By Alexandra Jacobs
January 17, 1997 at 05:00 AM EST

Woody: Movies From Manhattan

WOODY: MOVIES FROM MANHATTAN Julian Fox (Overlook Press, $26.95) You either love Woody Allen or you hate him. Or you think he’s funny and all that, but not a genius or anything. Or you used to be a fan, but that whole Soon-Yi business made you a little queasy. British journalist-actor Fox, the latest ink spiller on a man practically drowning in the stuff, acknowledges all of the above camps without exactly belonging to any of them. He’s obsessed with Woody Allen. Not a bad quality in a biographer — maybe even a requisite one. But when the filmmaker (whose latest, Everyone Says I Love You, will be released nationally this month) has, despite his famous reclusiveness, granted extensive interviews to other chroniclers (see Eric Lax’s 1991 bio, Woody Allen), such obsession seems more pointless than illuminative. Fox does produce a competent, detailed filmography — and gets some key Allen associates, like longtime costume designer Jeffrey Kurland, to weigh in. But this superfluous study is even more mired in analysis than you-know-who. B — Alexandra Jacobs

Woody: Movies From Manhattan

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