October 18, 2009

"Then why don't you get William F. Buckley to kill the spider?"

I love this scene in "Annie Hall":



I was watching it this morning because I'd made an allusion to it in the comments over in the "Althouse in Washington" post — which, not too surprisingly, no one seemed to get. It wasn't the stuff about William F. Buckley. That's just the thing that makes me laugh the most — and also I thought I might be able to encourage my Woody Allen-o-phobic right-wing readers to go ahead and watch the clip.        
What?  Did you go to a rock concert?... Was it heavy?  Did it achieve total heavy-ocity?... Why don't you get the guy who took you to the rock concert, we'll call him and he can come over and kill the spider....

What is this?  What are you, since when do you read the "National Review"?  What are you turning in to?... Why don't you get William F. Buckley to kill the spider?...

Are you going with a right-wing rock-and roll star?  Is that possible?
IN THE COMMENTS: EDH not only identifies the allusion, he remembers this clip of me in "Annie Hall" mode:



My "where is the camera?" response is also like the lobster scene.

37 comments:

Chip Ahoy said...

Ted Nugent. Oops. Apologies for saying the obvious.

Joan said...

I was channel surfing a few nights ago and saw this exact clip. Both characters really get on my nerves now, but I loved this movie when it came out, and I still laugh it at now. It's funny. I love how Woody goes into the bathroom with the tennis racket and you hear all kinds of crashes, and he emerges declaring victory when you know he didn't get anywhere near the spider.

IRL, people like that are not funny (or endearing) to me at all. In a movie where you only have to deal with them for a couple of hours, max, they're OK.

New York said...

This clip was probably funny back then but the Manhattan neurotic thing looks pathetic now.

miller said...

Some of Woody Allen's stuff is funny, and some is insightful. I never found him to be brilliant, and I never found him to be uproariously funny. Just a nebbish with a camera.

Does that make me a hater?

BTW, have always loved Monty Python, from the moment I first saw their stuff oh some 40 years ago on (I think) PBS. (Don't remember what channel, but at the time it wasn't one of the standard MSM channels.)

WV: horyanne. An old U. Law Professor, I guess.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

The rock concert she went to had a souvenir program?!?

The whole middle-aged coward bit was lifted directly from Bob Hope, but Woody's spoken of that often enough. I especially like the way he reached for his collar when he exited the bathroom...

bagoh20 said...

The funniest line is "I've been killing spiders since I was 30."

I agree they look pretty pathetic today.

I rarely see a righty getting bent because a friend listened to NPR or any of the other 90% of the media that's left leaning.

I always see lefties deriding others for watching FOX (Obama) or listening to Rush. In fact, that happens here everyday.

There sometimes is anger on the right over dissent, but the left also has an unhealthy fear of dissent, like a spider in tub.

JZ said...

You're wrong New York. ("This clip was probably funny back then but the Manhattan neurotic thing looks pathetic now.") It's still funny. I like the word "heavy-ocity, and after all these years I think about spiders the size of Buicks

ricpic said...

What are you, since when do you read the "National Review?" What are you turning into..?

It's only in their mid-thirties that the young urban professional sophisticates - Woody's core audience - begin to falteringly realize that the Left considers them to be the enemy, that they are in the crosshairs. A pity. Because until then they can be counted on to vote left, religiously. Why? In their world it is received wisdom that to go right, to even consider conservative arguments, is to be a freak and therefor an outcast.

Not that I'm accusing Allen of devious proselytizing. I doubt he ever had a political thought in his life. He too was born into the same received wisdom. It's a given he's passing.

A tremendous advantage the Left has. And it ain't going away.

reader_iam said...

Makes me think of this.

[Tongue in cheek]

dbp said...

bagoh20 said...
The funniest line is "I've been killing spiders since I was 30."

Heh. I noticed that Woody recycled almost the same line in Hanna and Her Sisters

The scene where Diane Weist insists on reading her script to the character Allen was playing.

EDH said...

A tremendous advantage the Left has. And it ain't going away.

I'll wait to see the reaction to the intergenerational consequences of the Obama agenda before concurring with your long-term assessment.

EDH said...

Ann Althouse said...
Yeah, I was just thinking of doing a little hot chocolate! Meade bought the good kind.

Alluding to a few recent themes of chocolate, boobs, rabbits and Letterman...

The Great Defector (watch HD)

I am the defector
And you're the farmer's daughter
You been teasing us farm boys
Till we start talkin' about those rabbits, George
Oh won't you tell us about those rabbits, George...

You're the chocolate at the end of my Cornetto
I love the way your underwire bra
Always sets off that X-ray machine.


(Very derivative of Talking Heads, but good.)

Balfegor said...

I frequently find youtube clips from Woody Allen films kind of amusing -- particularly from his earlier movies, like the one where he's an incompetent bank robber, or the one where it's set in Russia. But I've never sat through one of his movies start to finish. The characters never really come together for me, as a viewer, and the narrative, such as it is, never really draws me in.

wv: imago. Imago dei?

traditionalguy said...

I suspect that was the real Annie Althouse in this clip. Beautiful stuff.

dick said...

Balfegor,

Agree with you totally. I have never been able to sit through a Woodie Allen movie. I always fall asleep. I don't know if it is just that I find him totally neurotic or that living in NYC I see him or his twin every day that I just don't find him at all funny or even interesting.

Robert Cook said...

"The rock concert she went to had a souvenir program?!?"

That's probably Woody's own ignorance of rock concerts showing, but it's not entirely fanciful: I remember an Alice Cooper concert I attended in 1973 where souvenir booklet/programs were available for sale...in fact I bought one.

Once Allen revealed in an interview back in the 70s that Bob Hope was his great inspiration and the source of much of his film persona I have never since been unaware of Bob Hope when I watch Allen. It's really apparent once you're aware of Allen's own attribution of influence and if you're familiar with Bob Hope's movies.

As for whether we're meant to admire or like the characters in ANNIE HALL, I think Allen was pretty frank in showing the unpleasant aspects of their personalities, and I think he meant for us to see them that way, even as he strived to make his characters sympathetic. But then, most of us and our loved ones possess less than saintly qualities...yet we learn to accept and love them even with their faults, and they us with ours...fortunately for us.

EDH said...

traditionalguy said...
I suspect that was the real Annie Althouse in this clip. Beautiful stuff.

No, but close.

Here was Althouse and A Bug Too Big to Kill.

The Crack Emcee said...

"re you going with a right-wing rock-and roll star? Is that possible?"

Ahem. I think so, if you pick the right rock-and roll star.

The Macho Response

Rialby said...

For the record, I loved "Annie Hall". Yes, this is Woody's best film and the dialogue is fantastic. There's something about films set in 70s New York I just like.

Revenant said...

I'm a fan of Allen's films up to and including Manhattan (and I think the humor holds up well). I'm not very interested in the last 30 years of his work, though.

reader_iam said...

What of "Crimes and Misdemeanors"? I'm, and I'd be, interested in reactions to that one, here.

Kirk Parker said...

reader,

Crimes and Misdemeanors is a wonderful work--a warning to us all of the banality of evil, writ small (i.e. small enough for our own lives if we're not careful.)

Robert Cook said...

I never fail to be surprised when actors who have been tapped to work with Woody Allen continue to extol him as one of the great film makers of our age, "what an honor to work with him," etc., etc.

He's simply too productive for his own good and the result for, yes, about the last 30 years, has been a string of mostly forgettable films punctuated here and there by a "not bad" or even a "good" film that is hailed (by comparison with the dross of most of his work) as "superb," or, more hopefully, as his "return to form."

This is not to say that highly productive artists cannot produce bodies of work of consistently high quality, but Woody Allen is not one of those artists. He simply doesn't have enough to say about the human condition, and his solipsisic viewpoint wears thin. His reputation was made at a time when his voice was still fresh, and his mocking but self-involved sensibility seemed one with the cultural zeitgeist. After MANHATTAN, though, his work, though not without enjoyable and creditable efforts, has been increasingly vaporous.

Anthony said...

I seem to recall in some of Allen's earlier work he used National Review as a punch line. For example, I recall in one of his movies (the one where he was the product's tester) his nebbish character was going off to buy some pornography and looking one of the selections at the news stand was "National Review".

Somehow I do not think National Review has that sort of effect these days.

Nathan said...

Kill your own g-dd--n spider.

Bruce said...

I like where Woody Allen remarks about the tough guys who recognize him in the street, saying to Diane Keaton that they were scary like the cast of The Godfather (when she was part of the cast of The Godfather).

johnbono said...

Somehow, this was more amusing before I knew that the hero was doing his 18 year old adopted stepdaughter.

James said...

A spider in the tub is easy to despatch.

Simply pour shampoo on the beast.

Spiders and insects don't have lungs. Their bodies are covered with breath-holes. If you pour water on them they are unharmed, but there was no detergent in their evolutionary pasts and it fills the holes, drowning them.

docrich11 said...

I don't love everything Woody has done, but I loved "Annie Hall". The slapstick aside, it was one of his most sensitive and bittersweet comedies. At the end, when he is trying to recreate the chemistry he had with Annie with another woman, you really feel his loss. Another great scene is watching the New York acting class read his screenplay based on his romance with Annie, this time with a happy, fantasy ending.
If you don't like Woody Allen, "Annie Hall" is still worth your time. It's definitely his greatest film.

Bill Peschel said...

Let me share the love for "Radio Days," which I saw several times when it came out in '87.

Here's the opening:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2AW-PFVNxI

JBlog said...

I was probably 18 when I first saw Annie Hall, and the whole Marshall McLuhan bit totally blew past me at the time.

It wasn't until years later -- after I'd been to college and read McLuhan -- that I saw the movie again and got it.

"...oh yeah...."

Jay said...

The Lib character mocks National Review... is inept at smashing a little spider. Shocker.
Sounds like a metaphor for the left and their foreign policy.
I thought Vicki Christina Barcelona was amazing. "Whatever Works" was a lame rewrite of Mighty Aphrodite with a hatin' on the right thread that got boring by the end.

AST said...

Ah yes! That was back in the days when Woody Allen was funny. Bananas, Take the Money and Run, Radio Days, Annie Hall and Sleeper. They still make me laugh.

But if he ever gets in trouble for drugging and raping young girls, it were better that he had a millstone hanged from his neck and be thrown into the sea.

reader_iam said...

Woody Allen has rather excellent taste in music; more important, he has an excellent appreciation for and of music. He gets it, a whole lot of it, and he also gets what has always been the game[/ing] of it. That's also true with regard to other art forms.

Whatever else one (including I) might say about Woody Allen, I think it's fair to say that he started "blogging" well before any peeps did any such thing under that sobriquet [that is, blogger]. He engaged in that mapping even before, for example, Andre and Wallace did, compatriots though they were, and are, at least pop-culturally speaking.

reader_iam said...

Compatriots with him (Allen), that is.

reader_iam said...

But then, what do I know? I'm a sucker for Harry James, for example, and nobody who's anybody gives a rat's ass about that sort of playing anymore: so it goes & that's that, full stop.

reader_iam said...

Shadows.