Thursday, January 18, 2018

Woody Allen's serious work

Woody Allen's "serious" movies all contain these odd quirks. In Interiors, Diane Keaton plays a celebrity poet. An ad agency begs her sister to come work for them even though she has no experience at it. Allen has the idea that if a job is beneath your dignity, you must be really good at it.

I don't remember much about September except that a woman who needs a job thinks she'll go to New York and be a photographer. Contrast that with a documentary about William S. Burroughs. His son needs a job and Burroughs tells him a restaurant down the street is looking for a dishwasher.

Another Woman had a lot of middle-aged sex talk that must have bewildered younger viewers.

September had this stupid thing where the characters all had jobs like astrophysicist. Another guy rented the house to finish his novel. Why would anyone do that?

It makes me think of an old photographer I knew. He was from New York. He had a batch of pictures of musicians at a jazz festival. He had taken them for Playboy in the '60s but they were never printed. He also had a candid photo of an old couple sitting in folding chairs in the middle of an empty beach in the early morning. He said that photo made him rethink what is hip. The jazz cats were no match for this couple on the beach and they weren't even trying.

Allen should lay off the creative types and have more old people on the beach.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives

The first time I saw Woody Allen's Husband's and Wives, I had to close my eyes from time to time due to sea sickness. I've never seen a handheld camera that shaky before. It was in an arthouse theater in an old funeral home near the university. It arrived in theaters around the time news was breaking about Allen and Farrow's breaking up.

There were some college students on a first date sitting behind me. As we all waited for the film to start, the boy regaled his date with the story of his parents' divorce, how he felt the rug had been pulled out from under him, how his mother was driving somewhere and broke down sobbing. He still hadn't gotten over it. She pointed out that it was only a couple of years earlier. He concluded by explaining that this was why he wanted to be sure she actually liked him and didn't go out with him out of pity. I didn't see the logic of this. She was taken by surprise and said, "no, no," but not much else.

I just watched it again for the first time on Flimstruck, the Roku channel that carries the Criterion Collection. The movie was better than I remember. I understand now people who think it's one of his best movies.

James Franco--Then it IS true!

Well, there's been pretty much the same report on several different sites. James Franco's friends are worried about him. They're keeping an eye on him, but they don't seem to think he's suicidal. More like he might start binge eating.

But they all say this:
‘He is not surprised this came out. He reached out to multiple former students from his class, so he could speak to them. He’s genuinely remorseful,’ the insider added.
That confirms it. The accusations against him are horribly true.

I couldn't stand the guy anyway. His movie about the making of The Room might have been interesting to me, but not with him in it. It shouldn't matter to me, but I'm glad that more people will now share my prejudice.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Aziz Ansari

It makes me feel more confident about all the other sexual harassment/abuse/rape cases in the #MeToo movement that women have come to the defense of Aziz Ansari. A woman calling herself "Grace" apparently had a bad date with him. He was more into sex that evening than she was, but she didn't just tell him and didn't just leave. She was a photographer by trade. He had no power over her and he didn't threaten her. At least that's the defense made for Ansari. I don't know if they're right.

I did think that this was the case with George Takei. He had no power and shouldn't have been included in this. Playing Mr Sulu on Star Trek didn't give him power to destroy anyone's career.

Max Landis, on the other hand---we don't actually know what, if anything, he's accused of, but if he's not powerful in Hollywood his father is. That's the case with James Franco, too, exploiting students trying to start careers as actors.

My impression is that James Franco has an image of himself as a good liberal only because he doesn't mind having a gay following. Beyond that, you can look at the crap in his terrible "novel". He's a horrible person and not terribly bright. He has no clue what a bad writer he is. It raises serious doubts about every other supposedly intellectual celebrity, although Brooke Shields getting into Princeton blew the lid off that a long time ago. How smart is Ronan Farrow really? How smart is Woody Allen for that matter?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Logan Paul


Years ago, there was a report on the local news. A young fellow had taken a lot of drugs, fired a rifle out the window of his rental house and holed up there while police surrounded the house. There was live coverage on the local news. The guy's two roommates were out somewhere, saw their house on TV and rushed over to see what was happening. They couldn't contain their excitement at seeing their house on TV. They were both smiling and laughing as they talked to reporters.

I can understand it. At that stage of life, I probably would have been mostly amused at almost any of my friends getting into an armed stand-off with Police, and, thinking back to my friends back then, this would probably be justified. But I think I would have had the good sense to conceal my glee.
I read in Dear Abby or some such column---a woman wrote in about a relative, a woman who liked taking pictures at funerals. She liked getting pictures of people overcome with emotion. And I can kind of understand that----she was getting dramatic photos. Of course, no one wanted to be photographed then and again, the woman should have at least concealed her glee at getting great shots.

It seems like cheating anyway. Go to a war zone if you want dramatic photos. Taking pictures at a funeral is shooting fish in a barrel.

So I can sort of understand this You Tube "celebrity" Logan Paul and his associates not reacting appropriately when they came across a dead body in the woods in Japan. But it's just as well that You Tube barred him from their site. A French digital media company called Blackpills canceled some scripted web series he was set to produce and star in.

Social media is tricky

Be careful what you say on the internet. It hasn't happened to me, but people tend to give things the worst possible interpretation.

A woman--I think they said she was a model, I don't know--posted a photo of Finn Wolfhard on Twitter and suggested he give her a call once he was grown up. This was interpreted as pedophilia. And some guy commented on a picture of a girl from the same show Wolfhard is on. She was dressed up for some event and the guy said she had grown up before their eyes. People attacked him for being a pervert.

I thought they sounded like a couple of old people patronizing their friends' grandchildren. They were basically saying, "What a handsome little gentleman!" or "What a pretty dress! You look so grown-up!"

When I was kid, I had an old man let me go first in line. "Age before beauty," he said smiling at me. He didn't know what "age before beauty" meant. And he thought I was a girl. He thought he was being very kind to a pitifully unattractive girl and I didn't correct him. Let him have his moment.

I didn't know who Finn Wolfhard was until recently. I read something about him in the news, googled him and watched a YouTube video of him sitting in his room singing and strumming a guitar. There were hundreds of comments from doting fans all telling him that he sang like a little angel. (He didn't. Sorry.)

This seemed dangerous to me. You don't want these people to feel like they're communicating with you directly. You don't want them picturing you reading their reactions to your YouTube videos. Look at all the kid actors who've had stalkers. Even Dustin Diamond had one. He had to move in with a co-star for a time.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Woody Allen, Mira Sorvino, Maureen Orth, et al

Is Mia Farrow sorry she was in every single movie Woody Allen made over a 15 year period? Has she apologized to Dylan for dating Woody Allen all those years? Mia and Dylan both claim that Woody was openly lusting after her from the time she was a toddler. Has Mia apologized for sacrificing Dylan on the altar of her own stardom? Didn't Mia notice that Dylan was running and hiding from Woody as they now claim? Mia fought in court to allow Woody to adopt her in spite of all this.

By her own account Mia Farrow is a terrible mother. The judge in the custody case said as much. How could she not notice that Soon-yi was dating Woody?

But now a couple of actresses have apologized to Dylan Farrow for being in Woody Allen movies.

The attacks on Allen are contradictory. He's attacked for ignoring Mia's children. Allen himself said he focused only on Moses, Dylan and Satchel (now Ronan) and the custody case revealed that he knew very little even about them. Yet they claim he was a "father-figure" to Soon-yi. One person managed to reconcile these two positions by saying that having no relationship whatsoever with Woody just made Soon-yi want his attention even more--it made him an even MORE of a father-figure. (Like Dinesh D'Souza's claim that Barack Obama's total lack of contact with his father meant his father had an even GREATER ideological influence over him.)

Maureen Orth wrote some nonsense, TEN UNDENIABLE FACTS ABOUT WOODY ALLEN. One or two of the "facts" WERE deniable and the others were irrelevant. She claimed that "three adult witnesses" confirmed Dylan's claims of abuse that day.
...Another babysitter told police and also swore in court that on that same day, she saw Allen with his head on Dylan’s lap facing her body, while Dylan sat on a couch “staring vacantly in the direction of a television set.” 
Staring vacantly is pretty much how one watches TV. But the babysitter who said this also denied that Allen and Dylan disappeared together---she said that they were never out of her sight for more than five minutes.

And why does Orth only count "adult witnesses"? Moses Farrow was thirteen-years-old, he was with them the entire time (the nannies weren't, apparently) and he was perfectly capable of noticing if they went anywhere together (they didn't). The accusation was made the next day so the memory was fresh in his mind. There was also a cook present in the house who said it did not happen---at no time were they running around trying to find Dylan and Woody as only one nanny claimed.

There was only one "adult witness" who says that the alleged incident could have happened and she got a book deal out of it. Her book ended with her professing her love and devotion to Mia Farrow and it was made into a Fox Network movie.

Orth says Allen lost four court battles. He lost the custody case no one expected him to win and he lost an appeal in that case; he filed an ethics complaint against a prosecutor and filed an appeal in that case as well. I wouldn't call them "court battles" exactly. It's undeniable, but what does Orth think it proves?

The ethics complaint was against a prosecutor who claimed in a press release that he didn't charge Allen with a crime only because the trial would have been too much for Dylan. Orth doesn't mention the undeniable fact that Dylan had until she was 20 to file criminal charges.

It was insane to allow Allen and Farrow to adopt children together when they weren't married. And what was their excuse for not simply getting married? People apparently had the idea they were married anyway. They could have continued to live separately. I've known married couple who lived in separate countries.