Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Woody Allen

No, I don't understand why it's still OK to work with Roman Polanski but not with Woody Allen. There's no doubt about Polanski being a child rapist, but Allen- well- I don't think Dylan Farrow is lying but one can't be wholly sure. Another thing: a lot of women have accused Polanski of sexual abuse- and weight of evidence counts- whereas with Allen there's only the one case to consider.  It can't be a question of their relative standing as artists because I'd say Allen was the more interesting and original of the two. The known abuser gets a free pass and the one who is under suspicion doesn't: it's strange. But perhaps it's simply a matter of fashion.  Polanski has never ceased to be cool (perhaps its to do with being a survivor of both the holocaust and the Manson murders) while Woody- having been cool for decades- is suddenly so last year- and no-one who is a la mode can be seen to be wearing his colours. It's not very flattering to humanity to think that public morality is largely a matter of fashion but that's how it seems to be. 

Not that I'm a huge fan of Woody's. I don't think I've seen a movie of his that didn't send me away a little disappointed. I think he benefited- as  many artists in many fields did- from coming out of New York at a time when New York was the most cosmopolitan city in the most powerful country in the world. His reputation is inflated by cultural cringe- as is Bernstein's and Mailer's and Pollock's and this could be a very long sentence if I listed them all.  

Incidentally I respect Diane Keaton for standing by him. They've been friends and colleagues for half a century. It's called loyalty. 

There remains the work. I stopped watching Polanski movies- and Allen movies- a while back- not for reasons of morality but because I lost interest. I avoid them for the same reason I avoid anything with the (wholly admirable) Ron Howard's name attached. In the end art survives because it's good and not because its makers are. I'm not sure future generations will find much to engage them in such quintessentially late-20th century works as Annie Hall and Stardust Memories but if they do good luck to them.
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