Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Woodman

Stana Goes to the Movies

On Monday, Woody Allen’s memoir Apropos of Nothing was published. Being a big fan of The Woodman’s films, I ordered the Kindle edition of the book and read its 400 pages in three days.

Let me say up front that I never paid much attention to the allegations of sexual assault against Allen. I considered the source (Mia Farrow) and did not put much stock in her claims. After reading Allen’s memoir, I am convinced that Farrow is a liar and that Allen is innocent, just as the authorities determined.

That out of the way, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I had many laugh-out-loud moments reading it. And it moved me to pull out my collection of Woody Allen DVDs to revisit his films.

Connecting Woody Allen films to the main topic of this blog, I can recall three crossdressing moments in his films.

In Celebrity, 6-foot-tall actress Famke Janssen is mistaken for a crossdresser.

One of the seven stories in Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid To Ask, involves the misadventures of a crossdresser played by Lou Jacobi (photo above).

In Broadway Danny Rose, Milton Berle femulates Glinda “the Good Witch” from The Wizard of Oz riding a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. (Broadway Danny Rose is one of my favorite films. It is a laugh riot and features Nick Apollo Forte, who lived in my old neighborhood.)

Besides Broadway Danny Rose, my other favorite Allen films are Annie Hall, Love and DeathHannah and Her Sisters, ManhattanMidnight in ParisRadio Days and Zelig. My mother hated his films – I could never understand why, but each to her own.

Source: Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper

Bill Switzer and Daniel Clark femulate on television's Eerie Indiana: The Other Dimension in 1998 (view it here).


  1. Lifelong fan of Woody Allen. To this day I pepper my conversations with quotes from Bananas and Annie Hall whenever possible.

    That said, to be dismissive of the sexual allegations based on reading his book parallels Trump being dismissive of Russian interference in the 2016 elections based on Putin's "strong denials". Recommend researching a bit on what his kids have to say as a balance.

    1. I did read what the kids had to say. For example:

  2. I've been a big fan of Woody Allen "forever". I actually saw him do stand-up at a club in DC back in another age. If you can find it, the 2-part American Masters biography on Allen is really good. I don't pick sides in the Allen-Farrow dispute and separate the "artist" from the "person". His work, while not batting 1.000 all the time is on the whole brilliant. I need to put his book in my reading queue.

    My favorite films are Allen's black-and-white movies, especially "Manhattan" and "Broadway Danny Rose". In the latter I remember the shot of Milton Berle in the parade, but since we watched "The Milton Berle Show" weekly, seeing Berle in a dress hardly got a blink from me. But that film had what is to me the funniest scene Woody Allen ever wrote. Remember the shootout in the warehouse holding the Macy's Parade floats and the voices in the helium-filled building? Only Woody Allen thinks of these things. Like I wrote, "Brilliant".

  3. Stana I don't think the kids made up the allegations, there is something there, the authorities often don't want to pursue a famous person.

    1. A six-month criminal investigation (ordered by the Connecticut state police) was conducted by the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale/New Haven Hospital,. The results of that investigation specifically concluded that “Dylan (Farrow) was not abused by Mr. Allen,” that her statements had a “rehearsed quality” and that they were “likely coached or influenced by her mother.”

      A second, 14-month investigation by the New York State Department of Social Services, reached the same conclusion as Yale/New Haven: “No credible evidence was found that [Dylan Farrow] has been abused or maltreated.”