I don't know French. What about Hebrew?
December 3, 2013 1:55 PM   Subscribe

Can you tell us in 25 seconds a synopsis of your new picture?
–Uh, in 25 seconds? Yes, it's a picture, it's a drama about um human emotion in the United States, it deals with the tragedy of divorce as it relates to the child and those who have to suffer continually from the effects of an unhappy home.
–Sounds like a very serious picture.
–Yes. It is.
–There's no comedy in it whatsoever?
–No, I try and keep as much comedy out of my films as possible.

A 40-minute Woody Allen from 1971 promoting Bananas. He does not answer a single question truthfully. via
posted by timshel (20 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Woody Allen did a rather serious interview on NPR not too long ago, talking about growing up as sports jock, kind of a bully, not being all that funny, and how the neurotic comedy thing is all an act. How people think they have this insight into Woody Allen the person, just from watching his movies, but that they really don't. Now I can't tell if he was kidding. If so, it was really sublime.
posted by phaedon at 2:22 PM on December 3, 2013 [7 favorites]

I like this Woody Allen better than the one who made Vicky Christina Barcelona, a movie set in an alternate universe where everyone talks like Woody Allen.
posted by Artw at 2:34 PM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

phaedon, this one?
posted by en forme de poire at 2:35 PM on December 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

phaedon, this one?

Yeah, pretty sure that's it. It was with Terry Gross for sure. Was he trolling NPR? I don't know. I worship at the alter of Annie Hall; it's very hard not to view that movie as autobiographical. (For God's sake Alvy, brooklyn is not expanding)
posted by phaedon at 2:41 PM on December 3, 2013

Son of a gun, maybe he wasn't kidding.
posted by phaedon at 2:46 PM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Woody Allen : Bob Dylan :: film : music

Seriously, this Bananas interview was just a few years after Dylan's totally facetious interviews when he went electric at Newport in 1965 etc., it was probably pretty rock and roll to torment reporters in this way.
posted by onlyconnect at 3:19 PM on December 3, 2013

I always thought it was Godard:Dylan::film:music.
posted by pxe2000 at 3:41 PM on December 3, 2013

Guys, I'm cracking up over here. Where did you learn how to make analogies?
posted by phaedon at 3:43 PM on December 3, 2013 [4 favorites]

Kiss : Chitty :: Bang : Bang ?
posted by rifflesby at 3:52 PM on December 3, 2013 [6 favorites]

Q. Do you have any ambition beyond film?

A. No. I'd like to be found face down, in the street.

Q. What character, living or dead, would you most like to play?

This is the perfect interview. Thank you for showing me it.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:53 PM on December 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

Yeah, sorry, I don't really mean Allen matches Dylan artist for artist, just that this interview almost seems like the kind of completely facetious performance art that Dylan was doing in interviews back in the day.

Dylan was meaner, though.
posted by onlyconnect at 4:42 PM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think phaedon was remarking on the format of the analogy rather than the content. The way I learned it, you put the directly-related items together: Woody Allen is to film as Bob Dylan is to music. Or Nyarlathotep : Azathoth :: Silver Surfer : Galactus. Or whatever.

(My example above is nonsense, but I guess you could make a case for Kiss : Bang :: Chitty : Bang)
posted by rifflesby at 7:50 PM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh! My bad.

I was voted "Most likely to write a PSAT Manual" in my high school class (my school was weird), so this is a sad comeuppance for me, but I will try to carry on.

The oddest part of the Woody Allen interview for me was the reaction of the interviewer, who seemed at first to be possibly fooled and then to be clearly understanding that he was being had and playing along even though Allen was giving barely the smallest hints of a smile here and there. I wondered whether they had set the parameters of the interview in advance, with the interviewer understanding that Allen was going to lie, lie, lie?

Anyway, I enjoyed it! Thanks for posting.
posted by onlyconnect at 8:49 PM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Allen discusses his athletic prowess as a boy here, too -- good at basketball though he was short, picked first for teams, etc.
posted by onlyconnect at 9:01 PM on December 3, 2013

The interviewer sounds a lot like Steve Coogan. But Steve Coogan does not sound like Tony Wilson and although it is Grenada TV Tony Wilson didn't show up there until two years later (1973).
posted by user92371 at 11:24 PM on December 3, 2013

Woody Allen :: Bob Dylan : Music < Silver Surfer
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 11:26 PM on December 3, 2013

posted by Artw at 11:28 PM on December 3, 2013

I found that pretty hard watching, in some respects. Not ROFL material, but I guess it's obvious there's more to answering-questions-humourously than answering-questions-falsely. Allen seems to get stuck in and bored of his own conceit pretty quickly, probably because he realises the interviewer isn't sharp or thinking quickly enough to make something more interesting out of the session.

Lowest point, though, is the ooozy creepy voice the interviewer uses when he asks Allen whether he liked anything about the, uh, luvlee laydeez he worked with in 'What's Up…'. He was clearly thinking "this'll break the ice, we'll get him heated up here".
posted by Joeruckus at 6:20 AM on December 4, 2013

Here's a little of the background to the interview:

Interviewer of Woody interviewer: It’s almost perfect improv between the two of you. He really starts to jazz, playfully, like a cat playing with a ball, but you never relinquish control. Chairing it perfectly.

Woody interview: Woody suggested we do something different – I’d ask whatever I liked and he’d answer with whatever he liked.
posted by ambrosen at 1:46 PM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

It seemed like a challenge, who would stray first. Woody refusing to deviate from his deadpan and the interviewer refusing to deviate from standard questions.
posted by surplus at 2:01 PM on December 5, 2013

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