Woody Allen

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domino harvey
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Re: Woody Allen

#576 Post by domino harvey » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:34 am

The joke is that his conversion means he has to be as boring/bland as possible. There is a similar gag in Martin Mull's History of White People in America around the same time where every member of a suburban family have their own giant jar of mayo

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Lemmy Caution
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Re: Woody Allen

#577 Post by Lemmy Caution » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:48 am

Yeah, white bread and mayo, bland non-ethnic food.
I always thought it was a bit of a feeble joke though.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: Woody Allen

#578 Post by FrauBlucher » Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:29 am

I read this scene differently. It wasn't about the actual items but the names of the brands.

He was converting to Catholicism, so he pulls out of his grocery bag a crucifix with Jesus on it, picture of Jesus and the bible. Along with WONDER bread AND MIRACLE whip. Now where the joke suffers is that from my understanding Allen couldn't get the rights to use the Miracle Whip and had to use Hellmans, so the joke gets lost.

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Roger Ryan
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Re: Woody Allen

#579 Post by Roger Ryan » Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:00 am

Right, the joke would work so much better with Miracle Whip, not just for the name but because the brand, like Wonder Bread, is synonymous with bland, processed food. In fact, I always remember the scene featuring Miracle Whip until I see it again and realize it's a jar of Hellmann's he takes out of the bag.

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Re: Woody Allen

#580 Post by mteller » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:09 pm

You're thinking too hard. Wonder bread and mayo has always said WASP-y to me. I always thought it was a good gag, but maybe the cultural associations haven't aged well.

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Gregory
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Re: Woody Allen

#581 Post by Gregory » Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:40 pm

I agree with mteller, it's a mayonnaise joke.
Don't forget the scene in Annie Hall when she makes a gaffe by going into a New York deli and WASP-ishly ordering pastrami on white bread with mayo.
One of the jokes Milton Berle used to tell to Jewish audiences was: "Anytime somebody orders a corned beef sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise, somewhere in the world a Jew dies.”
It's not just an old staple of Borscht Belt comedy but a real thing as well. In one of R. Crumb's comics, about working for his idol Harvey Kurtzman (a son of Jewish immigrants who grew up in NYC), in one panel Harvey yells at Crumb (who grew up in a Catholic household): "Shmuck! Whattaya doing? Who ever heard of mayo on a corn-beef san'wich! How goyish can y'get?!" Crumb's oblivious reply is, "Huh?"
Though many Jewish people actually like mayonnaise, especially if they grew up eating food prepared by gentiles.

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Re: Woody Allen

#582 Post by FrauBlucher » Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:10 pm

mteller wrote:You're thinking too hard. Wonder bread and mayo has always said WASP-y to me. I always thought it was a good gag, but maybe the cultural associations haven't aged well.
Waspy?..... I grew up in Brooklyn. Very few wasps but much mayo/miracle whip, especially if you were eating an Italian hero or sub (as some may call it). My little Italian grandmother would buy Wonder Bread. Not exclusive to jews (which I am half) or Wasps.

I wasn't thinking that hard when I saw Hannah during it's theatrical release. I thought Mickey was looking for "Wonder and Miracle" from his potential conversion to Catholicism.
Last edited by FrauBlucher on Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rohmerin
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Re: Woody Allen

#583 Post by rohmerin » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:17 pm

I envy you all New Yorkers. Os envidio mucho.

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Cold Bishop
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Re: Woody Allen

#584 Post by Cold Bishop » Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:41 pm

I wouldn't. Have you seen Broad City?

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rohmerin
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Re: Woody Allen

#585 Post by rohmerin » Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:19 pm

No, I didn't know the show, but I'm watching some clips at youtube ¡Gracias!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNkxEAvAfgE" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Well, let's say, it seems, I only envy that Woody Allen's highbrow NY world. Or the Sex And The City ones. A very touristic prejudgment.

Edit: I went, I lived a Woody's concert at Carlyle hotel in 1998 when I was very young. The only autograph I've asked in my life was his.


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hearthesilence
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Re: Woody Allen

#587 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:39 pm

Michael Lerner did an interview with A.V. Club - one of their best running features, where they sit down with a character actor and go through their entire career.

It's all good and jolly until it gets to Celebrity:

Celebrity (1998)—“Dr. Lupus”
ML: Let’s not go into that, it was a terrible experience.

AVC: Why?

ML: Where’s this going to be published?

AVC: This is going to be published online.

ML: I don’t care, you can mention it. He [Woody Allen] is a schmuck. He was shooting scenes with me and Judy Davis, and I’m supposed to be the greatest facial surgeon in the world. And he shoots it all at my back and on Judy. And I said why’d you fly me all the way in from L.A. to just look at my back? I don’t get it. And he says, “You’re right, Michael, I watched it and we’ll do it again on Friday.” And we do it again on Friday, and we have an argument on the set. From what I understand, he always takes on an actor in his films and he picked on me and I said, “Go fuck yourself!” And the movie’s a piece of shit.

AVC: Why would he act like that toward you?

ML: I don’t know. He has problems. I think it’s his worst movie.

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Re: Woody Allen

#588 Post by calculus entrophy » Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:55 pm

Great interview, thanks for sharing. Small, but funny misprint.

and has guest starred in a number of classic television shows, including The Rockwell Files

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Re: Woody Allen

#589 Post by mteller » Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:58 pm

I always feel like somebody's watching that

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Professor Wagstaff
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Re: Woody Allen

#590 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:11 pm

I would totally watch a tv series starring Sam Rockwell called The Rockwell Files.

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domino harvey
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Re: Woody Allen

#591 Post by domino harvey » Mon May 02, 2016 8:58 am

Anything Else is coming to Blu-Ray in Germany later this month

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domino harvey
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Re: Woody Allen

#592 Post by domino harvey » Tue May 31, 2016 8:51 pm

domino harvey wrote:Anything Else is coming to Blu-Ray in Germany later this month
Just got my copy in and while it's region free, unbelievably, it's also cropped from 'Scope to 1.78. Of course I'd foolishly already given away my DVD copy but I confirmed via a YouTube clip that it's been cropped on the sides, not opened up. Fuck this shit, it's 2016 and we're really still dealing with this kinda thing?

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domino harvey
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Re: Woody Allen

#593 Post by domino harvey » Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:22 pm

From Allen's Facebook:
Check out Woody Allen's newly relaunched official Web site -- WoodyAllen.com. Visitors to the site can sign up for the official WoodyAllen.com email newsletter, which features Woody Allen news, and information about his movies and other projects. For a limited time, new subscribers will also receive an exclusive code from Audible to redeem a free audiobook copy of Side Effects (http://www.audible.com/SideEffects" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;), a humor classic written and narrated by Woody Allen (offer only valid for customers in the United States; quantities are limited; other terms and conditions apply).


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domino harvey
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Re: Woody Allen

#595 Post by domino harvey » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:19 pm

Paywalled link

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Fiery Angel
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Re: Woody Allen

#596 Post by Fiery Angel » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:31 pm

domino harvey wrote:Paywalled link
Sorry about that. It will be in the Sunday NY Times Book Review.

Here's the text:
MARY ASTOR’S PURPLE DIARY
The Great American Sex Scandal of 1936
By Edward Sorel
Illustrated. 167 pp. Liveright Publishing. $25.95.


Life is so unfair. I tore up the old linoleum in a grungy apartment I rented years ago and found under it only schmutz, hardened chewing gum and a torn ticket stub to “Moose Murders.” Ed Sorel tears up the old linoleum in his apartment and finds yellowing newspapers with headlines screaming about a scandal that gave him material for a terrific book. Not only does he then write a terrific book, but he illustrates it with his wonderful caricature drawings. Who would figure that Mary Astor’s life would provide such entertaining reading, but in Sorel’s colloquial, eccentric style, the tale he tells is juicy, funny and, in the end, touching.

But why Mary Astor? Just because she happened to be under his linoleum? I mean I liked Mary Astor. I enjoyed seeing her up on the screen, but I never lost my heart to her the way Sorel has, and if it had been my linoleum she surfaced from, I wouldn’t have felt driven to research all the interesting details that have mesmerized the author. To me, Mary Astor was a very good, solid actress but not the exciting equal of, say, Bette Davis or Vivien Leigh. (Who was the equal of Vivien Leigh?) And when Bogart, in “The Maltese Falcon,” says his murdered partner was too smart a detective to follow a man he was shadowing up a blind alley but then tells Astor, “But he’d have gone up there with you, angel. . . . He’d have looked you up and down and licked his lips and gone, grinning from ear to ear,” I give this appraisal a lukewarm nod.

The truth is I can think of a dozen other femmes fatales I’d prefer to be lured up a dark alley with to enjoy a beating or violent death. Even Sorel, who is so smitten with this movie star that he wants to see her put on a postage stamp, agrees she never achieved the sensual humidity of Rita Hayworth or Marilyn Monroe. So what did Mary Astor have that such a good book could be written about her? Well, for one thing, she had a major scandal — and a torrid one at that. And while she may not have projected sex appeal, she did reek of aristocracy, or at least her name, Astor, smacked of the manor. Of course she was in no way related to the richest man who went down on the Titanic. Astor wasn’t her real name. She was born Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, a name that would probably never even fit on the average movie marquee.

And as we study Sorel’s text, we are surprised to learn that the woman who played the warm, wise mother of daughters Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien in “Meet Me in St. Louis,” the maternal presence who sang with her spouse in the film’s Victorian parlor was in fact a foulmouthed, hard-drinking, sex-hungry carouser. Born to awful parents, a mother who never seemed to like her and a father who exploited her success financially, she developed acting aspirations early and was fortunately blessed not just with talent but great beauty. Just after turning 17, despite her pair of helicopter parents, she was already having a major affair with John Barrymore, who was hugely older than she, infinitely more experienced, a big league boozer and one of the greatest actors on the American stage. A partnering like theirs required clandestine meetings and stolen moments of passion; they met in hotel rooms, they made love. The affair, with its close calls and heavy breathing, is chronicled by Sorel with pace and humor.

I used the word eccentric before to describe his storytelling style, and it includes delightful digressions into his own life experiences. He will suddenly leave the main shenanigans to describe personal anecdotes that somehow seem to add to and not distract from his narrative. In the midst of everything, he suddenly channels the departed Mary from the beyond and converses with her as she candidly reveals personal feelings in a novel interview.

At first, Lucile Langhanke was doing some small acting, being noticed mainly for her looks. She soon winds up in the film capital and captures the imagination of Jesse Lasky, a studio big who wants to sign her for pictures. Lasky changes her unwieldy Teutonic birth name, and suddenly she is transmogrified by this Hollywood god into Mary Astor. At first she does small parts in undistinguished celluloid nonsense, but eventually she gains some traction and finds herself a promising actress running with the West Coast party set. As the affair with Barrymore has petered out, she dates, and takes up with a benign character named Glass, who held her interest for a while much to the consternation of her parents, whose influence she has trouble shaking. She drops Glass and meets Ken Hawks, the brother of the great director Howard Hawks. Him she marries, and while he proves companionable as a husband, from the get-go she notices a certain sluggish quality to his libido. Red-blooded herself, young Mary begins an affair with a producer who impregnates her. She doesn’t want the baby, but an abortion would be a career meltdown given prevalent Catholic pressures. She enters some tricked-out joint that advertises what they call “therapeutic treatment” but in fact is a cover for the necessary surgery to send her home appropriately pristine. Cut back to Ken Hawks, her amiable milchidik bedmate who is directing an airplane epic, and wouldn’t you know it, while shooting a flying scene, his own plane crashes and Mary is a widow. Devastated, she is helped in her grief by movie colony friends like Fredric March and Florence Eldridge, by Edward Everett Horton and other familiar onscreen faces because she is by now a regular working actress in the movie community.

All the above and the lurid drama about to unfold are recounted by Sorel in much livelier fashion than my own little sketch-in of events, and his drawings beef up the flavor of the environment he depicts. Mary is sad, she drinks, she works, and eventually meets a doctor named Franklyn Thorpe. Thorpe is a jazzy L.A. medic, in fact, doctor to the stars with a celebrated clientele. He and Mary marry, and in time, although they have a child together, Dr. Thorpe apparently fails the trial by mattress that seems to trip up certain men in Mary’s life. Sorel notes she makes bad choices, and Thorpe is one of them. But while married life between the percales is again humdrum and the relationship is deteriorating, her career is now ascending, and she lands a choice part in the film version of the hit Broadway play “Dodsworth.” One of the stars is the wonderful Walter Huston, and playing his wife is Ruth Chatterton. Mary is the third of the illustrious cast, a prestige score for her. At this point she would really like to be rid of her husband, and who can blame her? His practice has fallen off, and he is dependent on Mary’s fame and fortune for status, much the same as her parasite father was. Dr. Thorpe does not relish the idea of a divorce, and the pair drone on in limbo, paralyzed by those twin gods of failing matrimony, Fear and Inertia. Then comes a trip to New York for Mary, away from her husband. Her hormones tintinnabulating as usual, one senses the critical mass for playing around has been reached.

In New York she is introduced by Bennett Cerf to George S. Kaufman, the most successful comic playwright on Broadway. As much as I love Kaufman and grew up idolizing his inspiration and craftsmanship, I would not rank him Adonis-wise with, say, Clark Gable or Gary Cooper. Despite his brilliant mind and directorial skills, I have to say he was basically a nerdy-looking, professorial type of Jew, complete with standard tribal hooter and the natural blessing of wit common to his people. Behind his long, gloomy face and spectacles this man could never be mistaken for a boudoir mechanic. In fact, Kaufman was a terrified germophobe, and here we see how deep kissing with a hot partner always trumps bacteria. Kaufman swept Mary off her feet. In addition to taking her to empyrean heights in bed, he took her to the theater, to the opera, to “21” and the fabled Algonquin Round Table for lunches alongside Woollcott, Benchley and viper-sharp Dorothy Parker. Another pleasure of the book that Sorel treated me to is a quote of Dorothy Parker’s I never came across before, and I am a devoted Algonquin fan. Apparently disgusted with the trash the Hollywood studios turned out, Miss Parker quipped that MGM stood for “Metro-Goldwyn-Merde.” He also quotes Lillian Hellman’s great description of a vacuous actress: “Her face is unclouded by thought.” So here is our heroine, miserably unhappy in her marriage, doing New York with Groucho Marx’s favorite comedy writer, and that’s saying a lot for Kaufman. When the clock strikes midnight and she must return to California, she presses her husband for that divorce but Thorpe remains intransigent. Opposing lawyers take up arms, and a custody fight ensues for the Thorpes’ only child. The doctor uses the daughter as a weapon to prevent Mary from leaving him. He claims she is unfit as a mother to have possession of their child, and as proof, he says she is a flagrant adulteress. To bear that out, he offers up her diary. Oy vey, there’s a diary.

Can you believe this woman committed those four-times-a-night workouts with Kaufman to print and, worse, her husband has somehow secured said raunchy volume? In it are graphic accounts of the sex between this married mother and another woman’s spouse. Yes, Kaufman too was a married man, and as the first accounts of their purple canoodling hit the tabloids, the court fight turns into a blood bath. Of course it must be said Kaufman and his wife Beatrice had an open marriage, which meant both were free to explore their own romantic adventures without threat to the household. While these ground rules make cheating a nonissue for Kaufman, the public embarrassment of having one’s every fondle logged rhapsodically, even with an A-plus report card, can make a man somewhat self-conscious entering a restaurant.

Also the level of sophistication required to appreciate Kaufman’s type of free-loving arrangement with his wife reads like Swahili to Mr. and Mrs. Front Porch, and the Porches were precisely who kept the nation’s motion picture industry solvent. Many a Beverly Hills swimming pool was dependent on popcorn sold in the Bible Belt. On top of this, our heroine was still in the middle of filming “Dodsworth,” her big opportunity to move up in class. Suddenly the studio looks around and realizes they have a very heavy financial investment in a movie featuring a tabloid adulteress doing a laundry list of abominations with a libertine New York husband whose ancestors were slaves to Pharaoh, if you get my meaning. The panicky moguls hear certain church fathers float the word boycott. They begin to smell box office leprosy. After all, the American public was at that time such a clean public, such a naïve nation of holier-than-thou prudes. Think about how demonstrably upset even in much more liberal years people were during the making of “Cleopatra” when Richard Burton was fooling around on the set with succulent Liz Taylor while she was still married.

Now imagine you’re Sam Goldwyn sitting on top of his liability with half a movie in the can and one of the stars is suddenly famously wicked. What would you do? Goldwyn did what any businessman in crisis mode would do. He called a meeting. Should they fire Mary, eat the money already spent filming half a movie, recast and begin again? Do they scrap the whole project altogether and flush away production costs plus the numerous bucks they shelled out to buy the rights? Meanwhile, as the tabloids ran excerpts from the portion of the diary allowed in evidence, many a celebrity sweated audibly over the nightmare that he might wind up doing a walk-on part in the next installment of Astor’s caloric hanky-panky. Fortunately for all, the judge on the case was into the studio heads for several career favors, and at this point I will bail and refer you to Sorel’s book for an account of how things turned out, which he does much better than I ever could.

It is, of course, common knowledge that Mary did go on eventually to do “The Maltese Falcon” and “Meet Me in St. Louis,” two great American movies, and she was quite effective in the disparate roles. She continued to act, she retired, wrote books that hit the best-seller lists and in a moving finale to this whole mishegas, she gets done in by the demon rum, the ravages of age and the toll of a life lived on an emotional trampoline. Her last days are spent in an actors’ retirement home, a very lovely one with individual cottages. There is much good companionship available there, but she mostly chooses to dine alone and to be by herself. She dies in bed peacefully, leaving behind a legacy of fine movie performances. I believe it was Sartre who said all lives were of equal value and who am I to argue the point, but some lives are so much more fun to read about than others, and Sorel has told Astor’s story with great flair and energy. I hope he gets his wish and over time Mary winds up commemorated on a postage stamp. Until then, I’m going to have another look under my linoleum. Maybe among all that schmutz there’s an idea I could take to the bank.

Woody Allen is a writer and director, most recently of the film “Café Society.”

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Lemmy Caution
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Re: Woody Allen

#597 Post by Lemmy Caution » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:15 am

domino harvey wrote:Paywalled link
One of the very few benefits of having slow internet speed is for sites like the NYTimes, I simply stop the page from downloading before it finishes and the paywall block pops up. Actually the NYT site is banned in China, so I have to do that using a free proxy.

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Re: Woody Allen

#598 Post by MichaelB » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:56 am

Lemmy Caution wrote:Actually the NYT site is banned in China, so I have to do that using a free proxy.
Does Donald Trump know? That might help repair his relationship with the Chinese.

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Re: Woody Allen

#599 Post by oh yeah » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:12 pm

Lemmy Caution wrote:
domino harvey wrote:Paywalled link
One of the very few benefits of having slow internet speed is for sites like the NYTimes, I simply stop the page from downloading before it finishes and the paywall block pops up. Actually the NYT site is banned in China, so I have to do that using a free proxy.
Another way to bypass the NYT paywall (works for The New Yorker too, and probably others), for Chrome users, is to open the link in an Incognito window. I suspect it would also work for Firefox's private browsing mode or an analogous feature on other browsers.

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Re: Woody Allen

#600 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:40 pm

oh yeah: Yes, Firefox's private browsing mode also seems to work (so far).

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