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Boycotting Woody Allen Films??


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Well, for.me,.the Allen persona includes.the awkward nerd AND the later confident Woody....they are both irritating and annoying in their self absorption. And when the storyline comes close to some of the real life.allegations, whether true or not, the creepiness someone else mentioned comes to the fore. Not that.I'd boycott.any of his movies due to that.


Yes, I know Woody has done all sorts of movies; I never implied otherwise. I love most of the ones you listed, as.well.as.most of the more typical Allen film.

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I was wondering if I should post this since it isn't related to movies but the picture posted here is telling me I must!


I'm surprised my pet bird is still alive. She just chewed on the power cord connected to an air fillering unit. Yea, the wife has been telling me for weeks that the bird was getting at the wire. Well I hear a sound and then smelled that something is burning. I pick up the bird and there is black shoot on her beak, BUT she appears to be all right!


Sorry that this has nothing to do with anything related to this forum but it just happened and I'm still in shock (and so is the bird!).

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And when the storyline comes close to some of the real life.allegations, whether true or not, the creepiness someone else mentioned comes to the fore.


Except that Farrow's allegations concern child molesting, not a midlife crisis. There *is* a difference between the two.


One is criminally psychopathic. The other is often celebrated in "classic" Hollywood movies of the Breen era. Many or most of the male stars of the 50's were at one point depicted as cradle robbers in critically acclaimed films. Audrey Hepburn scarcely ever had a cinematic relationship with a man who wasn't old enough to be her father and then some.


Allen's movies often deal with the awkward relationship between his character and college age women, but what does that have to do with child molesting? Some of those movie relationships of his seem kind of pathetic, but truth be told, they're not *that* much more pathetic than Gary Cooper's role in Love In The Afternoon. This isn't exactly Roman Polanski we're talking about, and the relationship Allen began with a 19 or 20 year old girl in 1991 is still going strong when the "girl" is in her 40's.

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Well, as a native Angeleno, all I can say is that I was always SO glad Woody was never enticed by my old home town's "sole cultural advantage" of being able to legally make a right turn on a red light enough to move there.(think: "Annie Hall" here, folks)


NOT that I don't like many of Woody's films ("Crimes and Misdemeanors" probably being my favorite), but YEAH, the guy HAS always seemed to have been a bit "pretentious" and more than a little "quirky" to boot, and when I lived in L.A. all those many years, the LAST thing we needed out there was ANOTHER person like that...ESPECIALLY some freakin' pretentious and quirky NEW YORKER who was probably a lousy freakin' driver to BEGIN with!!! LOL


(...oh, and regarding Mia...I was never a big fan of her "lost little waif" act which always seemed her specialty...though I suppose she WAS fairly good at it)

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Yeah, well, ya know Jake, IF Woody IS ever brought up on charges at all, he MIGHT want to reconsider how he's always felt about L.A.


'Cause YOU know how those L.A. juries NEVER convict a celeb, doncha??? ;)


(...well, okay...FINALLY that little twerp Spector...but let's just say HE'S the exception which proves my point here!)



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See, I don't get this "pretentious" business. How come the depiction of intelligent educated people, discussing any topic beyond the mundane, is seen as "pretentious"?

Ironically, Woody Allen in fact often knocked pretentious people in his movies - like that great, funny, memorable scene in *Annie Hall* where some pompous git is loudly pontificating to his date about some aspect of "cinema". The pretentious guy and Woody get into an argument, the guy quotes Marshall McLuhan, and Woody goes "Well, I just happen to have Marshall McLuhan around the corner here, he will dispute your theory..."

And lo, Marshall McLuhan pops out from somewhere and tells the guy he is completely wrong.


Woody looks directly into the camera and says "Wouldn't it be great if we could do this in real life?"


I think he got this reputation as "pretentious" because his characters often like jazz or classical music and read philosophy. It's the American knee-jerk reaction of distrust to anything intellectual. It must therefore be labelled "pretentious".

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I think he got this reputation as "pretentious" because his characters often like jazz or classical music and read philosophy. It's the American knee-jerk reaction of distrust to anything intellectual. It must therefore be labelled "pretentious".


I think it's more akin to the sort of reaction that Bob Dylan got from some of his former fans when he switched from folk to electronic rock music. When Allen switched from comedy to more serious stuff a lot of people felt that same sense of "betrayal", and the "pretentious" tag was a handy epithet to throw at him. Lots of film lovers are much more comfortable with characters and directors who find one genre, preferably in the realm of "comfort food" films, and stick to it forever.


But if the explanation for "pretentious" lies in the jazz soundtracks of some of his movies, that's rather ironic, considering that much of that music was wildly popular within the living memories of many of the filmgoers of the 70's and 80's. If you really want "pretentious", nothing but NOTHING can hold a candle to the soundtrack in The Graduate.

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But 'April Come She Will' and 'Mrs. Robinson' fit beautifully into that movie.


'Sounds of Silence' not so much - that one does come across a little unnecessarily precious. I think Nichols was just a big fan of the song and wanted to use it regardless. Shouldn't have - it belongs to a New York setting.

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I see your point here MissW, however my thought would be that because one definition of the word "pretentious" is "self-consciously trying to present an appearance of grandeur or importance", and because many of the characters Woody has cast himself in are extremely "self-conscious" and the dialogue he tends to write for these "self-conscious" character are often overtly telling his audiences that his ruminations are of "importance", and just as in the very "breaking the 4th wall" scene in "Annie Hall" which you selected as an example in rebuttal, then can you see how some people might ascribe this characteristic to him and many of his films?


Though don't get me wrong here. As I earlier stated, I like many of this films, and in many cases probably FOR this very reason. At least the man has been attempting something "different".


(...and btw, I STILL have never gotten the whole "Mia Farrow" thing, and goin' back all the way to when she played little Allison McKenzie on TV's Peyton Place...and WHAT the hell was SINATRA thinkin', I'll NEVER know!!!) LOL


Edited by: Dargo2 on Mar 22, 2014 9:34 PM

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I find this subject fascinating....this board has discussed "artist vs product" several times before. Usually citing known bigot Walter Brennan and very nasty Jerry Lewis vs their work in films, rarely Polanski. (Michael Jackson?) Heck, people boycotted Ingrid Bergman for switching partners, who even cares about that these days?


I like, no really adore Woody Allen *films,* his body of work impresses me. I'm a New Yorker, so I identify with the charactors portrayed in his films, as well as the neurotic charactors he himself often plays.


Do I like him personally? No, I just don't worry about how others conduct their lives, I have no control over it. EXCEPT, I do not support them with my dollars. I only see Allen's movies from the li-berry.


I don't support Sprawl-Mart, cable TV, dollar stores, mega plexes...really voting with my dollars, which is all most of us can do. They all will survive without me, I just don't want to contribute to their success, and hope others come around.


I think there are far more important things going on in our society to boycott than judging an entertainer on poor life choices. I just kind of feel badly for him, Mia and the entire situation they themselves created.

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For many years (almost 30) I was a huge Woody Allen fan, deriving countless hours of pleasure from any of a number of his films, starting with his Bogart worshipping nebbish portrayal in *Play It Again Sam* (yes, I know, it's not as much an Allen film as others because he didn't direct it but it spoke so much to the early screen persona of the comedian).


Other Allen highlights for me were his Russian literature satire in *Love and Death*, the first of his relationship films and the movie that altered the course of his career, *Annie Hall*, *Manhattan*, with that glorious Gershwin soundtrack and the stylishness of its black and white cinematography highlighting New York landscapes, *Hannah and Her Sisters*, with its wonderful ensemble cast work, and *Crimes and Misdemeanors*, without doubt his most philosophically profound film, at least, from what I have seen.


I also have a special place in my heart for one of Allen's "little" films that seems to be achieving a bit of a growing reputation, *Broadway Danny Rose*. Not only does it have one of Woody's best performances, it also a knockout one from a "tough" Mia Farrow such as I had never seen from her before. With all the wonderful little comic touches that this film possesses, it also manages to touch me in its portrayal of loyalty and the betrayal of that loyalty. For Woody's "message" of loyalty (yes, I know, ironic considering the bitterness between Allen and Farrow afterward), as well as the richness of its two lead performances, this film gets a repeating viewing from me once every few years.




Broadway Danny Rose


Somewhere around 2000 or so, after a series of Allen films that I had not enjoyed so much, I more or less stopped watching his movies. I still keep an eye open for critical response to his films when they're released, however, and do possess a copy of *Midnight in Paris* on disc, which I have yet to see.


It was with the release, and Oscar success of Annie Hall that Woody suddenly became very "cool" to watch. And, in turn, to many, he became very uncool with the child molestation accusations from Mia soon after the release of Husbands and Wives, I believe. (I read Woody's defence against the accusations. His reasoned argument sounds more than credible to me, especially with his statement that he passed a lie detector test, the same one that Mia refused to take). The truth is, though, I would never turn my back on his films because of his personal lifestyle, whether guilty or not anyway. It was his films that began to lose interest for me.


Still, Woody is a director who has had (and continues to have) far more success than most directors when it comes to cast members receiving Oscar nominations. Just this year, of course, with Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, there was yet another golden statuette winner in one of his films.


By the way, for those who want a good glimpse of Woody from his '60s nightclub comedian days, before his success in films began, I can't recommend enough a CD from Rhino called Woody Allen Standup Comic. Hopefully it's still available and, if not, you can find a used copy.


There's something special in listening to Woody performing before live audiences with, for me, some of the most inspired comedy one liners and insane comic stories that I've ever heard.


Just as a sampler, the CD starts off with a nightclub routine that Woody did that is called The Vodka Ad. He tells how he was offered a shot at a vodka add after the company involved had first tried but failed to get the likes of Noel Coward and Laurence Olivier, among others, to do it. He then says how they got his name.


"It was on a list in Eichmann's pocket when they picked him up," he tells his 1968 audience.


After he received a phone call one night asking him if he was interested in being spokesperson for the company, Allen tells his audience how he indignantly responded:


"I said NO. I'm an artist. I do NOT do commercials. I don't pander. I don't drink vodka and, if I did, I wouldn't drink your product.


"And he said, 'Too bad. It pays $50,000.'


"And I said, 'Hold on . . .'




"'I'll put Mr. Allen on the phone.'"




The CD goes on to have some truly inspired bits of comedy genius, including the one involving Allen's frustration with all mechanical objects. It involves the day that he finally beat the hell out of a TV set that refused to function properly. Doing so made him feel very virile, he said. He soon afterward got into an elevator with a voice activated command system.


After first asking him which floor he wanted to go to the elevator then asked Woody, "Are you the guy that hit the television?" It then took him up and down the elevator shaft very quickly, throwing Allen out in the basement. As a final insult, as the elevator closed its doors on him, the comic swears that he heard it yell something anti-Semitic at him.


I like to revisit this CD every few years because I enjoy the sensation of rolling around on the floor in laughter. For those who enjoy Woody "from his funny days," you may feel the same way.

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>Well, he's not REALLY an "artist", but he HAS been in some movies. I find it hard for me to watch any movie O.J. Simpson has been in.


OJ was a far greater at his craft/art of football player than Woody Allen is at his of director


And will you watch Gig Young? Albert Salmi?

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> And will you watch Gig Young? Albert Salmi?



I know of no untoward scandal involving Young, and Salmi's behavior was due largely to alchohol. At the time he shot his wife and himself, he was suffering clinical depression. Probably was in clinical depression when he was beating various wives, with the booze making that condition more wonky.


So the answer is yes, although I've never really been a big fan of Salmi anyway.



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>So the answer is yes, although I've never really been a big fan of Salmi anyway.


REALLY, Sepia?! Why, I always thought he always did a GREAT job at playin' sort of a heavier set Bruce Dern-type back in the day!!!


(...btw, I'm with ya here...I still enjoy listening to "Wall of Sound" recordings even THOUGH that little twerp who was inside the engineering booth and at the mixing table was always one sick little puppy!!!)


Edited by: Dargo2 on Mar 23, 2014 10:56 AM

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