No present-tense Oscar contender has quite the character or cojones of Marriage Story‘s Scarlett Johansson. And right now in my mind, there’s no one who’s more of an obsequious, go-along wokester and fact-averse denialist than The Daily Beast‘s Jordan Julian, who posted a piece on 11.27 that denigrated Johansson for speaking her mind about Woody Allen‘s all-but-certain innocence in that dusty, all-but-discarded matter of child molestation.
The headline of Julian’s article was infuriating: “Scarlett Johansson’s Persistent, Baffling Defense of Woody Allen Could Ruin Her Oscar Chances,” followed by a subhead that read “the actress has turned in the best performance of her career in Marriage Story but can’t stop defending the accused sexual predator.”
Three days ago Johansson told Vanity Fair‘s Chris Heath that she’s not backing off from her earlier statement (given to The Hollywood Reporter‘s Rebecca Keegan last September) that she believes Allen is innocent of that 27 year-old, one-time-only charge of child molestation — i.e., she hasn’t changed her mind.
The charge pushed by Dylan Farrow, Allen’s alleged victim, and Allen’s former romantic partner Mia Farrow has been disputed, dissected, exposed and debunked so many times that it’s grown a beard, but the “always believe the victim no matter what” crowd will not back off, and I mean in defiance of every piece of credible evidence that has come to light and despite an absolutely conclusive essay that puts the whole thing to bed, posted on 5.23.18 by Dylan’s older adoptive brother, Moses Farrow.
Johansson to Heath: “Even though there [are] moments where I feel maybe more vulnerable because I’ve spoken my own opinion about something, my own truth and experience about it — and I know that it might be picked apart in some way, people might have a visceral reaction to it — I think it’s dangerous to temper how you represent yourself, because you’re afraid of that kind of response. That, to me, doesn’t seem very progressive at all. That seems scary.”
When Heath asks if “any of the criticisms, when she heard them, made her think that they had a point,”: Johansson replies: “I don’t know…I feel the way I feel about it. It’s my experience. I don’t know any more than any other person knows. I only have a close proximity with Woody…he’s a friend of mine. But I have no other insight other than my relationship with him.”
But she does have an insight that complements her relationship with Allen — an obviously legitimate and first-hand viewpoint from Moses Farrow, a trained therapist who knows all the players and everything that happened, backwards and forwards. He was right there in the Connecticut Farrow home on the day in question. His testimony is undismissable. Except, that is, by obstinate contrarians like Julian.
Director Richard Tanne (Southside With You) has sent along a video tribute to retired Warner Home Entertainment exec Jeff Baker, called The King of Catalog. The 25-minute video was produced and assembled by Baker’s son, Travis Baker, a friend and colleague of Tanne’s.
Baker senior was one of the leading innovators and locomotives in the VHS/DVD business from the late 1970s until 2015. The King of Catalog, which was shot over a year ago, tracks his 35-year career. Baker was at Warner Home Entertaiment from 2006 to his retirement, and was largely responsible for pioneering their incredible run of premiere collector’s edition DVDs and Blu-Rays. He worked closely with filmmakers like Clint Eastwood and Oliver Stone on packaging, special features and director’s cuts.
Tanne: “In many ways, Baker’s career mirrors the rise-and-fall arc of physical home video. Given your continued love and support of this dying format, I thought maybe you’d be interested in checking it out. And who knows, if it resonates in any way, it would certainly be an honor to see it posted on your site.