Imagine if the beloved Martin Scorsese had announced that Killers of the Flower Moon will be his last film and that he’ll henceforth he’d be devoting himself to novel-writing. Or if, God forbid, James Cameron or Kathryn Bigelow or Alexander Payne or Guillermo del Toro were to announce the same.
Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, trust me, would almost certainly collect a few admiring quotes from colleagues while lamenting the eclipse of a great and prodigious talent. Their stories would also list some of his or her more luminous career highlights.
So what did the trades publish in response to Woody Allen’s announcement that he’ll be retiring from filmmaking after he completes work on his 50th film, a Paris-based dramedy that’s allegedly in the vein of Match Point? They mainly recited police-blotter stuff — dry, flat summaries of how Allen’s career has been diminished in the eyes of wokesters and the mainstream press over the past few years due to Dylan Farrow‘s account of what allegedly happened on 8.4.92 with no logical counter-views, and how Amazon cut him loose, his autobiography was dropped by Hachette and he’s had to rely on European financing, etc.
In so doing Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have effectively said the following: (a) “Well, it’s not surprising that Allen is finally throwing in the towel,” (b) “We can’t honestly say that we’re distraught over this news” and (c) “Maybe it’s not such a bad idea that Allen goes away and stays away, considering his current reputation.”
On 7.28.22 Indiewire‘s Christian Zilko and Ryan Lattanzio reported that Allen had told Alec Baldwin that he was thinking of retiring, and they posted the same kind of chilly summary.
HE to Variety‘s Anna Marie de la Fuente, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Ryan Gajewski, the Indiewire team and their editors (along with all the others who’ve posted similar remarks): “No offense, guys, but you’re showing disrespect in a way that strikes most of us as odious and repellent. You honestly make me want to throw up.
“Allen is incontestably a great filmmaker — a man of considerable genius and relentless innovative creativity, a guy whose output has enhanced the quality and worldliness of American cinema over the last 55 years, and whose sterling reputation as a filmmaker will be remembered and cherished long after the authors and editors of these repulsive trade articles will have died and been forgotten.
“This is a man, remember, who made 15 great or near-great films over a 45-year period (starting in the mid ’70s and ending in the early 20teens) — Annie Hall, Interiors, Manhattan, Stardust Memories, Zelig, Broadway Danny Rose, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Hannah and Her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Husbands and Wives, Bullets Over Broadway, Mighty Aphrodite, Match Point, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Midnight in Paris (15).
Not to mention 18 others that most of us regard as sturdy and respectable — What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, Take the Money and Run, Bananas, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, Sleeper, Love and Death, A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, Radio Days, Another Woman, Alice, Everyone Says I Love You, Deconstructing Harry, Celebrity, Sweet and Lowdown, Small Time Crooks, Melinda and Melinda, Irrational Man, Blue Jasmine.
Only one other world-class director has cranked out as many first-rate films over a period that lasted over half a century — Alfred Hitchcock.
How dare you dismiss this man with your implied derision and disdain? Do you understand that in the greater scheme of things Allen is a man of considerable wit and vision and artistic consequence and that you and yours, comparatively speaking, are insects?