Critic Notebook: Why I’ll never see a Woody Allen movie again –

Critic Notebook: Why I’ll never see a Woody Allen movie again


When & # 39; Wonder Wheel & # 39; arrives at the cinemas, a film critic explains how he went from the Woody Allen fan to the boycott of Woody Allen.

He used to say he was a fan of Woody Allen; Now I'm done with him. My last Allen movie was Irrational Man [2015] from 2015, which I liked, unlike most critics. But recently, with a lot of struggle, I decided that I no longer wanted to contribute with their income or promote their films, to increase their power. It has taken me a lifetime to get to this point.

One of my favorite movies when I was a kid was Sleeper . My mom was an Allen fan and she still is, but she banned it from movie nights in our house in the 90s because of the Soon-Yi scandal. Around Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), my mother stopped resisting. "It's too funny," he said.

The first new film I reviewed professionally was a film by Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris . As a female critic, it was easy for me to get badignments to write about outlandish old movies, but more established male critics used to claim new releases. I presented my case to my editor and wrote my first review. I worked hard to get into the children's club that the author liked. I organized and moderated a panel on Woody Allen with some renowned critics. I even named a small independent festival that I directed "La Di Da" after the slogan of Diane Keaton in Annie Hall . But, like many others, I had to rethink my role as a critic and follower after the publication of "An Open Letter by Dylan Farrow" in The New York Times in 2014.

I have often thought of Farrow in the last weeks. After the publication of several detailed articles in Times The New Yorker and others, we are finally believing the stories of badual harbadment and badual badault of women. But when Farrow wrote about his experience and his subsequent life of trauma, his story ran into some doubts. Why? Why was it in the first person instead of in the third person? In all these stories, there are usually only two people in a room.

A reminder: Assault experiences are often told by people who have less power than the people they accuse. These people have little to gain by telling their story, but an interruption in their lives, hatred by mail and bad reputation. What do their accusers have to gain by denying it? A maintenance of your greatest power. Why do we believe in these two sides equally? When someone is badaulted and points to the man who did it, do we believe that the two parties are equal?

After Dylan's piece appeared in the newspaper, Allen spun it, in his own opinion column, in a story about Woody Vs. Mia, and portrayed Dylan as a simple pawn in his separation. It is an old narrative. As Judge Elliott Wilk wrote in his 1993 custody ruling: "Mr. Allen's appeal to the stereotyped defense of" despised woman "is a reckless attempt to divert attention from his failure as a parent and as an adult. responsible".

What else is there to say Dylan's own words (which are too painful to reread them, but you can read here) However, as a critic, there is another concern: how can I trust a narrator who resorts to that old chestnut "woman despised"? This is where I have to notice that my past admiration for Allen had several exceptions. I did not do too much of the uncomfortable and badist chills in their work, since they are there in the work of essentially all the male directors that I admire. But Allen's idolatry "Neurotic Women" (seen most clearly and without humor in the scam Fellini Stardust Memories ) has always rubbed me the wrong way, in the worst case, this tendency reminds me of a clbadic technique of abuse being attracted to the most vulnerable, the easiest to control.

I think Dylan, but I also think that Soon-Yi and his accusations against his mother, that he felt undervalued compared to his white brothers. This causes Soon-Yi to find the attention he longed for in Allen's bed even more disturbing. As Judge Wilk stated in the same custody case: "After isolating Soon-Yi from his family, [Allen] did not provide him with any visible support system"

I am ashamed to say that despite all this, still I was interested in Allen as a filmmaker. I have struggled with this contradiction for years. Bad people sometimes do great art. But what culture does that create? And how much do we, as fans, critics and film professionals, contribute to shaping that culture? This has always been the case, but does it have to be this way?

There was another reason, perhaps hypocritical but also critical, Irrational Man was my last support. I do not think I have anything more valuable to say. He said it all with Irrational Man the first film he made after Dylan's publication, although it was written years before. It is a strange and interesting film about guilt and trauma, in which the main character (played by Joaquin Phoenix) dies as punishment for his arrogance in killing a judge. Most of his latest films (since 1992) are strange, anguished and depressing, or somewhat dissociated. And what is the value of an artist who is disconnected from himself? Very little. But Irrational Man was strangely open. At the press conference for the premiere of the film in Cannes, Allen described the character played by Emma Stone (a university student that the character of Phoenix, a teacher, romantic) likes: "The character will have his whole life thinking in such a traumatic experience that he had with Joaquin [Phoenix] … When he is 40 or 50 or 60 years old, his perspective will change ".

In the movie, Parker Posey portrays Phoenix's former neurotic lover, someone who tells everyone about his crime, but he does not believe himself because he is believed to act in revenge after being abandoned by a younger woman. If viewed through a biographical lens, the film does not show Allen's remorse, but rather a surprising honesty. A different kind of frankness was revealed a few years earlier in Blue Jasmine in which the guilt of the family trauma does not fall on the criminal husband (Alec Baldwin), but on his wife (Cate Blanchett), who He chooses to turn a blind eye to his crimes instead of interrupting his lifestyle. I was fascinated with this point of view, but I have satiated myself.

Even though the current judicial system generally fails in badual harbadment and badault victims, we are not a judge and the jury decides the guilt and punishment. But we are the public that gave these men the power they have abused. What we can do is realize how that power helped create these situations. ("I'll take you to Paris." "You should model or be a movie star.") We have an option in those to whom we continue to empower. Deciding to support one job instead of another is not an act of censorship. (There is already so much art on the part of women that is ignored!) Instead, it is about making decisions, acting consciously, shaping and editing our cultural consumption instead of doing what has always been done. Perhaps maintaining a disgusting status quo is optional. There are other options, but they require leaving behind old habits.

I want a world in which Diane Keaton does not need Woody Allen to convey her style and humor, to win an Academy Award. Because they are not the best movies of Allen – Annie Hall Sleeper Manhattan Murder Mystery – actually, the films of Diane Keaton? Annie Hall is Allen's masterpiece by a wide margin, but according to multiple sources, Keaton was not Allen's first choice for the lead role. Originally I wanted to shoot Kay Lenz (from Breezy by Clint Eastwood ), but her boyfriend, David Cbadidy, objected. It is worth noting that Lenz was just over 20 years old at the time, while Keaton was seven years older.

Allen offered the role to his ex-girlfriend Keaton, obviously an inspiration for the character, who brought more of herself than writing, with her clothes and eccentric gestures. Originally, Hall was one of three relationships featured in an extensive film (titled Anhedonia ) that included a murder mystery, a meeting with the Devil and a basketball game with philosophers. But the publisher Ralph Rosenblum pointed out in his book When the filming stops … The cut begins : "It was clear to Woody and to me that the movie started moving whenever the present time with him and Keaton they dominated the screen, and then we began to cut in the direction of that relationship. " And that's how Annie Hall was born, including its novel structure.

Allen said recently that he does not think Annie Hall is anything special and seems surprised by his popularity and critical appeal. It did not turn out the way he imagined. At the time he was released, he said: "Originally it was an image about me, exclusively, not about a relationship." So who is the author of Allen's masterpiece? Rosenblum? Keaton? Now I wonder what invisible systems of power led me to say that I like Woody Allen's films, instead of saying that I'm a Diane Keaton fan.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.