Zelig (1983)

WOODY ALLEN

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  USA, 1983.  , .   Screenplay by Woody Allen.   Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1983.  Golden Globe Awards 1983.  

Woody Allen as the title character in Zelig

One of Woody Allen‘s most fascinating achievements as an artist, and he has never made anything like it before or since. Filmed as a documentary (though entirely fictional in content) it deals with the mysterious life of the shadowy title character, a man from the roaring twenties considered to be a chameleon and famous for his ability to blend into any characteristic around him.  appears as the psychiatrist who thoroughly examines Zelig in hypnotherapy in order to unravel the great mystery. The film’s most fascinating quality is the authentic recreation of the period, particularly the grainy black-and-white photography by Gordon Willis that was painstakingly degraded so as to look like it was stock footage abandoned in a vault for decades. Witty and clever, this film stands completely on its own in the master’s canon.

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