Monday, June 1, 2009

Mars vs Venus & Woody Allen

Just watched Woody Allen's Vicky, Christina, Barcelona film last night. I've had the film for at least 3 weeks now from Netflix, but the husband refused to watch it with me. Now I'm not a huge Woody Allen fan, but the cast and storyline looked good. He refused to watch the film based on moral issues. It had nothing to do with the fact that the film was about adulterous affairs, but had everything to do with the fact that Woody Allen is a despicable human being. 

In case you don't remember, Woody Allen had a relationship with his stepdaughter Soon-Yi Previn while in a committed relationship with her mother Mia Farrow. Farrow had accidentally found nude photos that Allen had taken of Soon-Yi. The judge eventually concluded that the sex abuse charges were inconclusive, but called Allen's conduct with Soon-Yi "grossly inappropriate". (wikipedia)

I agreed that Allen's actions were despicable. However, Soon-Yi was legally an adult. I did not buy the film and to my knowledge, Allen doesn't benefit financially from a netflix rental, so am I really condoning Allen's behavior by watching his film? Can we separate the person from their work? 

My daughter had an interesting take on it. She said that the illicit affairs depicted in the film led to unhappiness for all the characters. So perhaps there is a good moral lesson to be learned from the film. 

This is yet another example on how my husband and I live on different planets. Somehow in his mind, we condone pedophilia and incest by watching Woody Allen films. Some of his other 'outrageous' claims include a comment about tattoos and why his daughter and wife can't have one. (I don't really want one, but just like to rile him up)"Tattoos today, heroin tomorrow." (I so didn't make that one up. That was said in the presence of an attorney, who took him to task for that comment). Another recent comment was "Facebook is the first step towards cheating." This was in response to my opening up a facebook account. I have gotten very proficient at laughing at his ridiculousness. 

1 comment:

  1. According to the book, I too come from Mars. But I cannot follow this equation of aesthetic pleasure depending on the morals of the author. Simply doesn't work that way: even when you try hard to ignore it, sometimes you simply like a song, or a book, or a movie that is the work of a complete asshole. Do I have to burn all the records Phil Spector produced? No way, man, that includes "All things must pass"!
    Allen and Farrow had a nasty, messy breakup, that's for sure. Most breakups are. But last time I checked, he was still with Soon Yi, or in any case, that relationship was for real. And in case I had the energy to point my finger at them (which I do not) how on earth can you tell that experience affects the quality of Allen's artistic work after 15 years?
    Some years ago, after reading over 40 books on The Beatles, I found myself at odds with my adolescence hero, John Lennon. The way I saw it, I begun to dislike his work, because there is proof that he was violent towards women. Now I don't think that was the case: I dislike his solo work because for the most part is uninspired, and clearly not up to The Beatles' standards. And also because I grew up.
    I don't think square morals are necessarily a male thing. In any case, I feel one should approach any work of art whithout regards on the author's biography. Believe me, it's a lot of work to do so, and it takes the pleasure out of it.
    Cheers, Colette.