Woody Allen has "ganed no wisdom"

CNN talks to Woody Allen:

Allen, who will be 70 on December 1, says age hasn’t brought wisdom.

“I’ve gained no wisdom, no insight, no mellowing. I would make all the same mistakes again, today,” he tells the magazine.

I think this statement is borne out in his last film, Melinda and Melinda, which finally I saw over the weekend. Where his earlier films seemed to be asking serious questions about choices and consequences, now Allen just seems content to turn a bunch of selfish characters loose on each other and enjoy watching the damage they do. His stories demean the whole idea of love, and as the sense of sadness has faded from them, they’re just about animals using and abusing each other.

What a sad story his artistic journey has become. I wonder if he’ll ever reconsider whether there might be something more to life, something more fulfilling than hedonism and self-gratification.

I’m hearing raves about his new film Match Point, but I’m not optimistic. It may be wittier than the surprisingly un-funny Melinda, but I doubt it’s any wiser. We’ll see.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • Magnus

    I’ve only just come across this, so I will have to try and pick up the book at some point.
    Pete mention that you were a big Scarlett Johansson fan. I liked her in Lost in Translation, but can’t really think of anyother film where she really worked for me. People will mention Ghost World, but that was Thora Birch’s film the whole way.
    But I am definitely interested in The Prestige bythe mere fact that Nolan and Bale are attached, if Nothing else. (Big Michael Caine fan, but Caine and Jackman have a tendency to do very questionable films)

  • Anonymous

    Turn-of-the-century London — which century is that?

  • Anonymous

    In order to find The Prestige affecting, you have to believe that large amounts of electricity (like, 1.21 gigawatts) could be used to clone and transport a living human being. No dice. Can’t see how a screenplay would work around that, but here’s to hoping.

  • Anders

    I’m actually reading The Prestige right now–I’m that excited about this movie. Best. Cast. Ever.

    So far, my expectations for the movie are greatly increased.

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    Off the top of my head, here’s a long, long list — I would assemble ten from these names:

    ACTRESSES
    Juliette Binoche
    Irene Jacob
    Emily Watson
    Helen Mirren
    Kate Winslet
    Emma Thompson
    Holly Hunter
    Judi Dench
    Scarlett Johansson
    Miranda Richardson
    Patricia Clarkson

    ACTORS
    Daniel Day-Lewis
    Gary Oldman
    Paul Newman
    Ian McKellan
    Gene Hackman
    Geoffrey Rush
    Billy Bob Thornton
    Phillip Seymour Hoffman
    Johnny Depp
    Jeff Bridges
    Russell Crowe
    David Thewlis
    Val Kilmer
    Al Pacino
    Alan Rickman
    Timothy Spall
    David Bowie
    And… if they could return to their former glory: Robert De Niro and Steve Martin

  • Barbara

    This is fun. I guess we are limited to living actors?

    My dream cast would have to include Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Emily Watson, Nicole Kidman, Paul Giamatti, Bobby Canavale, Judy Davis, Johnnie Depp and Russell Crowe.

  • Peter T Chattaway

    Had no idea you were such a Piper Perabo fan.

  • Anna

    Scarlett Johansson, groan.


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