By Florence Colombani, Phaidon Press, $9.95, 105 pages

10Woody Allen is one of New York’s most controversial directors, due to his wide-ranging films and personal life. Masters of Cinema: Woody Allen attempts a quick dissection of the director. This is a look at a surprising director, who although he is mired in comedy, seems able to direct and write drama just as well. Allen is that one director who likes to dissect things to see what makes them tick, so this is an interesting turnaround.

Allen has always been one of the directors to invest at least a bit of himself into whatever he was doing at the time, usually including a personal avatar of some sort into the mix if he himself didn’t star in it. He was always looking for what made people tick, and would make a worm the star of one of his pictures if it suited the picture (although he has yet to do so), and seems to focus specifically on New York. This book is an interesting look at what he has done and what has happened in his life to make him do it. For someone curious about Allen, and looking to gain some insight, this book comes highly recommended.

Reviewed by Jamais Jochim