Nice chat with the Wood Man over at Vanity Fair:
Sam Fragoso: You’re more prolific than most people.
Woody Allen: But prolific is a thing that’s not a big deal. It’s not the quantity of the stuff you do; it’s the quality. A guy like James Joyce will do just a couple of things, but they resonate way beyond anything I’ve ever done or ever could dream of doing.
Would you say your quality, in spots, dipped because of the quantity?
It always [has]. When you start out to make a film, you have very big expectations and sometimes you come close. When I did Match Point, I felt I came very close. But you never get that thing that you want. You always set out to make Citizen Kane or to make The Bicycle Thief and it doesn’t happen. You can’t set out to make something great head-on; you just have to make films and hope you get lucky.
Have you considered scaling back, making a film every few years?
It wouldn’t help. It’s not that I feel, “Oh, if I had more time or more money, I could make this better.” It’s coming to terms with the shortcomings in one’s own gift and one’s own personality.
What are your major shortcomings?
I’m lazy and an imperfectionist. Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese will work on the details until midnight and sweat it out, whereas for me, come 6 o’clock, I want to go home, I want to have dinner, I want to watch the ballgame. Filmmaking is not [the] end-all be-all of my existence. Another shortcoming is that I don’t have the intellect or the depth or the natural gift. The greatness is not in me. When you see scenes in [Akira] Kurosawa films … you know he’s a madman on the set. There would be 100 horses and everything had to be perfect. He was crazy. I don’t have any of that.
Thought you couldn’t get enough of Joe Gould. Here’s a good piece by Jill Lepore in the week’s New Yorker.
[Photo Credit: Culver Pictures]
In the spring of 1977 my parents moved from Manhattan to Westchester. I turned 6 that June and shortly after that came the blackout, which we missed. I don’t even recall anyone talking about it though the rest of my relatives experienced it first-hand in Manhattan.
Check it out.
[Photo Credit: Credit Bolivar Arellano, via PBS]
Mitchell studied at the University of North Carolina without graduating and came to New York in 1929, at the age of twenty-one. Kunkel traces the young exile’s rapid rise from copy boy on the New York World to reporter on the Herald Tribune and feature writer on The World Telegram. In 1933 St. Clair McKelway, the managing editor of the eight-year-old New Yorker, noticed Mitchell’s newspaper work and invited him to write for the magazine; in 1938 the editor, Harold Ross, hired him. In 1931 Mitchell married a lovely woman of Scandinavian background named Therese Jacobson, a fellow reporter, who left journalism to become a fine though largely unknown portrait and street photographer. She and Mitchell lived in a small apartment in Greenwich Village and raised two daughters, Nora and Elizabeth. Kunkel’s biography is sympathetic and admiring and discreet. If any of the erotic secrets that frequently turn up in the nets of biographers turned up in Kunkel’s, he does not reveal them. He has other fish to gut.
From reporting notes, journals, and correspondence, and from three interviews Mitchell gave late in life to a professor of journalism named Norman Sims, Kunkel extracts a picture of Mitchell’s journalistic practice that he doesn’t know quite what to do with. On the one hand, he doesn’t regard it as a pretty picture; he uses terms like “license,” “latitude,” “dubious technique,” “tactics,” and “bent journalistic rules” to describe it. On the other, he reveres Mitchell’s writing, and doesn’t want to say anything critical of it even while he is saying it. So a kind of weird embarrassed atmosphere hangs over the passages in which Kunkel reveals Mitchell’s radical departures from factuality.
It is already known that the central character of the book Old Mr. Flood, a ninety-three-year-old man named Hugh G. Flood, who intended to live to the age of 115 by eating only fish and shellfish, did not exist, but was a “composite,” i.e., an invention. Mitchell was forced to characterize him as such after readers of the New Yorker pieces from which the book was derived tried to find the man. “Mr. Flood is not one man,” Mitchell wrote in an author’s note to the book, and went on, “Combined in him are aspects of several old men who work or hang out in Fulton Fish Market, or who did in the past.” In the Up in the Old Hotel collection he simply reclassified the work as fiction.
[Photo Credit: Therese Mitchell/Estate of Joseph Mitchell]
Happy Pesach, y’all.
[Photo Credit: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images]
Welcome back for yet another challenge from Where & When! This one was a challnge in itself to find, which I will explain in a little bit (and I have to wonder if it’s worth the trouble to find it for what I intended to set up with it…) Well, for now:
Okay, so here we are in one of our favorite places to look for vintage architecture and associated stories. There is another picture floating around that faces the front side of these buildings and contains the subject of our two-part bonus. For now, let’s you and me figure out where we are and when this took place. Plenty of clues to help you here, so I don’t need to add anything, you’ll figure it out relatively quickly if I know you folks >;)
Now for the bonuses…
The first bonus relates to a particular business and resource that happens to be one of the best friends of this feature. Sure, they’re not around anymore, but they have provided an enormous wealth of records about this city’s past as well as other cities; all of which officially reside in a very important place (very important if you’re into copyright law, in fact).
The second, which is the cause of my angst for the past few days (you can say I was trying to be cunning), relates to the title of this post. There is a place that exists off-screen at this location today. If you know the location, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. The timing is perfect, and with what Fearless Leader has been sharing with us of late on the Banter, it can’t be more appropriate. What’s on you’re mind, sir? >;) (Feel free to roll your eyes when you find the answer, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity for such an elaborate reference, even if it is sophomoric.)
You know the drill, find the answers, explain your math, root beer float or hot chocolate depending on the weather for the winner, cream soda or tea for the rest of us, slice of Motorino Pizza or a great cupcake for the bonuses (I just threw those last two in there since I’m in such a “giving” mood). Gotta go to work (you might spy me under an aerial lift near Grammercy Park this evening); I hope this was worth the effort. Enjoy!
And no peeking at this: Photo Credit: Skycraper City
Welcome back for another intermittent game of Where & When. We hope that the winter hasn’t gotten you too bogged down in slush and cold; if it has, we can try to warm you up with this little challenge:
What I like about this picture is that it’s taken in front of a significant building and a significant landmark, yet we see what surrounds those features, giving a full sense of character to the neighborhood as it was at the time. I believe you’ll be surprised by the location, especially compared to what exists today (clue). I’m not going to give too much on this because those with good wit will be able to find this almost immediately, but again you’ll have to put on your work gloves and your thinking cap for this one (which is always my goal, thus he long intermission between games >;)
So have at it; A large mug of cocoa for the winner (location/date) and rum chocolate candy for the rest. Bonus for identifying the two significant landmarks I mentioned earlier (as they were at the time the picture was taken), double bonus for those whom can identify what buildings are standing in place of the ones pictured here. Hope it doesn’t take you too long to figure out, but also hope you enjoy the journey. Talk with you later, have fun and no peeking at the credit!
Photo Credit: Ephemeral New York
Welcome back to another exciting round of Where & When! Let’s pick up where we left off with the interest from our last post as we continue to stir the cocoa on the hot stove. What other kind of ordinary moves will Cashman spring upon the Yankee faithful? Meh, not our issue here...
This is another place where I’ve worked in or near in the last few years. Of course it doesn’t have this kind of style anymore, but what goes on indoors is obviously something else entirely. All we need to decide here is where this place is and when this picture was taken. As a bonus, perhaps you’ll know what does go on inside at that time and now. So you know the rules, have at it. Hot chocolate for the winner, rum candy for the rest (and maybe a shot of bourbon for the bonus). See you later!
Photo Credit: Once Upon A Town
Happy New Year! Welcome back to another round of Where & When; where distinction knows no clock or calendar. Nevertheless, I know some of you have been waiting patiently for the next game to pop up randomly; to that end you can thank Mr. Alex Belth for his fervent support for the game by referring a new source to me to pick from. Already I can tell I can find some worthy places to highlight; to wit, here is the latest post for the newest year:
When I was a temp, I worked “up the block” from this address. There is a lot of history not only to this particular region, but the address in general; especially within my current career field. What can I add to this particular post? How about a hint: no bull.
So you know the deal, figure out where this is and when the picture was taken, and bonus brownies if you can give us any particular information about the building featured as to why it is a standout feature among other buildings in the region. First person with correct or nearly correct (as the case may be) will get a large and steamy mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream, and the rest of us who play will share a piece of rum-infused chocolate to keep us warm. Have fun, folks, no peeking at the link (but if you come across it during your research, it’s okay). See you again at or after the HoF announcement!
Photo Credit: Once Upon A Town
Happy Holiday Season and welcome once again t0 Where & When! Our random scheduling has swung around to catch us up in its web (random vacation time), so I have time to post a new one for you to look over and talk about. So here goes!
I was trying to decide between two pictures for this location because both were interesting and historic, but this one won because I didn’t have to manipulate it to make it presentable and it’s a little more of a challenge. I ask you all to figure out where this picture was taken and when; the challenge is more in the when because the clues in the picture indicate a somewhat historic event. Plane aficionados will likely get the reference and of course the bonus questions of what kind of plane that is and who it belonged to, which would certainly indicate when this picture was taken (wowzers, a hint! It was for the second occurrence of the use of this plane connected with this location.)
So there you go; a big warm mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream for the winner and a half-pint carton of chilled chocolate milk to share with the rest for the stragglers. And how about a warm plate of brownies for the bonus questions? That might help us welcome in the official start of winter (yesterday), and keep the hot stove season hot (I’m intrigued so far), so you know how the game goes and have fun. Happy Holidays!
Photo Credit: Geocitiessites (pend.)
[Photo Credit: RonG]