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Watch: Trailer For The Extensive PBS Presentation 'Woody Allen: A Documentary'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist November 16, 2011 at 2:22PM

With a career spanning over four decades, with a new movie every year, there has never been a filmmaker both as omnipresent and mysterious as Woody Allen. Despite being thrust in the public eye thanks to his wildly popular films -- this year's "Midnight In Paris" is one of the highest grossing of his career -- and for the scandals that have surrounded him, the writer, actor and director has always played it close to chest when it comes to his process, influences and thoughts on his films (other than his own low regard for his work, and his repeated claim that once a movie is finished, he never watches it again). Well, the director is opening up as he never has before in a sprawling "American Masters" documentary hitting PBS this weekend, and a trailer has arrived to give a sneak peek.
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Woody Allen

With a career spanning over four decades, with a new movie every year, there has never been a filmmaker both as omnipresent and mysterious as Woody Allen. Despite being thrust in the public eye thanks to his wildly popular films -- this year's "Midnight In Paris" is one of the highest grossing of his career -- and for the scandals that have surrounded him, the writer, actor and director has always played it close to chest when it comes to his process, influences and thoughts on his films (other than his own low regard for his work, and his repeated claim that once a movie is finished, he never watches it again). Well, the director is opening up as he never has before in a sprawling "American Masters" documentary hitting PBS this weekend, and a trailer has arrived to give a sneak peek.

Produced by Brett Ratner (for real), and directed by Robert Weide ("How To Lose Friends And Alienate People," "Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth"), "Woody Allen: A Documentary" goes behind the scenes with Allen into his home, onto his film sets, and even to his childhood haunts in Brooklyn in what promises to be an exhaustive look at a director who generally keeps his personal life, well, personal. Weide spent considerable time with Allen, following him through the making of "You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger" right up until to the Cannes premiere of "Midnight In Paris." And if that didn't tip you off, this thing is comprehensive as hell.

Among those being interviewed for the two-part, three and a half hour doc (including Allen himself)? Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Penelope Cruz, John Cusack, Larry David, Mariel Hemingway, Scarlett Johansson, Julie Kavner, Diane Keaton, Martin Landau, Sean Penn, Chris Rock, Mira Sorvino, Naomi Watts, Dianne Wiest, Owen Wilson; writing collaborators Marshall Brickman, Mickey Rose and Doug McGrath; cinematographers Gordon Willis and Vilmos Zsigmond; Allen’s sister Letty Aronson; longtime manager Jack Rollins; casting director Juliet Taylor; pals Dick Cavett and Martin Scorsese and more.

So yeah, this is nothing short of a must see. "Woody Allen: A Documentary" airs November 20th from 9 to 11 pm, and November 21st from 9 to 10:30 pm. Set your DVRS. Trailer below. [via Gothamist]

Watch Woody Allen: A Documentary on PBS. See more from AMERICAN MASTERS.

This article is related to: Woody Allen


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