The following is following the followers. I should add I do not agree with it anymore, which is also the followed.
Daily Dose: Woody Allen’s art, not his life, deserve praise
Published in The Silhouette, January 15, 2015
Though I’m not a fan of his work or the messy celebrity circle jerk that goes on during the Golden Globes, the empty mouthed criticism that has marred Woody Allen’s lifetime achievement award is undeserved. Don’t get me wrong. The allegations of sexual assault on a minor, particularly his adopted daughter, are a very real concern and warrant the utmost admonishment and scrupulous attention. But what is at stake here is not Woody or his combined experiences or his personal failings, but art itself.
Let me step back. Art is a product of humanity’s ingenuity. It is the combination of thought, sound, love, breath creating life, life creating breath.
What is more is that good artists, as Oscar Wilde said, exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are. I believe this stands true for Woody Allen. Although his life is important and the minutiae of his experiences are worthy of scrutiny in both good and bad lenses, his personal background does not comprise the whole of his being. This is especially true in his art. He is not fantastic because he is a New Yorker. He does not resonate with me because he has seen some of the places I’ve seen. Nor is he a bad person because he may have voted for Bush, though it would certainly make his judgement questionable (if alleged sexual assault wasn’t a surefire indicator).
Neither the personal bad nor good ruin one another. They are isolated compartments. He, and the art he creates, is worthy of merit because despite it all, despite his vulnerabilities, his possible evils, and his warped idiosyncrasies, he kept on living, kept on feeling, kept on directing.
This does not excuse his alleged act of molestation nor does it make it right. Nor, too, does the fact that there is a celebration of the possible perpetrator instead of the victim – the one who was really hurt – go unnoticed. Rather receiving this award is a testament that he was able to transform the pain of his life into beauty through his work. Rather than be a resultant process of his problems, rather than allow them to dictate his lifestyle, he moved beyond his darkness.
With lights, camera, and action, he achieved greatness even if he himself wasn’t, and isn’t, great.