Friday, August 15, 2008

How Do You Feel About Woody Allen?

Quoting myself from Althouse, where she lauds the new Allen movie Kathy Alameda Catalonia or whatever it's called.

Allen movies are disturbing.

Doesn't matter whether they're the early comedies or the Manhattan-based dramas or this latest more generic seeming stuff. They all disturb.

They disturb in the way Glen and Glenda disturbs, though obviously with a lot more technical skill.

We're living in a man's neuroses for two hours. He's proficient enough to costume them, somewhat, but they get under your skin.

I've been told people are more likely to have nightmares after seeing one of his movies than they are after seeing a horror movie. I don't know if that's true but it wouldn't surprise me.

But, hey, that's just my opinion (and it well predates the whole Soon Yi thing). You go ahead and enjoy the guy.

I'm not actually sold on the creepiness of the Soon Yi thing. I mean, it sure seems creepy. But it's probably a good word of warning to women not to bring men into their lives if they have daughters who might be competition.

Is that horrible to say? Probably. I think it's also probably true.

The other message, though, is probably about not marrying narcissists.

(This is the kind of thing that gets me into trouble over there.)


  1. OK I'll bite. I already wrote some of this over there.

    Mia and Woody were already together when she adopted Soon Yi as a 3 yr old. Woody also had alarmingly inappropriate behavior with a little girl they adopted later. When she was a toddler, he'd come home, scoop her up, ignore everyone else, and take her into another room; he'd manically chase her around til she cried; ignore all the other children and focus on her; all sorts of weird stuff. He was in therapy for it. He had an issue with children, not just attractive young women. And Mia was an idiot to let him stay around.

    But it's probably a good word of warning to women not to bring men into their lives if they have daughters who might be competition.

    I have a 1 yr old girl. If my husband died tomorrow, should I just give up on dating and marriage until she's graduated from college, and has completely moved out of the house? That's a disturbing thought--that she would be an irresistible temptation. Is the average male that much in thrall to young ass? Surely not. I hope to god not!

  2. Dude he's a kid toucher, pure and simple. If he wanted some strange, you have to look somewhere other than your step daughter. Sorry no excuses or pleas bargains. Plus as I wrote on Althouse I think he is an over praised talentless hack that will be barely a footnote in movie history fifty years from now. Tyler Perry for West Side intellectuals and elitists. But once again as I said on Blondies blog, if nuance is your cup of tea, knock yourself out. It takes all kinds to make a world. I mean some people even like Merchant and Ebony and Ivory. Good luck with that.

  3. Knox, Blake doesn't mean that. He's not that kind of guy. Me either. There are lots of other men who aren't that kind of guy. But Woody is that kind of guy.

  4. Knox,

    I'm not that familiar with the situation; it's not something I follow. I was under the vague misapprehension that Soon-Yi was, like, sixteen when Woody entered the picture.

    Also, I don't know about the average male. I really, really don't. It's taken me years to get to where I can pass. Heh.

    But I think you nailed it when you said Mia was an idiot to let him stay around.

    Yes. The guy demonstrates serious narcissism, fascination with young women, and borderline obsession with children.

    Obviously, you're not letting that guy in the house, yes?

    Also if the guy has a penchant for painting pictures of pubescent girls, or likes to hang out at the high school, etc.

    Presumably your creep-o-meter is better than Mia's and that of a lot of women.

  5. Well, Troop, that's the "danger" of not following the celebrity news.

    A guy who acted the way knox describes around me would be lucky to leave with all his teeth.

    In that respect, I think I can speak for the average guy: We're wired to defend the defenseless.

    I just thought the guy made creepy movies. Even when they're basically good movies, they creep me out. This long predates me knowing anything about the guy's private life.

  6. Well you see most people who know the details really have no use for him and will speak out on it like knox and me. But too many people just excuse it to seem sophisticated. I call bullshit. There is no excuse for that douche and I refuse to give him any money even if they hired him to direct Spiderman vs Superman. That's just how I roll.

  7. Blake, I guess what you meant was "not to bring CREEPY men into their lives if they have daughters who might be competition." That makes more sense to me.

    I know a lot about the situation because of the Politically Incorrect show I talked about on Althouse. I remember getting home from work late at night, watching it and thinking: Wow. If Bill Maher is actually outraged by someone's behavior, then there must be something here. So I read Mia Farrow's book.

    I loved Woody Allen's movies at the time, I'll admit it. I didn't want to, but I found it to be undeniably believable. Too many details, too many odd behaviors that just sounded like "nobody could make this up" and they just fit in to that Woody Allen persona we all know. Readeriam obviously doesn't agree, fair enough. But she also immediately went to the "blame Mia" thing, which A LOT of people do when the Woody Allen conversation comes up. I don't like that one bit. Mia was stupid and yes, weird in a lot of ways--she was a child star after all--but she took all those kids in and he preyed on them.

    I always start writing too much on this subject. But the same things trooper complains about bother me: sometimes it seems like people just can't wait to either defend him or sort of blithely discount the situation. (I'm not putting you in that group) And I hate that all the actors line up to be in his movies, especially the young women.

    *phew* Okay, I'm done.

  8. Ah, I see the way I phrased that left a lot to be desired.

    The unwritten subscript there is "Don't bring a man into your life if he's also the sort that would be interested in your daughter." And the particular thing I was thinking of was the situation where mom is 40 and daughter is 19, and the guy courts the elder while eyeing the younger.

    The Jerry Springer situation, if you will. That apparently also happens on the Upper West Side.

    Although, yeah, the whole, "I've been your dad for 15 years, let's hook up" thing brings it all to a whole new level of creepy.

  9. Actually, I was most worried that I was going to be called an anti-semite for not liking his movies.


    You have to recall the Jimi Hendrix thing to get that.

  10. Just for the record, I got turned off Woody Allen when he made Take The Money And Run. It had some good sight gags and clever lines--and I felt unclean after watching it.

    Since then, I've reconfirmed that feeling with Annie Hall, Hannah and her Sisters, Broadway Danny Rose, and Match Point.

    I thought the last might be okay--and it was the only one I went to of my own accord, the rest were on urgings of others who paid for the tickets--because he'd seemed to extract himself from his movies.

    But there was same old feeling again. Like I'm looking at--and living in--someone's crazy for two hours.

    Oh, I also saw Play It Again, Sam, which Herbert Ross directed--same thing.

    Allen was probably the first guy to make me realize that if all the critics like it, it's likely to be crap.

    I don't get the claims of "sophistication" at all, FWIW. Although for some "sophistication" is a code word for "weird sexual practices".

    Sophistication in movie-making terms is something like Memento, where you have to pay close attention to subtleties in order to get what's going on.

    Neurotic people acting neurotic is just neurotic. :-)

  11. if all the critics like it, it's likely to be crap.

    isn't it though


Grab an umbrella. Unleash hell. Your mileage may vary. Results not typical. If swelling continues past four hours, consult a physician.