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Nobody needs to see "Interiors" anyway....
February 22, 2014 9:52 AM   Subscribe

How To Not Watch Woody Allen: Suitable replacements for every single one of his movies.
posted by The Whelk (109 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite

 
What's a suitable replacement for Scenes From A Mall?
posted by box at 10:01 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


And people say Bowdlerism died with the Victorians!
posted by RogerB at 10:06 AM on February 22 [18 favorites]


> What's a suitable replacement for Scenes From A Mall?

Not technically a Woody Allen film, is it?
posted by planetesimal at 10:06 AM on February 22


Hrmm, I was doing perfectly well not watching Woody Allen before, now I can do so without having my movie tastes questioned as somehow being too lowbrow.
posted by vuron at 10:08 AM on February 22 [14 favorites]


Okay, I am very excited about this list, because it appears to be a list of Movies Where Frowner Would Like Every Single One Of Them (except the Woody Allen, of course). I am simultaneously ignorant and picky about film (I know, what an attractive combination) and all the movies on the list that I've actually seen are ones I like a lot (the Fassbinder, the Varda and Car Wash, pretty much). And these are also the kinds of movies my friends will like, I think, which means we will no longer have the choice between Miyazaki for the millionth time (everyone likes Miyazaki!), Godard (inexplicably everyone likes Godard) and sitting through another one of those horrible ultraviolent British heist movies that everyone likes but me (that Bruges movie, blech).
posted by Frowner at 10:13 AM on February 22 [21 favorites]


now I can do so without having my movie tastes questioned as somehow being too lowbrow.

Yeah especially when we're supposed to be watching Last Action Hero over Purple Rose of Cairo.

This list is embarrassing. I'm getting sick of the "boycott Woody" thing. Do people really have a perception that Woody has always been a big huge ticket seller, and that by boycotting his films they'll have any impact except on their narrow-minded self-interest? He's respected and lauded among critics, actors, comedians and cinema fans the world over, and there is a relatively small portion of the movie-going population in the USA who loves his movies. He doesn't make blockbusters, never did, and his budgets are small, matched by his profits. He doesn't care if ignorant filmgoers refuse to see his movies because they were probably never his fans anyway; most of them probably hopped on for Match Point or Midnight in Paris and moved on. The best alternative to a Woody Allen movie is to not watch a Woody Allen movie, so congratulations if that's your choice. Lots of these listed films are great but none of them have the tone, writing, and particular world-view of a Woody Allen film. Agree with his aesthetic or don't, but NONE of these movies, even the great ones, are a suitable alternative. And with that, I will be boycotting the idiotic ANIMAL. That will show them!!
posted by ReeMonster at 10:18 AM on February 22 [42 favorites]


In Crackpot, one of his early books, John Waters devotes a section as to why Interiors is one of his favorite films. This caused me to go out and rent it as a 17 year old, and it really is amazing, my favorite Allen movie. (Repeatedly) viewing it led to a lifelong love of uncomfortable, mean-spirited melodramas.

There is no replacement for Interiors. If Allen disgusts you and you have trouble separating the artist from the art, you can take solace in the fact it's strictly a directorial effort - Allen doesn't act in it.
posted by item at 10:19 AM on February 22 [8 favorites]


This is a very interesting list, but I still with received wisdom that the artists is inseparable from the work. Like, on a gut level I completely agree with that idea but in the higher planes of though I'm not so sure.

As a relevant example: perhaps we should also all uninstall Gill Sans from our system fonts, since the artist actually admitted to abusing his children and having an incestuous relationship?

Or is this different because Woody Allen is still alive and thus this it more about boycotting his works as a means of social indictment?

Note: I am genuinely curious to know how others feel about this in a completely not-defending abusers, not trying to argue about the merits of the accusation kind of way.
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:21 AM on February 22 [9 favorites]


After crap like this, I can't help but think the call for a Woody Allen boycott is going to be a lot quieter on March 3. Not that I think that abuse may not have occurred, or that it shouldn't be addressed somehow.
posted by figurant at 10:28 AM on February 22


A lot of Woody Allen's nastier and self-defensive sides emerge in his work, to the point where watching, say Manhattan (which I have loved in the past) calls up some unpleasant associations, at least for me. This is not true of a typeface.
posted by argybarg at 10:29 AM on February 22 [21 favorites]


Blue Jasmine: story of a deluded person going insane or just naked misogyny? It would be interesting to try to gauge reaction to that movie based on whether or not the viewer knew it was an Allen film.
posted by planetesimal at 10:31 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


social indictment

Doleful, I really think it's more about the boycotters in this case. They want to feel better about themselves by refusing to acknowledge the validity of an aritst's work, even though it will have no impact whatsoever in the wider world. As an artist with many artist friends, I have yet to meet someone who agrees with the notion that an artist is inseparable from their work. And so, based only on MY experience, I can assume that anyone boycotting his films for this reason is not an artist.

I should add that the way I've always seen it, even as a young kid being introduced to Sleeper and Play It Again, Sam... Woody Allen films have NEVER been for everyone, because some people aren't into neurotic self-obsession, Jewish humor, and the milieu of his work.
posted by ReeMonster at 10:31 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


There is no replacement for Interiors.

Yeah, there is. There really, really is. It's a very Scandinavian film, and even deliberately apes Bergman here and there.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:33 AM on February 22 [5 favorites]


This seems more like a list of other movies that are really not all that well related or good as replacements. I'd like to see a lot of these movies, but the Woody Allen part seems shoehorned in.
posted by josher71 at 10:33 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Not sure why people are arguing about Allen here. The last thread on this was so constructive that we actually solved all of the issues already, everyone I know
who read those metafilter comments completely agreed that we had categorically settled this complex issue for all time
so if you want to talk/read about that issue I would just go to that thread.

P.S I watched A Single Man again last week - that is a damn good film.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 10:35 AM on February 22 [14 favorites]


Also, the comments under the article itself are not exactly agreeing with the article. Nice to see.
posted by ReeMonster at 10:37 AM on February 22


Ok now someone do replacements for Tim Allen's oeuvre.
posted by mullacc at 10:37 AM on February 22 [7 favorites]


As a relevant example: perhaps we should also all uninstall Gill Sans from our system fonts, since the artist actually admitted to abusing his children and having an incestuous relationship?

Or is this different because Woody Allen is still alive and thus this it more about boycotting his works as a means of social indictment?


Yes. Honestly, if he were dead, the money'd go to his estate, which may well include his victims, so morally it's a bit of a wash. Until then, the money goes to him, and the morality of that is a lot less ambiguous.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:39 AM on February 22 [6 favorites]


I am known to be a bit of a "prude" (not my self description) with fairly conservative personal/traditional morals but Chinatown (Polanski), Annie Hall and Manhattan(Allen) are three of my very favorite movies. I sincerely hope Allen is absolved. I could care less about Polanski and there is no doubt. If I gave up my appreciation and respect for certain works of art, political acumen, scientific innovation or economic/technological change based on accusations, and findings, of moral turpitude then much is lost for me.
posted by rmhsinc at 10:43 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]


There actually is a Futurological Congress movie, and it looks trippy as fuck.
posted by selfnoise at 10:45 AM on February 22 [6 favorites]


"While watching Allen’s tribute to German expressionism, you may realize none of his works actually deal with that other German mark on society, the Holocaust, even if his title borrows from one of the most powerful and succinct examinations of it on film."

Is there no limit to Allen's monstrosity?!?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:47 AM on February 22 [8 favorites]


you may realize none of his works actually deal with that other German mark on society, the Holocaust,

This person has never actually seen a Woody Allen movie, hunh?

Skip Elia Kaza’s Streetcar adaptation (Woody’s source here) because dude was a snitch,

Oh jesus fucking christ what an asshole.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:56 AM on February 22 [8 favorites]


There is no replacement for Interiors.

Sure there is. Any given film by Ingmar Bergman is better than Woody Allen's attempt to be Ingmar Bergman. (Likewise, over Stardust Memory.) If Allen has an irreplaceable film it's Annie Hall. It's not just his best film, it's the one that no one else could've done. Even Allen pastiched it a bit in the execrable Anything Else.

Having grown up knowing him as someone with questionable morality from the Soon-Yi situation (the molestation charges missed me as a kid), I've never been comfortable viewing Woody Allen as a person. I still like Bananas, Sleeper and Annie Hall. If, fifteen years after those films were all in the can, he did things that were horribly wrong - that's a long time. If he'd been hit by a bus in 1991 and none of that happened, he would've been well remembered for his films. To a certain extent I've always treated it as if he had been.
posted by graymouser at 11:01 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


You hope he's absolved just because you like some movies he made? I would only hope he's absolved because he's innocent.

FWIW, I wouldn't consider myself participating in anything as formal as a boycott, but his work leaves a bad taste in my mouth now. That's my immediate, involuntary reaction to it now, and that's not going to be changed by someone arguing "art" should somehow be viewed as elevated above real world concerns.

Wherever you land on this, hey, list of good movies to check out!
posted by saulgoodman at 11:01 AM on February 22 [14 favorites]


I've never really been a Woody Allen fan, regardless of the controversies surrounding him, so this list isn't that useful to me. That said, I love the idea behind this list. I think it would make for a great series in the hands of a good writer, especially if s/he managed to always work at least one instance of "Don't care for [film by acclaimed director]? Try [a film starring Rudy Ray Moore]!" into every list.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:10 AM on February 22 [3 favorites]


selfnoise: "There actually is a Futurological Congress movie, and it looks trippy as fuck."

Are they ever actually going to release that?
posted by octothorpe at 11:11 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see a lot of these movies, but the Woody Allen part seems shoehorned in.

Yeah, it's a dumb list with a dumb motivation, which doesn't mean there aren't a few excellent selections on it, 24 Hour Party People and Together both being all time faves.

But I'm about as interested in erasing any artist's work from the culture because of alleged crimes as I am in getting rid of motor racing because I disapprove of fossil fuels. Because an artist's work is often the best part of them.

The reason to erase a lifetime's work is because the work is godawful. Let's start with Michael Bay, shall we?
posted by philip-random at 11:15 AM on February 22 [6 favorites]


[One comment deleted. Absolutely do not refight the previous thread here. That thread is still open if you need to talk about the accusations, Allen vs Farrow's credibility, etc.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:16 AM on February 22


The really sad thing is that pretty much all the recommended movies are *great*. Cleo From 5 To 7, Together... They deserve better than to be trotted out like show ponies by this smug philistine. Worse still, anyone who goes to Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors expecting an adequate substitute for Love & Death is going to be very disappointed, and a masterpiece like Shadows deserves better.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 11:21 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


I saw Annie Hall recently, I've seen it multiple times before, and this time it really seemed nasty and mean-spirited to me. This isn't necessarily because of the allegations about Allen but maybe I've gotten a little soft in my middle-age but it just came across as relentlessly ugly.
posted by octothorpe at 11:24 AM on February 22 [9 favorites]


"Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) – Last Action Hero (1993)"? Um....No, I don't think so.
posted by TDavis at 11:33 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


It's a great list of movies either way. Morvern Callar is faboo.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:35 AM on February 22 [3 favorites]


"You hope he's absolved just because you like some movies he made?" I assume that comment was directed towards mine since I used the word "absolved". I am not sure how you drew that conclusion--because the sentences are consecutive or because you thought I hoped he was absolved because it did not happen, a girl was not molested, a reputation will be a little less tarnished, a stigma will be partially removed from his movies and tens of thousands of the self righteous, gossipers and scandal mongers will need to move on to the next thing. Remember--I also like Chinatown and am not forgiving of Polanski no matter how much I like his movies. And--is there a good substitute for Chinatown--I will take suggestions.
posted by rmhsinc at 11:37 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


I saw Annie Hall recently, I've seen it multiple times before, and this time it really seemed nasty and mean-spirited to me. This isn't necessarily because of the allegations about Allen but maybe I've gotten a little soft in my middle-age but it just came across as relentlessly ugly.

Yeah, I was really struck by this quote from the article:
Woody Allen’s transition from two-reeler gag-man to serious filmmaker also contains his biggest artistic problem: movies about “smart” nebbishes who can’t drop the “dumb” quirky broads in their life. Allen’s whole career is Nice Guys of OKCupid-style sexism with better jokes.
Because it demonstrates how susceptible Woody Allan's stuff is to Poe's law. One of the things he was admittedly really good at was making ambiguous stuff where lots of different interpretations are possible. But I do think that might be one reason why people find it so hard to separate his personal character from his work.

I love Annie Hall. But I love it on the (maybe totally loopy) interpretation where Annie is the protagonist and Alvy is an unreliable little shit who she struggles with and eventually gets over — and where letting that unreliable little shit be the narrator is a clever bit of misdirection that you catch on to over the course of the movie.

On the interpretation in the bit of the article I quoted — the (maybe more straightforward) one where Alvy is a tortured Nice Guy and Annie is this manic pixie dream siren who leads him into misery — the whole thing is just seriously gross.

I know it's totally naive and unsophisticated and uncool of me, but I actually do care which of those interpretations Woody Allen intended. It's great that he managed to make both available. But the more I start to feel like he intended to do the Phillip Roth icky-viewpoint-character thing rather than the Iain M. Banks icky-viewpoint-character thing, the less interested I am in actually watching the damn movie.
posted by this is a thing at 11:39 AM on February 22 [12 favorites]


But that interpretation of Annie Hall is pretty dramatically contradicted by the text. I mean, not that Annie is perfect, but Alvy is obnoxious from the get-go ("No, I love being reduced to a cultural stereotype"), and the play rehearsal scene at the end makes clear that he will always spin the story to his benefit, so the wretched twerp you see in this movie is his *best* side. Reading the movie as a Nice Guy's lament just flagrantly ignores big chunks of the movie. Which seems to be the article-writer's speciality.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 11:45 AM on February 22 [8 favorites]


"Annie is the protagonist and Alvy is an unreliable little shit who she struggles with and eventually gets over"--is there any other interpretation. I thought that was just a fact
posted by rmhsinc at 11:46 AM on February 22 [11 favorites]


This really doesn't seem all that different than, say, fundamentalist extremists who compile lists of "moral alternatives" to mainstream cultural products because they find their contents objectionable. At some point, you either engage with problematic art and artists or you're deliberately working towards some form of epistemic closure.
posted by kewb at 11:53 AM on February 22 [10 favorites]


Without weighing in on the "can you separate the artist from the art" controversy, I have to say: Snake Eyes, one of the worst movies I've ever seen, period, as a suitable replacement for Match Point? It's like the author wasn't even trying anymore by the end of the list. Snake Eyes for Match Point is roughly akin to substituting dog shit in place of caviar and saying, "You'll never notice the difference".
posted by The Gooch at 11:57 AM on February 22 [3 favorites]


I mean, yes, of course, there's no interpretation where Alvy is a character where you admire.

But I do think there's an interpretation where you're meant to empathize with him, and even to feel some kindness towards him as a sort of lovable loser — where the movie is basically pleading with you on his behalf: "You've got to understand how hard it is to be such an unbearable self-loathing creep! He can't help it! And look how he's suffering..." That's the interpretation on which I find it gross and hard to watch.
posted by this is a thing at 11:57 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


I'd replace Snake Eyes with Trading Places or L'Amour Braque.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:00 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


"Annie is the protagonist and Alvy is an unreliable little shit who she struggles with and eventually gets over"--is there any other interpretation. I thought that was just a fact.

To me, Alvy was neither a nice guy nor a little shit exactly, but a relatably flawed man whose self-loathing, insecurity and childishness compels him to try to "Henry Higgens" his nice new girlfriend into someone more like himself, destroying the relationship in the process.

The fact that he's Jewish and she's not is a pretty big refrain in the movie, even though it's never exactly a plot point. This adds texture to the film, but in the end his flaws are pretty common flaws.
posted by ducky l'orange at 12:05 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


Please, do not let your fondness for/aversion to Allen stop you from going out right now and watching Tokyo Drifter. It's a great deal of fun (assuming you are willing to relax and go along for the perplexing ride). It's the film that got Suzuki's bosses at Nikkatsu to basically say "Jesus, just give us a gangster film already!" His next film, Branded to Kill, pretty much got him fired.

So the list has that going for it right out of the gate.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:10 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


I thought this article was amusing and harmless and unlikely to smother Allen's cultural legacy. It's also full of interesting recommendations of films I've never heard of, many of them films that the institution of Allen as The One Arty Filmmaker That Americans Hear About Without Consciously Seeking Out Arty Films has smothered in turn (which is not Allen's personal fault). The Ruling Class, I Shot Andy Warhol, Born in Flames -- I'm really eager to dig into this stuff.

That said, I'm basically the ideal audience for the thing. I don't know much about film and I'm not a particular fan of the Allen movies I've seen. I understand the aesthetic anger on this thread; I've been through the same thing with flippant "read/view/listen to this, not that!" posts (where "that" is a clearly problematic creator who I still think is worth encountering, and "this" is something I know isn't equivalent or even any less problematic).
posted by thesmallmachine at 12:12 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Never having enjoyed a single Woody Allen film, I enjoyed this article for its subtext, greatly.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:14 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Almost every time I've watched a Woody Allen movie I feel like I just played therapist for Woody Allen for a couple of hours.
posted by loquacious at 12:21 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


If he'd been hit by a bus in 1991 and none of that happened, he would've been well remembered for his films. To a certain extent I've always treated it as if he had been.

That's about the way I look at it too. Allen pretty much ceased to exist for me when the Soon-Yi situation came to light. The only one of his films I've seen since then was Match Point and that was only because I didn't read the DVD box very closely before I checked it out at the library. I haven't seen a Polanski film since Tess (1979) and at the time I don't think I was very aware of the allegations against him or I probably would have passed. For the most part I'm fine with the works of these men that I've already seen but am reasonably certain neither will ever get another dime from me.

There actually is a Futurological Congress movie, and it looks trippy as fuck.

Sure does. Wonder how Robin Wright would feel about it being released now. I imagine she'd want Claire Underwood to remain foremost in everyone's minds for the time being.

Zelig (1983) – Chameleon Street (1989)

Watched the Chameleon Street trailer and whoa, how did it manage to fly under the radar? Not sure why anyone would consider it an alternative to Zelig though.
posted by fuse theorem at 12:25 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


and all the movies on the list that I've actually seen are ones I like a lot (the Fassbinder, the Varda and Car Wash, pretty much)

A shout out for Car Wash, an underrated little disco flick with a surprisingly interesting script.
posted by ovvl at 12:35 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


Carnage - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The Ghost Writer - The Tailor of Panama
Oliver Twist - Tideland
The Pianist - No Man's Land (2001)
The Ninth Gate - Inferno (1980)
Death and the Maiden - Adam's Apples
Bitter Moon - Love Me If You Dare
Frantic - Breakdown
Pirates - Serenity
Tess - The Little Match Factory Girl
The Tenant - Seconds
Chinatown - After Dark, My Sweet
What? - Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
Macbeth - Richard III (1995)
Rosemary's Baby - Seconds
The Fearless Vampire Killers - Slither
Cul-de-sac - Hausu
Repulsion - Eyes Without a Face
Knife in the Water - The Birthday Party (1968)
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:37 PM on February 22 [16 favorites]


To be honest, this exercise is pretty fun even if it's not about boycotting a director.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:39 PM on February 22 [14 favorites]


If Allen has an irreplaceable film it's Annie Hall. It's not just his best film, it's the one that no one else could've done.

I agree. Most of his other films I find disappointing, cringe-worthy (mostly newer ones), or interesting but almost but cartoonishly derivative. I liked him a lot when I was younger and watched almost all his work, but now there are only one or two of his movies I can wring any enjoyment out of, and one of them (Manhattan) is a little too close to the subject material (Woody dating a high school girl, and all the thematic dubiousness of that, while interesting, is a little more one-dimensional IMO knowing his biography). It's a little uncomfortable. I still appreciate the film, but it loses something for me, despite my best intentions (to not care).

On the other hand, Rosemary's Baby is one of my favorite movies maybe ever, so it's nothing personal. I am just kind of shocked by the longevity of his career, powered by... what? I have no idea. It's automatically mock-worthy here to call anything middlebrow but it is middlebrow and maybe just perpetuated by an American desire for European cachet without sacrificing accessibility (nothing foreign, no subtitles, &c.). He dabbles in so many different areas I think it gives the illusion of an education being transmitted through his oeuvre, when it is all a bit artificial and kind of an adolescent idea (worldliness without conflict, broadmindedness without a threat to one's ego, ethics without a sense of real consequences, &c.) Anything involving the broader world, Europe, history is slapstick or comedy-- the psychological dramas and "interiors" are all fairly parochial.
posted by stoneandstar at 12:42 PM on February 22 [9 favorites]


I may have said this before but if you want to know how ugly and creepy most of the great '70s directors were, go read Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. Lucas and Spielberg are the only ones in that book that come across as even remotely human. Allen and Polanski weren't really outliers.
posted by octothorpe at 12:57 PM on February 22 [10 favorites]


Carnage - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The Ghost Writer - The Tailor of Panama
Oliver Twist - Tideland
The Pianist - No Man's Land (2001)
The Ninth Gate - Inferno (1980)
Death and the Maiden - Adam's Apples
Bitter Moon - Love Me If You Dare
Frantic - Breakdown
Pirates - Serenity
Tess - The Little Match Factory Girl
The Tenant - Seconds
Chinatown - After Dark, My Sweet
What? - Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
Macbeth - Richard III (1995)
Rosemary's Baby - Seconds
The Fearless Vampire Killers - Slither
Cul-de-sac - Hausu
Repulsion - Eyes Without a Face
Knife in the Water - The Birthday Party (1968)


As can be expected, just as the FPP, such an exercise is mostly a tussle of differing tastes. Many of these I personally find laughable. But there is a silver lining with Polanski - at least for me: no need to bother with any of his films after The Tenant (which is a masterpiece). It's worthless dreck - tragic, for one of the greatest directors ever. There are still - brief, very brief - flashes of Polanski's genius in some of his post-Tenant work (Pirates, Bitter Moon), but the time invested in watching does not reward. Now, there may be special reasons to watch some of his films past that, but it would not be for the enjoyment of the overall art (f.ex. the cinematography in Tess is pretty nice, but that's about it). I have rarely seen an artist decline as precipitously as Polanski has. At least Allen keeps coming back, unpredictably, like a zombie, long after you were sure he's dead.
posted by VikingSword at 1:07 PM on February 22


Different tastes, as you say. Setting aside Polanski's criminality as a person, I find plenty of good stuff in his post-Tenant movies. I could not say the same for much of Allen's recent output, with some exceptions here and there.

Now, Francis Ford Coppola, on the other hand...oh man, I wanted to like Twixt, on paper it should be my favorite movie, or at least a psychotronic worth-see, but it just wasn't happening.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:59 PM on February 22


Spartacus - Gladiator
Lolita - Lolita
Dr. Strangelove - Idiocracy
2001 - Prometheus
A Clockwork Orange - Battle Royale 2: Requiem
Barry Lyndon - Marie Antoinette
The Shining - Event Horizon
Full Metal Jacket - Black Hawk Down
Eyes Wide Shut - Love, Actually
posted by dng at 2:08 PM on February 22 [9 favorites]


Allen pretty much ceased to exist for me when the Soon-Yi situation came to light. . . . For the most part I'm fine with the works of these men that I've already seen but am reasonably certain neither will ever get another dime from me.

Quoted for exactly saying what I think. I don't think anyone should purge an artist's work but damned if I'm going to send any of my money in Allen's direction.
posted by bearwife at 2:11 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Mighty Aphrodite (1995) – Frankenhooker (1990): Frankenhooker, a horror-comedy that retools Re-Animator to critique the threat of “domestic bliss” to the innocent sex workers stuck with living out its secret fantasies.

I do not care for this list.
posted by EmGeeJay at 2:17 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


Bad Boys - Tango and Cash
The Rock - Papillon
Armageddon - Terminator 2
Pearl Harbor - The Thin Red Line
The Island - Moon
Transformers - The Avengers
posted by rosswald at 2:23 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


rhmisc: One can be absolved for crimes one actually committed, though. I personally am only saying I would not care whether he made good movies or not when it comes to his absolution. I don't care how good his art is. I'd only care to see him absolved if he were actually innocent.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:25 PM on February 22


I guess I'm just saying it seems off to me to want him to be absolved for reasons unrelated to his innocence or guilt. But now I'm getting deraily, so I'll see myself out.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:28 PM on February 22


Setting aside whether or not one enjoys Allen's works or sees them as valuable, do people really see art pieces as interchangeable?
In the case or narrative film, every character, every plot point, every shot, every edit, all of the sound, the performances . . . these all make each film unique, and while I get the social intent behind this list, I'm a little put off by the blithe attitudes at play here.
If works of art matter, they matter as themselves. If they are simply interchangeable experiences, then they exist simply as consumables and lifestyle decorations.
You can't (or perhaps shouldn't) compare films because they are both "about" the same thing; otherise watch either Vanishing Point or Fast & Furious because cars, 2001 or Battlefield Earth because aliens, etc.
posted by pt68 at 2:35 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


To Italy with Loins. My god, there's some films I'd love to see listed there.

What i got from the article is that instead of Allen's fairly shallow, culture-bound and hierarchical take on a subject, there's some wild and untidy films out there that are more interesting and less safe.
posted by glasseyes at 3:02 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


Mortal Kombat - Manhattan
Alien Vs. Predator - Hannah and her Sisters
Event Horizon - Punch-Drunk Love
Marley and Me - Cujo
Animal New York - Vice
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:15 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


But I do think there's an interpretation where you're meant to empathize with him, and even to feel some kindness towards him as a sort of lovable loser

Some kindness toward this character is just way too much for you? Jeez.
posted by atoxyl at 3:18 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


He doesn't care if ignorant filmgoers refuse to see his movies

A filmgoer doesn't have to be "ignorant" in order to avoid Woody Allen movies. After having watched some of his films in school, and at the behest of friends, I've had no interest in exploring the rest of his body of work. Not just because he's an asshole -- lots of filmmakers are assholes -- but because I thought he was a dull, Baby Boomer narcissist "auteur" who makes tiresome self-obsessed films.

I also, just to be clear, don't think that other people are "ignorant" for enjoying his films. I'm aware that he has many strengths as a filmmaker, and it's understandable that he's so beloved. Those strengths just aren't worth the price of admission for me, personally.

And as for this:

As an artist with many artist friends, I have yet to meet someone who agrees with the notion that an artist is inseparable from their work. And so, based only on MY experience, I can assume that anyone boycotting his films for this reason is not an artist.

I'm an artist. Making art is my job, my hobby, and the foundation of my community. I refuse to consume the artistic work of people whom I find to be reprehensible, not only because I don't want to support them financially, but because a person's outlook and experiences and prejudices all inform the fictional worlds they create. And I find it ridiculous, in the case of Woody Alley specifically, to claim that the unsavory aspects of his character aren't plainly in evidence in his work. Particularly with regards to women.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 3:20 PM on February 22 [25 favorites]


If works of art matter, they matter as themselves. 

I agree. I don't think anyone's seriously suggesting these films are viable substitutes for Allen's work. Just that these are films that might scratch the same itch for fans whose appreciation of Allen's output has been spoiled by new revelations.

It's actually the fact that the individual work and its context in the artist's life is so important to me as far as my own critical evaluation of art goes that I find myself in this bind where I can't enjoy Allen's stuff anymore. If I just saw his work as a commodity, I might not care where it came from or what it means when appreciated fully in the context of the artist's life and the historical circumstances it's responding to...
posted by saulgoodman at 3:28 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]



Spartacus - Gladiator
Lolita - Lolita
Dr. Strangelove - Idiocracy
2001 - Prometheus
A Clockwork Orange - Battle Royale 2: Requiem
Barry Lyndon - Marie Antoinette
The Shining - Event Horizon
Full Metal Jacket - Black Hawk Down
Eyes Wide Shut - Love, Actually
posted by dng


Greatest troll ever: this as a full page ad in the LA Times. Oh the wailing and gnashing of teeth. The countless hours of indignant suffering. The lost productivity in film classes.

Ha
posted by M Edward at 3:30 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]


They used a still from "Annie Hall" in place of "Radio Days."

F minus.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:46 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


The movie to replace Match Point* is A Place in the Sun, which is an obvious inspiration and influence.

*I don't suppose everyone's clamoring for a film to replace Match Point, but it's among my favorite of Allen's films and a refreshing change of tone and place.
posted by Elsa at 4:29 PM on February 22


Ok now someone do replacements for Tim Allen's oeuvre.

The Santa Clause - Miracle on 34th Street
Toy Story - The Indian in the Cupboard
Jungle 2 Jungle - The Life Aquatic
For Richer or Poorer - Witness
Toy Story 2 - The Great Escape
Galaxy Quest - Serenity
Who is Cletis Tout? - Seven Psychopaths
Joe Somebody - Falling Down
Big Trouble - Get Shorty
The Santa Clause 2 - Bad Santa
Christmas with the Kranks - Home Alone?
The Shaggy Dog (2006) - The Shaggy Dog (1959)
Zoom - Sky High
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause - Rare Exports
Wild Hogs - nothing can replace this cinematic titan
Redbelt - Bloodsport
The Six Wives of Henry Lefay - The First Wives Club
Crazy on the Outside - Little Miss Sunshine? idk
Toy Story 3 - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?
3 Geezers! - Grumpy Old Men
posted by edeezy at 4:38 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


Much like the post about that Rolling Stone-bashing list, I appreciate this one for suggesting a lot of movies I haven't seen but that look really great.
posted by stargell at 5:12 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


not only because I don't want to support them financially,

This seems a common objection here, and it's fair, but what about obtaining a work from someone you personally dislike in a way that doesn't profit them at all? Torrenting, borrowing from a friend, etc?

but because a person's outlook and experiences and prejudices all inform the fictional worlds they create.

Can you explain why this matters? It's true, but consuming a work informed by objectionable elements isn't the same as endorsing those elements. I can enjoy a Wagner opera and not endorse anti-semitism (or perhaps I'm just a literally self-hating Jew). You seem to be implying that because a work is informed by its creator, consuming a work is endorsing the creator or creator's views.
posted by Sangermaine at 5:45 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


What a ridiculous construct. It begs several questions:
1) Woody's guilt or innocence, which none of these geniuses knows (that's a fact, not an opinion);
2) Art can be separated from the artist (yes, a matter of opinion -- but see #1); and
3) Films are comparable, like hammers vs screwdrivers.
Good lord.
posted by LonnieK at 6:03 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


a person's . . prejudices inform the fictional worlds they create.

Right. For example:

I thought he was a dull, Baby Boomer narcissist "auteur" who makes tiresome self-obsessed films.

Allen was born in 1935.

Congrats. You win this thread.
 
posted by Herodios at 6:35 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


For all you people claiming you don't want to give any more money to Allen or Polanski, that's fair, so just enjoy the movies downloading them illegally. They're widely available, and many of them are great (I like Polanski more than Allen myself, but Polanski's also the more problematic of the two as a person). Separating the artist from the art should be art enjoyment 101, really, if not, you're not really left with a lot. Most great artists are assholes of one kind or another.

And, I'm not going to mock anyone for calling Polanski (or anything else) "middlebrow". I basically agree, but I don't know why "middlebrow" should be considered a negative. To me, middlebrow just means both smart and entertaining, both thought-provoking and with mass appeal, or artistically accomplished and action-packed at the same time. In my opinion, that kind of "middlebrow" is really the holy grail of cinema. Make something smart and well-thought-out and artistically accomplished and also get a big audience and profits? Who the hell wouldn't want that?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:35 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Allen was born in 1935.

Congrats. You win this thread.

You're right. My mis-remembering the age of a director I don't particularly care about is the most important thing about my comment. Thank you very much for pointing that out.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 7:43 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Can you explain why this matters? It's true, but consuming a work informed by objectionable elements isn't the same as endorsing those elements. I can enjoy a Wagner opera and not endorse anti-semitism (or perhaps I'm just a literally self-hating Jew). You seem to be implying that because a work is informed by its creator, consuming a work is endorsing the creator or creator's views.

Nearly all media contains objectionable elements -- we live in a world that's steeped in racism, sexism, homophobia, etc so the same will be true of the narratives we create, kind of inevitably. That said, I personally have a pretty low tolerance for certain things -- like misogyny -- in my fiction. I just don't enjoy reading or watching it. Particularly if it isn't a specific character's dialog, say, but rather the whole point of view of the work itself that's problematic.

I don't think that consuming media with problematic elements is the same as endorsing those elements, not at all. We all have our tolerances, our sensitive spots and our priorities. Mine are such that I really don't like Woody Allen movies, all questions of financially supporting him aside.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 7:53 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


My solution with Allen (and Polanski) is to wait until he dies. Then I can watch his stuff and think "wow, he was a horrible human being, but he's dead, so my participation in this will not validate him." I have seen Annie Hall (and Chinatown), Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex... was a piece of shit, and I have no desire to see any more of his movies. Maybe I'll take a look after he kicks the bucket.
posted by Hactar at 8:16 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Remember kids: if you like the art works as separate from the creator, be sure to flip Allen a twenty or so, so he can make more films.
posted by happyroach at 8:47 PM on February 22


For all those claiming they don't appreciate Allen's output anyway, that's understandable. Don't know why many under 35-40 would. They'd know him first as this aging nebbish playing against younger women, touched by scandal, making movies set in increasingly refined and unreal worlds, a man so stuck in time and routine - clarinet on Mondays and tickets to the Knicks - that he refuses to budge off the same typeface for his titles over 30 years.

But he represented something different once. In the time of those early funny ones. Before Monty Python on North American TV, before Saturday Night Live. When Bob Hope was the establishment comedian, every year hosting the Oscars and with specials on NBC four times a year. I'm sure Bob Hope once seemed fresh - I've seen bits from his movies when he was the guy breaking the fourth wall, pushing the form - but by that time he was the geezer who was all about golf and shows for the troops. Woody Allen brought the surprise, back then.

He was an important figure for that, and then he made movies for a while that seemed to have real substance, that moved him to another level. I don't think I'd see him the same if I hadn't been around and impressionable at the time it was happening. I've always been a fan, and I see no reason to avoid his work without much more damning evidence, but it has been a long time since I felt I needed to rush out to see the latest Woody Allen film. And when I do finally see them I often find aspects to appreciate but am also disappointed, left feeling that they've been pieced together, constructed to a workman's schedule (admirable in its own way) rather than driven by inspiration.
posted by TimTypeZed at 9:17 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]


but it has been a long time since I felt I needed to rush out to see the latest Woody Allen film.

the last one that really mattered for me was Deconstructing Harry, which I'm damned glad I went to the trouble of seeing. I wasn't really paying attention to the tabloids at the time so wasn't up on the ongoing soap opera, but in retrospect, it had to be crazy making (whether Allen was guilty or innocent). But the good news is, he turned it into great comedy.

Roger Ebert's review is a good one.

The fact is, he's a self-hater, period. He's critical of every possible aspect of himself. And although he defends some of his excesses as necessary to an artist in the creative process, he doesn't let himself off that hook, either. Harry's art, in the film, is seen as juvenile, manipulative, derivative, vulgar and sometimes cornball. (That it is also funny is its redeeming grace.)
posted by philip-random at 9:37 PM on February 22


Can we get this for Chris Brown songs?
posted by thorny at 10:35 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


I refuse to consume the artistic work of people whom I find to be reprehensible.

Bummer, you're missing out on the best art.
posted by ReeMonster at 12:03 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


I can understand a Woody Allen boycott if that kind of thing is meaningful to you, but don't write him off as a director or screenwriter if you haven't seen any of his recent work. If you enjoyed any of his other movies, watch Midnight in Paris.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:32 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Bummer, you're missing out on the best art.

But that's the thing, "best" by what measure?

I've done my time in film school. I've read all manner of things in the course of my education. Putting aside research that's necessary for my professional work, at this point, I read and watch and listen to things in order to enjoy them. I don't have the time or the patience to waste on a movie that's going to make me angry in a way that isn't at least interesting.

I think there's also an unfortunate tendency to use a very specific and narrow metric for what counts as "best." For me, the filmmaker skills of editing a scene or coaxing fantastic performances out of your actors are important, but no more so than, say, creating a story that isn't carelessly racist or awful to its women characters.

Besides, there are more technically masterful films in the world than I have time to watch. I'm going to privilege those that I actually enjoy the experience of sitting through.

Again, my personal metric for making that decision isn't everyone's -- there are plenty of authors and filmmakers and works that I adore that make other people totally crazy. I just reject the notion that I'm "missing out" or "ignorant" because I don't want to watch one particular director's films.

I'm happy to consider suggestions and I try to have a broad palette. But some movies and books just aren't worth it for me.

The list of "essential" films is a topic on which reasonable people disagree.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 2:00 AM on February 23 [7 favorites]


Bummer, you're missing out on the best art.

There's a shitload of best art out there, more than I can ever see in my lifetime. Given that, why shouldn't I spend my valuable time looking at art created by people who weren't child molesters? Since I'm going to be picking and choosing which "best art" to spend time on anyway, why shouldn't I use the attitudes of the creator as one of the criterion for my choices?

Isn't this really a "ignore the nature of the artist and give him money instead of these other artists" argument?
posted by happyroach at 3:07 AM on February 23 [6 favorites]


Futurological Congress is fine, but it's not even remotely plausible a substitute for Sleeper. I'd be curious to know what painfully hip oh-dear-you-mean-you-haven't-seen precious little morsel of undiscovered ironic cinema they'd substitute for Dark Star if John Carpenter suddenly became the pariah of the moment (Hint—the answer is nothing. There's nothing comparable).

This whole list reads like the impassioned breast-beating case made by freshly minted politically minded vegetarians still into the axe-grinding phase of their freshly minted politically minded vegetarianhood, when it's still a thing to have raging arguments with the family as to why not only is a Tofurky® the only truly moral thing for the family to enjoy at Thanksgiving, but it's also even more delicious than a dead bird, which y'all were clearly stupid to have enjoyed for all those years.

If a director doesn't meet one's criteria for puritanism, abstain. Tell us about the good films you like, and tell about films you think are great, and celebrate good film as good film, not as a texturized vegetable protein alternative to films that you feel you just can't enjoy anymore. This exercise just seems sort of silly.

And murgh, the suggestion of Taxi Zum Klo? Fine film if your taste in film includes a need to see a detailed and prolonged closeup of the director's actual asshole, but there's not one damn thing in that film that's even within spitting distance, funnywise, as the Lou Jacobi scene in Everything You Always Wanted To Know, a film that is otherwise clunky, old, and mostly forgettable.
posted by sonascope at 6:13 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Also, not watching Interiors means limiting your appreciation of Geraldine Page, the greatest actor in the whole universe ever and ever and ever (Yes, YMMV).
posted by sonascope at 9:08 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Seems the core argument in defense of Allen's work seems to be, well, if you don't like it, you're just an unsophisticated philistine, regardless of your actual cultural bona fides. That kind of sophistication nobody needs.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:24 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Seems the core argument in defense of Allen's work seems to be, well, if you don't like it, you're just an unsophisticated philistine, regardless of your actual cultural bona fides.

No, the core argument, as far as I'm concerned, is that (certainly from 1976-97) he gave us not a string of unimpeachable gems, but an overall body of work that we outright dismiss to our loss. Whether that dismissal is driven by your overall aesthetic sense or an inability to separate the man from his work, it amounts to the same thing -- you're missing something beautiful that tells us a lot about those times and what it was like to live in them.

To which I'd add, I'm sure my aesthetic sense is robbing me of some of this beauty and understanding, too. For instance, Steely Dan (everything except the first album) -- I just don't get it but very many people whose taste I respect do. My loss, I guess.
posted by philip-random at 11:37 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Peyton Place - Dynasty (with the color turned down on your TV)

Rosemary's Baby - Rosemary (1958) and Baby (2008) (ideally both at once to save time)

The Great Gatsby (1974) - The Great Gatsby (2013)

A Wedding - Four Weddings and a Funeral (just watch the first 20 minutes)

Hannah And Her Sisters - Hannah And Her Sisters (make a glove puppet of Diane Keaton and have it lip-synch all Hannah's lines in front of the TV)
posted by w0mbat at 12:53 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


The Ruling Class, I Shot Andy Warhol, Born in Flames -- I'm really eager to dig into this stuff.

Just my $0.02 but I wouldn't be too eager to dig into I shot Andy Warhol if I were you. Maybe check out I Killed Rasputin instead.
posted by MikeMc at 2:27 PM on February 23


What's a suitable replacement for Scenes From A Mall?

Got to be the "Mall" episode of Seinfeld.
posted by surplus at 4:56 PM on February 23


a lifelong love of uncomfortable, mean-spirited melodramas.

I've had Richard Burton and Liz Taylor's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" on my DVR for months. You've inspired me to watch it tonight.
posted by surplus at 5:00 PM on February 23


Again: This thread returns repeatedly to the supposed 'quality' of WA's work. But that has nothing to do with the question at hand. It's another discussion entirely.
This post is predicated on 3 assumptions:
1. WA is GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY of raping a child.
2. No child rapist can product 'good' art.
3. Any film can be compared to any other film.
I share none of these assumptions and I think those who do are proceeding from deeply flawed logic.
posted by LonnieK at 5:53 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


why shouldn't I spend my valuable time looking at art created by people who weren't child molesters?

Forgive me but are you serious?
posted by ReeMonster at 6:10 PM on February 23


Forgive me but are you serious?

As serious as I ever am regarding metafilter. Or rather, why not?

I'm a busy person, and I'm already having to filter out a great number of excellent, top-notch artworks. Since I'm picking and choosing anyway, why shouldn't I use the artist's ethics or morality adrd one of the bases for my selection?

The bottom line is, if I choose not to watch Woody Allen's stuff for whatever reason, I'm not missing out on anything, because there's more good stuff out there than I can watch in a lifetime.

I'm fact the alternate position strikes me as a demonstrate position of personal amorality and refusal to take responsibility for one's consumption.it's no different than the person who says "Let's just look at these diamonds as artwork; if people are tortured and murdered to get them, that's no concern of mine."
posted by happyroach at 12:09 AM on February 24


If you would rather not watch Woody Allen movies, Manhatten is actually a great substitute.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:53 AM on February 24


And the idiots totally miss the fact that September is an homage to Uncle Vanya and the Cherry Orchard.

Anyway, Movern Callar is pretty awesome, but it doesn't really mean anything if you're not into textual tricks.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:55 AM on February 24


As serious as I ever am regarding metafilter. Or rather, why not?

I think I was confused as to what child molesting artist you were referring to. Because I don't know of any. In other words I was stunned at your seemingly outright and firm belief/implication of Woody Allen.
posted by ReeMonster at 9:17 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


Thomas Jefferson bought and sold human beings. We forgive our geniuses...
posted by judson at 10:37 AM on February 24


If your neighbor, who had a beautiful rose garden, was suddenly revealed to be some kind of criminal, would you build a wall around his yard so you couldn't see the roses anymore? What would be the point of that? And let's be clear, this neighbor has only been accused of criminality, not found guilty of it.
posted by philip-random at 10:44 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


From where I stand, it's SLIGHTLY* easier for me to watch Polanski's movies than it is for me to watch Allen's. Both directors heave dealt with the crimes of which they have been accused in their films, but with Polanski it comes off more as subtext. Because Allen writes the scripts he directs, frequently casts himself, and has made at least three films (Husbands and Wives, Deconstructing Harry, and -- arguably -- Manhattan) that depict -- if not directly comment upon -- some of his personal controversies. While they might not be directly autobiographical, the parallels are too great for me to feel comfortable watching them. YMMV, of course.

----
* = I don't go out of my way to watch Polanski's films, but I've had to view Tess and Chinatown for classes within the past five or so years.
posted by pxe2000 at 2:50 PM on February 24


[Folks there is a still active thread where you are welcome to debate the finer points of "Woody Allen, child molester or not" and it would be great if this thread didn't become a parallel thread to that one]
posted by jessamyn at 3:26 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Woody Allen hasn't played the lead in of his own films in many years now. I presume he was the lead in many earlier films because a) He was already a well-known comedian before being a director, b) He didn't have to pay himself extra, when he's on tight budgets already, and c) He enjoyed the work. Etc. Also, he had a certain persona, the neurotic nebbish, familiar to people from his standup work. The persona is not necessarily equal to the personality of the director (and I believe he has frequently said it is not, and he was popular in high school, etc.).
posted by raysmj at 8:35 PM on February 24


You may also watch one of the finest films from his glory days, "The Purple Rose of Cairo," if you insist on watching films in which he doesn't appear. (He's not in "Interiors" either, the movie mentioned in this post, but I don't count it as one of the finest.)
posted by raysmj at 8:49 PM on February 24


Oh, one more: Journalist Susan Braudy suggests that certain aspects of characters in "Manhattan" were based on her, via a relationship she had with script co-writer Marshall Brickman.
posted by raysmj at 9:04 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Welcome to the Dollhouse - Heathers
Happiness - Me and You and Everyone We Know
Storytelling - Ghost World / Capturing the Friedmans
Palindromes - Citizen Ruth
Life During Wartime - The Way Way Back

this game is fantastic
posted by psoas at 8:34 AM on February 25


The Ethicist: On Boycotting Woody Allen’s Films
posted by homunculus at 7:32 PM on March 17


Lena Dunham ‘Nauseated’ by Woody Allen, But ‘I'm Not Gonna Indict the Work’
posted by homunculus at 6:50 PM on March 18


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