 • 2006
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Arts & Entertainment
ON THE COVER
Comeback Kid from page 43
Manhattan without a sense of the world
or of time. Allen said that he likes his
apartment and his bedroom, and he
likes to stay there.
He said he doesn't think New York has
changed much, or if it has, it's hard for
him to notice: "I don't see a radical kind
of change he said. "It's always been
evolving ever since I've lived in the city"
He said he likes the same directors we
all like. "Sideways was a wonderful film:'
he said. He said there weren't enough
good American movies. He called Turner
Classic Movies "as good a thing to hap-
pen to the movies as anything."
Past And Present
We played a game about the past and
"I think he's great. Great writer and a
great comic writer as well."
"I discovered her at a very, very early
age —way, way before anyone knew her.
I was just a kid, and there was an
abortive magazine that had a short life
called Varsity, and they came by the
neighborhood and sold me a subscrip-
tion to Varsity, and in the back pages of
one of the issues, in a tiny photo, was a
girl in a bathing suit, and I was para-
lyzed when I saw it.
"I thought, 'My God, this is the sexi-
est' — I couldn't have been more than
12 — 'this is the sexiest creature I've
ever -laid eyes on And I followed her
"A genius, and one of the most —
maybe the most — influential and
pleasure-giving artists of my lifetime."
George W. Bush?
"Arguably the worst administration in
the history of the United States. I didn't
start out with any hostility; I started out
rooting for him. I was rooting for him,
certainly, after 9-11, and when I was in
Europe a few days after Sept. 11 and
people were asking me questions about
him — because I was from New York
and people thought I was an expert — I
was saying,'Well, I hope he'll do a good
job, I'm optimistic, I think he will.
Match Point: A Review
With new film, Woody is near
the top of his game.
.1 Andrew Sarris
oody Allen's Match Point, from
his own screenplay, was
reportedly well received in
Cannes earlier this year, especially
(and not surprisingly) by the French
critics. It was less well received by the
British critics in London, where the
movie was filmed.
I have experienced mixed reactions
from colleagues and acquaintances
that have seen it either in Cannes or
local screenings in New York, where it
has already opened.
I liked it enormously. In the, imper-
sonally narrated preface that begins
the film, it is observed: "The man who
said, 'I'd rather be lucky than good,'
saw deeply into life. People are afraid
to face how great a part of life is
dependent on luck. It's scary to think
so much is out of one's control. There
are moments in a match when the ball
hits the top Of the net and, for a split
second, it can either go forward or fall
Andrew Sarris is the film critic for the
New York Observer.
back. With a little luck, it goes forward
and you win ... or maybe it doesn't and
Allen illustrates his thesis with a stat-
ic shot of a net, across which a tennis
ball is hit back and forth by two
unseen players. Suddenly the ball
bounces off the top of the net and is
frame-frozen before it lands either for-
ward or backward. Near the end of the
film, this metaphor reappears in a
newly urgent and intricately ironic con-
text, affecting the fate – and, by exten-
sion, the luck – of the film's. protago-
That was when I decided that Woody,
warts and all, was back, and with a
But don't expect the old serio-comic-
romantic Woody of Annie Hall (1977)
and Manhattan (1979), or the primi-
tively antic Woody of Bananas (1971)
and Sleeper (1973).
Match Point isn't particularly funny,
largely because it's almost entirely
devoid of Woody's patented brand of
New York-style Jewishness, the source
of much of his oy vey humor.