Monday, May 07, 2007

Love & Death

This clip is from Woody Allen's film, 'Love & Death', which I watched for the first time last week, during my enforced absence. It's a very funny tale, somewhere between a Dostoevsky novel and a Charlie Chaplin film, and I was very impressed with the whole thing. I've never really paid that much attention to Woody Allen before, but apparently he's thought a lot about life, love and death, and certainly in this film he portrays an existential angsty man perfectly!

It's clear that Woody Allen has considered the non-existence of god, but the question I wanted to answer was, is he an atheist? From Adherents.com:
For all his questioning and agonizing. Woody Alien is a reluctant (he hopes there is a God) but pessimistic (he doubts there is) agnostic who wishes he had been born with religious faith (not to be confused with sectarian belief) and who believes that even if God is absent, it is important to lead an honest and responsible life. His observations and jokes about God and religion make him a favorite of theologians. Yet Allan Konigsberg was, he says, "amoral and impervious. When I say amoral I think of an incident with my grandfather, who was a kind and sweet man whom I liked very much. I was eleven or so and I found a counterfeit nickel on the street. It was clearly counterfeit. But I suggested fobbing it off on my grandfather, who was old and wouldn't know the difference. Now, this is an amoral act. My mother caught me later and asked, 'How could you ask for five pennies for a counterfeit nickel? That's terrible.' And I was unfazed by it. The consequences or the morality of it never crossed my mind for a second."
And I wonder if the same can be said about this incident (from Wikipedia):
Shortly after separating from [Mia] Farrow in 1992, Allen openly continued his relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, Farrow's adopted daughter. Even though Allen and Previn denied he was ever her stepfather, the relationship drew much public and media scrutiny. At the time, Allen was 57 and Previn was 22.
So Woody Allen has seemingly nourished both sides of his being: the mind and the body. He's made a successful career from stressing about existence, and he's making love to a younger woman (which must be many men's fantasy). In 'Love and Death' he declares that the important thing is not to be bitter and that if god exists, he's an underachiever. Me, I am bitter because there is no god, and the underachievers in the room are us! Also I personally don't think any amount of younger women would make it all a sweeter deal, but perhaps that's just me...