Click above to purchase "Zelig" at amazon.com
review by Zach B.
Running Time: 79 minutes
Starring Woody Allen, Mia Farrow
Written and Directed by Woody Allen
Retail Price: $19.98
Features: Theatrical Trailer, Collectible Booklet
Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Mono,
English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles,
English Closed Captions, Scene Selections (16 Scenes)
Released: November 6th, 2001
Also part of The Woody Allen Collection 3
"Zelig" is a mockumentary from Woody Allen that's rather
enjoyable. While it's not my favorite film of his, it's
truly enjoyable. The mockumentary follows a man named
Leonard Zelig who seems to go in and out of places and jobs.
He's pretty much a human chameleon. As Zelig goes across
history, it seems Dr. Eudora Fletcher can only cure him. And
then as she does, things happen. The two are meant to be
together... and it's up to her to save their relationship.
"Zelig" may be one of Woody's lesser realized work, but
it's pretty good. The concept is pretty original and the way
Allen has written and shot it, it gives a rather nice pure
documentary effect to it. Still, it's a movie that does
frusturate me. I don't know why though. It does have a good
focus as we learn more and more about Zelig and the
relationship with Eudora. Yet something about it, I don't
know what exactly. The setup? It's uneven-ness at certain
points? Perhaps. But there's a lot to like about the movie.
I's very enjoyable, even satirical like. It has good laughs
and again, I really like the documentary style. Even if it's
a fake subject, Allen pulls of a professional documentary. I
bet shooting this and planning it all out was a great
challange, yet Allen makes it seem like it was done with
much ease. From the narrator, the music and the wonderful
visuals, it's executed incredibly well. Allen captures so
much here in a short amount of time. It's pretty impressive
if you ask me. We all know it's fake, but how he makes it
seem real is the great and usual Allen touch. The movie
scored two Oscar® nods even, for the cinematography and
costume design (as there is a rather interesting time span
Zelig seems to meet many famous figures as he's put into
footage that's real, sorta like
Gump. While this experiment from Allen isn't as good as
his more traditional styles, it's worth seeing if you have
an open mind.
The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen is suitable. Yes the
film looks old, grainy and dirty and is in pure black and
white... it's supposed to be that way. It's a "documentary"
as if it was real. As if this footage was actually shot and
it all happened. That's why it all works so well. Black
levels and detail are good too. It's hard to judge this
transfer, since it's supposed to be imperfect... but the
elements that I can tell are not exactly supposed to be a
part of it are in fine shape.
There are good elements to the sound mix, and it's
English mono, which fits perfect as with the "old" footage
and documentary style of the film. Elements can be tinny,
damagaed and the like, but it should be like that. Fidelty
is good though. Overall, a fine mono fix that isn't supposed
to sound how it should all for sake of the film. Spanish,
French and English subtitles are included, plus English
The Theatrical Trailer in anamorphic widescreen...
this is one of the worst trailers I've seen (right up there
with that "Jurassic Park III" teaser!). It plays like an
arthouse film trailer... yet with a snippet of footage. Uch.
There's also a decent collectible booklet in the keep case
To me, "Zelig" fascinates and frusturates. It's a
different movie for Allen, yet it does work. For those who
like Allen and unique cinema, this is a must watch.
(4/5 - NOT included in
NOT an average)