Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Book Report of THE UNRULY LIFE OF WOODY ALLEN by Marian Meade

Book Report of THE UNRULY LIFE OF WOODY ALLEN, An Unauthorized Biography by Marian Meade.
I think I have seen all, or almost all, of Woody Allen's early movies.  I think they are fantastic.  They are slapstick, profound, wise-cracks with a Jewish accent, and hysterically funny.
His later movies became a little dryer, less slapstick, but still profound. About then  I lost my grip on keeping up with his latest movies.  As a film maker, his quality is rated up with the best, such as Hitchcock, Wilder, Fellini, and Bergman.  In fact Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman are his heroes. 
I thought he was a great insightful person.  Then I read his unauthorized biography by Marian Meade.  She popped my bubble.
She makes him out to be a self-centered scoundrel.  She tells of his demanding and snobbish ways.  He also used people but essentially appeared to not like people.  He didn't give autographs when asked and when in elevators with other people he would turn around and face the wall.
I said Ms Meade made him out as not liking people.  That is not entirely true.  According to her book    he liked young underage girls.  In fact, he had a fling with his wife Mia Farrell's adopted orphaned daughter Soon-Yi Previn.  Soon- Yi was born in Korea and was adopted by Mia and her then-husband Adre' Previn.  Soon-Yi and Woody, after their affair married.
Woody has won and was nominated for many awards but had never been to the ceremonies that hand them out.  One time his excuse was he couldn't let his jazz band down (they play on Sunday nights at Carlyle Cafe in Manhattan).  I admire that.
The book goes into detail about Woody's relation with his ex-wives: Louise Lasser (in sitcom-soap MARY HARTMAN, MART HARTMAN), Diane Keaton, and Mia Farrow. (and more!).
Ms Meade points out that many of Woody's movies are autobiographer, sort of.  In the movie MANHATTAN Woody is having an affair with a teenager who has to deal with homework, book reports, etc.  And in HANNAH AND HER SISTERS every member of Mia Farrow's family could be pointed out.  As one member of the family said it was like watching a home movie... some of them, even played themselves. 
Ms. Meade analyzes each of his movies and his dealings with the movie studio heads.
Another interesting thing about the book it is about like the "Kevin Bacon 6 Degrees Game".  He, through his movies, or through one of his wives has dealt with just about everyone in Hollywood.  Example:  Mia Farrow's mother is Maureen O'Sullivan a.k.a. JANE, TARZAN'Ss mate.
I think the book was very good and dug deep into Woody's mind and private life. 
Although after reading the book I still think Woody Allen is a moving making genius, I also have a lower opinion of him as a person.   But on the other hand, I feel sorry for him because his privacy was invaded.  A CATCH 22.


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