Friday, November 18, 2011

Stardust Memories

When I was growing up there were three pop culture influences in my life that truly helped forge my personality and create the charmingly wise-ass, anti-social mess you see here before you today. They were, in no particular order, Woody Allen, Bugs Bunny and Hawkeye Pierce.

In particular, Woody Allen changed me at a formative age; his films were the equivalent of a speeding car that careened into my psyche and sense of humor so hard that it knocked both in an entirely new direction, one I've traveled on ever since that collision.

I bring this up for no other reason than to justify linking to a clip from PBS's new documentary on Woody, one that features a scene from one of my favorite movies of all time: Love and Death.

Yeah, I know. In the words of Meryl Streep's character in Manhattan, like the creations who stand in for him in his films, he's given to fits of "male chauvinism, self-righteous misanthropy, liberal paranoia... nihilistic moods of despair... and a fear of death which he elevates to tragic heights when, in fact, it's sheer narcissism," and God knows he telegraphed the hell out of that Soon-Yi punch. But in the end, he's a genius, through and through.

The Hollywood Reporter: PBS Documentary Spotlights Woody Allen/11.18.11


Harvey Jerkwater said...

"...wheat with feathers..."

He had the same effect on me. When I was twelve, one of the cable channels we got ran a pile of Woody Allen movies over and over again for a month. The effect was devastating.

It also taught me to keep a sock filled with horse manure on hand when going out in public, because there are a great many people who need to be hit with one.

Watching the last movies before the Soon-Yi affair became public That was...yeah.

Anonymous said...

So happy that Midnight in Paris was such a surprise. The post Soon-Yi era has been marked by some genuinely awful stinkers.

pea said...

I love Woody Allen. Have you seen Wild Man Blues? Soon-yi is no Kathleen Brennan to Woody's Tom Waits, but it's clear they love the crap out of each other. The odd clunker is a fair trade for Twue Wuv.

Besides, Melinda & Melinda is fabulous. Haven't seen Midnight in Paris yet, but got the DVD today! I'm looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

You are so much in my head with this post. I am old enough to remember all of Woody's films as they were thrust upon an unsuspecting world. Woody has always made NYC a character in his movies and as a native New Yorker I have always taken such pride in this. As I have watched all these amazing movies over and over again through the years, I have always felt that being lucky enough to get Woody was a prize that not everyone was blessed to have had.

I remember seeing Zelig with a group of friends, when it first came out, and there were some, in this fairly large group, that left scratching their heads feeling somewhat left out of the joke. Those of us who got it just knew that we were the special ones. Nothing else needed to be said.

JackDanieL said...

this is pretty cool