Woody Allen’s films achieve a very particular duality. Effortlessly shifting from the wound-up, neurotic jokes he makes to the deep moral conundrums his characters face, he laces his films with a balance that often resembles the actual drama and comedy of real life, for better or worse. These moments of levity and seriousness are always anchored to the films’ larger moods, which are themselves bound to his deliberate and inspired use of music. Manhattan kicks off with Gershwin’s ecstatic Rhapsody in Blue, the jazzy crescendos and woozy melodies of which set the tempo and timbre for the rest of the film. For Love and Death the director chose Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s music from Alexander Nevsky and Lieutenant Kijé, both of which lent the film a particular sense of folkiness and pomp, perfectly mediating the screenplay’s reliance on slapstick comedy and black humor. This playlist collects a number of the director’s most inspired musical selections.