“[Allen’s] remarkably self-assured comedy is to his career what… Berlin Alexanderplatz is to Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s and… Fanny and Alexander is to Ingmar Bergman’s … Zelig is not only pricelessly funny, it’s also, on occasion, very moving. It works simultaneously as social history, as a love story, as an examination of several different kinds of film narrative, as satire and as parody . . . [It] is a nearly perfect – and perfectly original – Woody Allen comedy.” – Vincent Canby, New York Times (full article here)

Zelig is a 1983 American mockumentary film written and directed by Woody Allen, and starring Allen and Mia Farrow. Allen plays Zelig, a curiously nondescript enigma who is discovered for his remarkable ability to transform himself to resemble anyone he’s near.

The film was shot almost entirely in the style of 1920s-style black-and-white film newsreels, which are seamlessly interwoven with stock footage from the era, including cleverly filmed re-enactments of historical events. Narration is likewise largely in newsreel style. While being mostly set in the 1920s, the storyline occasionally shifts to present day (1983) interviews, shot in color.

– Wikipedia excerpt, click here for full article

PLUS: AARON BURR, PART 2 (8 min) a selection of the 2011 New York Film Festival. A contemporary re-imagining of the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr explores the idea of history as a contested narrative. Directed by Dana O’Keefe.