Particularly the Later, Dull Ones

Woody Allen’s six favorite Woody Allen movies: Purple Rose of Cairo, Match Point, Bullets Over Broadway, Zelig, Husbands and Wives, and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. “There are a few better than others, half a dozen,” he says, “but it’s a surprising paucity of worthwhile celluloid.” [New York, via Kottke]


No Annie Hall?

I think my favorite is Bullets Over Broadway.

I stopped being a fan after he began boffing his stepdaughter. Go ahead, sue me.

@Dodgerblue: And yet, Manhattan is one of my two favorite movies. Can’t help it.

Aren’t his newer movies about an old man who humps much younger women?

@nojo: Agreed.

@Dodgerblue: Ditto. You should have heard what Maureen O’Sullivan had to say on the subject.

@Benedick: Before we get there, you have yet to tell us how it came to be that you barfed on Elaine Stritch.

Annie Hall and Manhattan are two of my favorites, and I also liked Husbands and Wives, which should have tipped Mia off to what was going on. And I adore Vicky Cristina Barcelona, but I’m pretty sure that because of the eye candy provided by Bardem, Cruz, and the city itself. Also all the food and flamenco music. Really, I just want to go to Spain.

@Dodgerblue: Why is he barfing on Elaine Stritch all the time?

@Benedick: @Dodgerblue:

And whether it was before or during the bay of pigs incident.

@Dodgerblue: Thus, “can’t help it”.

Back in college, there was a campus showing of Manhattan—

Note to Youth: This was before VHS. And cable. And Jon Stewart’s “Courtship of Eddie’s Father” joke hit too close to home.

—and a randy friend of mine was there with a young girl. I spent the entire movie thinking I was watching a live re-enactment.

Until I learned later that she was his visiting cousin.

I’ve seen three of those six and really only loved one (Match Point). The others are welcome to slots 176, 177, and 178 on the Netflix queue.

@Dodgerblue: It was may years ago at the end of a dinner party. I’d spent way too much time in the kitchen (back when I used to cook) preparing poached soufflés and stuffed salmon trout. And too much wine. And such as. I didn’t hurl a lot on her just some. But she was sweet and said who better to be thrown up on than her. Wittiest person I know and never at the expense of others.

Maureen was divine: funny and intelligent and classy and generous and… Mia F’s mother. She saw the infamous pictures of Soon Yi. It was not a happy time for her. Or any of them. Most beautiful women in that family.

@Benedick: The young Maureen was wasted as “Jane” in the Tarzan flicks. Meaning that her talents were not well-used, not that she was smoking jungle weed.

I never did like hammed-up neuroses and sophomoric intellectual name-dropping.

@Dodgerblue: She was at a convent school in Ireland with Geraldine FitzGerald and Vivien Leigh. Golly.


Why do you never fight back when I taunt you about your age!?!?!!?! It’s maddening! All I’m looking for is one of your patented shady remarks! Call me fat! Is that too much to ask?

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: See, I didn’t get that you were calling me old. I guess that’s the difference between us. I always look for the good in others. Even when it’s not there.


See, that’s better. That is vintage Benedick.

Now my day is complete.

@Mistress Cynica: Really, I just want to go to Spain.

You would love Barcelona, Cyn – for all the reasons you mention, and more. Madrid was a little “meh”, but the heart of Catalunya is the fookin bomb.

ADD: I also liked “Manhattan”, and VCB. The others, mostly viewed in college or grad school (without any nieces, Noj), were usually enjoyable distractions.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: The whole coming out thing has confused him. He’s equating being gay with being shallow. That nothing could further from the truth you and I can attest.


a) I haven’t been recruited.

b) Nobody’s sent me the Agenda.

c) What’s the employer match for my 401(k)?

No votes for “Sleeper” (apart from usage in photo)? The putdown on Howard Cosell (“whenever someone committed a crime against the state, they were forced to watch this”) redeems any faults.

Woody Allen is a useless perv.

But also: the segment with the Olympia Dukakis cameo in “Mighty Aphrodite” did not suck at all. (“I’d hate to tell you what they call my son in Harlem!”)

@JNOV: I am not so much put off by his perviness, but really, that was apparent since Manhattan, is that the one when he had the affair with 18 year old mariel hemingway? He’s been pretty open, in his movies, about his total creepy infatuation with young women, Mighty Aphrodite, too, a movie about infatuation with a young bombshell.

I just never liked the schtick about “I am so neurotic, aren’t my neuroses amusing, and I throw around names like Plato, and Wittgenstein, I am so smart and nuerotic.”

He’s an old hipster, he is a shallow hipster, still playing the 1960s hipster card.

And the love interests, in his movies, and his life, have all been helpless, childlike women, either older, but helpless, childlike women like Mia Farrow, or actual children. There is a deep strain of misogynism-sexism, in his protrayal of women. Its not hidden, he likes his relationships with women to be relationships in which he is powerful and worldly and they are naive and either childlike, damaged, or subservient. He likes for his women to look up to him. Thats sick.

Famous and powerful men who have a serious history of dating teenagers, thats someone who wants to be the dominating, powerful member of every relationship he is in.

I am nerd, I have always been. I have found my friends among nerds all my life. And I have found that nerds develop in two directions. Some nerds, because of the torment they have been through, tend to be very empathic people, and they are kind to others, because they remember what it was like when everyone was mean to them.

Other nerds, when they achieve power, and fame, they are vindictive, angry, always trying to get back at the world that mistreated them. Woody’s life seems to be focused on finding beautiful, but weaker, women that he can dominate, its the way he gets back at the beautiful women who rejected him before he was somebody.

Just my opinion, i could be wrong.

@Promnight: I just find him boring as hell. I’ve never seen an entire flick of his.

I think I’m off to my feel-good happy place and watch Kundun.

“I am but a simple man…”

@Benedick: Fascinating. I didn’t know that. Here is a photo of Vivian and Sir Larry in Fire Over England from 1937.

@Promnight: Diane Keaton is a helpless, childlike woman? Diane Keaton is childlike, damaged, or subservient? Diane Keaton is naive? Diane Keaton is a weak woman who can be dominated? News to me.

Plenty of reasons to dislike the works or life of Woody Allen. Crappy psychoanalysis ain’t one of them. Nor is kneejerk contrarianism.

@Dodgerblue: Try to catch her in That Hamilton Woman sometime. A Korda production with topnotch values all around. She’s at the pinnacle of her beauty and some say it’s her best perf. I think she was a really fine film actress.

@Benedick: Still, shallow would be a first step, don’t you think?

@Benedick: Speaking of Maureen O’Sullivan, remind me again which translation of Anna Karenina you love. I adore that book, but I gave away my copy in one of my many moves and want to buy it again.

Or was it War and Peace that has the new translation?

@nojo: I would never express my lack of appreciation for Woody as a some kind of display of kneejerk contrarianism, I learned decades ago, that dissing Woody is dangerous, his cult is so strong in intellectual circles, there is no cheap contrarian up-side to expressing lack of admiration for him.

And I am no fan of psychoanalysis, I base my judgement on simple life experience, knowing men, knowing so many men, who are threatened by women, especially beautiful women, and strong women. I have seen how these men seek out younger, unsophisticated, or damaged, or vulnerable women, so they can be the stronger, dominating partner in the relationship, and I am sorry, thats what I see in Woody’s movies, and his life.

And as I said, I never liked the “hey, look at my amusing neuroses” style of comedy, its why Ellen Degeneris totally skeeves me as well.

@Promnight: Were you looking in the mirror?

@SanFranLefty: Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have done great new translations of both, available thru Click or Die ™.

@JNOV: My major issue, as I understand it so far, at this particular moment, is that I suffer and always have from crippling low self-esteem, and I have always sought stronger women, someone I can surrender control to, and allow them to tell me what to do, so I won’t bear the responsibility, and also, I am seeking motherly approval, which my shrink is leading me to recognize that I did not get as a child. Overshare is my middle name. But anyway, it seems to me I am more the opposite of what I perceive in Woody, rather than projecting my faults on him.

Leftover wine inna box and tying flies here tonight. Had an awesome day up on the trout stream today with Son of RML. Had the place to ourselves.

@Promnight: I like strong women because why not? Self-actualization is very attractive. And I don’t have to hold back.

Control issues? Doesn’t work for me either way. I already have a nice mommy, don’t need another one.

@Promnight: So, you are a fan of psychoanalysis? Just trying to get this straight.

@nojo: Awww, Tomm and Benedick are going to be so upset…

@redmanlaw: Good. Did you see that link for your boy I posted?

@nojo: I’m not being glib, about my therapy, and the insights I am dealing with. The relationship patterns, they result from unconscious needs and desires. I didn’t recognize that dynamic until the last year, thats the biggest breakthrough I ever made. My conscious and consistent disdain for men whom I perceive as needing a subservient woman, and my admiration and attraction to strong women, thats not so much a manifestation of my pschological issues, its something deeply connected to my deepest moral beliefs about equality, and maybe also a romantic notion that true love is only possible between equals, who truly respect their lover as an equal partner.

@JNOV: I am not a fan of Freudian psychoanalysis, in most of the world outside of New York City its considered a quackish cult. My pschiatrist, I suspect, is more of a freudian than I would prefer, but he avoids talking about his methods with me, the person he is using his methods on, but, its working, because in the end, I think the value in the therapy is simply in having someone you trust, who has some insight and wisdom, that you can talk to. If I had real friends, I wouldn’t need a psychiatrist, I suspect.

@JNOV: I did, thanks. The dyes on one of his shirts ran when he tried to rinse it, so he was bummed about that.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: Director of Digital Marketing. The Disney guy who is my new neighbor. He’s working on Sorcerer’s Apprentice now. I know this isn’t relevant to the post I linked to, but it’s relevant to I need to write it down now or I’ll forget it.

@nojo: Me too, re strong women. Married one.

@redmanlaw: Oh, gotta set it with soda ash — that’s the key. And you gotta be willing to make mistakes. Some colors just don’t go well together. Like the Stiller shirt I tried to make — DISASTER (shout out to Beesko!).

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: Ahhhhhh…I want youuuuuu, to show me the way. Everyday!

@Promnight: Your mileage may vary, but the only Cult of Woody (left button, JNOV) I’m aware of is among actors who work with him. In terms of his work, I was rooting for him through Stardust Memories, and then he fell off a cliff.

And his early, funny films? Well, they’re funny, is all. You may react against them as Benedick does against Python, which is fair enough, but finding low comedy in high concepts was a winning approach in its time. “New Vaudeville,” such as the Flying Karamazov Brothers, was full of it.

@Dodgerblue: And tall, as we know. But that’s optional, out of necessity.

@nojo: Thanks for the reminder — had already found it. Sometimes I might even play with the other one just for kicks…

Aw, Benedick doesn’t like “The Funniest Joke Ever” sketch? :-(

@JNOV: Benedick finds Python a bunch of pseudo-intellectual Oxbridge Goon wannabes, but forgives Cleese because he wrote for David Frost.

@nojo: But Idle is sooooo hot! And they all look great in drag…

@nojo: Oh, darling, thank you for the shout out for the tall wimmenz. Tall wimmenz with “attitudes” as it were. Flippin and I thank you.

@SanFranLefty: I’m sorry. I tried. Didn’t work out.

@SanFranLefty: What counts as tall? Can 5’7″ get in the game?

@JNOV: Talk to Nojo, apparently he’s the gatekeeper.

@nojo: Kay — so what’s a tall woman?

@SanFranLefty: My wife is 5’0″. I dated some tall gals but things never worked out. I must say that I do enjoy hugging a tall woman, especially if she has a nice rack.

@JNOV: It’s relative, but the formula is one I don’t have to bend over to hear.

In other words, six feet. Which is why it’s necessarily optional. Attraction doesn’t give a shit about your back.

@nojo: See my post just above this. I can totally relate to what you say.

@nojo: Right! I’ve gravitated toward 6’3″ +, but it’s a helluva lot easier to have sex standing with someone closer to your height. Well, easier on the guy’s thighs if you actually give a fuck about his comfort. If you don’t, well. Yeah. Everyone needs to put in some serious effort sometimes.

@JNOV: Unless they’re also picking you up…

@Dodgerblue: Strong short women scare me, because they’re even scrappier than I am…one of the toughest women I know is 4’11” and 92 pounds dripping wet with her cowboy boots on.

@nojo: You can always get a step-stool or something…Dodger and Ms. Dodger have managed to make it work for 30-ish years…

@Dodgerblue: Short people just don’t understand that sound doesn’t carry as far at altitude.

@SanFranLefty: Strong short women scare me

That would be my 4-11 favorite aunt, The Toughest Broad I’ve Ever Known. And one of the funniest.

@JNOV: Not with my excuse for biceps.

Meanwhile, California Comptroller John Chiang throws it down against the Guvernator over minimum wage for state employees, with the snarkiest public statement ever out of his office.

Chiang is all that remains between Mr. SFL and a job at In & Out (if he’s lucky, more likely KFC because I&O pays $11/hr plus insurance).

@JNOV: Actually, bend over to hear refers to walking down the sidewalk. I’m all in favor of public pestorking, but I’m not gonna be a martyr to that cause.

@nojo: Oh, and I knew what you meant.

@Dodge: I must say that I do enjoy hugging a tall woman, especially if she has a nice rack.. Fixed

I like Nojo’s barometer, but too tall and arm around shoulder begins to hurt.

@Lefty: “dripping wet in cowboy boots”? Um, pictures?

I can’t believe you guys totally ditched me and left me with this dude pounding away on his iPhone. :-P

Well, I cranked out a dozen flies, an assortment of nymphs for trout, and had a glass of wine during the foregoing. Off to bed. Raining like hell. Sat went out again.


oh hi kids! had to stop in and say hey for the woodman.
if you hate his guts, you must respect him as a film maker.
prolific doesn’t come close to describing him. you’ll excuse the expression, he has pumped out more film, and more good film, than anyone. a movie a year almost. i have read all his books and it’s quite clear soon yi was on his mind. the “kugalman” story is a journalistic study of his sick mind. a sick mind i adore.
“oh, you’ve been in therapy for 40 years?”
“yes, next year i’m going to Lourdes”
(annie hall)
my fave? crimes and misdemeanors
not funny, but a damn fine work that examines morality. who better than he to take that on?

@SanFranLefty: What Cyn said. Translations of both books are superb and are highly recommended. Have tissues handy. You will need them.

Saw the rest of Amercord last night and OMFG.

@Dodgerblue: Ooh, ask him if they need project managers or even supervisor-level cast members. I have to get out of my dead-end, poisionous department.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: May I ask him if he knows you? I’ve held back out of concern that he may be your arch-nemesis. You never know.

Add a Comment
Please log in to post a comment