Sounds from a Town I Love (2001)

Tony Roberts

Easily the shortest film of Woody Allen’s career – in fact so short I’ve embedded the whole film below – is Sounds From A Town I Love. This was written and directed for The Concert for New York City, a benefit in response to the September 11 attacks. Mostly an all-star music show, it also featured short films by local heroes Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee.

Woody’s entry comprises a series of one-liners, all delivered on a mobile phone, that highlight New Yorkers’ enduring good humour and petty neuroses even in the face of tragedy. The cast includes Austin Pendleton, Griffin Dunne, Bebe Neuwirth and even Tony Roberts! I actually think is more energy and more laughs in this short than the feature length comedies Woody was making at the time.

Sounds From A Town I Love was introduced at the concert by John Cusack who read a note from its director: “I apologize in advance for my short movie. The cause was so worthwhile I could not say ‘no’ when approached to contribute something to this wonderful show. I did the best I could. If you hate it, I will try to make it up to you somehow in the future. Sincerely, Woody Allen.”

Next week: Hollywood Ending


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