By Adrienne Papp
“I never got a pleasant surprise in life. But once you experience life, it’s such a vivid, and amazing thing.” Woody Allen
Coincidentally enough, Annie Hall is playing on one of the main stream television channels as I am writing this article in the middle of the night. That is Woody Allen right there: 32 years later, his three -decade old movie is still a sensation on prime time broadcast. Sensationally enough Woody himself hardly looks any different than he did thirty something years ago.
The unexplainable fact of everlasting youth can only happen to a ‘comedian‘ who actually puts his own life into his films as self-therapy, portraying his neurosis (or genius) and insecurities onto the screen, making all of us relate, – without holding much back.
Certainly his sense of humor has not changed a bit ever since he first started selling one-liners to gossip columns at the age of 15. Wry, dry, bittersweet, nervous with everyone talking over one another, chaotic – the Woody Allen signature, – simply put, sexy, unexpected and hilarious.
Certainly not for the faint hearted, his corky jokes, which he used to pump out 2000 a day, would entertain anyone including our grandparents and grandchildren equally. He uses long monologues and very down to earth human realities: stutter and uncertainty. Nothing is staged. Everything sounds like the first date that never ends. A mathematical impossibility.
A genius entertainer? Crazy, absurd, irrational? All of the above and more than that. Woody Allen is a timeless sensation who at first strikes you as a normal elderly gentleman: His voice is soft, the 74-year-old asks you to move closer as he is hard of hearing. His gestures are careful and measured, and his clothes, shirt and chinos, seem ironed and starched. But the true Woody reveals himself in his answers, – with his biting wit and melancholy, his self-irony and ultimate love for his fellow human beings, – all of which is in display in his most recent film, Whatever Works about a misogynic New Yorker intellectual who discovers compassion and affection in unforeseen ways.
New York, which appears in almost all of his films is close to heart. But, with Woody Allen everything is close to heart. That is the whole point. That is the Woody Allen way of treating, well, everything.
When asked if there is a bitter but honest pessimism in his movies, he responds, ‘Yes. I don’t think human existence can get any worse. It’s as bad as it can get. You are born, you don’t know why. You live a life. You get old and sick. The people you love get old and sick. They die, you die. You become exterminated. You didn’t do anything. You did nothing wrong, nothing bad. You still get old and die, and so does everyone else around you and nobody understands anything.’
As a legendary film-maker he certainly had it better than a homeless guy at nearly every second corner of New York City, – I add, but I see the point he is making.
‘Within the scenario of a very grim one, some are luckier than others. Some have a terrible life, some have a better one, – I have been luckier. But in the end, it’s like the first scene of Stardust Memories. Both trains wind up in the same junkyard. In the end, the homeless vanishes and I vanish, and the planet vanishes and the stars vanish, and everything vanishes. All the struggling, the deal memos, the phone calls, all the nonsense that you are involved with,- it doesn’t mean a thing. ‘
As the conversation turns toward the topic of bringing children into such a pessimistic world, he concludes:
‘I don’t sit in front of my children and bemoan the fact that I feel that life is meaningless and a very cruel experience and that the universe is just a random, cruel meaningless thing and that life is just a terribly Darwinian affair. I believe children should be given the space to find out for themselves.’
Despite all his pessimism he seems to love his characters in all of his movies.
‘It’s a horrible world that we live in. It would be just as terrible if the Islamic liked the Catholics and the Pakistanis liked the Indians, and the Palestinians liked the Jews. If all political problems were settled, and everybody was happy, it would still be a terrible world. Because that’s not the worst of the problems! The problem is much bigger than that. It’s the human condition and the randomness of existence, the fact that the universe came into being in a gigantic meaningless explosion at random.’
While most of Hollywood swears that movie making is the most difficult thing that mankind ever faced, Woody Allen, with all of his notorious pessimism thinks it is the easiest. He thinks what is difficult is doing cabaret. I do not blame him. How can you make a good joke in a world that is not even supposed to be here unless we all voted for suffering?
‘Most of the time if I say it’s a good joke, it’s a good joke.’ he says.
This very true, yet very Woody-like statement, feels to me that the Universe is really according to Woody! If he sees it this way, it is soo. If he sees it that way it is soo. And, so one day he may thank me for the very insight that he entertains us with the most genius of ways: from the point of view of the observer. Because in the end, it is really just how Woody Allen sees it, or any of us see it!
God bless such a kindred spirit who thinks that the number one thing in life is health, the number two is knowledge, the number three is money and the number four is love! And, he managed to experience it all, which by all means is no small task.
About the Author of This Article: Adrienne Papp is a recognized journalist, economist and feature writer, who has written for many publications including Savoir; The Westside Today Publications ; such as Beverly Hills 90210; Malibu Beach; Santa Monica Sun; The Beverly Hills Times; Brentwood News; Bel-Air View ; Celebrity Society ; Celeb Staff ; It Magazine; Chic Today; LA2DAY; West Side Today among many others. She is the President and CEO of Los Angeles / New York-based publicity company, Atlantic Publicity and publishing house, Atlantic Publisher. Adrienne writes about world trends, Quantum Physics, entertainment and interviews celebrities, world leaders, inventors, philanthropists and entrepreneurs. She also owns Atlantic United Films that produces and finances true stories made for theatrical release or the silver screen. Spotlight News Magazine is owned by Atlantic Publicity that just opened a new extension to it : PublicityLosAngeles. Adrienne Papp is a member of the International Press Academy.She is the Founder, CEO and President of Youthful & Ageless ™, Bringing Information to Billions™, An Honorable Cause™ www.LatestAgeless.com. www.OurMediaVenuesAndCompanies.com, Atlantic Publicity Articles, Latest Ageless, Events Photo Collection, Linked In Profile, Movie Data Base Profile, Twitter, Instagram, Youthful and Ageless Google+, Atlantic Publicity Google+, Atlantic Publisher Google+, Adrienne Papp Google+, Adrienne Papp Personal Google+, Spotlight News Magazine, Atlantic Publicity Productions, Atlantic Altitude, Altitude Pacific, Atlantic Publicity Photography and Filming, About Adrienne Papp What Others Say AtlanticPublicitySEO, BrilliantMarketing365, An Honorable Cause, Academic Research, Knighthood Today, Youthful and Ageless™. She was knighted and became a Dame in 2010. Her official name is Lady Adrienne Papp and Dame Adrienne Papp. Voting Member of The International Press Academy and The Oscars: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She is the Managing Editorial Director of The Beverly Hills Times Magazine, and Hollywood Weekly. She has a Master of Science in Economics majoring Logistics; an MBA Degree; An International Law, Trade and Finance Postgraduate: Marketing and Advertising Postgraduate from NYU and UCLA. Guest Professor at Oxford University; Director and Producer of TV and Airline On Camera Editorials; Adrienne Papp Enterprises