Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Woody Allen in Today’s New York Times

A guy named Dave Itzkoff interviewed Woody Allen about Allen’s new movie (“You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger”) and one quote stood out.

Itzkoff asked, “Were you prepared for the firestorm of media coverage you set off by casting Carla Bruni-Sarkozy in your next movie, ‘Midnight in Paris’?”

Allen said, “I was very surprised at the level of journalism that occurred in relation to her. She has a small part in the movie — a real part, but it’s a small part. And I shot with her the first day, and then all the papers said she was terrible, and I did 32 takes with her. Of course I didn’t even do 10 takes with her. This was just a magical number that some guy created in a room. Then they printed that her husband came to the set and was angry with her. He came to the set once, and he was delighted. He felt she was a natural actress and couldn’t have been happier.”

Nicholas Sarkozy is, of course, the current President of the French Republic, and Carla Bruni is, of course, the woman he married in 2008 after a torrid and public affair.

Allen went on to say, ”For some reason, the press wanted to say bad things about her. I don’t know if they had something against the Sarkozys, or it was a better way to sell papers. But the fabrications were so wild and so completely fake, and I wondered to myself, Is this is what happens with Afghanistan and the economy and matters of real significance? This is a trivial matter. That’s a longwinded answer to your question: I was not prepared for the amount of press that was attached to the picture because of Madame Sarkozy.”

I too wonder if that’s what the press does concerning matters of true importance.

Another trivial matter that makes one wonder about matters of real importance was a Versace ad on page 29 of the September 20th issue of "The New Yorker”. It had been so weirdly photo-shopped that the sleeve of the woman in white looked like she had elephantiasis. Probably the armpit of the woman in black had to be re-defined so that it didn’t melt into the woman in white…but still…in so doing everything got loopy and out of proportion and out of sync.

Our news is getting loopy, out of proportion and out of sync. It all started when reporters (or their editors and publishers) decided to change the old Who-What-Where-When formula of the lede paragraph of all news stories, to a paragraph that sounds like the beginning of an asshole’s idea of the Great American Novel.

Not a good change.

No comments: