And now for something completely different…
So PBS aired a documentary on Woody Allen last week and since I don’t have TV (I have *a* tv, but it’s not hooked up to anything) I didn’t see it. I will try to though because he fascinates me. And alternately repulses me.
I was first introduced to Woody Allen really by a friend in college. She was stalking him. And I don’t mean just casually looking up where he would be around town. She knew where he lived, where he ate breakfast, what he would order, what bar he played clarinet at, etc. She was obsessed with him.
This was also the friend who desperately begged a professor we knew to sleep with her. You could say this friend was unstable but there were reasons for that which I won’t go into right now.
Anyway, at one point she wanted me to go with her to see him at this bar she knew he was at. Her idea was that since he was having this thing with Soon Yi, that he would notice me (you know because we’re both asian and stuff) and that he would talk to us. Because that makes perfect sense … in the mind of a STALKER.
So that night, she got all dolled up and she dragged me all the way across Manhattan to this bar and we sat and waited. And waited and waited and waited and… well you know.
He never showed. Which was fine with me because I felt like an idiot but at least i got to hear some good jazz. She was so disappointed but she felt certain that he would be there the next night. He wasn’t. I didn’t go. But she did.
This happened for several nights. I felt incredibly bad about it because it was pretty pathetic. I told her several times, you’re a nice girl. why can’t you obsess over some nice guy who isn’t in his 50s and sleeping with his 18-year-old stepdaughter? well, technically not but she might as well be.
But through all this I started watching his films. I was intrigued that someone so …well… not good looking… could be *that* brilliant to be as famous as he was and to have enraptured my otherwise perfectly normal and intelligent friend.
I still wouldn’t touch Woody Allen with a ten foot pole, but I do admire his work. I mean talk about pathos and self-deprecating pathetic attempts at winning someone’s affections. Makes for good laughs.
Since then, his films have given me a lot of food for thought. I’ve had dates where we’d watch something and spend hours talking about it. And then break up. (ok that happened once and I promised I wouldn’t watch another Woody Allen film on a date ever again.) And I still have debates with myself about Manhattan and the huge disappointments that people we care about can be.
Oh man, this clip makes me miss New York!
Anyway, so I’m still no big fan of him personally, and I think it is a slap in the face of all adopted children everywhere what happened with him and his current wife. But I do understand why he is a popular writer and director. No one puts things the way he does and no one films movies like him. Would I stalk him? No. But I’ll watch his PBS bio.
Epilogue: I did see him randomly in NYC once. He did give me a second look… and then I ran away. I wasn’t with my friend so felt no obligation to actually talk to him. But I had the feeling he would have.