Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Every Woody Allen stammer from every Woody Allen film

No joke. Somebody really has gathered all Allen’s hesitant vocal ticks into one movie. Set some time aside.

Sun, Apr 7, 2013, 18:29


Now, here’s something that constitutes a truly enormous, borderline heroic waste of time. When you heard that somebody had released a YouTube video featuring every stammer in every Woody Allen film you probably expected a five-minute snippet gathering a lot of stammers from a great many Woody Allen films into one easily digestible package. No way. This does seem to be the real thing. The blasted film is a quite staggering 45 minutes long. I cannot pretend that I have checked to see if any stammers are missing. But they do work their way all the way forward from 1965′s What’s New Pussycat to last year’s To Rome with Love. That’s nearly 50 years of “ums” and “ahs”. Frankly, if they’ve left anything out, then nobody is ever going to notice.

That hesitant, nervous benign repetition is still a wonderful thing. It’s as much a part of cinematic lore as was Chaplin’s hat or Brando’s waistline. We wouldn’t be without it. But it still telegraphs some sort of madness to devote so many hours to collating every single instance. The good people at The Huffington Post, who have put the video our way, explain the production thus:

“The 2 editors Oliver Noble and Ben Craw who worked on this, started the project a couple of months ago. But were working on it on and off as other projects popped up in the meantime. They split the movies in half – Ben started with Woody’s oldest movies and worked forward in time, Oliver started with his most recent and worked backwards and they met somewhere in the mid 80s, then refined it and polished it together. It was a very time consuming team effort.”

You’re not kidding. What’s up next? Every grunt in every Sylvester Stallone film? Every knowingly eccentric glance to the floor in every Anthony Hopkins film? I’m getting nowhere here.

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