I mean he’d still be competent as director… but what if just the sight of him either made you Wretch or want to throw half bricks at him until he was either read or gone… and you really didn’t care which…?
I was just about to say, what do you mean by “what if?”
Speaking for myself, I could care less about Woody Allen’s personal life. So he (may have) slept with his 18-year-old stepdaughter, who cares. I just don’t think he’s a good enough filmmaker to care, he’s one of the most overrated movie directors out there. Maybe I’m just not Jewish enough or New York enough to “get” his style, but recently I watched Annie Hall for the first time and thought, “Really? That’s it? BFD.”
Hilariously (well, not really), Mia Farrow is a big defender of Polanski, which tells you all you need to know about the moral incoherency of 21st century America.
I’ve never cared to watch a Woody Allen film, and I have no particular intention of doing so now. I could obviously care less about the fact that she was 18 (age differences can be a healthy and enriching thing, depending on what people are looking for in a relationship, and my personal attractions skew that direction myself). I care a lot about the fact that she was in a quasi-familial relationship with him, and I say that as a member (genetically, at least) of one the most inbred major ethnic groups on the planet. It’s utterly disgusting, and it brings with it the risk of emboldening other people all over the world who want to pursue quasi incestuous relationships. These sorts of taboos exist for a good reason, and if Woody Allen chooses to violate one, then he can keep his movies to himself.
I might be a bit hypocritical here since I still appreciate Phil Spector’s music, and Don Drummond’s, in spite of them both murdering women, but at least they actually paid the price in prison. Woody allen, not so much.
The Sun Yi secret affair thing and the daughter molestation accusations. No one can really know for certain about the daughter abuse allegations. There was a serious investigation by the police that concluded his daughter was not abused during visitation given that they were rarely if even alone together as she claimed during her visits. There’s also one of her brothers stating Mia Farrow’s white hot anger at Allen caused her to manipulate these allegations out of her daughter.
The Sun Yi thing is a fact and even if it wasn’t illegal, this is the 20 year old non-bio daughter in a blended family you are deeply woven into. On that decision alone he deserves the label “creep” ethically and morally. It doesn’t make him a bad artist but it also doesn’t make him an especially good man or father.
Doesn’t he just have a smallish cult following left these days anyway? I thought he’s pretty much a spent force who made his biggest cultural impact in the 70s and 80s and the world has since moved on. It’s as if there would be a big scandal about Meat Loaf.
Possibly you’ve never watched or even heard of Mighty Aphrodite, Sweet and Lowdown, Match Point, Blue Jasmine or the positively magical Midnight in Paris. Even a so-called “bad” Woody Allen film is far superior to the vast majority of fare that gets put out.
And as for Soon-yi, they’ll have been happily married for 19 years come this December, longer than a lot of Hollywood marriages and still going strong.
Polanski, I’d happily see in jail. As he is not in jail, I’ll happily see any new works he puts out because his work is generally excellent.
The allegations against Allen that actually qualify as criminal are severely compromised (molestation of his young daughter). There’s plenty to cast doubt. I do believe that the daughter truly believes that it happened but it had been an important “truth” in her life since she was very young so I would expect her to believe it happened whether it happened or not. Anyway, the allegations are compromised enough that I have no problem assuming innocence.
The Soon-Yi thing doesn’t bother me.
I am a pretty devoted Woody Allen fan and I would agree that this is more or less true.
I also agree that this is true.
However, and speaking as a devoted fan- I still go to see every release on opening weekend- I think he’s mostly been putting out lesser works for the past 15 years. Since he puts out a film a year, that adds up to quite a lot of lesser works.
21 years ago, sure it’s post-70s/80s but not a strong argument for current relevance.
17 years ago.
11 years ago.
3 years ago and 5 years ago. O.K., now you’re getting reasonably current.
For the past 15 years, most of his films wouldn’t rank alongside the likes of the Greats like Love and Death, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Zelig, Hannah and Her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Bullets Over Broadway, Deconstructing Harry, etc.
Excellent Films from the past 15 years:
[li]Melinda and Melinda, 2004[/li][li]Match Point, 2005[/li][li]Midnight in Paris, 2011[/li][li]Blue Jasmine, 2013[/li][/ul] Good Films that remain memorable from the past 15 years
[li]Curse of the Jade Scorpion, 2001[/li][li]Anything Else, 2003[/li][li]Vicky Cristina Barcelona, 2008[/li][/ul] Well Done Films that are nonetheless not particularly memorable from the past 15 years
[li]Scoop, 2006[/li][li]Magic in the Moonlight, 2014[/li][li]Cafe Society, 2016[/li][/ul] Not Especially Good Films from the past 15 years
[li]You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, 2010[/li][li]To Rome With Love, 2012[/li][li]Irrational Man, 2015[/li][/ul] Films that are Pretty Lousy (by Woody Allen standards anyway) from the past 15 years
[li]Hollywood Ending, 2002[/li][li]Cassandra’s Dream, 2007[/li][li]Whatever Works, 2009[/li][/ul]
Of course, the sheer volume of work, especially at his advanced age, is damned well impressive. And I could happily rewatch anything except for the bottom six films listed above. But compare the past 15 years to 1969-1984 (Take the Money and Run to Broadway Danny Rose), or 1985-2000 (Purple Rose of Cairo to Small Time Crooks). The final third of his career has easily been substandard to the first two thirds of his career.
I’ve maintained that general rule for a while now. Basically, I appreciate and admire certain celebrities for their talents and skills. However, I don’t care about or vouch for their personal lives. For one thing, we very rarely get a complete picture from public sources and, secondly, we haven’t walked in their shoes. Looking deeper into it, many successful artists are great at what they do due to some kind of internal strife or turmoil. As a philosophy professor once said to me: “When does an oyster produce a pearl? When it is irritated inside.”
Polanski bothers me more. Not only are his crimes more serious (assuming Allen’s molestation charges are bunk) but Hollywood just falls all over itself defending Polanski. That is what makes people “hate” Hollywood.
Plus, I think Polanski’s movies, collectively, are not as good as Allen’s.
I liked “Sweet and Lowdown” and “Midnight in Paris” when I was watching them, but don’t consider them particularly memorable or want to see them again. I’m fairly sure that’s the only Allen from the past 20 years I’ve bothered to see.
Somebody in my neighborhood was throwing out a bunch of Allen DVDs last week, and I admit to fishing out “Bananas” and “Sleeper” to take home.
On the other hand, I think Polanski’s a fucking genius. I wish he’d kept his scumbag tendencies in check enough to have allowed him to make a lot more movies.