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Feb 02 2014

Two different takes

One take, by Robert Weide in The Daily Beast. First, who he is:

I produced and directed the two-part PBS special, Woody Allen: A Documentary, that premiered in the U.S. on the “American Masters” series. I also supervised and consulted on the brief clip montage that aired as part of the recent Golden Globes telecast, when Allen received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Now, his take:

I was actually somewhat impressed with Ronan Farrow’s now-famous tweet from the summer of 2012: “Happy father’s day—or as they call it in my family, happy brother-in-law’s day.” The target was fair game, and I remember thinking Ronan had inherited his father’s wit—before his actual paternity came into question. (A good sense of humor and the ability to think on his feet will serve him well on his own show on MSNBC.)

A different take, this one by Maureen Orth in her long Vanity Fair article last November:

Allen brought another action before Judge Wilk in order to be able to see Dylan and to resume unsupervised visits with Ronan. He and the boy had never gotten along. As I reported in the 1992 Vanity Fair story, Ronan, at three, had kicked Allen, and Allen had twisted the child’s leg until he screamed. According to court testimony in the second trial, in June 1996, Ronan’s psychiatrist testified that on a supervised visit to Allen’s apartment in 1995, Ronan, then seven, reported that he had kicked Allen, who then grabbed him by the neck with both hands and threw him down on the couch. Shortly thereafter, the supervised visits were suspended.

At the end of the trial, in which both sides referred to Ronan’s “phobic reaction” to Allen, Judge Wilk informed Ronan that he would have to resume visits with his father in the office of his psychiatrist—which Allen vehemently objected to. Ronan started heaving uncontrollably, collapsed on the floor in front of everyone, and had to be carried out. The judge ruled that Dylan did not have to see her father at all. Allen appealed again and lost. He never saw Ronan again either. Last year on Father’s Day, Ronan tweeted, “Happy father’s day—or as they call it in my family, happy brother-in-law’s day.”

Weide thought that tweet was a piece of wit, something to smile at, a sign of talent and quick-thinking. Great god almighty.

7 comments

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  1. 1
    Al Dente

    Some people confuse an obvious sneer for light-hearted banter.

  2. 2
    Robert B.

    Weide thought that tweet was a piece of wit, something to smile at, a sign of talent and quick-thinking.

    A bit like hearing your neighbor scream in the night and nodding approvingly at their projection and pitch control.

  3. 3
    Stacy

    Weide left out an awful lot, didn’t he.

  4. 4
    sacharissa

    Well it is a sign of wit but it’s very dark humour.

    Rather inappropriate that the writer thought he might have “inherited” it from Allen. Ronan Farrow probably did get that anger and bitterness from Allen, just not via his DNA.

  5. 5
    johnthedrunkard

    The most extreme narratives are both possible.
    1. Allen as creepy molester of Dylan and quasi-incestuous husband of Soon-Yi
    2. Allen as victim of therapy obsessed ex-partner and member of an odd but not evil marriage.

    Both versions are advanced by obvious selective reporting and emotionally laden interpretations. Was Allen’s relationship with Farrow a marriage? Is Farrow’s child-rearing pathological, and what about her background—e.g. her history with much older men and her brother’s conviction for paedophilia? Was Allen a parent to Soon-Yi, or just an inappropriate adult who had no business with such a young woman?

    As for the art? I watched ‘The Pianist’ and can say that I wasn’t looking for any hidden memes about drugs or underage girls. ‘Manhattan’ though? It may be a matter of hindsight, but it isn’t comfortable.

    In an interview Allen, describing his acting, said: ‘I can play an intellectual because I look like one, or a lowlife because I am one.’

    It is entirely possible that Dylan’s report is a product of indoctrination by Farrow and some compliant shrinks. Or it might be as valid a report as the nature of memory makes possible.

    I DON’T KNOW.

  6. 6
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    johnthedrunkard: Considering the extreme rarity of false rape convictions, and the many people connected with the family who remarked on really inappropriate behaviour AT THE TIME on Allen’s part, I think the evidence is very clear.

    Your commitment to a “who knows? It’s he said/she said!” with a side of “blame the mother” is a lot of words to say that you think little girls lie all the time about rape, and also artists can’t be anything but good if you like their work.

  7. 7
    Stacy

    @johnthedrunkard #5

    Was Allen’s relationship with Farrow a marriage? Is Farrow’s child-rearing pathological, and what about her background—e.g. her history with much older men and her brother’s conviction for paedophilia?

    Those things have jackall to do with whether or not Allen molested Dylan Farrow.

    Have you read the Vanity Fair piece? Before the contested incident in the attic, Allen was in therapy for his inappropriate behavior around Dylan, behavior that was noticed at the time by third parties.

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