Who has Woody Allen influenced?

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Woody is my favorite director, period. It is clear that for whatever reason (age, distractions, stupid acts of self-destruction, etc.) his influence is waning. It is easy to name some of those who have influenced Woody (Bergman, Fellini, etc) but who has Woody been influencing? Who runs with the existential angst that Woody is so good at working with. Who kind of walks the edge between intelligent film making and popular appeal (speaking mainly of his films between Annie hall to Radio Days)



Good question, I can't think of any directors who channels Woody, like he did himself. I'll keep an eye on this thread as hopeful other's have a few directors in mind they can mention.



Me? Influence movies? Nah, filmmaker Woody Allen says

  • Wire Reports Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxx
  • Sep 2, 2007 Updated Jan 25, 2015


VENICE, Italy — Oscar-winning director Woody Allen does not think he has influenced other filmmakers. Asked Sunday if his work had left a mark, the 71-year-old insisted it has not.

“Oddly enough, over the years I’ve never felt that I have influenced anyone,” he said. “I don’t mean that to sound like false modesty, but I could always feel the influence of my contemporaries — Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Altman, Steven Spielberg — but I have never seen my influence on anyone.”










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If we distill Allen's film style down to it's basics, many of his films are deeply narcissistic and highly self focused. And in a way that seems to be the style of many auteur film makers these days. So while many indie films might not seem like an Allen film, the whole idea of a director feeling at liberty to inject their own personas into their films, could be said to have been influenced by Allen by some degree.



Woody is my favorite director, period. It is clear that for whatever reason (age, distractions, stupid acts of self-destruction, etc.) his influence is waning. It is easy to name some of those who have influenced Woody (Bergman, Fellini, etc) but who has Woody been influencing? Who runs with the existential angst that Woody is so good at working with. Who kind of walks the edge between intelligent film making and popular appeal (speaking mainly of his films between Annie hall to Radio Days)
Interesting question. My guess is that Allen's films are such an extension of his own personality and his well known areas of interest that it would be unlikely for any director to be influenced by his style.

OTOH he's certainly influenced a whole bunch of actors, from Mia Farrow and Diane Keaton, up through Jesse Eisenberg and Timothee Chalamet. In so many of his films the protagonist almost impersonates Allen, and others simply pick up on his mannerisms, which is very catching and easy to do...

Looking forward to his newest, Rifkin's Festival --his 49th feature film-- to be released in September.



Jason Alexander - he was influenced by Allen as a character actor.
Alexander in an interview said that after reading the character of "George" for Seinfeld, it reminded him of a typical Woody Allen character, so he did what amounted to a Woody Allen impression for his audition. In the first couple episodes of Seinfeld it is apparent that Alexander is channeling Allen, but soon the show's producers wanted George to be his own person as opposed to a Woody Allen knock-off, and Jason Alexander toned down the Woody mannerisms.



Welcome to the human race...
Noah Baumbach was the first name that came to mind.
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Spike Lee would be the person that has most closely co-opted Allen's style though to be fair Allen always struck me as a filmmaker who finds a concept and then expands on it which is pretty hard for other filmmakers to follow suit.



auteur theory

noun





Definition of auteur theory



: a view of filmmaking in which the director is considered the primary creative force in a motion picture.


Woody Allen is a film auteur. He is the driving creative force behind his films. Does that affect his influence on others?



Considering the significant impact of his stage/screen contemporaries and immediate predecessors (e.g. Jerry Lewis, Elaine May, Albert Brooks, Mel Brooks) — in addition to Allen's ubiquitous focus on exploring imitation of other filmmakers/writers — I'd argue that Allen's influence on other filmmakers barely registers, by design.

The popular opinion towards his work over the past 20-25 years has been "Allen is making films for himself, rather than to make an impression," but Allen has really been doing this his entire career (even to a certain degree before he got into filmmaking).

His approach to writing and film structure is so indebted to creating an imitation of others (using it as a means of commentary or self-expression) and that's ingrained in his artistic process to to the point where the number of acolytes he produces is marginal because it's largely irrelevant when looking comprehensively at his work. His films are both extremely depedent on reference and extremely personal — virtually any attempt to appropriate his traits will either be overly influence by his reference material, or transparent emulations of Allen's persona.

Compared to other Jewish intellectual comedy writers like May or Albert Brooks, whose personal expression is more easily translated on a more inclusive scale, Allen operates almost entirely with a lens pointed inward from conception to reception.

Even when looking at major Jewish stage/screen writers and performers that came after, for instance Larry David, it becomes difficult to attribute responsibility between Allen and someone like Al Brooks — unless their material is judged by one the factor of personal exclusivity.

For me personally, this gives my opinion of Allen's films a lower ceiling compared to the others named in this post. But I do respect his singular brand of hyper-introverted writing/filmmaking, and it certainly has its place in film history (and people being big fans of it is easily justified).