Woody’s “Midnight in Paris” is Ravishing – His Best in Years


And more from our Liz: Cher goes classical for mideast peace … Angie and Brad — a “well-balanced” wedding?

“HER worldview is comparable to someone who’s suffered a serious head trauma,” says Steve Benen of GOP candidate Michele Bachmann, now knocking them dead in Iowa. (This appears in Washington Monthly.)

For a further examination of Ms. Bachman I would have to recommend you read the story of her conversion to radical “unrivaled extremism” in her evangelical Christianity, as told by writer Michelle Goldberg in The Daily Beast.

* * *

Another Texan heard from — on the occasion of Governor Rick Perry’s sudden burst onto the scene — the fabled Jane Hickie, onetime aide to the late Ann Richards. Jane e-mails us: “Rick Perry is a Samson and Delilah challenge. We have to get some hairdresser to attack him so he winds up with a buzz cut. The only thing that man has going for him is the hair do.”

* * *

WELL, I know I’m a little late, folks, in joining the fans of the new Woody Allen movie “Midnight in Paris,” but this one struck me as the most charming outing by Woody yet. Paris is eternal and I just don’t see how anyone can resist his version of revisiting this city, not just Paris at midnight, but Paris in the rain.

This is the most nostalgic and beautiful film Woody has ever made, with the City of Light as his star. The idea of a Hollywood writer going to Paris with his fiancé and her horrid parents and then escaping them by going back in time to the Twenties was just irresistible to me. You will love it when Owen Wilson mysteriously encounters Ernest Hemingway, Scott and Zelda, Cole Porter, Gertrude Stein and all the rest in his midnight travels. (And it’s even more fun when he and the Twenties beauty Marion Cotillard go all the way back to La Belle Epoch and hang with Toulouse Lautrec and his fellow painters in the Moulin Rouge.)

The surprise hit of “Midnight in Paris” (to me) was the discovery of France’s First Lady, Carla Bruni, playing a guide in the Rodin Garden. Once you see Madame Bruni acting briefly onscreen, you never want to lose her. A stunning American film debut and bravo to Woody for using the beautiful Carla. (Maybe after her husband completes his duty for his country, Miss Bruni will stage a real comeback — she did act and sing prior to her marriage.)

The only thing I didn’t care for in this movie was the Woody type “costume” affected by leading guy Owen Wilson. I can’t believe anybody would go to a first-class French hotel wearing such unattractive slouchy pants, plaid shirts and no necktie.

Times have indeed changed but Paris demands a little more of us.

* * *

CHER, the one and only, welcomed a dozen Israeli and Arab classical music students to her Hollywood home last week in conjunction with the Polyphony Foundation, co-founded by the star herself. This organization uses classical music as a bridge to promote dialogue between young Jews and Arabs. Cher, who was very moved by the performance, said “if we can keep a safe environment for this kind of beauty to flourish and bloom amid such violence and hatred, it makes you feel like everything is possible, if you just try.”

The event at Cher’s home was a kickoff for a U.S. tour. The children, age nine to 16, were dazzled by the legendary lady. And young as they are, they sure did know who she is!

When I spoke to a friend about this event, he said, “Oh, really? That doesn’t seem like her at all.” Typical response. (I guess he assumes she spends her off hours counting sequins or something.) But it’s very much her. People only think they know a lot about Cher. She is one of the most private of stars. She holds a lot in. And she does good deeds.

* * *

THE WEEKLY glossies always go to extremes with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt — either they are viciously fighting and breaking up, or — as per this week’s issue of InTouch — finally getting married.

With its “intimate details” from “close friends,” the article is all the usual stuff. (The “kids” persuaded them to make it legal.) But I enjoyed this bit: “They are talking about getting married on September 23 — the day of the equinox this year. They both feel the equinox holds special meaning because it is the day the earth is most balanced — the night is as long as the day, and the sun’s center is on the same plane as earth.”

I have to hand it to these writers. When you have absolutely no facts, try a science lesson and tie it to the world’s most glamorous couple.

High marks for creativity!

56 comments so far.

  1. avatar rick gould says:

    Cher is the classic case of the old phrase “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

    And the photo used here is one my favorite latter day shots of her. This is how I wish Cher would present herself all the time. I have been intrigued by her since I was a small child and I find Cher the person far more interesting than the “stage” Cher.

    And I’ve never understood what inspires such vitriol when it comes to Cher.
    As far as stars go, Cher seems like a straight shooter, not pretending to be perfect.
    And like Elizabeth Taylor, except for male Hollywood authority figures, I’ve never read of a co-star or co-worker who has had a bad thing to say about Cher.

  2. avatar Count Snarkula says:

    At the last leg of her 3 year farewell tour, Cher played Laredo Texas to open a new convention center. I went. The mayor of Laredo is a friend of mine. “Mayor Betty” decided to give Cher the key to the city in a small ceremony before her performance. She was so touched and humbled. She told the Mayor that nobody, in her entire career, had done anything like that for her. She didn’t cry, but she was a touch tearful. I thought wow, you really do not know someone based on their public persona. She was charming, posed for pics, and could not have been nicer. She had us backstage after the concert, and she was totally blown away by all the Mexican drag queen “Chers” who traveled across the border, in full Cher drag, to see her. What a wonderful time that was, and what a wonderful person Cher is.

  3. avatar phillipg says:

    Thanks for putting a spot-light on the event Cher held at her home last week.  She and her team put a lot of work into it.  It could have easily been turned into a media event, but there was only one photographer there.  Cher is doing this and other charity work, in her own quiet, determined and caring way.

  4. avatar Charles says:

    As a “fellow follower” of Cher; I want to share that she posted pictures from the event on Twitter.  Until Cher started “tweeting”, I was not part of any social network.  Following her (@cher) gives one a look into her personal life and understanding of her concerns.

  5. avatar Richard Bassett says:

    I loved the Ricky Gervais, host of the ever so tateless 2011 Acadmeny Award show on 2/27/2011, when describing the Academies were special guests. Of course, he made fun of all the awards they won. One won or was given were a few tickets to see Cher in Las Vegas:

    “Cher??????” he asked in disbeliefs.
    ” Yes, what is wrong with that?” the winner declared.
    ” Nothing” Ricky said, “if it was 1975″

    I must admit that Cher’s tunes hold some memories for me. I rode my first bicycle hearing, “I Got You Babe”. “Gypsy’s, Tramps and Thieves” ruled the airwaves while I was dating in high school. “If I Could Turn Back Time” living hedonically in the fast lane of Hollywood. “Believe”- planning – the turn of the century hoopla. And more recently, when my life toned down, “Burlesque’ (one of the films I have recently watched)

    I have loved her musically, and on film for the past forty year, There is no other institution and she rolls with the punches. Unlike Elizabeth Taylor, Cher was the center piece at Sonny’s funeral, or (at least) that is how press spun it…and his widow was from a marriage lasting twelve years! On top of that, Cher and Sonny had been divorced for ten years. As we’ve all read, she married Greg Allman and lived a busy romantic life. But the press was on her tail. Can you imagine a Richard/ Sally/ Elizabeth funeral? Sally would have ended up serving the hors d’œuvre. Cher’s speech was way over the top, yet seemed sincere. Polyphony Foundation? What happened to her “The Heroes Project”: co-founded by Cher, -supporting our soldiers, veterans & their families “? She is either too busy or spreading herself too thin. But it is philanthropy and can’t be all bad. Believe me, I honestly admire her. I’ve seen a series of interviews with her and liked a lot of what she had to say. She had many memories contained within.
    As for Brad and Angelina, I don’t care. I never cared and will probably not care in the future. Over exposed and under talented.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Richard…

      The very fresh Mrs. Richard Burton would have done herself a favor behaving as did Mary Bono.  Mary knew the deal.  Sally was…insecure. 

      Cher’s eulogy was real and to the bone.  Lots of guilt there, too.  She had talked so dispragingly of him over the years.  And then he was gone.  She always said he WAS “Sonny and Cher.”  In her  emotional remarks, it all came back to her. 

      I burst into tears when she talked about Sonny being like the Reader’s Digest “Most Unforgettable Character.”

      And it didn’t look like she knew she was being filmed.

      • avatar Richard Bassett says:

        Cher was very sincere and tear producing when she spoke….and it wasn’t for the camera. There weren’t any close ups.  In 1998, Cher was a stellar movie actress and preparing for her Oscar win. Sonny had moved on years before and had another family of his own. He was on the young side, preparing for a career in politics. His death was such a shock….worse than an airplane crash. I’m sure that she must have been romancing some young man at the time. She was at the top for her of her career and then…. this senseless death (on a vacation no less). A part of her died when he did. They were the 1960’s/1970’s. So sad. I’m sure Mary’s grief was very private…without the world to see.

      • avatar rick gould says:

        Well put, Mr. wOw!

        I believe Mary Bono asked Cher to do the eulogy.

        Yes, there was a lot of bickering on both sides, from Cher AND Sonny (who had taken digs at her in his memoirs). But whenever they got together, no matter what was happening, the chemistry clicked and they became Sonny and Cher again, most memorably displayed on their classic moment on “Letterman.”

        And no matter HOW pissed Cher was at any time, she has ALWAYS given credit to Sonny for making them stars.

        I think like a lot of divorced couples, Cher didn’t realize how much love was still there until Sonny was gone. And there was a lot of unfinished emotional business, for sure. As recently as Vanity Fair, Cher basically said if Sonny had only treated her as an equal, and not the 16 year old girl he first met, they might have stayed together. Sigh.

        I remember a group of us watching Cher’s eulogy of Sonny and it was painfully real.

      • avatar Richard Bassett says:

        Mr. Wow,

        I believe that there was all the finished business between them was long finished. That was reason that after their 25 year old divorce was tragic, yet, nothing long term devastating (such as Cancer). By 1998 both had successfully gone forward of with their lives. Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball were, basically, put in the same situation. Forty years after their divorce, Lucille was sad (both had an adult child at this point). No one went running around in a panic over funeral arrangement. They had been married for twenty years and had a studio to run. Lucille, more grouchy and bitter towards the end of her life, was certainly a savvy businesswoman who knew her studio. Too bad she left us with such disgrace (Life with Lucy), I guess that there was no one there (eppsiecially Gary Morton) to tell her ‘no’. Just who was Gary Morton before Lucille: an actor, a TV personality, a singer, an agent, a comedian? He must have been something). Getting back to Cher, she was part of her extended family (unlike Richard and Elizabeth) and really put a lot of water under the bridge with Sonny. Both were approaching 70. Though tragic, his death wasn’t horrendous. Like a murder.  Sonny was or wasn’t the mayor of Paul Springs around that time, getting geared up for Arnold’s position. Was Arnold governor then?
        Mr. WoW, Cher would have a vocalist without Sonny, or she would have left the field after he had died. Her career came to her, not really the other way around. I remember that reunion show on Letterman. It was good to see them together but it didn’t bring down the house. I was surprised to discover 16 year old Cher was once romantically linked to Warren Beatty…though not a big surprise. Yes, Mr. WoW, Cher would have been successful without Sonny, but in 1965, there was no other act similar to they were. A reconciliation at 70? I tend to doubt it. (Sonny was TOO old for her)

        * Correction: Yesterday, I gave Cher her Oscar in 1998 (for 1997) when, in reality it was given to her in 1988 (for 1987).*

      • avatar rick gould says:

        Hi Richard
        Sonny was 63 when he died, Cher was 52 at the time. What I meant by unfinished business was more personal than romantic. Cher has said numerous times that Sonny was more than a husband, he was like her father, brother and best friend. There was a lot of faith on her part…she was a teen runaway/dropout. And at the end of their marriage, Cher found out she had nothing, that she was an employee. She offered to work with him post-marriage, 50/50. He thought she was “one ungrateful little bitch” is what I recall reading. He turned her down. When his solo career promptly went down the toilet, he changed his mind two years later. Cher later said that she was offered “The War of the Roses” because she essentially lived it with Sonny!

        My point is when someone is a big part of your life, no matter your current status, when that person is gone, it’s devastating. It was like that for Cher (and Chaz, who was not speaking to him at the time). It was like that for Elizabeth regarding Richard, Frank and Ava, too.

        You mention Lucy and Desi. I think she carried a HUGE torch for Desi. But she was so hurt by his repeated adulteries (Cher has said this was a big problem with Sonny as well), plus his drinking, that Lucy had no choice. But Lucy married a man who was a safe harbor (ex stand up Gary Morton) who was devoted to her. But Desi was always on her mind, I think. But she felt betrayed and I think a big part of what made her so bitchy and bitter later in life (her latter day talk show appearances…what a pill!).

        I’ve always thought Cher would have had an entirely different career without Sonny. She studied acting with the famed Jeff Corey, who said she was a pistol…this was as a teenager! Cher the actress might have started 20 years earlier… but she didn’t do so bad with Sonny 😉

      • avatar Richard Bassett says:

        I doubt that he took money from Cher after their 1975 divorce. The same year she put Bob Mackie (as well as Carol Burnett) on the map, as well as her own TV series so she wasn’t left with nothing for very long. She was also winning a series of  TV awards. Though Sonny (out of pity) joined Cher on the show at the end of its run, she married Greg Allman and had his baby in 1976. For years they had Chaz to join them together but by 1986…Chaz was off on her own. He went into politics in the 1980’s.  Cher conquered Broadway and became a very successful film star. He soon remarried and had another family of his own. He knew that without Cher, he was really nothing on stage. I believe all of their business ended in 1976, when she married someone else. Cher never needed a man for validity, though she had an active romantic life. I don’t believe that she has regrets. She has always been ‘honest’ in interviews. At 54, she had the biggest dance hit of the year. She doesn’t seem to have missed anything. But she is now 64, and getting tired. I don’t think that she has a love letter from Sonny on her bureau. She has been fighting several personal battles lately (and made a movie). As an Addiction Therapist, she said something in an interview that has always stayed with me. The interviewer (probably Walters) asked her about her take on drugs. Cher said: “Well, I’ve never known anyone to become a better person by taking them”…and that so true.

      • avatar rick gould says:

        One of the biggest things that stuck in Cher’s craw was that as an “employee” of Cher Enterprises, with Sonny and HIS lawyer the head thereof, she had to payout nearly $2 million for contracts made while with Sonny (and some of that money TO Sonny). And when they reunited professionally, they worked off some of those obligations, as well.

        I should be a Cher curator, as I have been following her career since 6th grade and I’m 52 now 😉

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Rick…

        All I add is that you’ve hitched your affections to a real person.  She is lovely and dear.  Really.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        I bet you are waiting for me to say something about the widows Burton. I’m still on Sally’s side. And always will be. She was the widow. Not Elizabeth.

      • avatar Count Snarkula says:

        Of course Sally was the widow. Richard and Elizabeth had long since divorced by the time he died. Elizabeth was not the Widow Burton. She was Earth Mother. Earthy and a Mother.

      • avatar rick gould says:

        She’s baaaaaaa-ck!
        Welcome back, Baby!
        We didn’t have to wait long, did we? 😉

        I’ve said plenty about the Sally vs Liz @ the funeral debate. We ALL have!

        I saw a clip of Cher on Leno back when she produced the TV tribute to Sonny. Cher commented how she liked Mary Bono (despite being a Republican 😉 saying that it was cool that Mary liked Cher, considering Mary was in the unenviable position being the widow, where the ex-wife was still strongly associated with the late husband.

        And at least at the time, I think ET was similarly empathetic about Sally, as Elizabeth was once a young widow whose husband met an untimely demise.

        Certainly respect your opinion, Baby. Just don’t agree with it 😉

        Welcome back and hope your health is getting back on track!

      • avatar Count Snarkula says:

        “Certainly respect your opinion, Baby. Just don’t agree with it “. Brilliant. That is how we should all behave. Can we all agree to try to follow this brilliant attitude as we lurch forth towards what I believe will be the most vicious and contentious election ever? Please? I really don’t want another 2008 here.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        I really doubt anyone would claim Elizabeth was “empathetic” towards Sally at any point and in fact went out of her way to be “the widow” at the time and the years that followed.

      • avatar Count Snarkula says:

        Oh I am not saying that Elizabeth didn’t consider herself the “Widow Burton”. She did. I am just agreeing with you that factually, Sally was the widow. Empathetic? No, not in this case.

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Baby…

        I took a fouth of July break, and came back today and had to see what had driven this column to so many replies? 

        I see it was a lot of Woody and Mel and who’s bad and who’s not.

        AS FOR Miss T.  She bowed to Sally command not to attend Burton’s funeral, despite the fact that all four of Elizabeth’s children where there.  The press treated Elizabeth as “the widow” because of their famous married and unmarried relationship.  Sally is a lovely woman but a private person.  She’s not in show biz.  They were married one year. What did the headlines scream? “Burton Dead.”  Liz In Shock.”  Too bad for Sally’s ego, but that’s show biz and twenty years as lovers spouses and friends.  

         Elizabeth never dissed her.  However,  Sally was very happy to open up Burton’s diary entries to Melvyn Bragg, for all the juicy stuff about ET’s drinking and drugging.  Sally didn’t think any of it had to be  run past Miss T.

        Privately, ET was furious.  Publicly, she was silent.

        As for the “last letter” business, I don’t believe there was such a thing and I don’t believe Elizabeth ever said there was.  You’ll just have to take my word that I know more than you do, on this one point. 

        Again—good to have you back in the thick of it.   Hope you had some rest or fun or good barbecue over the holiday.

  6. avatar Jay Gentile says:

    Heaven save us from the christ cult and all their deranged followers. Every time someone opens with “I’m a Christian,” it’s a good idea to check their hands for a weapon and check your pocket for your wallet. Bachmann’s brand of virulent christianity is the greatest threat to peace facing the world today. Luckily, elections are won in the center and not on the fringes. She doesn’t have a hope to go with all those hollow prayers.

  7. avatar Jay Gentile says:

    At the risk of being called ‘Count Snarkula’ by Liz again, I must point out that giving away so much of “Midnight in Paris” spoils it for people who haven’t seen it and haven’t read the reviews. It’s irresponsible and degrades the impact of what is perhaps Woody Allen’s finest movie in two decades. Sure, talk about the doofus outfit that Wilson wore and the horrible parents. But the rest? BE QUIET and let people discover the plot as it unfolds.

    • avatar Count Snarkula says:

      When did Liz call you me?

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      I will not discover it. Woody Allen was my first “Mel Gibson.”  Some go beyond the pale as they say. And that is the end of that.  And them. You can call it whatever you want. I call it what Mia calls it. Incest. And I don’t feel the need to endorse incest on the part of Woody Allen. Or on the part of anyone.   

  8. avatar Lila says:

    Religious extremists of any ilk are really, really frightening.

  9. avatar LuckyLady n/a says:

    For all who are on the “hate Woody train” try to separate the art from the artist.  Midnight in Paris is an almost fabulous movie.  The back story is kind of silly but the scenes of Paris at night make up for that.  I have always loved Paris–from the Ile San Louis to the bistros——-forgive me, I’m having a Paris moment.  My daughter-in-law and I saw it together and it’s worth seeing just to see Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein and a little sliver of a woman that is only seen twice–Alice B. Toklas.  Just forget Woody–See it for it’s beauty and identify the ex-pats.  A gorgeous, gorgeous movie.  I’m going again juzt to pretend I’m on the bateau mouche.

    • avatar Lila says:

      LuckyLady – “try to separate the art from the artist” – easier said than done for some. I guess others might boycott on principle, but for me – when the artist’s very objectionable foibles are very publicly aired, it intrudes and becomes a distraction that ruins the viewing experience. The artist is no longer just an artist; his identity as himself becomes fixed in my mind, and associated with whatever the objectionable behavior was. Not talking one DUI or smoking a joint or punching out a paparazzo; I mean behavior that goes well beyond the pale (everyone has the pale set differently, so one’s mindset will vary).

      I can’t watch Mel Gibson as a character any more because all I see is… Mel, and not the character. Did not enjoy Michael Jackson’s music so much after all his weirdness and probable inappropriate behavior with kids came to light. Same with Woody Allen. Were I blissfully ignorant of these personal lives, there would be no distraction and this would not be an issue… but I am, so it is.

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      How can you forget Woody when everyone is proclaiming it is “his” film? The problem is many of us are remembering him. And his “relationship” which many of us consider to be incest. Doesn’t play well in Peoria as they say.  Or anywhere else.

    • avatar Sandy B says:

      I don’t hate him- he’s just vile and disgusting and I won’t willingly put a dime in his pocket.

  10. avatar Richard Bassett says:

    I can’t see why you can’t see a film that he (Mel) is in or a Broadway play. You are not given a questionnaire to complete revealing what your personally think about their off camera action. Good acting (primarily any acting) should wipe the performers personal history from your mind and indulge yourself in some guiltily pleasures. Movie critics get paid for doing just this and in the Broadway wee hours of the morning…actors want to hear the critique…not their biography. Practice leaving the alleged performers personal life at the entrance. Glide in being excited at the fact that you are seeing a new film. If we were all to judge a performers personal life in regards to “pales (?)”, then no one would be watching a new movies. You would be terribly disappointed knowing ‘the pale’ of each performer’s personal life in Hollywood or New York City are not meant for public opinion. So it will be more comfortable and less of a burden on you if you leave this pale at home (or fill it with popcorn). Maybe living in both cities, I atomically do this ‘skill’; though middle America it may never get it. Whatever, it is guaranteed that the film industry will never come to a grinding halt. These 20 to 30 year old performers…who will be our own next generation of Hollywood…will either never leave their homes (being filmed anyway) or throw caution to the wind and be whomever they are and party. They are saying the old Hollywood is changing or changed; so are the audiences of old Hollywood. Progression usually moves forward. I can totally understanding not seeing a new film because a personal dislikes of an actor’s talent, but leave their personal lives behind closed door. There is already enough of “People” “Us”  “Entertainment” “Star” “Access Hollywood” “TMZ”…etc….all out there. Everything was, at one time, jammed everything (except gossip) into “Variety”.  Do we need more paparazzi? (And I do not want to hear about performer’s personal lives, fifty years ago Mel Brooks could have had the same rant in the privacy on his own terms, and no one would be the wiser. Our personality hasn’t changed; it is the method in which we obtain it. Just laughing, PR managers call the press to tell them where their client will be and upon arrival, the celebrity pretends that it is an invasion of privacy. Or ignore them.

    • avatar Lila says:


      This distraction with performers is not something I choose, it just happens. Like hating Brussels sprouts. I agree that the performer’s personal life SHOULD be separate from his art, and this is why I DON’T seek out news on actors and actresses, or read tabloids. I DON’T want to know anything about them personally, because it ruins my (apparently weak) ability to “suspend disbelief” for a performance. (I also lose interest in movies when something patently impossible or inconsistent happens).

      But sometimes, a performer will do something that lands them in the mainstream press as well, and I can’t help but see at least the headlines, or hear others discussing the story.

      Sometimes it’s a flash in the pan and something I don’t care much about, like Sean Penn punching a photographer, or Tiger Woods having a bunch of affairs. Pfft. Whatever. But sometimes, the headlines pop up again and again on the same person, and after a while a very derogatory portrait emerges: Gibson’s anti-Semitic rants, his comment that his wife would probably go to hell, and this juxtaposed with his own infidelity, fathering an illegitimate child, and then allegedly abusing his mistress on top of all that. I can’t think of Mel or see his image without all of that rising in the background. And I can’t think of Woody Allen without thinking “eeeeeewwww,” because what he has done fits my definition of incest, as well as infidelity.

      I do not avoid these artists to make any kind of statement; it’s just that their art no longer holds any interest for me. I am not able to simply check my background knowledge at the door as you suggest.

  11. avatar LuckyLady n/a says:

    Thanks, Richard.  When I was a kid I held grudges and my Dad told me not to “cut off my nose to spite my face”. I had no way of knowing what that meant so I asked my mother.  She told me that holding grudges made for a bitter life and I eventually found that to be true.  We all could boycott art museums because of bad behavior of some artists (I must admit that I almost caved when Maplethorpe became a hit–)  We lived in Paris for about ten years and one day I decided it was time to go home because the City was beginning to look ordinary to me.  Thanks Richard for your clear and succinct reply and thanks Woody for showing my Paris to me–definitely not ordinary.

    • avatar Sandy B says:

      I don’t “hold a grudge” against Woody. I barely think of him at all unless I read an article like this. What do you care if some of us don’t like him for whatever reason? Why do you need us to see it your way? Who has time for that?

      • avatar rick gould says:

        Exactly, Sandy B.
        For those who can’t separate the performer from the person, don’t see them.
        For those who can, go see them, enjoy.
        I fall somewhere in the middle. I enjoy some artists’ work but never read or watch their interviews because they irritate me (cough, Madonna, cough). Love Michael Jackson’s music still, though his private life was pretty hard to ignore. And some performers, like Sheen and Gibson, I just don’t want to hear about them anymore, much less see their work.
        It’s all very subjective. There’s no right or wrong here.
        Happy Independence Day.
        Enjoy your freedom of choice, everybody 😉

      • avatar Richard Bassett says:

        And some performers, like Sheen and Gibson, I just don’t want to hear about them anymore, much less see their work.

        Good Luck , here

  12. avatar Richard Bassett says:

    Thank you for your words. I JUST used that same phrase during the Baby war two weeks ago (though I can’t remember in which context). Oh, in my previous post I meant Mel Gibson, not Mel Brooks. A slight difference. It tells me volumes about you when you are placed in a position of adversity. But I always see you respectfully as Haunted Lady. I guess this is a good venue to air out the opinion of one’s post. Posters can be strong willed, weak and apologetic, the diplomat, new to social media, humorous, the peace maker, a gay perspective, the diplomat, and so on. I am sure that Mr. WoW must share the same belief. I’ve only been here a few months and already I am aware of the consistency of those who post. You can be polarized but your passion eventually takes preference. Maybe due to what I do, I look for these elements first. (Oh, I spent a month in Paris in 1997. You determine the experience that you have, not the other way around) No matter where you go, it is imperative to be your own self-advocate. Woody Allen (the recluse, must be fascinating)
    Happy 4th

  13. avatar Richard Bassett says:

    Dear Lila,
    Of course I understand what you are saying. We know your position, just as we knew Haunted Ladies position, and while we’re at it, the Baby War was inappropriate. Speaking in general, maybe these disagreements can take place via e-mail (at the risk of anonymity) once the position of each party is known. Not only do you keep the subject alive (54 Posts), it makes it impossible to go back if someone wants to address you regarding a prior post that they’ve only read for the first time, each story there are two sides and each tainting side could paint be paint as an accurate picture whether the story is about the devil or the Pope. I, like you, avoid the supermarket magazines. Why pay money for something that is flooded on the Internet? So far, both Mel and Woody have been personally attacked by you…when you could be missing out on a quality project. As I told Haunted Lady, I lived in the cities where most of this material originates. No one passes judgment, as it could EVEN be the work of the press. My point: it’s taken as the truth. Thank God, my beliefs doesn’t depend on this or I never would have seen “The Passion of Christ” Once you start using personal issues to dictate whether seeing a film or not, you are going to be sitting home a lot more. Each law he has broken resulted in restitutions (including a hefty fee, of course). I didn’t know for months that any of this even happened. Out of curiously, I read Mel had a heated argument with his girlfriend and she recorded it…for money somewhere down the line. It happens every day….maybe not to celebrities, maybe your next door neighbor. All celebrities are entitled to have private (not perfect) lives no matter how hard the press tries to get a scoop. I certainly think that he is a very talented actor and it is on that basis that I will see other films that he makes. But thank you for your input.

    • avatar Lila says:

      I don’t understand how having an opinion constitutes “attacking” anyone.

      • avatar Richard Bassett says:

        47 post laters, while the attacked party(s) are not here to defend him/herself to justify their issue can be seen (not necessarily) as an attack. Maybe one poster here is so blatant regarding most maters that it over shadows the benign opinions given by others, and when matters of a moral issue are without a safe rebuttal, chaos ensues. When the one doing the ‘posting’ is also attacked, then that does cross a line. Intimidating someone who may have something to say. When each party responsible is not of equal footing (being here), then preconceived ideas can (and should) be defended by those who may think differently. That is why I waited six days before raising it up a notch. In all fairness, each valid statement should start with: “Well, it is my opinion….. This encourages others to have the freedom to do the same. We want to know your opinion without acrimony or without a crowd mentality, which catches on like a wildfire. And while you are sharing your thoughts, you may include that you realize your opponent may think differently. First, it shows you are being heard and second, it shows flexibility. Just tone it down… (which may cause a much shorter thread).

  14. avatar rick gould says:

    I don’t think there’s any right or wrong here. This is America. We all are entitled to our opinions…we just need to remember that’s ALL they are.

    And when it comes to the arts, we’re human, not robots. There are a lot of artists in every field who are legendary at what they do… and totally screwed up as people.

    The problem with people in the performing arts is that we attach our fantasies to them, so when scandal occurs, audiences take it personally. And some performers survive the scandals, some don’t. You can go back as far as Fatty Arbuckle as someone who didn’t.

    For me, the two artists being debated here, Woody and Mel, their attitudes are so obvious in their work, they’re offscreen behaviour doesn’t surprise me.

    Every once in a while, I will see a Woody Allen movie that’s supposed to be his “best in ages,” only to see the same elitist, narcissistic attitude as ever, not surprised this guy’s response to running off with a child he raised as “the heart wants what the heart wants”… a little further south “wood” be more accurate!

    And why is anybody surprised or doubtful of Mel’s angry phone calls? Even if you ignore the previous cops run-in, or his tangling with the gay community, his latter day movies are all abnormally violent and angry: From Lethal Weapon through Passion of the Christ… I just stopped going for THAT reason…and his behaviour just confirms it.

    Those are my reasons for not seeing their movies. Your entitled to yours. We are all entitled to our reasons why we choose the movies we see, the books we read, etc.
    I don’t need somebody to draw a line in the sand for me.

    • avatar Richard Bassett says:

      I’ll see anybodies movies or images. Isn’t that what they are made for? Picasso’s “The Weeping Woman” was really not created to equal, “Everything You Wanted about Sex but was Afraid to Ask” One requires deeper thought than the other. No big realization on that one. There is nothing wrong but with a brief point of view and then, maybe, an explanation why. As for me, I take Liz’s Smith’s column like a laundry list and try to comment on each subject in order. Mr. WoW is usually a one subject post who encourages you to think before you text. I’ve been a bit long winded until now. I have now realized the position of each major speaker. If everyone thought like Rick, theaters and cinemas would be empty. You lose yourself in two hours at a time, and then come back to reality until the next escape from it. That’s the purpose of entertainment. (Rick, Mel also made ‘Signs” “What Women Want” and provided the humor in the ‘Lethal Weapon” movies). But that is not why I’ll see him again, I’ll read the plot synopsis and if it strikes my interest, I’ll go. I wouldn’t care if Sinead O’Connor and Charlie Sheen were the leads. Despite scandal, I’ve seen TLC, Madonna, Milli Vanilli….and, of course, with all her dubious symbolism, Lady Gaga. Their personal likes (unless it’s philanthropic) do not matter to me; the music does. The showman ship does….and for those seeking drama, there are always soap operas.

      • avatar rick gould says:

        I thought I made myself pretty clear. I was actually AGREEING with you 😉

        I HAVE seen many of Woody’s movies. I don’t ADMIRE him as a person, but have given many of his latter day movies a chance over and over, only to be disappointed by his self-absorbed point of view.

        I HAVE seen the movies of Mel’s movies in the last decade so noted for their violence: Passion of the Christ, Braveheart, The Revolutionary, Apocalypto, and all his cop movies… Between that AND his off screen anger, I’ve just given up on him.

        Just like I used to laugh WITH Charlie Sheen on Two and Half Men, until the show’s sleazy sameness started blurring with his off screen sleaze. Again, just had enough.

        But I just don’t write performers off strictly because of stars off-screen behaviour which is what I SAID in my previous post. Other posters on here have done so… use them as an example. But it’s their perogative, as well.

        But who I am to judge other people’s behaviour per se. I find it interesting those who do.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Why reward bad behavior? That’s one of the reasons why so many seem to engage in bad behavior. It pays well.  Bad publicity these days seems to be good publicity for some. 

        As for Woody Allen he is married to his son’s half-sister.  And it doesn’t matter that she was adopted. She is still her step-son’s stepmother as well as his half-sister. That goes beyond mere bad behavior.  

        The best way to avoid going to hell is to avoid those you know are headed there. And not watch their films.

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Baby…

        The best way to avoid going to hell is to avoid predicting all the people you think should be going to hell. 

        Especially when you don’t know them.

      • avatar Richard Bassett says:

                rereading your material just automatically caused me to view everything with nonconformist repute. 54 posts will do that to you. I am sorry if I misread your post. I always expect such opposition, as I believe in keeping the past in the past but the generalization here in America a sleazy or uncouth reputation. Well it is!! As I’ve said, advancing media technology has dented our cultrate and privacy (now) has to be so very protected. *unless you are on the cast of Jersey Shores.* Personally, I will not automatically disregard anyone’s film, scandal or not. To do this on a lesser degree, I will not walk by a piece of controversial created by an artist displayed in a museum…refusing to acknowledge the image due to a specific issue that has been previously occurred perpetuated by the artist. I live my life like this because I know what it is on the flip side of discrimination. Here, we defiefinitly have a variety of archaic views…though some post are for the advancement in human evolution. We miss so much by boycotting an artist’s projects.
         If you really want exposure, tell your RP man where you are and when. Then the celebrities can looked shocked, annoyed and discard, bothered at the uncomfortable intrusion. Not every celebrity has to do this. Some minor celebrities ARE surprised by the press.
            I’ve never seen a horror film but certainly endorse the genre. Who are we really losing out on films that have rejected due to a specific actor in? I’ve been to dinners where the work of Mel Gibson has been discussed without a word regarding his recent woes. And everyone at dinner feels pretty well informed at the end of the dinner. Take the smut and preconceived scandalous notions play off the table, out of the equitation the then your opinions will not be clouded by an air of scandal. We are NOT our behaviors. I’ve said this before too: maybe, except for very few, are able to do this…unless you are in Paris or Amsterdam where they laugh at the opinion of the Americans lifestyle. Most of Europe does.  Just don’t forget to remember yourself in this conversation. (I agree on most elements of your post)
        Happy 4th J

      • avatar rick gould says:

        I actually agree with MOST of what you are saying.
        Americans have always expressed hypocritical outrage over public figures’ mis/behaviour.

        If we were to take that tact, Charlie Chaplin, whose private life made the Woody Allen scandal look amateur. Ingrid Bergman and Elizabeth Taylor are two of my all time favorite actresses, both involved in international scandals where they were not the innocent parties. I still adore Michael Jackson’s music. I just watched Polanski’s “The Ghost Writer.” The list goes on and on.

        I guess I made the mistake of overdosing on the woes of Gibson and Sheen. But their work was wearing on me anyway. So I stopped watching.

        My choice. Just like it’s your choice to embrace whatever you want.

        But I don’t just don’t automatically scratch artists off my list because of their personal lives. And for those that do, that’s their perogative. Freedom of choice…

        I’m a writer by trade and when I post, I choose my words carefully and I also consider that everyone else that posts here is entitled to their opinion, just as I am to mine.

  15. avatar Lila says:

    Richard – I will defend my self just this once, then say no more on this thread.

    I have six posts on this thread, not 47.
    One post had NOTHING to do with Mel or Woody, completely unrelated and very short.
    One post was simple agreement with another’s opinion, very short.
    One post was simply a correction, very short.
    One post was the last, “I don’t understand how having an opinion constitutes ‘attacking’ anyone.”

    That leaves two. TWO, which CLEARLY include phrases indicative of OPINION such as: “for some,” “for me,” “one’s mindset will vary,” “my definition of,” etc. I was describing my purely subjective experience as an audience member, on how unwelcome knowledge of artists’ lives ruins the experience FOR ME. Opinion. Subjectivity.

    I’m not sure who you are referring to as “attacking the one doing the posting” or “intimidating” other posters, or being “blatant” and “overshadowing.” I’ll assume you mean me, since your post is addressed to me. I do have strong opinions but I don’t think I have EVER — EVER attacked another poster. Disagreed, yes, even passionately, and I will attack another’s opinion just as they will attack mine (that’s discussion, right?) but I never, NEVER attack the person behind the opinion.

    Further, the other 40-odd posts by others are not ALL about Woody or Mel. In my opinion, you are envisioning an all-out, anti-Mel lynch mob where there really is none. We’re ALL just expressing our opinions and telling our stories here.

    – Fin –

    • avatar Richard Bassett says:

      Everything is fine Lila, I realized that I had posted what I accuse others of doing. Sorry. Happy 4th!

    • avatar Count Snarkula says:

      No need to defend yourself Lila. I believe you posted my similar thoughts beautifully.

  16. avatar LuckyLady n/a says:

    Greetings from California.  If it weren’t for the barrage of E-mail in my mail box I would not be posting.  I had decided it was the last election all over again.  However, now I say Basta!!
    And for those who think this is a “bad” word, it means “enough” in Spanish.  Not really a bad word in itself but if it is said in a loud, hateful voice it means ENOUGH, ALREADY.  No more preaching to the choir.

    • avatar rick gould says:

      Hey Lucky Lady-
      Basta, indeed! I am still confused!

      I didn’t read Wowowow during the last presidential cycle, but I can tell you I won’t be reading any of the political columns during the next one if this column’s responses what they are like!

      • avatar Count Snarkula says:

        @rick gould – I WAS here during the last presidential cycle. And then I wasn’t. Many of the comments (and for that matter commentators) were vicious, brutal, and demeaning. So I left. I have proposed that we all try to handle this next one with some dignity and some open communication rather than threats and name-calling. Hope springs eternal.