January 28, 2014

Woody Allen's "indifference to the gossip has always struck me not as a decision so much as an involuntary and organic reaction."

"In fact, during a written exchange that day in which I mentioned the tweet attack, he was more focused on giving me advice about a stye I had on my eyelid that I joked was probably a brain tumor: 'I agree, you probably do have a brain tumor. You should get your affairs in order quickly as those things can move rather rapidly. You’ll probably start to have some problems with your balance—don’t panic—it’s quite natural for a brain tumor.' He then counseled me not to use up my 'remaining days' fretting over Mia."

But if Woody Allen won't speak, Robert B. Weide will.

ADDED: "In 1969, at the age of 24, [Mia] became pregnant by musician/composer André Previn, 40, who was still married to singer/songwriter Dory Previn. The betrayal is said to have led to Dory Previn’s mental breakdown and institutionalization, during which she received electroconvulsive therapy. She would later write a song called, 'Beware of Young Girls' about Mia. Maybe sleeping with your friend’s husband doesn’t earn as many demerits as sleeping with your girlfriend’s adopted daughter, but if you’re waving the 'Never Forget' banner in Mia’s honor, let’s be consistent and take a moment to also remember the late Dory Previn."

59 comments:

Moose said...

The internet does not deal well with nuance.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Say what you will, but in my eyes, the creative genius behind The Curse of the Jade Scorpion can do no wrong.

AReasonableMan said...

I am continually surprised at the willingness of people to give Allen a pass. His movies are middle-brow pablum and he is a sleaze bag of the highest order.

Seeing Red said...

So is Mia's son Sinatra's or not?

Joe said...

I am continually surprised at the willingness of people to judge and trash Allen without really knowing a damn thing about him.

Darrell said...

If you are a child and get abused, you better hope that your parents were saints when they were young. Otherwise, people will see no reason for justice in your case. Jimmy Savile still has defenders in the UK after all the stuff came out about him, apparently people thought he was clever and funny and did a lot of charity work. Go figure.

Michael K said...

The Weide article is interesting. Allen and Farrow are weird people but we knew that.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Curious that Woody dispatched Annie Hall, or perhaps she dispatched herself, to pick up his lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes.

Ann Althouse said...

"So is Mia's son Sinatra's or not?"

As the article says, floating the tease that maybe he was equals Mia announcing that she had sex with the husband of a woman who is still alive.

SOJO said...

They're all creepy. Glad I never enjoyed any of them enough to be disillusioned.

Ann Althouse said...

By the way, I have the ebook of Barbara Sinatra's autobiography and the closest she comes to saying anything negative about Mia Farrow, her husband's ex-wife is:

"Frank sometimes commissioned paintings of others he cared for and gifted them to the subjects afterward, although he did keep a few for himself. Not long after we were married, I decided to do something about a painting of Mia Farrow that hung in the master bedroom. Digging through my old photographs, I came across a large black and white poster of Zeppo, had it framed, and placed it prominently on my nightstand. “What the hell’s that?” Frank asked when he saw it. “Oh,” I replied innocently, “I thought this was a nostalgia room.” Frank said nothing, but Mia’s portrait vanished the following day. And so, of course, did Zeppo’s."

(Zeppo Marx was her ex-husband.)

William said...

There can be no doubt that the United States over reacted to the admittedly provocative act of Pearl Harbor. This overreaction is particularly grievous when you consider America's past history of mistreating people of color.

JohnG said...

My favorite version of Previn's "Beware of Young Girls".

William said...

Mia Farrow successfully nurtured fifteen children, some of them from extremely difficult backgrounds. Woody Allen made a few good movies. Let God be the judge of their sins and virtues, but I put a higher valence on Mia's good works than those of Woody.

Patrick said...

ARM: I have to say, that article cleared up a fair amount of what I thought was sleazy about Allen. Certainly, it raises my eyebrows when a man dumps a woman for her much younger daughter, but a lot of what I thought was true about him is untrue.

A for the abuse allegations, ours tough to say, but I'm skeptical.

Seeing Red said...

Mia Farrows money and access successfully nurtured. I remember reading an article on NYC's rent control which used her as an example. The apt she lived in was rent-controlled. Not exactly paying her fair share, was she?

EMD said...

Is it let's talk about generally shitty people day?

Ann Althouse said...

Also in Barbara Sinatra's book:"

"Frank was as attentive as ever with Ava and had never stopped sending her gifts or paying her medical and other bills. He was similarly generous with his other ex-wives, Nancy and Mia, if ever they needed anything. He had plenty of money, and it was no skin off my nose. In fact, I secretly admired the way he took care of the women in his life even if they were no longer a part of it."

So Mia had money from Frank.

Ann Althouse said...

"if ever they needed anything" can be read a different way after what Mia said recently about her ongoing relations with him.

Michael K said...

"Barbara Sinatra's autobiography"

Barbara did not have the same concern for his children. They hate her.

Naked Surfer said...

“indifference ... as an involuntary and organic reaction."

I disagree.

I say that the German cows intentionally expelled methane in a mens rea motivated attack on the barn and on the entire dairy industry worldwide and the cows used “organic reaction” as their twinkie defense to plead innocent indifference.

The mathematics describing multiple reward functions for personal decisionmaking require considerations of multiple motivations for cows.

Though the old cow theory in “Someone Like You” really wasn’t one of Woody’s theories nor one of his flics, maybe it qualifies as bio?

Next up: psi theories as alternatives to organic methane reaction theories of old cow motivation.

Conrad Bibby said...

I suppose Farrow has a right to feel aggrieved, but I do think her own transgressions, especially conceiving a child with her ex-husband Sinatra, are such that she's forfeited the right to play the victim in such a flamboyant and public way.

Let's also note that, as messed up as Allen relationship with Mia's adopted daughter might have been, they've been married for something like 20 years now. Isn't there a point when one should simply move on?

mccullough said...

Mia disowned her adopted daughter. That says something about her.

John Constantius said...

I agree with Patrick -- I'd generally thought Allen was sleazy but the article suggests that a lot of what I thought was sleazy about him is not actually true.

Also rather interesting that Allen started up with Soon-Yi when he was 55 and she was 19, while Farrow started up with Sinatra when he was 51 and she was 20. Farrow may have things to complain about regarding the Soon-Yi relationship, but the age gap isn't one of them.

AReasonableMan said...

Patrick said...
I have to say, that article cleared up a fair amount of what I thought was sleazy about Allen


It would be a little more compelling if it was not written by someone with a financial interest in Allen's continued career. As he notes, "My association with Woody is primarily a professional one".

Everyone has different standards but, given how many women there are in the world, the decision to sleep with someone who is you stepdaughter in all but name while you have an ongoing relationship with her mother is pretty fucked up, however you slice it.

Freeman Hunt said...

ARM, so is getting knocked up by other people's husbands.

The Roller said...

Sacrificing Virgins to the Entertainment Gods.

http://takimag.com/article/sacrificing_virgins_to_the_entertainment_gods_gavin_mcinnes/print#axzz2rj6dnBej

AReasonableMan said...

Freeman Hunt said...
ARM, so is getting knocked up by other people's husbands.


If you are referring to Ronan's paternity, my understanding is that this was a joke. Certainly his subsequent comments were intentionally funny rather than serious.

Again I do not understand Allen's apologists nor Polanski's. I can't understand why anyone would support him by buying tickets to his movies. Much the same applies to Polanski, although he should also be in jail. The world would not be much worse off with fewer Allen movies having been made.

Conrad Bibby said...

@reasonableman:

Except Soon Yi wasn't his "stepdaughter" even in spirit. The article makes it clear that Woody never had any kind of paternal relationship with Soon Yi.

Anyway, even if Woody's relationship with Soon Yi was fucked up, it seems less fucked up to me than falsely accusing someone of molesting his own adoptive daughter.

tim maguire said...

I judge Woody Allen for stating in public that it would be a good thing for Barack Obama to be made dictator.

I find his weakness for women far younger than him distasteful (Soon Yi was foreshadowed by some of his on-screen love interests), but ultimately none of my business.

AReasonableMan said...

Let's think about this another way. It seems unreasonable to me for someone to support Allen's career while at the same time complaining vociferously about Clinton's behavior towards Lewinsky. While not defending Clinton, Allen's behavior is clearly vastly worse.

tim maguire said...

AReasonableMan: Why? Why does my reaction to one require some particular reaction to the other? One was president, one is an actor. I expect more from my president then form other kinds of people. Don't you?

Freeman Hunt said...

I was referring to Previn.

How are Allen and Polanski even remotely equivalent?

Pogo is Dead said...

¿Quién es más repelente?

¿La Mia o el Viejo Madera?

Freeman Hunt said...

It's not like we have an overabundance of talented artists in film. Certainly that art would be appreciably worse off without Allen.

You seem ready to toss him in jail. For what, exactly? Did you read this article?

CStanley said...

While not defending Clinton, Allen's behavior is clearly vastly worse.

Apples to oranges but if forced to compare, I'd say that Woody's relationship with Soon Yi seems to have been much less utilitarian than were Clinton's crass sex acts with Monica. Soon Yi got a marriage partner and is raising a family while Monica got dragged through the mud and was bought off with a Revlon contract.

AReasonableMan said...

tim maguire said...
Why does my reaction to one require some particular reaction to the other? One was president, one is an actor. I expect more from my president then form other kinds of people.


Either we apply ethical standards evenly or it would be unethical to apply those standards at all.

Nonapod said...

As to whether Ronan Farrow was sired by Woody Allen or Frank Sinatra... uhmm... what do you think?

CStanley said...

Every time I read about these people I feel sorry for all of the kids involved (including the now-adult ones.)

Mia looks worse and worse the more I learn. If the allegations about her brother are true, it makes me wonder about the root of all of this family and sexual pathology.

AReasonableMan said...

Freeman Hunt said...
It's not like we have an overabundance of talented artists in film. Certainly that art would be appreciably worse off without Allen.

You seem ready to toss him in jail. For what, exactly?


I think we will have to agree to disagree on the quality of the drek that Allen produces. I did not suggest he should go to jail, that was Polanski.

Did you read this article?

Yes but there are many more less fawning articles available also.

AReasonableMan said...

CStanley said...
Soon Yi got a marriage partner


Given the shit storm that would be unleashed if Allen were to dump Soon Yi, I wonder how much say he really has in this arrangement. Of course he may be sorely tempted to run off with her adopted children, but apparently that would be fine.

Michael K said...

"While not defending Clinton, Allen's behavior is clearly vastly worse."

It's amusing to see the left defend Clinton for behavior (lying under oath and suborning cabinet secretaries to lie in public) that it attacks in a movie producer and writer. I thought you were the guys who tolerated artists' bad behavior.

AReasonableMan said...

Which part of 'not defending' did you fail to understand? Enquiring minds want to know.

David said...

Mia Farrow is a beautiful intelligent talented narcissist. That she has done some good works makes her no less narcissistic. Her mother was beautiful and famous. Her father was equally beautiful though less famous but a world class rake and fake.

She was for some reason named "Maria de Lourdes Villiers Farrow" by her parents. Thirteen years of Roman Catholic convent school did not dissuade her from using her youthful beauty and sex appeal to snatch a 51 year old man from his wife. Because the man was Frank Sinatra, one might argue that such a snatch was inevitable, but nevertheless she was the one who did it.

Basically she attached herself to four men who were at the top in the entertainment business in different fields: Sinatra, Previn, Polanski and Allen. All greatly promoted her career in one way or another. Only Sinatra, who was roughly the age and disposition of her father, seems to have received any gratitude for the assists.

In a sense she is modern royalty, imbued like the governing royals of old with a sense that she can do whatever she wants. When others act the same, she is bitter in her judgments and vicious in her response.

My wife, who is about the same age, knew her in a casual way many years ago. She did not want to know her any better.

"Mia is weird" was my wife's simple summary.

tpceltus said...

Gigi, the movie

William said...

I recognize that Mia used her wealth and fame (and a rent controlled apartment) to assist in the nurturing and shelter of her adopted children. But that's all the more reason to praise her. She was willing to share the perks of her success with some abandoned and disabled kids from third world countries. Those kids would have had far worse lives but for Mia's intervention. That gives her the moral high ground in this case.......Mia probably has her share of quirks and deficits, but her good works trump them all. It's God's decision, but I don't think the same can be said of Allen.

Birches said...

I agree with ARM for once (and it might never happen again).

Everyone has different standards but, given how many women there are in the world, the decision to sleep with someone who is you stepdaughter in all but name while you have an ongoing relationship with her mother is pretty fucked up, however you slice it.

I don't have to take sides to say they are all probably despicable people. But how does Mia's own sexual transgressions factor into the situation? The second the guy went there, he lost all credibility with me.

Birches said...

And I have a hard time distinguishing the relationship difference between stepfather and mother's boyfriend, especially when that relationship exists for years and years. . .

Michael K said...

"Which part of 'not defending' did you fail to understand? Enquiring minds want to know."

The part about ignoring criminal behavior by a leftist politician while condemning legal behavior by someone who has no power over you or me.

jr565 said...

It's cool to have a song written about you, even if it's negative. Lke Jane Fonda inspiring the song Strut by Bob Seger.

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
"if ever they needed anything" can be read a different way after what Mia said recently about her ongoing relations with him.

If she ever needed anything from Frank, like to be impregnated.

jr565 said...

Two wrongs dont make a right. Just because Farrow slept around like a harlot, to the point where she broke up marriages and inspired songs about bewaring for little girls, doesn't mean that what Allen did was right.
When Farrow cheated it's not like she did it family members. She at least went to Frank's house.

jr565 said...

WHat I don't like about Allen is that despite YEARS of psychotherapy he's just as eccentric as ever. You'd think that with all that money spent he'd learn how to be less of a nebish.
Then again, maybe that's his shtick. and how he earns his bread and butter. So to think he would give that up and be normal is a stretch.
But still, stop the therapy then.
It's not helping.

Purvi Rajani said...

I lost interest when he used the word "swiftboated" - elite liberal nonsense.

JoyD said...

I'm not going to address Woody's alleged sins right now, but Mia is so creepy. I've thought so ever since she was on Peyton Place, when I was about 13. Thirteen year olds are very perceptive.
These people seem to find each other, don't they?

Revenant said...

Let's think about this another way. It seems unreasonable to me for someone to support Allen's career while at the same time complaining vociferously about Clinton's behavior towards Lewinsky. While not defending Clinton, Allen's behavior is clearly vastly worse

Clinton cheated on his wife, Allen wasn't married.

Allen married the woman he cheated with. Clinton had his aides hint that she was a delusional slut right up until the point where the stained dress turned up. Then he claimed their relationship meant nothing and had no further contact with her.

Clinton's behavior towards the women involved was unquestionably worse.

Where Allen comes off worse is in relation to the other people affected -- his adopted children with Mia Farrow. They definitely had it worse than their Clintonian counterpart, Chelsea. But as bad as Allen's treatment of them was, Mia's was worse. For pity's sake, she convinced her own daughter she'd suffered sexual abuse. That's a horrific thing to do to a little kid.

Carl said...

I would have mothers who make false accusations of child abuse during custody trials executed. It's a far more heinous crime than murder for hire.

Robert Cook said...

"I find his weakness for women far younger than him distasteful...."

Why? I'd bet ALL men are attracted to women in their prime years of youth and beauty, (late teens through their 20s), even they don't (or can't) act on their attraction, as that is when most women are most beautiful. (Although, as a man in my--ahem--"late youth,"--Ha!--I do find that many mature women are also beautiful.)

More significantly, most men--most people--don't feel, as they get older, that they are older. I'm always surprised when I see people my age (or younger) who look old, particularly on those rare occasions when I see someone I knew in high school. I don't think I look like them.

When I see attractive women in their mid-20s or so I have to remind myself that I am not their peer, but am, in fact, old enough to be their father. I don't feel any "older" internally than I did in my young adulthood. Do you?

Robert Cook said...

As for Ronan Farrow's paternity, well, who knows? But, he certainly bears no sign of Allen's physiognomy, and he does favor Ole' Blue Eyes!