Arrow Academy’s second Woody Allen collection covers 1979-85, during which he made many of his best-loved films. These begin with Manhattan, a sublime Gershwin-scored Panavision love-letter to his home city, and end with The Purple Rose of Cairo, a wistfully affectionate romance about the cinema’s past that also doubles as a hilariously fantastical farce.
In between there’s the Felliniesque, fascinatingly self-analytical Stardust Memories; the bucolic romp A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (the first of thirteen films starring Mia Farrow); the technically and conceptually astonishing Zelig, in which a “human chameleon” bears witness to many of the 1920s and 30s cultural and political upheavals; and the perfectly-formed Broadway Danny Rose, a comedy about a theatrical agent who gets mixed up with the Mob.
By now, Allen was working with a tightly-knit regular team: cinematographer Gordon Willis, designer Mel Bourne, editor Susan E. Morse and producer Robert Greenhut worked on nearly all of these, achieving an enviable consistency of style at a time when American cinema was moving away from the notion of the auteur director.
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