Questions from Woody
by Gaëtan L. Charlebois
So why the hypocrisy?
Forget the recent allegations of Dylan, the aforementioned molested child, and let's just stick with what we all know for sure: Allen's relationship with Soon Yi Previn which, by itself, broke a family to pieces. No matter how you slice it, it was icky. Since then, even when I find a Woody Allen movie to be a fine thing, it is tainted by how I felt about the Soon Yi debacle. And I like Allen's work despite the ick-factor. Just not as much.
Outside of our inherent curiosity (fed to gluttony in these days of info at our fingertips) and the halls of academe, great art simply is. Art is immediate response. The discussion (post-play convos, Wikipedia, tell-all bios, tabloids, history books or encyclopedia) which follow may enrich that response, it may even make us disremember it. But in all my years of creating, watching and studying I have found it is only the most pretentious of artists who insist we know THEM when we experience their work.
Great art does not excuse a hideous human. But it might just remind us that they, and we, are human and as such all have the potential to create or appreciate greatness even as we live the ugliness.