|Born||Heywood Putz Allen
December 1, 1935
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||New York University|
|Occupation||Stepdad, actor, director, screenwriter, comedian (c. 1964–77), musician, playwright, lech|
|Influenced by||Vladmir Nabokov, Groucho Marx, Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Stanley Kubrick|
|Home town||New York City, New York|
|Spouse||Harlene Susan Rosen (1956–62)
Louise Lasser (1966–70)
Soon-Yi Previn (1997–present)
|Partner||Mia Farrow (1980–92)|
|Children||Had at least one.|
“A relationship, I think, is like a shark, you know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark. And a pregnant adopted daughter shark.”
- – Woody Allen
Heywood Putz "Woody" Allen (born December 1, 1935) is a neurotic, self-obsessed, potty-minded, sexually repressed auteur. He's also one of the finest examples of a Jew who does not control Hollywood and is increasingly based in Europe where he writes scripts in which middle-aged men who sound like Woody Allen get to have sex with young girls like Scarlett Johansson.
Allen's motion pictures are characterized by unrelenting courtship, neverending angst, the predictable elusiveness of sexual fulfillment, well, let's just say they're neither Fast nor Furious, and all of the chase scenes take place in taxis. The chicks wear peacoats, and there's not a shot of knee-high leather or sideboob in a one of them.
Woody was born in Manhattan, a ball of self-doubt, snot, and peanut allergy from the very first squeak. As a young child he was prone to fits of introspection, refusing to finish his Cheerios until someone explained to him the logic of naming a sugarless circle of breakfast cereal after an emotion signifying happiness. Young Woody had few friends.
In middle school, Woody started a film club, taking ample advantage of the coterie of 12-year-old girls who took an interest in his screenplay. He soon realized that film was not merely a refuge for boys so socially awkward that their closest companions were spot projectors nick-named Arnie, but also a way to meet ladies. The use of supposedly esoteric art as a tool to get laid is a recurring them of Allen's lif—err, I mean movies.
As a high school student, Woody honed his game on the rough streets of the Upper West Side, between dirty 3rd and Amsterdam. Puberty was not kind to him, but a regular rotation between his best boy grip and the third clarinetist in the weekend orchestra provided him with what he came to call, "artistic relief".
Allen has made millions artfully recycling the following storyline. You can too; all you have to do is:
- Move to New York.
- Pick a female lead (pubescence optional).
- Find a shrink and ask him to explain the basic ideas of Freud and Jung.
- Walk around on a cloudy afternoon with a continuous chest-level mid-shot babbling about whatever will never get you laid in real life.
Don't ask why the shtick works; it just does. It's got something to do with men wanting to watch someone even more pathetic than them seduce women who are even younger than their children. And women wanting to watch a guy so emasculated that all of their issues dissolve away in their movie seats as they imagine riding that withered excuse of an artiste to ecstasy.
|Trope 1: Cough.|
|Trope 2: Raise hand when explaining.|
|Trope 3: Raise hand and point during fight.|
|Trope 4: Tell hottie you don't want to have sex with her like it says in the script you wrote.|
Allen is widely credited with/accused of (delete as applicable) bringing a quintessentially Jewish, neurotic, whiney form of humor to the big screen. His most typical gimmick, obsessing about trivial elements of society while making references to Nazis or writers or artists you might find in Hipster 101 has been imitated by many comedians and writers, including both good ones and Billy Crystal.
On the sidewalk in Manhattan, talking to Diane Keaton.
More widely criticized is the fact that the earnest, sugar-sweet heroines of Allen's movies actually go for (and go down on) just this kind of man, as if all their lives they secretly wanted to bone their dentured, spelling-bee winning grandfather and then one day Woody shows up on the subway seat next to them wearing a brushed corduroy blazer holding a thermos flask containing lukewarm Earl Grey, with a leather-bound Proust in the other hand and a laminated pocket-copy of the Kama Sutra in his manpurse.
Most amusingly, from Man Hat On onwards, Allen, writing his own lines, has his character initially refuse the pretty girl's advances. Parallels have been drawn with the widely found trope in pornography in which a worldful of diligent plumbers are reluctantly called into conjugal action by bored middle class nymphomaniac housewives. It is not know whether Allen uses pornography or his own scripts, or both, as a masturbation aid.
Allen married his first wife, Harlene Rosen, in 1954 when he was 19 and she was 16. The pair divorced in 1959 when Allen discovered she was a Nazi, and what she had called her Papa's Chicken recipe was actually the notorious NSDAP dish Chicken Himmler.
After several years of disastrous dates, including one in which a blind date was arrested by Israeli agents, Allen hit upon the winning formula of getting it on with the female members of his cast, and married actress Louise Lasser in 1966. They divorced four years later but the split was said to be amicable. Lasser said in 1992, "I want to make it clear: he never slept with any of my adopted children."
Perhaps Allen's two most famous relationships never resulted in marriage. He had a 10 year romance with Diane Keaton either side of
Diane Annie Hall but Keaton was said to tire of Allen's insistence that she allow him to script their off screen conversations too. The break proved to be an inspiration to Allen, who, instead of expending his energy on writing scripts for his real life interactions, started to do the reverse, and based Man Hat On on his then illegal relationship with 17 year old New York actress Stacey Nelkin. Except in the movie Allen's character is a professor. Which is funny.
In 1980, Allen met the love of his life, but unfortunately she was only eight years old at the time. Instead, he started going out with her adopted mother, Mia Farrow, and bided his time, making babies with that hideous old white woman while his Asian lotus flower bloomed.
The parody encyclopedia Wikipedia has an entry for Allen which contains the following sentence: "The relationship between Allen and [Soon-Yi] Previn has often been referred to as a father involved romantically with his stepdaughter because she was adopted and legally Farrow's daughter and his son's sister." This sentence is thought to be inspired by Lenny from The Simpsons.
Nonetheless Allen did the honorable thing and waited until his relationship with Farrow was almost over and Soon-Yi was almost legal. They married in 1997, and Allen reflected: "All my life I thought I wanted to be with a beautiful, creative, bohemian, Manhattan type. And it turns out, I just want a wife who shuts the fuck up and does what I say."
In the year 2000, Allen and Soon-Yi adopted Manzie Tio. Newspaper editors immediately adjusted their prices for pictures of the family; shots of Allen and Soon-Yi cost $20, shots of Allen and Soon-Yi and child cost $50, shots of Allen holding child's hand cost $100, shots of Allen with child on Allen's lap cost $150, and shots of either of the above with Soon-Yi looking worried (see above) cost $250.
At the turn of the century, Allen began using European cities for the setting of his films, conscious that people in his home country seemed to hate him.
However, it was not an entirely successful move. He set films in London and Paris which had the dangerous of effect of removing the exoticness of Manhattan from his work, and showing his European fan-base how shallow and bourgeois his view of a city tends to be. There were riots in Barcelona after the premiere of Vicky & Cristina's Plausible Threesome demonstrated Allen's limited understanding of the city, based on a week's vacation in a 5 star hotel in the city's most illustrious street.
In 2013, the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and election of Pope Francis I proved to be a remarkable inspiration to Allen, as he began impersonating the hew Pope as a way to make money to finance future projects.
Allen's official pope website shows he still has a sense of humor, as he declares he is available for "weddings, funerals, and especially bar mitzvahs".
However, in a recent interview, it was apparent the impersonation has had an effect on Allen. "There's an old joke - two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of 'em says, 'Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.' The other one says, 'Yeah, I know; and such small portions.' Well, that's essentially how I feel about life - full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly. Unless you let our savior Jesus Christ into your heart."
Allen's film career, like that of many other artists, can be separated into several phases:
- What's New Pussycat Doll? (1964)
- What's Good in the Hood, Tiger Lilly? (1966)
- Take the Monet and Ruminate (1969)
- Bandanas (with Sylvester Stallone) (1971)
- Everything You Wanted To Know About Having Sex With Your Adopted Chinese Daughter (But Were Afraid to Ask, Because People Would Accuse You to be a Sex Offender) (1972)
- Snorer (1973)
- Funny But Bordering on Pretentious
- Love, Death, Taxes and Tolstoy (and the Chance to Shag Diane Keaton for Art) (1975)
DianeAnnie Hall (1977)
- Woody Allen Casts Diane Keaton Again, So That She Can Bang Him More (1978)
- Look At Me, I'm Dramatic Like That Swedish Dude (1978)
- Man Hat On (1979)
- I Love Manhattan, I Really Do (1980)
- I Love Banging Diane Keaton in Manhattan (1980)
- A Little Funny, A Lot Pretentious
- I Fuck Up Shakespeare (1982)
- Pseudo-Intellectual Types in New York (B&W; 1983)
- Clever Dicking and Me on Stage With Adolf Hitler (B&W; 1983)
- The Purple Balls of Cairo With My New Squeeze Mia Farrow (1985)
- Faux-Bergman Film #1 (1986)
- Hanukkah and Her Sisters Have a Threesome With Michael Caine (1986)
- Conservative Talk Radio Days (1987)
- Faux-Bergman Film #2...In A Different Part of New York!! (1988)
- Less Funny, Posturing Increasing
- Alice Cooper I Presume? (1990)
- Shooting People in a Mall (1991)
- New York New York New York New York New York...New York New York (1992)
- CSI: Manhattan (1993)
- Dirty Old Man Phase
- Blowjobs Over Broadway (1994)
- Mighty Aphrodite (1995)
- Everybody Says I Love You (1996)
- Defenestrating Harry (1996)
- No One Wants to Up Front Money These Days
- Small Time Movie Budget (1999)
- Picking Up the Pieces of My Late Career (2000)
- Jason Biggs Will Not Be in Anything Else (2003)
- Goodbye America. I'll Make My Films in Europe
- London is Green and Posh (2005)
- Woody Allen's Twin Fetish Film #23 (2005)
- Scoping Scarlett Johansson (2006)
- Back in London. Let's Have Another Go (2007)
- A Pretentious Tale of Two Cities: New York and London (2007)
- Vicky & Cristina's Plausible Threesome (2008)
- Return to America (My Passport Needs Renewing)
- Larry David or Whatever Works (2009)
- You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stepdad (2010)
- Kish m'in toukhes! You Americans Can't Understand Art. I am Going Back to Europe Where they Still Laugh At My Films
- Midnight Sex in Paris (2011)
- Can I Kiss Carla Bruni? (2011)
- OK Let's Try Rome (2012)
- The American With the Ingmar Bergman Tattoo (2013)
- Magic in the Sunlight, Loving in the Moonlight (2014)
- Am I Dead Yet? (2015)