WOODY WEDNESDAY Open Letter to Woody Allen on Cafe Society Part 5

August 28, 2016

Letty Aronson, c/o Perdido Productions,New York, New York 10001

Dear Mrs. Aronson,

The last time I wrote you about the film IRRATIONAL MAN and today I want to give my thoughts on the film CAFE SOCIETY.

I was able to catch it in Chicago in July and again I caught it in Vegas where it is presently running.  Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg), Marty (Ken Stott), and his mother, Rose (Jeannie Berlin), Phil Stern (Steve Carell), and  Vonnie (Kristen Stewart), are all splendid in their roles.

Bobby and Vonnie both turn out to be the same kind of superficial people they earlier ridiculed. Ironically, a song in the movie,  I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU, which according to Billboard magazine, was a #2 hit for Ben Selvin in 1934, is really the story of both Bobby and Vonnie’s lives. Though they marry other people they keep longing for one another.

Now for the more serious themes in the movie which surround Bobby’s Uncle Ben who kills several people and the discussion of an afterlife. As a result of the murders Ben is caught and executed, but one of Ben’s last victims was  Leonard’s neighbor because he was rude to Leonard and Ben’s sister. The atheist Leonard says, “BLOOD SIN IS ON OUR HANDS!” This reminds me of the agnostic Judah in CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS who also exclaims, “I believe in God because the world would be a cesspool without God.” Judah is haunted by his father’s words, “God will punish the wicked and God sees everything.”

Here we see Romans 1:18-20 (Amplified Bible) playing out:

18 For [God does not overlook sin and] the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who in their wickedness suppress and stifle the truth, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them [in their inner consciousness], for God made it evident to them20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse and without defense.

In other words both Judah in the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS and Leonard from CAFE SOCIETY  deep down know when the sin of murder has been committed and that is actually a sin before the eyes of a holy God. WHY DO THESE SAME PLOT TWISTS KEEP COMING UP IN WOODY ALLEN FILMS?

Let me provide a suggestion from Greg Koukl’s chapter “Taking the Roof Off” from the book TACTICS:

When I was a young Christian, I read Francis Schaeffer’s The God Who Is There. Schaeffer argues that Christians have a powerful ally in the war of ideas: reality. Whenever someone tries to deny the truth, reality ultimately betrays him… Although culture shifts, human nature remains the same. Ideas change, but reality does not….

Every person who rejects the truth of “the God who is there” is caught between the way he says the world is and the way the world actually is. This dissonance, what Schaeffer called the “point of tension,” is what makes Taking the Roof Off so effective. Any person who denies the truth of God’s world lives in contradiction. He says one thing, yet deep down he knows the truth….

Regardless of our ideological impulses [e.g., postmodernism], deep inside each of us is a common-sense realist. Those who are not are either dead, in an institution, or sleeping in cardboard boxes under the freeway. Knowing this gives us a tremendous advantage. The key to dealing with moral relativism, for example, is realizing that for all the adamant affirmations, no one really believes it, and for a good reason: If you start with relativism, reality does not make sense.

In other words, Leonard and Judah both are firmly committed to the idea of moral relativism, but as Romans 1 tells us that God has revealed to every created person  they know they are guilty of murder when they commit it. They will have to face a holy God. Why else would these atheists admit they have sinned? WE ARE NOT JUST MACHINES RESULTING FROM CHANCE AND THE SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST.
At the end of CAFE SOCIETY a  twist in the film occurs when Ben converts from Judaism to Christianity because Christians believe in an afterlife and the Jewish religion does not. This troubles Ben’s mother Rose tremendously and she comments, “Too bad the Jewish religion doesn’t have an afterlife because they would get more customers.” Actually at the time of Christ the liberal Jews did deny the afterlife and their leaders were called Sadducees. That was the main difference between  them and the Pharisees and that is why they were so SAD YOU SEE!!!!

Rose did not know what the Bible said about the afterlife and evidently she did not take the Bible seriously when it said the 10 plagues hit Egypt or the other assertions that are made.  These guys really existed and these are true historical events. Take for instanceCaiaphas who is the most famous Jewish High Priest who served from 18 A.D. to 36 A.D and here is an excerpt from the website CREATION MOMENTS: 

John 11:49-50 “And one of them, [named] Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” A remarkable discovery in Israel is shedding new light on life on Bible times. The discovery is also allowing scientists and the rest of us to get to know an important New Testament character.

Israeli archaeologists believe they may have discovered the bones of the high priest Caiaphas. If these bones do indeed belong to Caiaphas, it would be the first discovery of the remains of any major figure mentioned in the New Testament. The discovery was made accidentally in 1990 as workers were widening the road through the Peace Forest.

Researchers didn’t want to release their announcement until they had satisfied themselves that such a momentous announcement was justified. The burial cave has three mentions of the name “Caiaphas.” An ossuary, or bone box, within the cave was inscribed, “Joseph, son of Caiaphas.” Other records identify the “Caiaphas” who condemned Jesus as Joseph, son of Caiaphas. A coin found in the cave was minted between 37 and 44 A.D. The ossuary contained the bones of six people. There were two infants, a child, a youth, an adult female and a male about 60 years old, believed to have been Caiaphas himself.

It was from political expediency that Caiaphas said it would be better for one man to die for the people than for the entire nation to perish. He was unknowingly prophetic. Jesus Christ did die to save us from the eternal consequences of our sin.

One day I hope the Woody Allen movie watcher  will discover the  answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United State

Woody Allen On Bergman

Woody Allen On Bergman

Woody Allen Show

Essay on Woody Allen films

Match point Trailer

Match point

Crimes and misdemeanors

Part 2

Part 3

Woody commenting on Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris trailer

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The mass media turned Picasso into a celebrity, and the public deprived him of privacy and wanted to know his every step, but his later art was given very little attention and was regarded as no more than the hobby of an aging genius who could do nothing but talk about himself in his pictures. Picasso’s late works are an expression of his final refusal to fit into categories. He did whatever he wanted in art and did not arouse a word of criticism.

With his adaptation of “Las Meninas” by Velászquez and his experiments with Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass, was Picasso still trying to discover something new, or was he just laughing at the public, its stupidity and its inability to see the obvious.

A number of elements had become characteristic in his art of this period: Picasso’s use of simplified imagery, the way he let the unpainted canvas shine through, his emphatic use of lines, and the vagueness of the subject. In 1956, the artist would comment, referring to some schoolchildren: “When I was as old as these children, I could draw like Raphael, but it took me a lifetime to learn to draw like them.”

In the last years of his life, painting became an obsession with Picasso, and he would date each picture with absolute precision, thus creating a vast amount of similar paintings — as if attempting to crystallize individual moments of time, but knowing that, in the end, everything would be in vain.

The movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS offers many of the same themes we see in Ecclesiastes. The second post looked at the question: WAS THERE EVER A GOLDEN AGE AND DID THE MOST TALENTED UNIVERSAL MEN OF THAT TIME FIND TRUE SATISFACTION DURING IT?

In the third post in this series we discover in Ecclesiastes that man UNDER THE SUN finds himself caught in the never ending cycle of birth and death. The SURREALISTS make a leap into the area of nonreason in order to get out of this cycle and that is why the scene in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel works so well!!!! These surrealists look to the area of their dreams to find a meaning for their lives and their break with reality is  only because they know that they can’t find a rational meaning in life without God in the picture.

The fourth post looks at the solution of WINE, WOMEN AND SONG and the fifth and sixth posts look at the solution T.S.Eliotfound in the Christian Faith and how he left his fragmented message of pessimism behind. In the seventh post the SURREALISTS say that time and chance is all we have but how can that explain love or art and the hunger for God? The eighth  post looks at the subject of DEATH both in Ecclesiastes and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. In the ninth post we look at the nihilistic worldview of Woody Allen and why he keeps putting suicides into his films.

In the tenth post I show how Woody Allen pokes fun at the brilliant thinkers of this world and how King Solomon did the same thing 3000 years ago. In the eleventh post I point out how many of Woody Allen’s liberal political views come a lack of understanding of the sinful nature of man and where it originated. In the twelfth post I look at the mannishness of man and vacuum in his heart that can only be satisfied by a relationship with God.

In the thirteenth post we look at the life of Ernest Hemingway as pictured in MIDNIGHT AND PARIS and relate it to the change of outlook he had on life as the years passed. In the fourteenth post we look at Hemingway’s idea of Paris being a movable  feast. The fifteenth and sixteenth posts both compare Hemingway’s statement, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know…”  with Ecclesiastes 2:18 “For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” The seventeenth post looks at these words Woody Allen put into Hemingway’s mouth,  “We fear death because we feel that we haven’t loved well enough or loved at all.”

In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Hemingway and Gil Pender talk about their literary idol Mark Twain and the eighteenth post is summed up nicely by Kris Hemphill‘swords, “Both Twain and [King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes] voice questions our souls long to have answered: Where does one find enduring meaning, life purpose, and sustainable joy, and why do so few seem to find it? The nineteenth post looks at the tension felt both in the life of Gil Pender (written by Woody Allen) in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS and in Mark Twain’s life and that is when an atheist says he wants to scoff at the idea THAT WE WERE PUT HERE FOR A PURPOSE but he must stay face the reality of  Ecclesiastes 3:11 that says “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” and  THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING! Therefore, the secular view that there is no such thing as love or purpose looks implausible. The twentieth post examines how Mark Twain discovered just like King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes that there is no explanation  for the suffering and injustice that occurs in life UNDER THE SUN. Solomon actually brought God back into the picture in the last chapter and he looked  ABOVE THE SUN for the books to be balanced and for the tears to be wiped away.

The twenty-first post looks at the words of King Solomon, Woody Allen and Mark Twain that without God in the picture our lives UNDER THE SUN will accomplish nothing that lasts. Thetwenty-second post looks at King Solomon’s experiment 3000 years that proved that luxuries can’t bring satisfaction to one’s life but we have seen this proven over and over through the ages. Mark Twain lampooned the rich in his book “The Gilded Age” and he discussed  get rich quick fever, but Sam Clemens loved money and the comfort and luxuries it could buy. Likewise Scott Fitzgerald  was very successful in the 1920’s after his publication of THE GREAT GATSBY and lived a lavish lifestyle until his death in 1940 as a result of alcoholism.

In the twenty-third post we look at Mark Twain’s statement that people should either commit suicide or stay drunk if they are “demonstrably wise” and want to “keep their reasoning faculties.” We actually see this play out in the film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with the character Zelda Fitzgerald. In the twenty-fourthtwenty-fifth and twenty-sixth posts I look at Mark Twain and the issue of racism. In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS we see the difference between the attitudes concerning race in 1925 Paris and the rest of the world.

The twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth posts are summing up Mark Twain. In the 29th post we ask did MIDNIGHT IN PARIS accurately portray Hemingway’s personality and outlook on life? and in the 30th post the life and views of Hemingway are summed up.

In the 31st post we will observe that just like Solomon Picasso slept with many women. Solomon actually slept with  over 1000 women ( Eccl 2:8, I Kings 11:3), and both men ended their lives bitter against all women and in the 32nd post we look at what happened to these former lovers of Picasso. In the 33rd post we see that Picasso  deliberately painted his secular  worldview of fragmentation on his canvas but he could not live with the loss of humanness and he reverted back at crucial points and painted those he loved with all his genius and with all their humanness!!! In the 34th post  we notice that both Solomon in Ecclesiastes and Picasso in his painting had an obsession with the issue of their impending death!!!

___________

Related posts:

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 7 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part F, SURREALISTS AND THE IDEA OF ABSURDITY AND CHANCE)

December 23, 2015 – 4:15 am

Woody Allen believes that we live in a cold, violent and meaningless universe and it seems that his main character (Gil Pender, played by Owen Wilson) in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS shares that view. Pender’s meeting with the Surrealists is by far the best scene in the movie because they are ones who can […]

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December 16, 2015 – 4:56 am

In the last post I pointed out how King Solomon in Ecclesiastes painted a dismal situation for modern man in life UNDER THE SUN  and that Bertrand Russell, and T.S. Eliot and  other modern writers had agreed with Solomon’s view. However, T.S. Eliot had found a solution to this problem and put his faith in […]

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December 9, 2015 – 4:41 am

In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Gil Pender ponders the advice he gets from his literary heroes from the 1920’s. King Solomon in Ecclesiastes painted a dismal situation for modern man in life UNDER THE SUN  and many modern artists, poets, and philosophers have agreed. In the 1920’s T.S.Eliot and his  house guest Bertrand Russell were two of […]

“Woody Wednesda

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