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    The Unfazed Genius Of Woody Allen: Why The Filmmaker Still Matters Despite Sexual Assault And Cancel Culture Woes

    About a year ago, when 87-year-old Woody Allen graced the Venice Film Festival, he was welcomed with a roaring round of applause as if the man’s exceptional filmmaking career had compensated for the sexual assault allegations his own daughter made against him. Now tiny and wrinkled, Allen is still considered a genius of filmmaking. His shining career spanning over five decades stands as a concrete testament to his contribution to the global film industry — but what of the potentially abusive man behind that efficiently crafted personality?

    Woody Allen fits as a perfect example for the art vs artist conundrum — a moral and philosophical problem of whether or not art should be separated from its artist. Allen is essentially a filmmaking genius, but if put on a moral check, he steps a bit off the pedestal. We aren’t the ones saying it — the man has been largely canceled after the allegations surfaced and resurfaced. He also conveniently brushed the repercussions off as “silly“. And yet, he holds as much relevance as ever.

    Related: Why Did Greta Gerwig Regret Working With Woody Allen?

    Woody Allen Is Unfazed As He Navigates The Scrutiny Of His Acclaimed Filmmaking Genius

    Woody Allen (Credit: X)
    Woody Allen (Credit: X)

    Woody Allen was at the Venice Film Festival for the world premiere of ‘Coup de Chance’, which is possibly his last cinematic endeavor. The French-language romantic thriller marked Allen’s 50th feature film. While basking in the limelight of one of Europe’s premier film festivals, Allen also opened up about several issues. “I have so many ideas for films that I would be tempted to do it, if it was easy to finance,” he said during an interview at the time with Variety.

    So it is seemingly safe to assume that Allen is now taking the backseat, but not without the boastful satisfaction of revolutionizing the film industry for the better. However, the grey clouds of sexual assault allegations still hover above him — and as narrated by the interviewers present, his “tone and demeanor shifts noticeably” when the topic is brought up.

    When confronted with questions about sexual assault allegations leveled against him by his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, the filmmaker answered after pensively gazing off into space. “My reaction (to the allegations) has always been the same. The situation has been investigated by two people, two major bodies, not people, but two major investigative bodies. And both, after long detailed investigations, concluded there was no merit to these charges,” Allen said.

    The fact that it lingers on always makes me think that maybe people like the idea that it lingers on. You know, maybe there’s something appealing to people. But why? Why? I don’t know what you can do besides having it investigated, which they did so meticulously,” the filmmaker, also famous for being a philosophically aware man, said.

    The question he posed is perhaps a part of the answer to why he still remains relevant — because his scandal appeals to people; other than, of course, his filmmaking genius. Allen knows this, and he is as unfazed as any powerful and influential person would be.

    Despite being one of the very first victims of the cancel culture, the man claimed things haven’t changed for him. “I feel if you’re going to be canceled, this is the culture to be canceled by. I just find that all so silly. I don’t think about it. I don’t know what it means to be canceled,” he said when asked about how he feels about being canceled.

    I know that over the years everything has been the same for me. I make my movies. What has changed is the presentation of the films. You know, I work and it’s the same routine for me. I write the script, raise the money, make the film, shoot it, edit it, it comes out,” he added, clarifying that his contribution and impact on cinema has been unaltered despite the allegations.

    Also read: How Old Was Soon Yi When She Slept With Woody Allen?

    What’s The Sexual Assault Controversy Against Woody Allen?

    Woody Allen (Credit: X)
    Woody Allen (Credit: X)

    The sexual assault allegations against Woody Allen are among the most controversial issues in the entertainment world. Allen’s adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow accused him of sexually assaulting her in the Connecticut home of her adoptive mother, actress Mia Farrow. The incident allegedly occurred in 1992 when Farrow was seven years old.

    The allegations emerged during Allen’s highly publicized split from Mia Farrow, his longtime partner and the mother of his biological and adopted children. The case garnered widespread media attention and sparked a legal battle between Allen and Mia Farrow over custody of their children.

    Although Allen has vehemently denied the allegations of sexual assault, the controversy has persisted for decades, coupled with public scrutiny. In 2014, Dylan Farrow penned an open letter published in The New York Times, reiterating her allegations against Woody Allen and criticizing Hollywood for celebrating and honoring him despite the accusations.

    The letter reignited public interest in the case and prompted renewed debates about the moral responsibility of supporting artists accused of misconduct. The #MeToo movement, which gained momentum in the wake of widespread allegations of sexual harassment and assault against powerful figures in Hollywood, further intensified scrutiny of Woody Allen.

    In case you missed it: Why Did Oscar Winner Woody Allen Marry His Adopted Daughter?

    Woody Allen’s Influence On Cinema Remains Undeniable Despite His Moral Greys

    Woody Allen (Credit: X)
    Woody Allen (Credit: X)

    Woody Allen’s filmmaking genius is perhaps stronger than his scandal — morally correct or not. From his early comedic ventures to his forays into drama and romance, Allen’s films have traversed a wide spectrum of genres. With wit and introspection as his quintessential elements, Allen has always managed to capture the existential angst of the modern urbanite, cementing his status as a cultural icon.

    Allen has carried an enduring appeal because of his ability to embody the quintessential New Yorker, a neurotic philosopher grappling with life’s uncertainties. His characters are — more like himself — flawed yet relatable, as they navigate the crooked ways of love, mortality, and human nature. He blends the stories with his remarkable humor, while also making it relevant for generations and injecting a dash of philosophy in them.

    Another very significant contribution he made to the cinema world was using the breaking-the-fourth-wall technique repeatedly in ‘Annie Hall’, released in 1977. It is one of the most popular movies where the technique has helped drive the plot forward quite graciously. While speaking about it, Woody Allen said he introduced it “because I felt many of the people in the audience had the same feelings and the same problems.”

    As Allen’s career enters its twilight years, his influence on cinema continues to reverberate through the works of aspiring filmmakers who took inspiration from him. Despite the controversies that have plagued him, Allen remains a fixture in the annals of cinematic history.

    Meanwhile, the art vs artist conundrum stands, with moral high ground taking the backseat.

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    Aishwarya is a Senior Sub-Editor at First Curiosity. Working as a news writer for over 3 years, she has written on an array of things for a couple of media houses in different capacities. With writing as her outlet, she is now exploring the world of art and glamour. She has previously been associated with ETV Bharat and India Today as part of national editorial teams. With a fair share of work done covering national and international issues, she is now navigating through her abilities in the field of films and art. A movie and TV show buff, Aishwarya at First Curiosity tries to bring forth what a layman's eye might easily miss out on. Her flair for words and ability to convey what's between the lines are her biggest strengths. Her love for films and writing stems from her fondness for words and all things artsy. An avid reader and writer alike, Aishwarya likes to delve into any and all forms of art. When not tapping on her keyboard churning out articles, she can be found staring at books or screens, trying to find stories that'll help her explore the world and its portrayal through art better.

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