WOODY WEDNESDAY Open Letter to Woody Allen Part 13 Comparing Woody Allen to the Surrealists such as Dali who was looking at coping with a Godless universe!

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Essay on Woody Allen films

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Part 2

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Woody commenting on Midnight in Paris


November 2, 2019

Woody Allen, New York,NY 10019

Dear Woody,

I wanted to react to these words of yours said in You Tube in 2010:

You start to think, when you’re younger, how important everything is and how things have to go right—your job, your career, your life, your choices, and all of that. Then, after a while, you start to realise that – I’m talking the big picture here – eventually you die, and eventually the sun burns out and the earth is gone, and eventually all the stars and all the planets in the entire universe go, disappear, and nothing is left at all. Nothing – Shakespeare and Beethoven and Michelangelo gone. And you think to yourself that there’s a lot of noise and sound and fury – and where’s it going? It’s not going any place… Now, you can’t actually live your life like that, because if you do you just sit there and – why do anything? Why get up in the morning and do anything? So I think it’s the job of the artist to try and figure out why, given this terrible fact, you want to go on living.


Francis Schaeffer has noted that men like you Woody have come to this conclusion that life has no meaning but they can’t live that way and they have to jump into the area of non-reason to manufacture a meaning for their lives like the Surrealists did.

Schaeffer noted:

From the High (later) Renaissance to today we see an historical journey to despair. This is where
men live today. Man is a machine in a universe of machines. But man cannot live like a machine!
“But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must ‘leap
upstairs’ against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to
do so they have to deny their reason.” [page3 182]
Those in the earlier Renaissance would never had settled for this; they would have considered it
intellectual suicide to separate meaning and values from reason.

This reminds of a scene in Midnight in Paris because these three Surrealists are just looking for a way to cope with the Godless universe even though they feel deeply that there MUST be something more!!

Woody Allen’s main character Gil is talking with Salvador Dali and Man Ray and Luis Bunuel. 

This is the transcript:

DALI: We met, earlier tonight…At the party! Dali.

GIL: I remember!-

DALI: A bottle of red wine!

GIL: It can’t be… Yeah….So?

DALI: Another glass for this man, please. I love the language!The French! The waiters? No.You like the shape of the rhinoceros?

GIL: The rhinoceros? Uh…Haven’t really thought about it.I paint the rhinoceros.

DALI: I paint you. Your sad eyes.Your big lips, meltingover the hot sand,with one tear.Yes! And in your tear, another face.The Christ’s face!Yes, in the rhinoceros.

GIL: Yeah. I mean, I probably do look sad. I’m in…a very perplexing situation.

DALI: Diablo…Luis! Oye, Luis!(Damn. Luis! Hey, Luis!)My friends.This… is Luis Bunuel…and…Mr. Man Ray.-

GIL: Man Ray? My Gosh!- How ’bout that?

DALI: This is Pen-der. Pen-der. Pender!- Yes. And I am Dalí!- Dalí. Yes.You have to remember. Pender is in a perplexing situation.

GIL: It sounds so crazy to say.You guys are going tothink 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 millenium to here.I get in a car, and I slide through time.

MAN RAY: Exactly correct.You inhabit two worlds.- So far, I see nothing strange.- Why?

GIL: Yeah, you’re surrealists!But I’m a normal guy. See, in one life,I‘m engaged to marry a woman I love.At least, I think I love her.Christ! I better love her! I’m marrying her!

DALI: The rhinoceros makes love by mounting the female.But…is there a difference in the beauty between two rhinoceroses?

MAN RAY: There is another woman?Adriana. Yes, and I’m…very drawn to her.I find her extremely alluring.The problem is that other men,great artists – geniuses- also find her alluring,and she finds them. So, there’s that…

MAN RAY: A man in love with a woman from a different era.I see a photograph. 

LUIS BUNUEL: I see a film.I see an insurmountable problem.

DALI: I see……a rhinoceros.

Let me make a few points here.

1. Surrealists like Salvador Dali, Man Ray and Luis Bunuel had accepted that life without God in the picture is absurd with no meaning or purpose.

2. In the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Gil Pender is from the year 2010 but he is struck with love for Adriana who lives in 1925 and he asks the surrealists about this PERPLEXING PROBLEM.

There are two elements to this perplexing problem.

A. God created us so we can’t deny that we are created for a purpose and when a person falls truly in love with another person then they have a hard time maintaining  this world is only just a product of evolution and has no lasting significance. Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russellwrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”

B. Gil Pender explains that he has traveled through time and the Surrealists accept this because they are used to leaping into the area of nonreason in order to find a meaning for their lives. The Atheist can only come to the conclusion of despair according to Ecclesiastes,but humans many times try to go to the area of non-reason for meaning in their lives instead of turning to God!

Dustin Shramek in his article, Atheism and Death: Why the atheist must face death with despair, notes:

Francis Schaeffer illustrates this problem well. He says that we live in a two story universe. On the first story the world is finite without God. This is what Sartre, Russell, and Nietzsche describe. Life here is absurd, with no meaning or purpose. On the second story life has meaning, value, and purpose. This is the story with God. Modern man resides on the first floor because he believes there is no God. But as we have shown, he cannot live there happily, so he makes a leap of faith to the second story where there is meaning and purpose. The problem is that this leap is unjustified because of his disbelief in God. Man cannot live consistently and happily knowing life is meaningless.

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

We can see that later in the life of Salvador Dali that he struggled to find a rational source of values and purpose. 

(Basket of Bread. Date: 1926 above)

From the book  THE GOD WHO IS THERE written in 1968 by Francis Schaeffer pages 70-72.

In his earlier days Salvador Dali (1904-1989) was a surrealist. As such he united the teaching of Dada with the concept of the Freudian unconscious, because this is what surrealism is. But at a certain point he could stand this no longer, and so he changed.

One day he painted his wife and called the picture THE BASKET OF BREAD, final title was Portrait of Galarina (1940–45)It is obvious from looking at the picture that on the day he really loved her. It is the same kind of situation as when Picasso wrote on his canvas, “I love Eva.” Before I had heard of any change in Dali, I saw a reproduction of this picture, and it was obvious that there was something different being produced. It is significant that his wife has kept this painting in her private collection.

So on this particular day Dali gave up his surrealism and began his new series of mystical paintings. He had, in fact, already painted two other pictures with the title A BASKET OF BREAD, one in 1926 and one in 1945. These just showed baskets of coarse Spanish bread. But third picture, also painted in 1945, was of his wife Galarina, and shows her with one breast exposed. Her name is written on the picture, and the wedding ring is prominent on her finger.

The second painting in his new style was called CHRIST OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS, painted in 1951, which now hangs in the Glasgow Art Gallery. Salvador Dali has written about this painting in a little folder on sale in the museum: “In artistic texture and technique I painted the CHRIST OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS in the manner in which I had already painted my BASKET OF BREAD which even then, more or less unconsciously, represented the Eucharist to me.

File:Christ of Saint John of the Cross.jpgFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

File:Christ of Saint John of the Cross.jpg

No higher resolution available.Christ_of_Saint_John_of_the_Cross.jpg ‎(332 × 599 pixels, file size: 31 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)

What does he mean? He means that when he looks at his wife one day, really loving her, and paints here with one breast exposed, that is equated by him to the Eucharist, not in the sense that anything really happened back there in Palestine 2000 years ago, but his love jarred him into a modern type of mysticism.

In this painting he differed from Picasso’s J’aime Eva. As far as we know, Picasso never really went beyond the problems of his individual loves; but to Dali it became the key to mysticism. In order to express the leap that he felt forced to take, he picked up Christian symbols, not to express Christian concepts, but a non-rational mysticism. 

File:Dali – The Sacrament of the Last Supper – lowres.jpgFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

File:Dali - The Sacrament of the Last Supper - lowres.jpg

No higher resolution available.Dali_-_The_Sacrament_of_the_Last_Supper_-_lowres.jpg ‎(362 × 240 pixels, file size: 46 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)

Retrieved from http://www.dali-gallery.com/images/works/1955_01.jpg on 13 Sep 2009. Resolution lowered for illustration purposes.

After these two  painting his next crucifixion was called CORPUS HYPEROULUS, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY and then later THE SACRAMENT OF THE LAST SUPPER, which is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington. This later painting expresses his thought vividly. As the viewer looks at Jesus he can see the background showing through him; he is a mist.

File:Dali Crucifixion hypercube.jpgFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

File:Dali Crucifixion hypercube.jpg

No higher resolution available.Dali_Crucifixion_hypercube.jpg ‎(319 × 500 pixels, file size: 35 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)

This is no Christ of history. Above him stands a great human figure with arms outspread, it’s head cut off by the top edge of the picture. No one is sure what this figure is. However, it is stranger reminiscent of the “Yakso” which in Hindu art and architecture often stands behind the “saviors” (“savior” here bearing no relation to the Christian idea). Yakes and Yaksi connect vegetable life with man on one side and the complete concept of pantheism on the other. I think this is what Dali is also saying by this cut-off figure in the painting. Whether this is so or not, the symbolism of the form of the “room” is clear because it is constructed by means of the ancient Greek symbol of the universe.

In an interview Dali connects this religious interest of his later life with science’s reduction of matter to energy. “…the discoveries in quantum physics of the nature of energy, that matter becomes energy, a state of dematerialization. I realized that science is moving toward a spiritual state. It is absolutely astonishing, the eminent scientists: the declaration of Max Planck and the views of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), a great Jesuit scientist: that man in his constant evolution is coming closer to an oneness with God.”

Here he relates his own mysticism and the religious mysticism of Teilhard de Chardin to impersonal dematerialization rather than to anything personal. He is quite correct and need not have confined himself to modern liberal Roman Catholicism, but could also have included the Protestant forms of the new theology as well.

It is perfectly possible to pick up no defined Christian symbols on words and use them in this new mysticism, while giving them opposite meanings. Their use does not necessarily imply that they have Christian meanings. Dali’s secular mysticism, like the new theology, gives the philosophic other or impersonal “everything” a personal name in order to get relief by connotation from meaningless. 



Matt Chandler in his sermon on ECCLESIASTES CHAPTER ONE finishes up with this paragraph:

So this circular silliness that we find ourselves caught up in, it needs someone from BEYOND THE SUN to come break it. So the Scriptures tell us that Christ comes, John 10:10 said, to give us life to the full. You want to hear a really good translation of what’s going on in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” He’s basically saying this, “You’re living and you’re breathing, but you’re not alive. You’re just existing. In Me, there’s life. You’re existing, but you’re not living. I have come so that you might have life, what you were created for.” Now all of a sudden, these things do have meaning. Now all of a sudden, when this happens, money can just be money. Like, money no longer becomes our master. We don’t have to have to have some kind of social status. It just becomes money. So, we can give it away or buy a house and it doesn’t own us.Christ removes the futility and vanity from the soul and brings about the purpose that you and I are dying for. Everything else under the sun is running on a treadmill. My hope is that you’ll start to honestly evaluate life and that that might lead you to look BEYOND THE SUN.

_________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 trustedGOD HAS SPOKEN AND HAS NOT BEEN SILENT, BUT YOU CAN’T JUST CONTINUE TO LOOK FOR ANSWERS JUST “UNDER THE SUN.” You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism), 4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites, 6.Shishak Smiting His Captives, 7. Moabite Stone, 8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.(GALA’s daughter Cécile  Éluard is pictured below)

Photo taken in 1944 after a reading of Picasso’s play El deseo pillado por la cola: Standing from left to right: Jacques Lacan, Cécile  Éluard, Pierre Reverdy, Louise Leiris, Pablo Picasso, Zanie de Campan, Valentine Hugo, Simone de Beauvoir, Brassaï. Sitting, from left to right: Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Michel Leiris, Jean Aubier. Photo by Brassaï. –


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

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!!!


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