Angsty analysis

Angsty analysis, well to my mind there are few things worse. But on blogs, if well put, it can deliver pure genius like a straight Jewish comedian.

I could never get into Woody Allen films. There was something about the films that set my teeth on edge. But it wasn’t until years later when I found myself in relationships that had certain echos of his films that I realized just what an annoying prick he actually was for nailing it so darn perfectly. There were times when I could hear a whiney self obsessed needy little gobshite alternating between sulky silence and verbal diarrhea delivered in high English. Or dealing with some energy soak with a daddy fixation and an unholy focus in the toys from kinder eggs. In this I don’t believe for one moment I’m alone. I think in this he nailed it for pretty much anyone with a soul. Is there any bloke out there that hasn’t rang that extra time pushing him into weirdo territory. (This being the older terminology. Nowadays it would be called borderline staking.) Or not call at all, even though you really liked some chick but had convinced yourself you were some genius fisherman with the ladies. But then when on deciding to cast, you ended up having it tangle in the knots of your own insecurities.

He even nailed the character of the City. It, the city, can lead one into a narrow localism that would never happen in a real county village. You end up dealing with about 50 places weekly at certain set times. You get to recognize people at the pub you frequent for Sunday paper felling. Or at the market. All 50 places since you are on the same clock. Heck it was a traumatizing occasion to enter a new supermarket one mile over for you knew on one. But what he nailed most of all is that superiority that exuded from people who can go to the opera/concert/gig/museum almost at will.

In London there was even a publication. Time Out. Designed for the time poor cash adequate. It had all the newly discovered ethnic eateries. The newest sink-hole theater rendering The Bard and their audience insensible by stripping out everything but the murder and incest. Leaving you with three hours of self-indulgence from Jessica aided and abetted by Emily, Victoria and George the gay friend. It contained the newest of everything. You could even ‘tick’ things done. It went to lunatic levels at one stage when it began suggesting Sunday drives. Great Missenden was a regular. The poor villagers (well, nor quite) must have lived in terror of seeing the mention since it drew thousands on the place.

The films also lit on the essential sterility and virtual slavery of that city existence. Yes, you might be living with someone and yes you were very busy all the time. And while you might believe yourself to be the avant-garde or anti it. Creativity was thin on the ground. It is a reality almost monastic, albeit with lots of sex. And like a monastery outside, designed self-consciously to be outside. The question is, does this make it bad comedy. I think it does. For yes, there are huge numbers of people who this existence was or is a reality, it isn’t sufficiently universal. And that’s the rub. In tragedy you are the jury, in comedy you are the actors. Or to put it another way, comedy cleaves vertically through a society.

Why, after the ship sank, did the shark not attack the lawyer. Professional courtesy. Clicks with everyone big or small.

While a short tragedy by Ernest Hemingway: For sale: baby shoes, never worn. Hit directly to only those involved and only observed by everybody else.

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6 Responses to Angsty analysis

  1. Kimberly says:

    I’m curious if you watched and Woody Allen movie recently that sparked this post? His movies do portray those human insecurities pretty well don’t they. I’ve liked some and found many to be a bit irritating. The characters always seem pretentious to me, especially the ones set in NYC – which is a lot. 🙂
    Always liked the Hemingway story. Sad, but also, even though it’s so short, quite powerful. I like the debate around its meaning and reason for writing it as well.

    • Vince says:

      The program Friends went along that road some ways also, but didn’t lift the mirror in quite that way. Actually no, I haven’t seen one in years. But there are a few brittle sit-comms on the telly these days which brought Woody Allen to mind by way of contrast. That segued to my self and people I knew at that age. And I had to say I and them were more self centered annoying shits than we were Chandler and Monika.

  2. Kelly says:

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a Woody Allen movie. Something about him has just never appealed to me….

    • Vince says:

      Yes, I agree. They still don’t appeal to me. But they do catch an age and a attitude in a place. In the rural areas things tend to move far faster. There isn’t enough at the one age that can supply that self focused society. That space between college and babies simply doesn’t exist in that way.

  3. Rebecca S. says:

    Oh well, I love Woody Allen. It seems you either love him or hate him. His latest film is pure gold in my view – gave me hope for movie making, since I’ve seen so few satisfying ones lately. I don’t love everything Woody ever did – Annie Hall is not my favourite, but it did resonate with a certain demographic at the time, which was before my time, incidentally. Hannah and Her Sisters is one of my favourites, while Vicky Christina Barcelona is my least favourite. His is a very particular kind of comedy – definitely social satire and commentary on society’s foibles – especially Americans. Perhaps it just does not resonate with your Irish sense of things?

    • Vince says:

      Yes, but he focuses on a very narrow and brittle segment of the community. And yes I would say it’s a form of satire more than comedy. But satire, true satire has as its aim a misuse of power.

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