Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Woody Allen, pretentious—or?

A new Bleat gives me an opportunity to raise the issue of Woody Allen movies. Some readers want interpretations, but we’ve not gotten any submissions on them, and I’m not going to write one. So perhaps this rant (which sounds good to me; haven’t seen many Allen films) will inspire somebody to come to the defense of the auteur. “Late Friday I watched Interiors, which I don’t think I’d seen since 1978;  . . . I came away [then] thinking what an artist Woody Allen was. What a genius! What piercing insight into the human condition! What a load of pretentious rubbish! I think now.” And: “In Allen’s films, art is a creed, a belief system, a religion full of sermons and dirges. If ever Art alights on a tinkerbell emotion like glee or delight, it’s always presented as a freeze-dried object . . . Butterflies on pins” (lileks.com, 23 Feb 2004). Of course, Mr. Lileks has also undergone a philosophical transformation over the past several years; is ideological agreement a prerequisite to enjoying Woody Allen? Discuss among yourselves.

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