November 17, 2007

Woody Allen's favorites of his own films are "The Purple Rose of Cairo," "Match Point," and "Husbands and Wives"...

... with "Stardust Memories" and "Zelig" at the second rank:
He expresses bafflement over the high regard in which “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan” continue to be held (“People really latched on to ‘Manhattan’ in a way that I thought was irrational,” he says) and makes a strong case for “Manhattan Murder Mystery”...
Eh. I think he's just unnerved that his 2 best films are among his earliest. And he's got all the credit he could possible get for "Annie Hall" and "Manhattan," so the strategy for reaping more credit is to promote the other films.

The link is to a review of a new book, Eric Lax's "Conversations with Woody Allen." I'm sure a lot of you, when the subject is Woody Allen, think first of his sexual misadventures. How does the book deal with that?
Unprompted, [Allen] brings up the subject with Lax, conflating the people who criticized the age difference between his and Mariel Hemingway’s characters in “Manhattan” with those who were up in arms about him and Soon-Yi. “Speaking of Soon-Yi,” Allen says, “it is ironic that my marriage to her, which was seen by many as so irrational, to me is the one relationship in my life that worked.”
And the aptly named Lax leaves it at that. If you were really a good conversationalist — good enough to sell books with titles that begin "Conversations with..." — you ought to be able to think of a hundred ways to prod your interlocutor to reveal something here.

What does it mean to say that a relationship "works"? Is there some sense in which you mean that your partner works for you? In "Wild Man Blues," Soon-Yi seemed to be managing you, moving you along in a positive way. Do you think perhaps the women your age expected you to do a little working for them? Or do you imagine that a relationship just works or doesn't? Do you still think a relationship is like a shark? That it has to constantly move forward or it dies? What does Soon-Yi do that keeps the shark going forward? And are you appropriately animate for a human being in the context in which you exist? Is that a robotic shark?

95 comments:

rhhardin said...

Perhaps doing something for him is doing something for her, she finds.

Also vice versa.

A relationship moving forward is a technical term in feminism. The shark is a nice symbol here, a little overdetermined.

rcocean said...

Sandy Bates: But shouldn't I stop making movies and do something that counts, like-like helping blind people or becoming a missionary or something?

Voice of Martian: Let me tell you, you're not the missionary type. You'd never last. And-and incidentally, you're also not Superman; you're a comedian. You want to do mankind a real service? Tell funnier jokes.

Fan in Lobby: Can I talk to you about an idea for a film I have?
Sandy Bates: This is not the place.
Fan in Lobby: Do you have a moment, please? It's a comedy based on that whole Guyana mass suicide.

Gahrie said...

The only Woody Allen film I've ever liked was Bananas.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I actually agree that "Manhattan" is overrated but I think Ann is right about his motivation. My favorite is still "Love and Death"-- he told funnier jokes. Smart guys, these Martians.

Palladian said...

"Manhattan Murder Mystery" is a really good light movie written, as was "Manhattan", by Allen and Marshall Brickman.

People love "Manhattan" because of the cinematography, which is funny because it's a paean to an old, Deco-inspired New York filmed in New York at possibly its filthiest, most dangerous nadir, the late 70s.

I haven't seen any of Woody's movies since the execrable "Everyone Says I Love You", but I used to quite like his work and, although I admire his work ethic (putting out a movie a year since near the beginning of his career) I do think he would benefit from a bit more caution and care. Throw in an equal measure of the visual acuity and meticulous planning of Stanley Kubrick. Now there's a terrifying directorial combination...

rcocean said...

So, Woody has inducted "Manhattan" and "Annie Hall" into the Academy of the Overrated.

I agree with the selections, but I think Steep and Keaton were hilarious in "Manhattan". Almost every Woody movie has 20-30 minutes of brilliant stuff; the problem is the other 90 minutes.

Trooper York said...

My favorite Woody Allen film was Lolita. The one with the Korean subtitles.

Charlie Eklund said...

In the dark and distant past, I enjoyed Woody Allen's work tremendously. I bought his books, went to his films and even bought a couple of books about him, one of which was also written by Eric Lax. That all ended with his affair and subsequent marriage to a girl who was, practically, his own step-daughter.

At that moment, with his "the heart wants what it wants" and that "artists don't have to live by the same rules as everybody else" attitude...an attitude Allen actually verbalized at least once, though I can't find it online at the moment...well, this whole matter just made it clear what a phoney Woody Allen really is.

Pathetic.

Revenant said...

I think he's just unnerved that his 2 best films are among his earliest.

Well "earliER", maybe, but he'd made six or seven films over eight years before he made "Annie Hall", and "Cairo", "Stardust Memories", and "Zelig" followed pretty much right after those. I don't think he's afraid to say that his earlier movies were his best -- the only recent film he lists as a favorite is "Match Point", which is generally considered one of his best by critics, too. Personally, though, I think "Manhattan" is his best movie.

In "Wild Man Blues," Soon-Yi seemed to be managing you, moving you along in a positive way.

I thought that movie made it clear that Soon-Yi was in no way a victim. She came across as having a very strong personality and being willing to tell Allen what he's doing wrong. It is hard to explain, but after watching it I could see how they worked as a couple.

Blake said...

I didn't get Annie Hall.

I find his movies...disturbing. Even Herbert Ross's Play It Again, Sam, which made me laugh at points, was unsettling.

I saw Match Point in the theater and couldn't decide whether or not I liked it. I think he's talented but something about his worldview strikes me as deeply off, and always has. (And I have no opinion on whether the Soon-Yi relationship is a factor or reflection of that.)

Cedarford said...

Kind of sucks for such a serious Artiste - but Allen, as well as his high-browed fans - the boomers of the NYTimes following, Jewish Intelligensia, and Manhattanites - and some French - have to live with the unsavory truth that the other 99% of humanity like his earlier stuff. The Philistines! And I don't mean Annie All and Manhattan...

I mean Bananas, Sleeper, Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex, Take the Money and Run.

And my favorite, Love and Death - which was intelligent, well-directed, and magnificently funny.

Whatever.
But if I was a critic, I'd say it was all downhill after 1973. Which is why I'm not a NYC-based critic....such crass views of The Genius would get oneself ostracized from West Side or Village dinner soirees.
Still, I'd bet people 50 years from now will have some of his comedies on their lists of classics, while his pretentious later crap is forgotten.

Also, with Allen, a good or unfortunate thing about him - depending how you see it - is longevity genetics. His parents were very long-lived - 101, and 97 - so Allen has odds of being around 2-3 decades more.

Luckyoldson said...

Ann says: "Eh. I think he's just unnerved that his 2 best films are among his earliest."

According to who...you?

He's written over 50 movies, directed over 40, and many are just as highly regarded by people who have followed his career, including:

Match Point
Small Time Crooks
Deconstructing Harry
Mighty Aphrodite
Bullets Over Broadway
Husbands and Wives
Crimes and Misdemeanors (my personal favorite)
Radio Days
Hannah and Her Sisters
Interiors
Sleeper
Play It Again, Sam
Bananas
Take the Money and Run
What's Up, Tiger Lily?

Luckyoldson said...

Gahrie said..."The only Woody Allen film I've ever liked was Bananas."

Get out much? Bananas was released 36 years ago.

Luckyoldson said...

Charlie Eklund said..."That all ended with his affair and subsequent marriage to a girl who was, practically, his own step-daughter."

No she wasn't.

Luckyoldson said...

Blake said..."I didn't get Annie Hall."

You're kidding, right?

Luckyoldson said...

cedarford says: "But if I was a critic, I'd say it was all downhill after 1973."

You're not only not a critic, you're out of your mind...all of these films were made after 1973:

Match Point
Small Time Crooks
Deconstructing Harry
Mighty Aphrodite
Bullets Over Broadway
Husbands and Wives
Crimes and Misdemeanors (my personal favorite)
Radio Days
Hannah and Her Sisters
Annie Hall
Love and Death
Interiors

Gahrie said...

LOS:

Learn to read. I didn't say I hadn't seen any Woody Allen movies over the last twenty years...I said the only Allen film I liked was Bananas, not the only one I've seen was Bananas.

Gahrie said...

Somehow it doesn't surprise me that LOS is a fervent defender of Woody Allen.

Palladian said...

Wouldn't it be funny if LOS was Woody Allen?

Woody is best when he's not trying to be a New York Jewish Bergman. The only one of the cod-Bergman films that I think works is "Crimes and Misdemeanors".

"Radio Days" is another wonderful one, and one of his least cynical. "Husbands and Wives" is painful to watch, but extraordinarily well-acted and shot in a disconcerting reality-show style by the great cinematographer Carlo Di Palma, who brilliantly shot Antonioni's "Blow-Up".

I definitely will push "Manhattan Murder Mystery" again as the perfect light movie, and maybe the last movie with Woody and Diane Keaton showing their great chemistry.

Luckyoldson said...

Gahrie,
I understand what you said.

My point is this: I think you're out of your mind if that was the ONLY movie Allen made that you liked.

I liked it, too, but c'mon...36 years ago?

Luckyoldson said...

Gahrie said..."Somehow it doesn't surprise me that LOS is a fervent defender of Woody Allen."

And what exactly does that mean?

He's highly regarded and respected throughout the entire world...and you find it "surprising" that I would defend him?

Allen is an intellectual and a fantastic writer, director and film maker.

Trooper York said...

Issac Davis: She's 17. I'm 42 and she's 17. I'm older than her father, can you believe that? I'm dating a girl, wherein, I can beat up her father.
Mary Wilke: Isn't she a little old for you.
Issac Davis: Well maybe she has a daughter.
Mary Wilke: She's way to young to have a daughter.
Issac Davis: Hey she could adopt. I hear they are having a special on Chinese babies this year.
(Manhattan 1979)

JohnAnnArbor said...

He's a creepy bordeline-pedophile pervert; I have no need to learn anything more about him. Rosie O'Donnell and I rarely agree, but we do on this one. (I saw her launch into a rant in a stand-up routine once years ago. She even worked in her agent's reaction, telling her not to talk about the slimeball that way, because so many "important" people still liked him!)

Luckyoldson said...

JohnAnnArbor said..."He's a creepy bordeline-pedophile pervert; I have no need to learn anything more about him."

And yet another frigging moron rears his ugly head.

Duh.

Gahrie said...

LOS:

I bet your second favorite director is your Roman Polanski.

I will grant you that Woody Allen has long been a favorite among the intellectural elites.

Luckyoldson said...

gahrie,
Yes, I do like Polanski, he's another fantastic film maker and a pretty decent actor, too.

You know, it's one thing to not like a performers work, it's all subjective, but Allen has been a long time favorite of the "elites" as you call them, along with millions of people throughout the world for about 40 years.

What is it about people on intelligence that scares you so much...and what the hell have YOU ever done that's worthy of your silly and infantile criticism of Woody Allen?

Have you ever read any of Allen's books, seen his stand-up routines from years ago, listened to him play the clarinet? He was making about $1,000 a week as a teenager, selling jokes and routines to people like Sid Caesar.

Get back to me when you've done 1/1000th of what Allen's accomplished in his life.

Trooper York said...

Poopdeck Pappy: Stand to, you swab! You're casking shadows on Poopdeck Pappy. Pride of the Pacifiric. And father to the shark. Brother to the piranhaca. Cousin to the killer whale. And uncle to the octupussy.
(Popeye 1980)

rcocean said...

I'm going to half-defend Woody.
Soon-yi was over 18 and was Mia Farrow adapted daughter. The two never got along since Soon-yi was Kid #21 and got lost in the crowd. And Mia and Woody were never married. So let's not pin a statutory rape charge on him.

And Soon-yi married him and no one put a gun to her head. That said, its rather weird that a wealthy, famous movie director pushing 60 with women throwing themselves at him can't do better than his girlfriend's 18 year old step daughter.

But Polanski is a child rapist and is pond scum.

Titustk said...

I love his movies.

My favorites are Bullets Over Broadway; Husband and Wives; Stardust Memories and Match Point.

What's the one where the giant boob is chasing him? I like that one too.

Luckyoldson said...

rcocean said..."But Polanski is a child rapist and is pond scum."

That's a flat out lie and of course, you're a frigging dolt.

Luckyoldson said...

rcocean: Polanski was indicted on six criminal counts, and pleaded guilty to one charge of unlawful sexual intercourse. He completed 42 days of court-ordered psychiatric observation in prison and had been released on bail pending sentencing when he fled to France, where he's lived ever since.

Trooper York said...

Sgt. Lucas: Do you believe in Fairy Tales?
Walter: Fairy Tales?
Sgt. Lucas: Yeah, like Alice in Wonderland.
Walter: No.
Sgt. Lucas: Yeah, yeah, me neither. What's that one with the Woodsman?
Walter: Woodsman?
Sgt. Lucas: Yeah, with the ax?
Walter: I don't know.
Sgt. Lucas: Yeah, you know it. The Woodsman, he cuts open the wolf's stomach and the little girl come out alive...
Walter: Little Red Riding Hood.
Sgt. Lucas: Little Red Riding Hood! That's it! That's it. The Woodsman, he cuts open the wolf's stomach, the girl comes out without a scratch... You ever see a seven-year-old sodomized in half? She was so small, just broken. I saw 20-year vets on that job. Hard guys, they just broke down and cried. I was there, I cried... There ain't no fucking woodsman in this world.
(The Woodsman 2004)

Gedaliya said...

I also love his movies. "Crimes and Misdemeanors" is an almost perfect movie, as is "Break Point." I loved "Annie Hall," "Manhattan," and even "Interiors."

In fact, I am one of those that finds his early comedies (before "Annie Hall") to be uninteresting and largely dated.

In my view he's a genius and the most important (and influential) film maker of his generation.

jeff said...

"Geimer was 13 when Polanski, then 44, told her mother he wanted to take pictures of her for a French magazine at a photo session in Los Angeles. He gave her champagne and a drug that causes drowsiness, then had sex with her at a house owned by Jack Nicholson on Mulholland Drive.

"It was not consensual sex by any means," wrote Geimer in her article. "I said no repeatedly but he wouldn't take no for an answer. I was alone and I didn't know what to do. It was very scary and, looking back, very creepy."

So clearly not rape, rcocean. Watch it throwing those slurs around. Plus he makes movies. Do you make movies? I didn't think so. You have no idea what it's like to have a number one album. Err, I mean movie.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Polanski's assault. The one he ran to Europe to avoid justice on. France is more "understanding" regarding crime in general and sex assaults in particular. "Understanding" in the sense of tolerating them.

Luckyoldson said...

Polanski was set up by the mother for blackmail.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Sure. Keep saying that. That's why he'll be arrested the next time he touches American soil.

Luckyoldson said...

Trooper,
Do you ever post anything of your own?

Why not just copy and paste the entire Bacon script?

jeff said...

"Polanski was set up by the mother for blackmail."

Absolutely correct. We know this because Polanski said so himself. I think he was put under some exotic drug like you see in a James Bond movie, forcing him to photograph her, feed her Quaalude's and champaign and have sex with the 13 year old. He was clearly the victim here. He directed Chinatown, you know. Have you ever directed Chinatown? I thought not. Well, you don't get to judge unless or until you direct a Chinatown. Get back to me when you do.

Trooper York said...

Hans Bercket: It's there all the time, driving me out to wander the streets, following me, silently, but I can feel it there. It's me, pursuing myself! I want to escape, to escape from myself! But it's impossible. I can't escape, I have to obey it. I have to run, run... endless streets. I want to escape, to get away! And I'm pursued by ghosts. Ghosts of mothers and of those children... they never leave me. They are always there... always, always, always!, except when I do it, when I... Then I can't remember anything. And afterwards I see those posters and read what I've done, and read, and read... did I do that? But I can't remember anything about it! But who will believe me? Who knows what it's like to be me? How I'm forced to act... how I must, must... don't want to, must! Don't want to, but must! And then a voice screams! I can't bear to hear it! I can't go on! I can't... I can't...
Lucky: Thats ok, you made some movies I like.
(M, 1931)

Luckyoldson said...

JohnAnnArbor,
The Polanski story is old, old, old news and has many sides to it.

I assume you also know the supposed "victim" has nothing bu nice things to say about him these days...

Come out of the cave...

Luckyoldson said...

JohnAnnArbor,

Polanski victim speaks out

Today she's 39 years old, but she still finds it hard get out from under the shadow of what happened to her when she was 13. Kaua`i resident Samantha Geimer — then Samantha Gailey..."I guess people want to me to be really angry and hateful toward him; honestly, I don't feel that way. I think he's a really good director."

She also said she can't fathom why people are still talking about something that happened a quarter of a century ago.

jeff said...

"I assume you also know the supposed "victim" has nothing bu nice things to say about him these days..."

Yeah, you guys act like there is something wrong with a 44 year old man to drug a 13 year old girl and have sex with her, then flee the country. This is the sort of attitude I expect from George Bush's America. There are many sides to a 44 man forcing a 13 year old girl to have sex with him. Plus this was close to 30 years ago. Move on. As the girl fondly says about him: ""What he does for a living and how good he is at it have nothing to do with me or what he did to me . . . I think Academy members should vote for the movies they feel deserve it. Not the people they feel are popular." She added: "I don't have any hard feelings toward him, or any sympathy either. He is a stranger to me."
Would she speak about him with such affection and say such nice things if she was anything more than a supposed victim? I think not. He married Sharon Tate, you know. Have you ever married a Sharon Tate? I thought so. Get back to me when you marry a Sharon Tate.

Luckyoldson said...

Trooper,
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, another cut and paste job.

And soooooooooooooooooo interesting, too.

But what does a child murderer have to do with Roman or Woody?

Luckyoldson said...

Jeffrey,
Why the obsession with Roman Polanski?

Jealous?

Luckyoldson said...

Since we have so many here who are so obsessed with Polanski...and child molestation charges...what's your buddy, Mark Foley doing these days?

rcocean said...

LOS,

Your support of Polanski is so typically liberal and progressive. How much did you give the ACLU this month?

And the French are so open minded; see Polanski and Einhorn. Vive La France.

Gahrie said...

Oh this is just too perfect...now he's defending Polanski too!

LOS is there any deviant behavior you won't defend?

Trooper York said...

You know what Lucky, you are right. I apologize. You would think after all these months of reading your opinions, I would know that child molesters are your kind of people. Enjoy.

Gahrie said...

LOS:

1) Foley had no sexual contact with a minor.

2) When Foley's actions were disclosed Conservative and Republics immediately ostracized him. As opposed to the way the Democratic Party treated Gary Stubbs who did far worse, and was lionized by Congressional Democrats.

Luckyoldson said...

Hey, did you assholes hear the news?

Roman Polanski is in France.

And Trooper, suck my dick.

jeff said...

Question for the group:

The statement:
"Jeffrey,
Why the obsession with Roman Polanski?

Jealous?"

Irony or hypocrisy? Or something else?

Your answers are appreciated.

zzRon said...

"In my view he's a genius and the most important (and influential) film maker of his generation."

I am more than willing to admit that perhaps I just don't get it. So, I would appreciate if you could educate me as to how Mr. Allen's films (in the whole scheme of things) are or were of any "importance" at all. Thanks :-).

Luckyoldson said...

Gahrie,
In 2004, Foley sent five e-mails to a 16-year-old former page from Monroe, Louisiana[16] sponsored by Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA). They were the first messages to be made public in the scandal.

Among other things, Foley asked for a photo of the page, his age and birthday, and what he wanted for a birthday present.

16 years old...what do you think he was planning for this kid?

Luckyoldson said...

zzron asks: "I would appreciate if you could educate me as to how Mr. Allen's films (in the whole scheme of things) are or were of any "importance" at all. Thanks :-)."

Well, in the same way any great artist's work is.

Are you daft?

JohnAnnArbor said...

No one here's defending Foley.

You're the one defending a rapist and a deviant.

Or, as you call them, artists.

Trooper York said...

Lucky must you continue to cut and paste the works of Voltaire, why can't you come up with your own witty rejoinders.

Luckyoldson said...

Jeffrey,
In your case, I say jealousy.

jeff said...

He was clearly being set up for blackmail by the boys mother. Thank God he never actually had any sexual contact with the boy. Then we would have had to wait 30 years and see what the boy had to say at age 46 to decide. Dodged a bullet there.

john said...

This is rather disappointing, as my choice is either not to post or to agree with LOS. Crimes and Misdemeanors is also my favorite Woody Allen movie. And not just because he wasn't in it. Radio Days and Purple Rose ties for second.

Love and Death on the other hand was prophetic:

Priest: "I have lived many years and after many trials and tribulations I have come to the conclusion that the best thing is.."

Sonja: "Yes?"

Priest: "..blond 12 year old girls,

Sanja: "Father!"

Priest: "Two of them whenever possible."

(Apologies to Trooper.)

zzRon said...

"And Trooper, suck my dick."

Your true colors are showing, Lucky ;-).

Luckyoldson said...

Trooper,
Why are you so concerned with others here thinking you're some kind of wit?

Cutting and pasting what others have already said or written isn't witty, it's stealing.

Luckyoldson said...

zz,
Hey, I'm an artist.

jeff said...

My apologies. I should have clarified I was looking for a response from the non-pedophile defending posters. My bad. Although it is interesting that you answered "jealous" to a series of posts that could have just as easily be confused with yours. Interesting, don't ya think?

Luckyoldson said...

john says: "Love and Death on the other hand was prophetic:"

Really?

In what sense?

Titustk said...

Allen's movies are definitely an acquired taste. I happen to think most our genious. Specifically, the writing, the characters, the humor, the dialog, the neuroses, etc.

They tend to be very NYC or urban centric which is why they generally do awful in terms of box office in the middle of the country. The movies tend to deal with fear of death, relationships, sex, love, guilt.

I especially like many of the women who have been in his movies, with the exception of his new muse Scarlett Johanson. I particularly like Judy Davis, Gena Rowlands, Diane Keaton, Diane Wiest and Mia Farrow.

Luckyoldson said...

Jeffrey,
I have absolutely no idea what the fuck you're trying to say.

Take another run at it...

Titustk said...

Speaking of Foley there was an article in the Wash Post saying that he is still with his Plastic Surgeon boyfriend and splitting his time between Beverly Hills and Palm Springs.

Luckyoldson said...

jeff said this about Foley: "Thank God he never actually had any sexual contact with the boy."

How do YOU know?

zzRon said...

"Well, in the same way any great artist's work is."


That is not a very good answer. Besides, I wasnt asking for your opinion. But since you responded, I will follow up with you. How or why is ANY Woody Allen film "important"? Have his films help to feed the hungry? Or help relieve suffering in tht world? How have his movies benefited anyone or anything other than his own pocket book? OK, yeah, his early stuff provided us all with a few laughs, but I can get that at the local pub :-).

Gahrie said...

LOS:

My bad.

I didn't realize sending e-mails to a 16 year old boy was comparable to drugging and raping a 13 year old girl.

And again...I'm not defending Foley. I think he's sick. I just think Stubbs, Allen and Polanski are sick also.

It's called consistency and morality. You ought to try them sometimes.

john said...

Jesus LOS, can't get a date tonight? There's got to be a corollary to Godwins rule here: after 10 posts, LOS invariably wants someone to fellate him.

By the way, the quote from Love and Death was in refrence to Woody Allen, the subject of this thread.

Luckyoldson said...

zz,
Why not just stay away from Woody Allen films, etc.?

Art is subjective.

You don't think his work is "important"...so be it.

Titustk said...

I got my haircut today and my lipstick lesbian hair burner is 8 months pregnant. Her partner is some Wall Street biggie. Its pretty interesting, everyone in the salon knows, but you can tell it is no big deal. Sometimes when I am in these situations I always wonder how people in other parts of the country would respond.


Secondly, I am looking for a new computer. Any suggestions? My max if around $2000.00. Not sure if I should get a Mac or not? Thoughts? I want something fast, where I can download lots of music, videos etc without it getting slow. Also, not sure if I should get a desktop or laptop. I don't go to cafes or anywhere outside so don't know if it makes sense to get a labtop. I do like the thought of not having a bunch of wires though. Any recommendations would be appreciated or sites where I should go and look. Thanks,

Luckyoldson said...

john says: "By the way, the quote from Love and Death was in refrence to Woody Allen, the subject of this thread."

I realize the quote is from his film, but how is it "prophetic?"

Luckyoldson said...

john said..."LOS invariably wants someone to fellate him."

Sorry, I've already got a date with my lovely wife.

Maybe Jeffrey or Trooper could take you up on that offer.

Luckyoldson said...

Gahrie,
You think Woody Allen is "sick?"

zzRon said...

"Why not just stay away from Woody Allen films, etc.?"

I do... mostly. I "got" Annie Hall though :-). I also enjoyed Bannanas, Whats Up Tiger Lilly, and Sleeper. Actually, I have gotten some enjoyment from quite a few of his early movies. Its when he started taking himself too seriously (as did his audience) and thought he was important that I got turned off. Plus, his morality leaves me cold.

Trooper York said...

Where the "wit" comes in is how the reader interprets the post within the context of the discussion on the thread at the time. So I understand that you can only follow it half of the time.

rcocean said...

"The statement:
"Jeffrey,Why the obsession with Roman Polanski? Jealous?"

"Irony or hypocrisy?"

Jeff -just more LOS-ism; ad hominem attacks unworthy of response.

Ann Althouse said...

Luckyoldson said: "'Eh. I think he's just unnerved that his 2 best films are among his earliest.' According to who...you? He's written over 50 movies, directed over 40, and many are just as highly regarded by people who have followed his career..."

Look, I've been following his whole career and have seen more than 30 of his movies, as they came out, often on opening day, and I've watched some of them many times. I've also read his books and listened repeatedly to the recordings of his old stand up routines. I've read the reviews of nearly all of his movies when they came out and I've read about him repeatly over the years. My opinion is based on all that observation.

Gedaliya said...

I want to mention one other Allen film that is a masterpiece, and that is "Hannah and Her Sisters." The score alone is spectacular, and the deeply funny script along with the performances of a marvelous ensemble cast (Lloyd Nolan, Maureen O'Sullivan, Michael Caine, Max von Sydow, Diana Wiest, Barbara Hershey, Mia Farrow, Judy Kavner, Carrie Fisher among others) make for a terrific piece of entertainment, and one that simply does not diminish in quality over time. The movie is as fresh, as relevant and as funny as it was 20 years ago, and that is a rare thing indeed for any movie.

That is one (and a main) reason why Allen is so great...most of his work (especially since Annie Hall) is timeless and will be enjoyed for many generations to come.

How many directors have produced such a large body of work that is watched by one generation to the next with undiminished enjoyment? How many directors also wrote every one of their pictures? Not many, I'm sure.

If you haven't seen the picture, do so. You won't be disappointed.

Luckyoldson said...

Ann,
When you say his "2 best films are among his earliest"...which ones?

These were done between 1986 and 2005:

Match Point
Small Time Crooks
Deconstructing Harry
Mighty Aphrodite
Bullets Over Broadway
Husbands and Wives
New York Stories
Hannah and Her Sisters

Luckyoldson said...

Trooper York said..."Where the "wit" comes in is how the reader interprets the post within the context of the discussion on the thread at the time."

You mean "other people's wit."

Not yours.

Gedaliya said...

These are the films Allen has done between 1986 and 2005

Match Point (2005)
Melinda and Melinda (2004)
Anything Else (2003)
Hollywood Ending (2002)
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001)
Small Time Crooks (2000)
Sweet and Lowdown (1999)
Celebrity (1998)
Deconstructing Harry (1997)
Count Mercury Goes to the Suburbs (1997)
Everyone Says I Love You (1996)
Mighty Aphrodite (1995)
Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)
Husbands and Wives (1992)
Shadows and Fog (1992)
Alice (1990)
Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
New York Stories (1989)
Somebody or The Rise and Fall of Philosophy (1989)
Another Woman (1988)
September (1987)
Radio Days (1987)
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

Pogo said...

Trooper nails it with his quotes and fake quotes. Hilarious.

LOS claims to like Woody Allen movies, but doesn't even get Trooper's asides. I suspect he knows Woody Allen is supposed to be liked because he's a lefty intellectual. But he couldn't possibly get the point in his movies.

I loved his early stuff. His stand-up material was so great. I quit watching Woody Allen when the story came out about dating his girlfriend's daughter. I simply cannot watch his work without thinking God, whatta creep. I don't care what he thinks or says or films. And you can't quote his funny lines anymore; the name casts the words in a negative light, however funny they were.

Gahrie said...

LOS:

We are given three choices in interpreting Allen's actions:

1) He entered into a sexual relationship with the daughter of his long-time girlfriend, 35 years younger than him, who he helped raise from the age of 10 to 22. This makes him at best a cad, and arguably sick.

2) Allen had a longterm relationship with Farrow in which he ignored all of her children except the three they shared (1 biological, 2 adopted). This makes him at least a cad.

3 Allen had a long-term relationship with Farrow, in which he took no part in raising any of her children, including his own. This makes him at best a cad, and arguably sick.

Palladian said...

Judy Davis and Gena Rowlands were wonderful in Allen's films. Davis is a scary ball of nerves in "Husbands and Wives".

I've always hated Allen's pre-Annie Hall films.

Palladian said...

"LOS is there any deviant behavior you won't defend?"

Yes, homosexuality. He hates gays and thinks that implying that people are gay is the worst insult in the world.

John Stodder said...

The LA Times' feature on this book used a very revealing quote from the book that gets to the heart of everything good and bad about Allen:

"There's no question that comedy is harder to do than serious stuff. There's also no question in my mind that comedy is less valuable than serious stuff. It has less of an impact, and I think for a good reason," Allen told Lax in 1972, during the filming of "Sleeper." "When comedy approaches a problem, it kids it but it doesn't resolve it. Drama works through it in a more emotionally fulfilling way. I don't want to sound brutal, but there's something immature, something second-rate in terms of satisfaction when comedy is compared to drama. And it will always be that way. It will never have the stature of 'Death of a Salesman' or 'A Streetcar Named Desire' or 'A Long Day's Journey.' None of it, not the best of it."

Easier, yet more valuable? That's the sound of someone with other voices in his head, confusing him about what's impressive vs. what's important.

The serious flaw in his perspective is he disregards the role of quality. Does a weepy domestic made-for-TV movie have more impact, by virtue of its genre, than a great comedy like "Groundhog Day?" Obviously not.

Just glancing at AFI's list of best comedies (where "Annie Hall" comes in at #4), you see movies of tremendous power that do much more than "kid" about a problem, including, "Dr. Strangelove," "Tootsie," "Duck Soup," "MASH," "The Graduate," "The Philadelphia Story," "The Apartment," "Adams Rib," "Born Yesterday," "Modern Times," "Harvey," "Sullivan's Travels," and "Moonstruck." I've skipped over the kinds of comedies he might be referring to, like "Blazing Saddles" and "Airplane!" but even there, you can't possibly call these movies inferior to even the greatest dramas.

Allen should watch "Sullivan's Travels," actually. His whole confusion is explained there.

John Stodder said...

These are the films Allen has done between 1986 and 2005 that I liked. Most of them are comedies, but I really, really liked "Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Match Point (2005)
Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)
Husbands and Wives (1992)
Alice (1990)
Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
New York Stories (1989)
Radio Days (1987)
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

John Stodder said...

Unlike my usual practice, I posted a comment before reading all the others. I realize now I walked into the middle of a LOS-storm. Yuk. What time do the janitors get here?

Apart from his fellatio fantasies, I thought this was a particularly stunning example of LOS as his most dense:

Ann: "'Eh. I think he's just unnerved that his 2 best films are among his earliest.'

LOS: According to who...you? He's written over 50 movies, directed over 40,..."


That "according to who...you?" is just so rich. LOS, you tool, did you happen to notice the name of this blog? This may stun you, but most of this blog's many readers come here precisely to find out what Ann thinks. You're a parasite on her audience. Which is fine -- so am I. But to witlessly challenge her right to express her own opinion on her own blog is indicative of the deeply confused person you are.

If this was any other blog--virtually any other but especially those written by your fellow hard-core leftists--your IP address would have been blocked ages ago. Ann is a bit more clever than others, though -- within reason, she lets idiots like you hang themselves.

Ann Althouse said...

John Stodder writes: "Just glancing at AFI's list of best comedies (where "Annie Hall" comes in at #4), you see movies of tremendous power that do much more than "kid" about a problem, including, "Dr. Strangelove," "Tootsie," "Duck Soup," "MASH," "The Graduate," "The Philadelphia Story," "The Apartment," "Adams Rib," "Born Yesterday," "Modern Times," "Harvey," "Sullivan's Travels," and "Moonstruck." I've skipped over the kinds of comedies he might be referring to, like "Blazing Saddles" and "Airplane!" but even there, you can't possibly call these movies inferior to even the greatest dramas. Allen should watch "Sullivan's Travels," actually. His whole confusion is explained there."

Remember that in "Hannah and Her Sisters," the Woody Allen character realizes that life is worth living by watching "Duck Soup."

And thanks for defending me, especially for using what is a defense to much of the criticism I get: This is a blog.

reader_iam said...

Thanksgiving week wouldn't be Thanksgiving week without watching Hannah and Her Sisters.

Kirk said...

LOS,

"Crimes and Misdemeanors (my personal favorite)"

Good grief! I must have been misunderestimating you all this time--that's mine, too, and a lot of other people's, I see.

But what's up with john? I clearly remember Allen in the movie; did I just dream that?