‘What’s Up Tiger Lily’ shows Woody Allen stripping

Woody Allen. Why does the name itself suggest… well, these days, among ever-expanding circles, it evokes anger, disapproval, shame, indignation, that sort of thing. Before that, of course, Allen was revered as a respected American historical filmmaker. And before that, as a comic genius, with his devastating verbal wit and deranged psychotic personality. It was Allen who created one of the more curious pieces of cinema of the 1960s, a film titled What’s going on, Tiger Lily?

The idea for the 1966 comedy, which will always remain (probably to Allen’s eternal sadness, given the way he dismisses it in interviews), the filmmaker’s directorial debut, was one of the last that would provide at least indirect inspiration for riffing-on-or-over- bartender comedies like Mystery Science Theater 3000. American International Pictures, already well-versed in the acquisition, re-editing, and re-editing of foreign films, Frankenste transforms them into something that may be palatable to audiences before grinding. (For example, 1965 Journey to the Prehistoric Planet, Mixed together from a couple of Soviet sci-fi movies with some U.S. scenes directed by Curtis Harrington.) The simple difference here is that Allen, then, was a hot commodity on the channel. talk show and was popular enough that he could fill college auditoriums and, as such, create a soundtrack that could light up a movie. Allen’s voice is not heard too often on the soundtrack; much of the humorous conversation is spent with fellow comics Mickey Rose.

The film is being dubbed as a Japanese spy soup, part of the series, called Kagi no Kagi. The jokes begin to set the tone, defined by various Japanese sub-categories of racist – what they often call “national humour”. The apparent Japanese main spy, named Jiro Kitami in the original, is renamed “Phil Moscowitz”, who describes himself as a “likeable lover.” So you’ve got a Jewish joke and a Japanese joke merged into one.

Really vivid quality What’s going on, Tiger Lily? is absurdity, a continuum of discontinuity that creates absurd concatenations. Hence, what various spies and thieves are pursuing Tiger Lily is a recipe for the world’s greatest egg salad. A salad so good that “you can draw a diagram,” said one of the players on the quest. “Moscowitz” is rendered so simply that when shown a map and told that it is the “home” of a notorious gangster, he cryptically replies, “you mean him live in that piece of paper?” He also doesn’t stop going crazy, panting like a madman in the presence of two female chauffeurs, played by Akiko Wakabayashi and Mie Hama – both of whom will appear later, though not in tandem, in the extremely troublesome James-Bond-in-Japan movie You only live twice (In 1967).

WHAT'S UP, TIGER LILY? aka What's Up Tiger Lilly by Woody Allen. (Left to right) Akiko Wakabayashi, u
Photo: Everett Collection

I first experienced the series on television when I was about 10 years old (this would be 1969) and thought it was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

Or at least the first half or so is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. When this film runs out of steam, it will practically die, and the business with men and women performing pas-de-deux porn in silhouette in front of frozen frames is living proof that the idea Allen’s is exhausted. Besides the surrounds with Allen explaining the film, there’s also plenty of accompaniment, including footage of folk rock band The Lovin’ Spoonful (interspersed with Japanese kids dancing in a nightclub). ) in a cameo not conceived by Allen.

To go back to the hilarity that possessed my ten-year-old self, I didn’t even fully understand the jokes; For example, the passage Mia Hama, here reenacts as “Teri Yaki” (what shall I tell you about the racist humour?) Phil Moscowitz’s request, “Name three the president”. “Roosevelt… Jefferson…” Moskowitz stammered, then Teri unfolded the towel that was her only outfit at the moment. Moskowitz raised an eyebrow and exclaimed “Lincoln?” It took me almost ten years to find out that one. The movie stayed with me, making me uncomfortable at times. As it happens, here’s my first look at Japanese actor Tatsuya Mihashi, who’s pretty strict in his role as “Phil Moskowitz”. But he has his serious side, which he shows in films directed by masters like Akira Kurosawa and Kon Ichikawa. Ah, do I remember watching Kurosawa’s amazing 1960s urban crime epic Sleep well for the first time and choked slightly at Mihashi’s entrance: “Is PHIL MOSCOWITZ in here?”

So how does it matter in our current atmosphere? Strictly speaking from where I sit – well, where I am sitting is the position of an elderly white heterosexual male who is not Japanese, Jewish or woman, so I guess where I am sitting is not particularly relevant in this case. But for what it’s worth…

I think this voiced doc is so deeply embedded in the aforementioned absurdity that it’s difficult to create a real vehement debate about it. Even when Louise Lasser (the manga actress who was Allen’s wife at the time) put the words “God, I’m a puzzle piece” in Akiko Wakabayashi’s mouth while the actress twirled around in a red bikini. However, for viewers less inclined to cut back on humor, any stagnation of context won’t tend to spark it.

WHAT UP, TIGER LILY ?, Woody Allen, China Lee, 1966
Photo: Everett Collection

And contemporary audiences from all walks of life will likely enjoy the introduction and ending of the film starring Allen. In it he works extremely hard on his smug personality. “Like all timid people, his arrogance knew no bounds,” Orson Welles once said of Allen. Arrogance is said to be funny in the mock interview introduction, in which Allen explains his methods. It’s most evident in the film’s closing credits, in which Allen lounges on the couch, sipping an apple, while the sculpturally handsome China Lee, a friend who plays Playboy once a month and then the wife of stand-up comedian Mort Sahl, whom Allen reveres, stripped off her skin-tight dress and then some particularly elaborate lingerie pieces. The end credits scroll slowly, reading at a passage “If you’re reading this book instead of looking at the girl, go see your psychologist or go to a good ophthalmologist.” Then an eye test is shown, ar ar ar.

The business ended with Allen telling the audience, “I promised to put her in the movie. Somewhere.” (Strangely, his voice is voiced here, with someone else’s.) This couch joke is widely considered a harmless daytime prank, friend. believe it or not.

Veteran reviewer Glenn Kenny reviews new releases on RogerEbert.com, the New York Times, and for seniors, AARP magazine. He blogs, very occasionally, at Some come running and tweets, mostly jest, at @glenn__kenny. He is the author of the acclaimed 2020 book Made Men: The Story of Goodfellas, published by Hanover Square Press.

Where to watch? What happened to Tiger Lily

https://decider.com/2021/11/20/the-problematics-whats-up-tiger-lily/ ‘What’s Up Tiger Lily’ shows Woody Allen stripping


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