Happy 83rd birthday, Woody!
With love, respect, and admiration.
Thank you so much for your amazing art!
Many birthday wishes to you, dear Woody, from some of your fans from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Iran, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, UK, Uruguay, and USA.
These are the wonderful people who participated in this amazing collage:
Maryam Amiribehzadi. Accountant, mountaineer, ping pong player, Woody Allen movies lover. Tehran, Iran.
Octavio Barros Vicuña. Uncle and great-uncle, smoker, bird and butterfly lover, stamp collector. Santiago de Chile, Chile.
Flavia Bellu. Writer, cinephile, singer, baker, native New Yorker. Berkeley, CA, USA.
Khashayar Boroomand. Philosophy PhD, Woody’s fan, fond of music, cinema, and chess. Tehran, Iran.
Souha Boughanmi. Woman, passionate for love, grateful to Woody Allen. Tunis, Tunisia.
Dennis Brian. Screenwriter, completist, friend, Philosophy graduate. Green Valley, AZ, USA.
Javier Camacho Cruz. Fine Arts teacher in Tokio, Japanese translator and modern Japanese literature lover. Jaén, Spain.
Tindaro Capuano. Father of Ludovico, clarinet player as our friend Woody, swimmer (or at least I like to swim). Palermo, Italy.
Patricia Casal Rodríguez. Passionate, curious, Foodle and nature lover. Vigo, Spain.
Beto Caserio. Oboe player, uncle of three, music teacher, cinephile. São Paulo, Brazil.
David Cerdá. Philosopher and writer who has seen all of Woody’s films. Seville, Spain.
Robert Chastain. Poet, artist, photographer, novelist. Longmont, CO, USA.
Vasilis Chatzigeorgiou. Student, theater-goer, cinephile, book-lover, dreamer. Thessaloniki, Greece.
Mireille Clees. “Mom” of two dogs, cinema, book, Woody and nature lover. Theux, Belgium.
Victoria Corral Blázquez. Woman, mother, wife, consultant, passionate about the future. Madrid, Spain.
Nadia Edwards. Emigrée, divorcée, Woody Allen passionée. Miami, FL, USA.
Sophie Girardin. English teacher, 45, I watch Woody’s movies again and again. Saint Étienne, France.
Nina Gleize. Writer. Montréal, Canada.
Anna Grau. Writer, reader, journalist, I interviewed Woody once! Madrid, Spain.
Tussah Heera. Pianist, composer, writer, dreamer, and philosopher queen. Las Vegas, NV, USA.
Marc Heller. Married, father, bi-polar, witty, under-achiever. London, UK.
Sébastien Jacques. IT engineer and Woody Allen fan since the 80s. Paris, France.
Michael Joseph. Poet, Robert Graves scholar, failed clarinetist, New Yorker, resist/persist! New York City, USA.
Andrey V. Kalashnikov. Huge Woody Allen fan over a period of 25 years. Moscow, Russia.
Danae Kardara. Philologist, writer, dreamer, romantic, and sarcastic. Karditsa, Greece.
Hesham Khaled. Software developer, Woody movies addict, jazz junkie. Alexandria, Egypt.
Polina Kiou. Fashion, movies and animal lover. Athens, Greece.
Tempe Laver. Curious, stubborn, shy, middle aged. Brisbane, Australia.
Scott Linker. Musician, father of Sabrina and two Yorkies. Las Vegas, NV, USA.
Andrea Lukomski. Mom of two girls, teacher, dreamer, Woody Allen admirer, nature and animal lover. Vukovar, Croatia.
Tom MacCammon. Musician, writer, supporter of Woody. Toronto, Canada.
Hannes Minkema. Teacher, learner, father, son, musician, audience. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Hesam Mohamadi. Engineer, philosopher, dreamer, writer, sleeper. Tehran, Iran.
Mariana E. Montes. Psychiatrist and artist. There is more truth in poetry than in history. Montevideo, Uruguay.
Pavlina Nelson. Mom, wife, cinephile, bookworm, nature lover. Prague, Czech Republic.
Monica Nicolau. Book-movie-music-junkie, mathematician. San Francisco, USA.
Kostas Papazafeiropoulos. Musician, composer, art lover, father of two. Athens, Greece.
Adrian Pasarica. Software engineer by profession, Woody’s fan by nature. Timisoara, Romania.
Mar Pastor González. Book-eater, The Beatles, jazz and dog lover, Woody’s fan. I love the films of the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. Madrid, Spain.
Olga Radulovic. Animal, music, and nature lover, vegan and cinephile. Woody’s fan. Vukovar, Croatia.
Hana Radulovic. Artist, caring, animal lover, sensitive and modest. Woody’s fan. Vukovar, Croatia.
Odalys Rey. Cuban, family, love, peace, happiness. Havana, Cuba..
Jacquelyn Roberts. Artist who serves Art. Tehachapi, CA, USA.
Stéphan Sante. Musician, piano teacher, cinephile, Woody’s fan. Verviers, Belgium.
Billie Shankar. Woody Allen fan. Brussels, France.
Carol Space. I love Café Society, Blue Jasmine, Midnight in Paris and Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona. Brewster, MA, USA.
Ruth Streett. Mother and grandmother living in Jerusalem. Jerusalem, Israel.
Eyal Streett. Father, musician, curious, cook, creative. Jerusalem. Israel.
Yael Streett Tejeda. Musician, ballet and hip hop dancer, tae kwon do brown belt, painter, trilingual. Madrid, Spain.
Itay Streett Tejeda. Writer, book-eater, chocolate lover, hip hop dancer, basketball player. Madrid, Spain.
Dalit Streett Tejeda. Ballerina, violinist, recorder player, swimmer, ice cream lover. Madrid, Spain.
Michael Taft. Book and music lover. Loves anything to do with Woody Allen. Christchurch, New Zealand.
Ulrich Tangl. Basketball player, basketball coach, basketball organizer, ex-sports editor, single. Kirchheim unter Teck, Germany.
Antonia Tejeda Barros. Mother of Yael, Itay and Dalit, musician, Philosophy MA, teacher, cinephile. Madrid, Spain.
Moiz Terem. Woody’s fan, book, film, and jazz lover, father of two. Tel Aviv, Israel.
Marise Thomspson. Music, movies, history, animals, and Woody Allen lover. I love to laugh. Ohoka, New Zealand.
María del Pilar Trujillo. Life lover, meat lover, wine lover, salsa music lover, Woody Allen art lover. Bogotá, Colombia.
Elisabeth T. Walker. Inspirational artist-writer-performer-activist-mystic. New Haven, CT, USA.
Gizem Yenikler. Writer, art, theatre and music lover, cinephile, traveller. Izmir, Turkey.
Kiana Zanetti. Musician, poet, cinephile, Woody’s fan. Montréal, Canada.
Yulia Zharkaya. Founder of vk and Woody Allen fan. Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Evelyne de Zilah. Student, cinephile, book-eater, discreet, thankful for Woody Allen’s Art. Creuë, France.
To Rome With Love (2012). Dir. Woody Allen
Jerry (Woody Allen): “Don’t analyze me, Phyllis, okay? You know, many have tried and all have failed. My brain doesn’t fit the usual id-ego-superego model!”
Phyllis (Judy Davis): “No, you have the only brain with three ids.”
Yesterday I watched with my kids To Rome With Love, by the genius Woody Allen, for the 100th time. Such a great movie! Hilarious, amusing, and cool: full of jokes and funny moments.
Woody manages (as always) to tell his story with humour, deep, jokes and more. This time he tells 4 stories, all amusing and imaginative.
I love that Woody is in the movie, accompanied by the great and beautiful Judy Davis. When they first appear, in the plane, we already get Woody’s philosophical humour. He says to Judy: “I can’t unclench when there’s turbulence. You know, I am an atheist.”
My favorite character is Leopoldo Pisanello, played brilliantly by the hilarious Roberto Benigni. We laugh every second that he’s in the movie. The Italian actors Alessandro Tiberi (Antonio, Milly’s husband), Alessandra Mastronardi (Milly), Antonio Albanese (the famous actor Luca Salta), and Riccardo Scamarcio (the hotel burglar) are all hilarious. The legendary Ornella Muti appears 10 seconds in the film.
Fabio Armiliato is a very well-known opera tenor singer who plays the role of Giancarlo beautifully and sings amazing (in the shower). Armiliato has had leading roles and sung in the most prestigious opera houses of the world (Metropolitan Opera House of New York, La Scala in Milan, and L’Opéra de Paris).
Alec Baldwin is great as always. Jesse Eisenberg plays to the perfection the role of a shy and confused young man. Penélope Cruz is wonderful and beautiful as always. Alison Pill (Hayley)’s performance is very fresh, and Flavio Parenti (who is Michelangelo, Hayley’s fiancé) is great in his role as an angry ultra left-wing young man. Monica Nappo plays amazingly Pisanello’s humble wife.
Since Page and Gerwig opportunistically stabbed Woody right after the world saw Dylan Farrow’s crocodile’s tears in January 2018 (she’s been trying to destroy Woody with her prefabricated story for ages), I can’t stand watching them onscreen. Their treason, hypocrisy and opportunism will be always remembered (unlike their acting). Nevertheless, the lines that Woody wrote for them are really good.
The cinematography of the film is really beautiful. Cinematographer Darius Khondji (born in Iran but majored in Film at New York University) worked previously with Woody in Anything Else (2003) and Midnight in Paris (2011) and would go on working with Woody in two other films: Magic in the Moonlight (2014) and the masterpiece Irrational Man (2015). Other great works of Khondji include Delicatessen (1991), La cité des enfants perdus (1995), Alien: Resurrection (1997), and Amour (2012). He also worked as a cinematographer in many videos of Madonna.
To Rome With Love is rated in IMDB “restricted”. I really don’t know why. Maybe because Penélope plays a prostitute? Well, as we all know in the States it’s OK to watch movies with thousands of bombs, guns, and killers, but love and sex are more dangerous and always restricted. Funny country…
To Rome With Love is another Woody Allen gem. A fresh and funny film, packed with jokes, beautiful long shots, great writing and a wonderful cast. 10/10
The worst: that Page and Gerwig contaminate the film (two ungrateful hypocrites who opportunistically stabbed Woody) .
The best: all the funny moments, Woody, the great Judy Davis, Roberto Benigni, and the cinematography.
We love you, Woody!
Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, August 27, 2018
Irrational Man (2015). Dir. Woody Allen
Abe (Joaquin Phoenix): “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom”.
Irrational Man. Wow. Such a movie. A delight for anyone who loves philosophy, especially existentialist philosophy, my favorite!
The beginning of the movie is amazing. You can only hear a car and, right after the opening credits, Ramsey Lewis’ amazing funky jazz. The first word, pronounced by Joaquin Phoenix, is “Kant”. Woody Allen seems to have made Irrational Man for philosophy lovers: Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Sartre, Dostoevsky, and Hannah Arendt’s thesis dance in this film. Anxiety, despair, the meaning of our existence, choice, morality, suicide, and murder are the film’s main themes.
Joaquin Phoenix’s performance is stunning. Really brilliant. Phoenix gained 33 pounds for the role of Abe, a controversial philosophy professor, anguished, depressed and a nihilist who talks to his students about how cruel and frustrating human existence is. Phoenix appears like a man made of blood and flesh, vulnerable and tormented, who prefers to live philosophy than to talk about.
I must admit that I am not a big fan of Emma Stone. I find all her performances basically the same. Nevertheless, her performance in Irrational Man is convincing thanks to Woody’s amazing writing. Still, she could have bothered herself and take some piano lessons if she was going to play the role of a piano student. Oh, well, those young divas…
The other woman is Rita, performed by Parker Posey, an awesome actress. Her performance is fresh, elegant and very real.
Ethan Phillips (who played the nasty IRS agent Gorsky in the 90’s comedy Green Card) has a small role in the movie and plays Jill’s father. I read some negative reviews about Jamie Blackey’s performance, who plays Jill’s boyfriend, Roy, but truthfully I think that he plays his role to perfection (a simple guy in love, plain and zero exciting).
Irrational Man has a bit of Match Point and a lot of Cassandra’s Dream, being at the same time original, genuine, and surprising. The end is unpredictable and has a taste of Hitchcock. Woody had already used Crime and Punishment in Crimes and Misdemeanors, Match Point and Cassandra’s Dream. Ramsey Lewis (who, I must admit, I didn’t know –I have already bought several CDs of his) accompanies us with his amazing funky jazz during all the film. Woody’s taste in music is definitely the best.
The Adair University (fictitious), where Abe taught before, is the same University that honours Harry Block in Deconstructing Harry and where Sondra Pransky studied journalism in Scoop (how funny).
Irrational Man is the last movie produced by Jack Rollins (Woody’s producer for over 45 years). Rollins died in 2015, age 100.
Abe brings to the extreme the first principle of existentialism: human beings are what we make of ourselves (“l’homme n’est rien d’autre que ce qu’il se fait”, argues Sartre in L’existentialisme est un humanisme). Man is what he decides to be, in complete freedom. Sartre argues that we don’t have freedom, but that we are freedom. Our freedom can never be renounced. Even if we decide not to be free, we are deciding in complete freedom not to be free. That’s what reflects Sartre’s explosive sentence “l’homme est condamné à être libre“. We are free and we are completely responsible of what and who we are. There is no God. We are alone in the Universe. We are the solely owners of our own existence and the only responsible ones for our own choices.
Sartrean existentialism is a philosophy of freedom and action. To think about doing something, to hope, to wish, does not count at all for Sartre. Only to act has real value, and Abe knows it. If we wish for somebody to be dead, the only coherent action is murder. But what about morality? Well, are all men worth living? Really cruel people are parasites, are they not? Wouldn’t the world be a better place with less parasites?
When Abe decides to kill the corrupted judge, his life makes sense again. He starts enjoying life: he has big breakfasts (not only back coffee), is able to make love again, writes poetry again, and feels strong and alive. Suicide is not an option for Abe any more. His life has meaning. His murder plans are what give meaning to his existence.
Man is a being in search for meaning. That was brilliantly said by Viktor Frankl in 1946 in his heartbreaking book Man’s Search for Meaning (originally written in German and untitled …trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen. Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager). Frankl’s thesis is a yes to life with capital letters. His message: an unconditional faith in the meaning of existence: “meaning is available under any conditions, even the worst conceivable ones“. Life has always meaning, until the end (“life has a meaning to the last breath“) and it’s our duty to look for this meaning. Our main task is to have to give a meaning to our own existence.
Frankl argues that a person who has found the meaning of his life is able to give his life for that meaning, and a person who has not found the meaning of his life can easily commit suicide. At the beginning of the film, Abe suffers from existential vacuum and does not mind at all to die when he demonstrates to his students how to play the Russian roulette. But when he starts planning the murder and finds a meaning for his existence, he rejects suicide and embraces life.
Frankl argues that life has always meaning. Sartre, on the contrary, argues that nothing has real meaning: everything is absurd (like Camus). We are alone, without God and without excuses, and we have to carry courageously the emptiness of our human existence.
Frankl defines man as freedom, responsibility and meaning. Sartre defines man as freedom, responsibility and anguish. In the first half of Irrational Man, Abe follows Sartre, and, afterwards, follows Frankl. Frankl’s thesis is less dark than Sartre’s. Nevertheless, I have always found an answer (even if a hard and depressing one) in Sartre’s philosophy, and, for what I’ve read, I think that Woody too.
In an interview from 2010, Woody was asked about his vision on life, and said: “I have a very grim pessimistic view of it. I always had. Since I was a little boy. It hasn’t gotten worse with age or anything. I do feel that it’s a grim, painful, nightmarish, meaningless experience and that the only way you can be happy is if you tell yourself some lies and deceive yourself (…) One must have one’s illusions to live. If you look at life too honestly life does become unbearable because it is a pretty grim enterprise“. I agree completely. I think that neither life nor death have real meaning, so we have to create, love and grow as much as we can in order to not to succumb to despair.
Irrational Man is an absolutely brilliant film. A delightful masterpiece. 10 / 10
The best: the huge dosis of existential philosophy, Joaquin Phoenix’s stunning performance, Parker Posey, and Ramsey Lewis’ funky jazz.
The worst: Emma Stone’s perfectly combed hair.
Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, August 16, 2018
 Sartre, Jean-Paul. L’existentialisme est un humanisme, p. 39
 Frankl, Viktor E. The Unheard Cry for Meaning, p. 41
 Frankl, Viktor E. “Introduction”, The Doctor and the Soul, p. xix
Frankl, Viktor E. … trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen. Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager. München: Kösel, 2014 (2009), pp. 7–191
Frankl, Viktor E. Man’s Search for Meaning (trad. Ilse Lasch). Boston: Beacon, 2006, pp. ix–165
Frankl, Viktor E. The Doctor and the Soul. From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy (trad. Richard y Clara Winston). New York: Vintage Books, 1986, pp. ix–318
Frankl, Viktor E. The Unheard Cry for Meaning. New York: Touchstone, 1978, pp. 13–191
Sartre, Jean-Paul. L’être et le néant. Essai d’ontologie phénoménologique. France: Gallimard, 2010 (1943), pp. 11–676
Sartre, Jean-Paul. L’existentialisme est un humanisme. France: Gallimard, 2003 (1945), pp. 9– 109
The Shape of Water (2017). (The Shape of Violence?). Dir. Guillermo del Toro
Sex and violence really sell, don’t they? A bit of porn, lots and lots of violence and you have a multi Academy Award nomination movie!
I went to see yesterday The Shape of Water and I was highly disappointed. While the music, the cinematography and the performances are amazing, the love story is really not convincing and a bit creepy, and the unnecessary sex scenes (masturbation and coitus) and, specially, the monstruos violence killed all the poetry of the movie. In the same way that I don’t think a director needs to show the actors shitting, pissing or picking their noses I find graphic sex a very poor choice for a director to illustrate a point. But, more than that, I find violence onscreen really disturbing and I think that such a high degree of violence is a very poor tool for a director. An exception to that would probably be Tarantino, who uses violence in such a crude way that it ends out being funny (nevertheless, Tarantino’s violence is sometimes too much for me, even when he uses it for something great, like killing Nazis). I think that there are greater cinematic ways of showing violence than graphic torture, flying fingers, and litres of blood. If you don’t agree with me, go and see Doctor Zhivago: you will be amazed by the power of the scene where the Imperial Army is massacring the people next to the Winter Palace and all you can see is the horrifying face of Doctor Zhivago, who, from a safe window, watches men, women, and children being slaughtered by the Imperial Army. Now, that’s art. The rest is only good special effects and a big lack of imagination. The same goes for sex. There are many ways of showing the act of love (also the act of fucking –that’s it: making love without love) with sensuality, strength, and poetry, but Guillermo del Toro chose here graphic sex. Why? I guess it sells better.
Frankly, I don’t get the hype around this film. 13 Academy Award nominations? Come on! Guillermo del Toro looks like a really nice guy, and I actually hate to write negative reviews. If I spend a bit of time in writing this negative review it’s because, as with La La Land (an annoying and cheesy torture filled with cliches), I’m amazed at how bad or not so good Hollywood movies can get such a hype, while other movies, like Woody Allen’s masterpieces, get shut out and don’t get any important nominations (yes, I am a huge fan of Woody: I love his art, his philosophy and his genius, and I’m very angry at this wave of hypocrisy, opportunism and lies around him that mixes false accusations from two crazy and resentful women with the most beautiful art).
The characters of The Shape of Water are all either black or white, there are no greys here: the bad ones are really bad and the good ones are really good. Well, life isn’t neither black nor white. It’s full of greys. While the performances of the movie are all amazing (Sally Hawkins is great, Octavia Spencer is amazing as always, Richard Jenkins is really good too and Michael Shannon is stunning: he really steals the movie and, surprisingly, didn’t get any Golden Globe or Academy Award nomination), the souls of the characters are painted only in one color, and that’s very Hollywood-ish and commercial.
Also, I wonder, for which age is The Shape of Water? You would first think that a fantasy movie is suitable for children, but this one is not. Or, you would think that a love story with so much violence and a bit of porn is suitable for adults, but then, why put this stupid fish-creature? I’m used to seeing lots of fantasy and children movies with my kids (ages 11, 9 and 4, so, imagine: I’ve seen them all: since The Dark Cristal from 1982 until the last superhero movie). But this movie, for who is it?
I understand why this movie can arrive to people, especially people who feel very lonely. I feel a great deal of empathy for all the people who feel alone in the world and seek love and company wherever they can, but I think that the black and white characters and the huge degree of violence kill the depth of this movie. Maybe the majority of the people of today are so used to see violence (on TV and on the internet) that they don’t even notice it any more. I am very sensible to violence and it disturbs me a lot when I see it (here at home we don’t have a TV for many many years, so I really don’t know what’s going on with TV violence these days –we only choose what we want to watch and watch it with our cinema projector). I understand that there are movies where violence is necessary (for instance, if you watch a movie about the Holocaust it may contain some graphic violence) but what really bothers me, artistically speaking, is superfluos violence: violence for selling, for entertaining a bit more and keep the audience amused. That kind of violence is repulsive.
I don’t like to put a qualification for a movie. I always found it pretentious to qualify the huge work of a director with a number (I’m aware of the fact that to create art is difficult and to criticize is easy). But this time, since there is such a hype around this film, I feel obliged to qualify this movie. So, 1 point for the music (Alexandre Desplat), 1 point for the cinematography (Dan Laustsen), 1 point for Michael Shannon, 1 point for Sally Hawkins, 1 point for the amazing Octavia Spencer, and 1 point for Richard Jenkins. 6/10
If you want to listen to good music, be amazed by a beautiful cinematography, see Sally Hawkins’s tits, vagina and ass, enjoy your popcorn while a fish-creature is being tortured in a brutal way, blood is running, and a cats loses her heads, go and see The Shape of Water.
Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, February 20, 2018
The resented vengeful, the tedious obsessive, and the genius artist. #IBelieveWoody, by Antonia Tejeda Barros
I’m furious at this wave of rage and lies against Woody Allen. People have finally lost their common sense in the United States and the country has returned to the McCarthy era. The situation is really pathetic (not for Woody Allen, but for those cheap, hypocrite, opportunist, and ignorant accusers) and in Europe we don’t know if to cry or laugh at this whole mess.
The story is quite simple. I don’t understand why there are still people who say “We don’t know if Dylan was abused or not”. Of course we know! She was not abused. Not by Woody Allen, in any case. That’s not my opinion but the facts talking. All those opportunist losers who, in the name of the now-pathetic #MeToo movement, condemned Woody Allen haven’t read a single report proving Woody’s innocence. Is it malice? Is it ignorance? I don’t care what it is, but there is no excuse for being and acting so stupidly and irresponsibly and go and accuse somebody of something they didn’t even read about. The material is available on the internet (you can find these crucial three articles and a report supporting Woody’s innocence here). If all of Woody ‘s bullies (who show a big degree of illiteracy and idiocy) would spend half an hour of their time reading about the facts instead of tweeting and writing nonsense garbage about Woody this bomb would have never exploded.
And what about Hollywood? Yes, Hollywood: that place I used to admire and that I now find repulsive, full of rich opportunist actors who decided to take a piece of the cake, gain some ephemeral fame (just some tweets and some short news) and stab Woody in the back by saying they were sorry to have worked with Woody (after seeing the crocodile tears of Dylan Farrow) or, even more pathetic, promising they “would never work with Woody again”. There is something really comical about that sentence. Woody wasn’t planning on calling you again, you arrogant peacock losers!
Shame on the actors who have stabbed Woody in the back! Poor them. Nobody taught them that loyalty and gratitude are much more important than opportunism and hypocrisy. Woody’s fans will never forget their treason. These actors will always remain second-rate actors and will be remembered by their hypocrisy and their ugly opportunism while Woody will always remain a genius and will be remembered as one of the best filmmakers of the history of the cinema.
Also, let’s not drive things out of proportion here, because, although it made some noise, we are talking here about a bunch of actors who decided to eat a piece of this shameful cake. Let’s not forget that Woody has worked for the past 50 years with hundreds and hundreds of actors. And all (besides that shameful bunch) continue respecting him. The sad thing, of course, is that solidarity, loyalty and empathy are very seldom found these days. I wish those actors and actresses who love Woody would actually speak up. By now, the only two heroes that have stood firm by Woody are Alec Baldwin and Diane Keaton. I salute them and I will never forget their gesture.
Now let’s analyse the characters of this goofy story. First of all, we have Mia Farrow: the resented vengeful. A second-rate actress that, after appearing in a bunch of Woody Allen films didn’t do anything worth mentioning (in Woody’s movies she’s great, but thanks to Woody’s direction and script, nothing else). Back in 1992, Dylan kept repeating (together with her fantasied story of abuse) that her poor mother had lost her career in Woody’s films. What can you say about a woman that collects adoptive children like stamps and abuses them psychologically and physically (I’m not inventing that, this has been said by her adopted children Soon-Yi Previn and Moses Farrow)? Since I know that readers don’t tend to click on the links so much, here are some quotes by Soon-Yi and Moses about their adoptive mother:
“Mia was always very hot-tempered and given to rages which terrified all the kids. They can’t speak freely because they’re still dependent on her. But they could really tell stories and I’m sure one day will. It’s true Mia was violent with me and I have conclusive proof” Soon-Yin Previn
“[Mia] hit me uncontrollably all over my body. She slapped me, pushed me back and hit me on my chest (…) I was defeated, deflated, and beaten down” Moses Farrow
“[Mia] had a fierce temper. On one occasion, she kicked me and hit me again and again with the phone. She was always physical and violent with us” Soon-Yi Previn
“As a young child, I was given a new pair of jeans. I thought they would look cool if I cut off a couple of the belt loops. When my mother found I had done this, she spanked me repeatedly—as was her way—and had me remove all my clothes saying, ‘You’re not deserving of any clothes.’ Then she had me stand naked in the corner of her room” Moses Farrow
But in the media, Mia is the victim. Why? Because her already non-boyfriend Woody Allen fell in love with Mia’s and André Previn’s adopted daughter, Soon-Yi (who was 19 or 21 at the time, so, not a minor). Here I want to clarify some things because I can’t stand to continue reading misinformation and lies about this issue. First of all, Woody and Soon-Yi had hardly ever been in touch before 1992. Woody was Mia’s boyfriend (they never married) during 12 years but he never slept even once in her apartment. They lived separately. And we all know now that this made it easy for Mia to cheat on Woody with Frank Sinatra, since five years ago she said that her son Ronan (who is a physical replica of Frank) might “possibly” be Frank Sinatra’s son. So, Frank’s or nor Frank’s, Ronan is the proof that Mia was cheating on Woody. I don’t care at all about the sexual life of Mia Farrow (she can go with whoever she pleases) but I find it Kafkaesque that she presents herself as the Mother Superior in Morality when she was the Queen of Cheating (with Woody and with André Previn –with Previn she was the other woman). So, Woody never went and married his daughter, nor his stepdaughter, like stupid people keep repeating, since he never lived with Mia and Soon-Yi and was never a father figure to Soon-Yi. Bob Weide has explained and clarified the relationship between Woody and Soon-Yi in his brilliant article The Woody Allen Allegations: Not So Fast (please take 5 minutes and read it, you will learn a lot about this issue). But the most important thing here (more than your judgement on Woody’s and Soon-Yi’s relationship and love, or mine, or Mia’s or the neighbor’s) are Soon-Yi’s own words:
“Please don’t try and dramatize my relationship with Woody Allen. He was never any kind of father figure to me. I never had any dealings with him. He rarely came to our apartment before his own children were born. Even then, he never spoke and the truth is I never cared that much for him. He was always preoccupied with work and never talked to me. Not really to any of us. Only when Dylan was born did he start visiting regularly and then only to play with the baby. My own father is Andre Previn, who came to visit pretty often and took us all out frequently” Soon-Yin Previn (1992)
So, were Woody and Mia dating when Woody fell in love with Soon-Yi? Not any more, apparently. I always thought that Dylan Farrow’s lousy false accusation against Woody was prefabricated by Mia because of Woody’s story with Soon-Yi. But after reading Soon-Yi’s own words, I understood that if Woody would have started a relationship with another woman, any woman, it’s very possible that this prefabricated accusation would have arisen anyway.
“When I first got friendly with Woody, he and Mia were finished with their romance and were just friends. I think Mia would have been just as angry if he had taken up with another actress or his secretary” Soon-Yin Previn
Mia’s goal (then and …still now!) was to destroy Woody Allen at any price. And, what better than stab a knife into his heart, by taking his adoptive daughter Dylan away? Mia said to Woody (you can watch Woody’s interview here): “I have something very nasty planned for you”, and, most important and relevant to the story: “You took my daughter. I’m going to take yours”. Moses Farrow have said: “My mother drummed it into me to hate my father for tearing apart the family (…) I see now that this was a vengeful way to pay him back for falling in love with Soon-Yi.”
By the way, Soon-Yi and Woody Allen did marry. They married in Venice in 1997. They are sharing their lives together for 26 years already and have formed a beautiful family. They have two adopted daughters. If legally there would be any doubts about Dylan’s accusations, Woody would have never been able to adopt. But he didn’t have any problem. Soon-Yi and Woody are together for more than a quarter of a century, a non-common fact among celebrities.
In the Agatha Christie days that followed the explosion, Mia never took a lie-detector test. Woody not only did but asked to take one and, of course, he passed:
“I very willingly took a lie-detector test and of course passed because I had nothing to hide. I asked Mia to take one and she wouldn’t. Last week a woman named Stacey Nelkin, whom I had dated many years ago, came forward to the press to tell them that when Mia and I first had our custody battle 21 years ago, Mia had wanted her to testify that she had been underage when I was dating her, despite the fact this was untrue. Stacey refused. I include this anecdote so we all know what kind of character we are dealing with here. One can imagine in learning this why she wouldn’t take a lie-detector test” Woody Allen Speaks Out
The funny thing (or I should say: the pathetic thing) is that Mia paints herself like Mother Theresa: she collects adopted children, pretends to care about the poor children around the world, follows the Dalai Lama and the Pope, but, while abusing her adoptive children, has spent all her life bringing down Woody Allen. That’s sad and cheap. And very annoying. So, enough of Mia Farrow. Now, let’s go to the tedious obsessive: Dylan Farrow.
When I saw the melodramatic explosive interview of Dylan Farrow some days ago on the internet I felt sad and disgusted. How is it possible that this grown-up woman desires to make justice to her apparent injustice by denouncing her father on TV instead of bringing him to trial? The answer is simple: she (and mommy) already tried (26 years ago) to legally accuse Woody but she (they) did not succeed in anything, because Woody was investigated and was found innocent of all accusations. So, what’s left? Destroy him in public. Destroy him in the media. Destroy his reputation and, if possible, his movies too. I don’t see any seek for justice here. I only see a seek for revenge. An ugly, pathetic and sick seek for revenge.
Also, why is it that millions of us still don’t believe Dylan’s story? Because child abuse victims need to tell their story only once and they are believed. The abusers are investigated, charged and trialed, and then they pay their crime. That’s the case, for instance, of Mia Farrow’s (yes, Mia’s) brother, who was condemned in 2013 to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing two boys during several years. Weird, huh?
Another important detail that clouds this prefabricated lie is that, generally, in cases of sexual abuse and pedophilia, the abuser has a record of more than one victim: that’s the case of Harvey Weinstein (more than 90 women), Bill Cosby (59 women and two 15 year-old girls) and Mia Farrow’s brother. Woody has never been accused by anybody in 82 years apart from his adopted daughter Dylan, not before and not after. Doesn’t Woody’s case sound completely prefabricated?
Moses Farrow feels sorry for his sister Dylan (who, in return, said to him that he was dead to her, how nice): “What breaks my heart the most is that while Dylan believes what she says, I know from my own experience, that it simply never happened. So many times I saw my mother try to convince her that she was abused –and it worked. Some day, I hope she can escape from my mother, confront the truth and begin her own healing” (You can read more Posts on Moses Farrow Facebook page).
Soon-Yi said about Dylan’s accusation, back in 1992:
“The business of him molesting Dylan is so ridiculous that I won’t dignify it with a comment. Why Dylan repeats her story is another matter, and a sinister one. I was not surprised that Mia made a videotape of Dylan saying these terrible things as I think the motive is obvious, but I was stunned that the tape would somehow find its way to the TV news (…) I have refrained from commenting, but when Mia brought up child molestation and then had her sisters and mother and kids and friends parade out in public and do her dirty work for her, climaxing with that tape of Dylan being given out, I felt I had to speak at this point” Soon-Yin Previn (1992)
Woody himself said four years ago, in 2014:
“I naïvely thought the accusation would be dismissed out of hand because of course, I hadn’t molested Dylan and any rational person would see the ploy for what it was. Common sense would prevail. After all, I was a 56-year-old man who had never before (or after) been accused of child molestation. I had been going out with Mia for 12 years and never in that time did she ever suggest to me anything resembling misconduct. Now, suddenly, when I had driven up to her house in Connecticut one afternoon to visit the kids for a few hours, when I would be on my raging adversary’s home turf, with half a dozen people present, when I was in the blissful early stages of a happy new relationship with the woman I’d go on to marry — that I would pick this moment in time to embark on a career as a child molester should seem to the most skeptical mind highly unlikely. The sheer illogic of such a crazy scenario seemed to me dispositive. Woody Allen Speaks Out
Dylan has spent all her life accusing Woody Allen. Poor her. How pathetic. If I were Woody, I would sue her (and mommy) for having lied with so much hatred and destruction during all these long years. But Woody seems so nice and so not interested in gossip and hatred, that I know he will not do a thing. Four years ago, he only had love and sadness for his adopted daughter:
“I never saw [Dylan] again nor was I able to speak with her no matter how hard I tried. I still loved her deeply, and felt guilty that by falling in love with Soon-Yi I had put her in the position of being used as a pawn for revenge. Soon-Yi and I made countless attempts to see Dylan but Mia blocked them all, spitefully knowing how much we both loved her but totally indifferent to the pain and damage she was causing the little girl merely to appease her own vindictiveness” Woody Allen Speaks Out
When I first heard Dylan’s story, I knew Woody was innocent but I felt sorry for Dylan. A 7 year old girl fantasizes about a non-event and her mother takes advantage and exploits that to the point that the little girl believes that this actually happened. It’s sad but we all have to overcome our traumas (real traumas or imaginary ones). Now I don’t feel sorry at all for her. I feel it is shameful and disgraceful that a grown-up woman continues destroying Woody and the people who love him in an obsessive manner night and day in her tweets, in articles and on TV. I found this pathetic. Her name is very annoying to me and to millions of Woody’s fans. My guess is that Dylan Farrow probably wanted to be famous but didn’t have any talent. But now, hey, she has become (sadly) famous and has thousands of followers on Twitter. The truth is that her comments and accusations (to Woody and to everybody that respects Woody) are really annoying, snake-like and immature and she does not deserve much ink. So, enough about her.
And now, let’s go to Woody, the genius artist.
There are very little geniuses alive today that surprise me, accompany me, influence me and fascinate me like Woody Allen. I’ve seen all his movies and I love them all. His scripts are amazing, the cinematography in his films is always exquisite and the philosophy, humor, and drama of his films are overwhelming.
To this day, Woody has directed 50 films, has written 50 scripts and has acted in 46 films (I don’t count here the TV series and shorts). This effervescent creativity is often compared to Bergman’s, who wrote 69 films and directed 64. Woody was born in 1935. He’s 82 years old. His mother, Nettie, died at age 96, and his father lived to reach 100 years. I really hope that Woody (once all this shit has smoked out) will continue rewarding us with his amazing and brilliant movies for the next 20 years.
Woody will always be remembered as one of the greatest filmmakers. In contrast, the resented vengeful and the tedious obsessive would be, with time, remembered as the two snakes who made everything possible to stop the world from enjoying Woody’s magnificent art.
I saw yesterday (again, but this time with my older kids) Broadway Danny Rose. Such an amazing movie! I would like to finish this small love letter to Woody with a quote from the film. Funny, it seems like Mia Farrow didn’t get the whole idea of Broadway Danny Rose. Poor her:
Danny: Well, just let me say one thing. My Uncle Sidney, man, you know, lovely uncle—dead, completely—used to say three things. Used to say, “Acceptance, forgiveness, and love.”
Danny: And that is a philosophy of life. Acceptance, forgiveness, and love.
Broadway Danny Rose (1984)
Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, February 4, 2018
#IBelieveWoody is a small site with:
Woody Allen’s quotes
Reviews on Woody Allen’s films
Facts about Woody Allen
Articles and reports that support Woody Allen’s innocence
We love you, we believe you, we need you, Woody!
To Woody with love,
Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, January 31, 2018