Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Woody Allen and Shakespeare

I really want to like Woody Allen movies. I do. But I have this anti-Woody-Allen wall that comes slamming down and I just can't break through it. Sort of like reading Shakespeare, I think I'm supposed to like reading it but nothing happens. Which is tough when you work for a Shakespeare theatre. It's sort of a given that every mood your in should exude Shakespeare somehow. But not me.

With Woody Allen the problem is even more curious then that of Shakes. With Shakespeare at least the language is tougher than modern, the references are obscure, the philosophy a bit dated... people are expected to have a hard time with him. But with Woody everyone I know seems to say the same thing, "He is such a comic genius! I love his films." Everyone I know says this! Literally. I could line up the first 100 people that I know (in no specific order) and you could walk along (preferably at a cocktail party or some other location where random acts of banter are expted) and mention "Have you seen the latest Woody Allen film?" Every one of those 100 friends will say,
"Oh yes, he is such a comic genius! I love his films." Something else that bothers me about Woody Allen is that people ALWAYS refer to his work as "films". No one really says, "Hey, that new Woody Allen movie is out" or "Woody Allen is a movie guru." It's always, "We should check out the new Woody Allen film playing at the art house" or "Woody Allen is a cavalier of contemporary film."


It's a movie. They are pretty much ALL movies... except for the foreign ones, THOSE are films. Yes, Woody Allen is kinda artsy and yes people talk about him in coffee shops, but it's really just a "film" veneer for what is in all actuality a movie.

I don't begrudge Woody Allen. I wish him all the success in the world. I begrudge those who think that carrying a martini around, doing kiss-kiss in the air to either cheek, and fawning over these "films" makes them "tres sophisticate".

1 comment:

Suzana said...

:) hehehe, this was funny :) I agree, my boyfriend likes his movies, I dare say, being from Europe (marginally, but hey), and adores his writing, but except for his essay on Shakespeare's identity, I have serious difficulties to watch through any of his movies.
Best regards, Suzana