Open Letter to Woody Allen Is Woody taking a leap into the area of Non-Reason in order to cope with the meaningless of life?

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

November 8, 2019

Woody Allen c/o Samuel French, Inc.

235 Park Avenue South

5th Floor

New York, NY 10003 

Dear Woody,

If a person can’t cope with the reality of the Godless universe many times they will turn to the area of Non-Reason!!!

It is your firm conviction that faith in God’s word, the Bible, is really blind faith with no facts to back it up. 

Here is a portion of the article Woody Allen, Nihilist:

Aunt May’s foil in the film is Ben (Sam Waterston), a pious rabbi who says that he couldn’t go on living “if I didn’t feel with all my heart a moral structure with real meaning and forgiveness and some kind of higher power. Otherwise there’s no basis to live…. Without the law, it’s all darkness.” Allen reveals his attitude toward the rabbi by subjecting him to a progressive loss of vision that ends in total blindness by the conclusion of the film — a blunt metaphor for the darkness induced by his own moral and religious faith.

We know that this was Allen’s intent because he’s said so. Ben, according to Allen, “doesn’t really understand the reality of life… and that’s why I wanted to make him blind. I feel that his faith is blind. It will work, but it requires closing your eyes to reality.” And what is reality? That “at best the universe is indifferent” to our lives and our various ways of construing right and wrong. This indifference is so awful that many of us feel driven to “create a fake world for ourselves, and we exist within that fake world.”

This is exactly what you have done Woody yourself by continuing to make your movies and describe your poor plight. You are leaping into the area of nonreason to try and cope. It is exactly what the Surrealists and Dadaists did.

Jean Arp (Hans Arp) 
Jean Arp is associated with the DADA movement. His collages were of torn pieces of paper dropped and affixed where they would land. His use of chance is intended to create free of human intervention. “Dada,” wrote Arp, “wished to destroy the hoaxes of reason and to discover an UNREASONED ORDER.”

Francis Schaeffer in his book THE GOD WHO IS THERE noted:

“It is often said that Søren Kierkegaard, the Dane (1813-55)… is the father of modern secular thinking and of the new theological thinking…. Why is it that Kierkegaard can so aptly be thought of as the father of both? What proposition did he add to Hegel’s thought that made the difference? Kierkegaard came to the conclusion that you could not arrive at synthesis by reason. Instead, you achieved everything of real importance by a leap of faith. So he separated absolutely the rational and logical from faith……from that time on, if rationalistic man wants to deal with the real things of human life (such as purpose, significance, the validity of love) he must discard rational thought about them and MAKE A GIGANTIC, NON-RATIONAL LEAP OF FAITH. The rationalistic framework had FAILED TO PRODUCE AN ANSWER ON THE BASIS OF REASON, and so all hope of a uniform field of knowledge had to be abandoned.”

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Image result for Søren Kierkegaard

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

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(Luis Bunuel, Man Ray, Salvador Dali visit with Gil Pender in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS)

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(Luis Buñuel & Salvador Dali, circa 1930 pictured below)

Image result for salvador dali luis bunuel

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Image result for midnight in paris luis bunuel

The principle of making A GIGANTIC, NON-RATIONAL LEAP OF FAITH is demonstrated by the Surrealists in a  scene in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS  when Salvador Dali introduces his friends Luis Bunuel and Man Ray to Gil Pender and then comments to them “Pender is in a perplexing situation.”

Gil Pender tells the SURREALISTS, “It sounds so crazy to say. You guys are going to think I’m drunk, but I have to tell someone. I’m…from a…a different time. Another era.The future. OK? I come…from the 2000th millennium to here.I get in a car, and I slide through time.”

When they accept this then Gil responds, “Yeah, you’re surrealists!But I’m a normal guy.” In other words the SURREALISTS understand Gil’s predicament and realize that they too have attempted to escape from reason in their own lives (sometimes probing their own dreams in an attempt to find meaning). That is the reason Gil suddenly realizes that  he is getting no where with them.

Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT:

So just as all men love even if they say love does not exist, and all men have moral motions even though they say moral motions do not exit, so all men act as though they there is a correlation between the external and the internal world, even if they have no basis for that correlation…Let me draw the parallel again. Modern men say there is no love, there is only sex, but they fall in love. Men say there are no moral motions, everything is behavioristic, but they all have moral motions. Even in the more profound area of epistemology, no matter what a man says he believes, actually–every moment of his life–he is acting as though Christianity were true, and it is only the Christian system that tells him why he can, must, and does act the way he does (Chapter 4, HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT ).

Let me challenge you to take a closer look at the Bible and it’s accuracy. More on that later in this letter.

Woody Allen, Nihilist

By stDamon Linker

Not a believer.

Not a believer. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)February 4, 2014

I don’t know what did or did not happen between Woody Allen and Dylan Farrow more than 20 years ago, and neither does Nicholas Kristof. What I do know is that Allen is a moral nihilist. This should not be taken as evidence that he sexually molested Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter when she was 7 years old, or taken as a sign that he’d condone such behavior. But it does mean he espouses a philosophical outlook that renders him powerless to condemn it.

Let me be clear about two things right off the bat. First, I’m a great admirer of Allen’s filmmaking — and like Andrew Sullivan and Rod Dreher, I think the artistry of his films can and should be judged apart from his (perhaps substantial) moral failings. Second, I consider nihilism to be a viable, albeit false and ultimately chilling, philosophical and existential position. In describing Allen as a nihilist, I am not issuing an indictment — simply describing an outlook that he has elaborated in several films and interviews over the years.

Allen’s most thorough cinematic treatment of nihilism and its moral implications can be found in what may be his greatest film, Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). The movie tells the story of an ophthalmologist named Judah Rosenthal (played by Martin Landau) who decides to kill off his lover Dolores (Angelica Houston) when she threatens to divulge their affair to Judah’s wife. (Allen’s Match Point (2005), an inferior film in almost every way, explores many similar themes.)

At first wracked with guilt over the murder, Judah eventually gets over his moral qualms. (As another character quips in the film, “comedy is tragedy plus time.”) In a shocking subversion of Hollywood-style happy endings as well as Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment — in which the character Raskolnikov is driven by unremitting guilt to confess a pair of murders to the authorities — the film ends with Judah seemingly at complete peace with himself and thriving in every way: Happy, wealthy, successful, adored by a beautiful wife and daughter, with the latter soon to be married.

The viewer is left to conclude that Judah got away with his crime scot-free — and that such an outcome is possible for anyone courageous enough to violate accepted moral customs and lucky or clever enough to avoid getting caught by the legal authorities.

The theme and its broader implications are reinforced throughout the film. In one of its most powerful scenes, Judah observes and interacts with a memory from his youth in which members of his family debate morality, God, and the Holocaust. Espousing the view endorsed by the film, Judah’s atheist aunt May (whom Judah’s religiously observant father dubs a “nihilist”) remarks that if National Socialist Germany had won World War II, then Hitler’s actions would have ended up being “right.” After all, in such a nightmarish, counterfactual world, the Nazis would be empowered to set and enforce the reigning moral standard — and there simply is no higher moral authority to appeal to against such a standard. In a nihilistic universe, the overarching moral truth is that might makes right.

Aunt May’s foil in the film is Ben (Sam Waterston), a pious rabbi who says that he couldn’t go on living “if I didn’t feel with all my heart a moral structure with real meaning and forgiveness and some kind of higher power. Otherwise there’s no basis to live…. Without the law, it’s all darkness.” Allen reveals his attitude toward the rabbi by subjecting him to a progressive loss of vision that ends in total blindness by the conclusion of the film — a blunt metaphor for the darkness induced by his own moral and religious faith.

Allen, 1970. | (Evening Standard/Getty Images)

We know that this was Allen’s intent because he’s said so. Ben, according to Allen, “doesn’t really understand the reality of life… and that’s why I wanted to make him blind. I feel that his faith is blind. It will work, but it requires closing your eyes to reality.” And what is reality? That “at best the universe is indifferent” to our lives and our various ways of construing right and wrong. This indifference is so awful that many of us feel driven to “create a fake world for ourselves, and we exist within that fake world.”

On a lesser level you see it in sports. They create a world of football, for example. You get lost in that world and you care about meaningless things…. People by the thousands watch it, thinking it’s very important who wins. But, in fact, if you step back for a second, it’s utterly unimportant who wins. It means nothing. In the same way we create for ourselves a world that, in fact, means nothing at all, when you step back. It’s meaningless.

This sounds like you want to take a leap into the area of non-Reason to help you cope with the meaningless of life!!!

Francis Schaeffer has correctly argued:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?)

In the previous chapter we saw that the Bible gives us the explanation for the existence of the universe and its form and for the mannishness of man. Or, to reverse this, we came to see that the universe and its form and the mannishness of man are a testimony to the truth of the Bible. In this chapter we will consider a third testimony: the Bible’s openness to verification by historical study.

Christianity involves history. To say only that is already to have said something remarkable, because it separates the Judeo-Christian world-view from almost all other religious thought. It is rooted in history.

The Bible tells us how God communicated with man in history. For example, God revealed Himself to Abraham at a point in time and at a particular geographical place. He did likewise with Moses, David, Isaiah, Daniel and so on. The implications of this are extremely important to us. Because the truth God communicated in the Bible is so tied up with the flow of human events, it is possible by historical study to confirm some of the historical details.

It is remarkable that this possibility exists. Compare the information we have from other continents of that period. We know comparatively little about what happened in Africa or South America or China or Russia or even Europe. We see beautiful remains of temples and burial places, cult figures, utensils, and so forth, but there is not much actual “history” that can be reconstructed, at least not much when compared to that which is possible in the Middle East.

When we look at the material which has been discovered from the Nile to the Euphrates that derives from the 2500-year span before Christ, we are in a completely different situation from that in regard to South America or Asia. The kings of Egypt and Assyria built thousands of monuments commemorating their victories and recounting their different exploits. Whole libraries have been discovered from places like Nuzu and Mari and most recently at Elba, which give hundreds of thousands of texts relating to the historical details of their time. It is within this geographical area that the Bible is set. So it is possible to find material which bears upon what the Bible tells us.

The Bible purports to give us information on history. Is the history accurate? The more we understand about the Middle East between 2500 B.C. and A.D. 100, the more confident we can be that the information in the Bible is reliable, even when it speaks about the simple things of time and place.

The site of the biblical city called Lachish is about thirty miles southwest of Jerusalem. This city is referred to on a number of occasions in the Old Testament. Imagine a busy city with high walls surrounding it, and a gate in front that is the only entrance to the city. We know so much about Lachish from archaeological studies that a reconstruction of the whole city has been made in detail. This can be seen at the British Museum in the Lachish Room in the Assyrian section.

There is also a picture made by artists in the eighth century before Christ, the Lachish Relief, which was discovered in the city of Nineveh in the ancient Assyria. In this picture we can see the Jewish inhabitants of Lachish surrendering to Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. The details in the picture and the Assyrian writing on it give the Assyrian side of what the Bible tells us in Second Kings:

2 Kings 18:13-16

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

13 Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them. 14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong. Withdraw from me; whatever you impose on me I will bear.” So the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 Hezekiah gave him all the silver which was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasuries of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the doorposts which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.

________

We should notice two things about this. First, this is a real-life situation–a real siege of a real city with real people on both sides of the war–and it happened at a particular date in history, near the turn of the eighth century B.C. Second, the two accounts of this incident in 701 B.C. (the account from the Bible and the Assyrian account from Nineveh) do not contradict, but rather confirm each other. The history of Lachish itself is not so important for us, but some of its smaller historical details.

Sincerely,

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


Part 3

Woody commenting on Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris trailer

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 […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 6 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part E, A FURTHER LOOK AT T.S. Eliot’s DESPAIR AND THEN HIS SOLUTION)

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 […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 5 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part D, A LOOK AT T.S. Eliot’s DESPAIR AND THEN HIS SOLUTION)

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 […]

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