Before hearing Sarah Polley’s latest movie pitch, Woody Allen has something he wants to get off his chest.
“What’s next,” Woody Allen asks, as he nervously twitches his collar, adjusts his tie, and glances through a script Polley has just passed him. “Are we going to start going after every single guy who’s ever committed a criminal act? Like they’re criminals or something? Doing crimes? Where would it end?”
As the extent of Harvey Weinstein’s gross misconduct and an associated cover-up with a budget the size of a bad summer blockbuster, continues to emerge, Woody Allen was the first to step up and point out the real danger in the potentially culture-shifting revelations currently roiling society: some guys might have to change their predatory habits.
“It could lead to men not being able to wink with impunity, which would be a tragedy because if a guy can’t wink how is he supposed to let a woman know he’s going to try to pin her to the wall later?”
Saying that he felt Weinstein was lonely, Allen glances wistfully towards a photo of his own estranged children, who stopped speaking to him after he married one adopted daughter and abused another, and adds almost presidentially that he “sees both sides.”
Woody rattles on in this manner for a while longer, slowly spinning himself – much like his own movies – into a web of self-indulgence so intricate your eyes eventually cross and you have to excuse yourself to go to the bathroom before exiting the theatre through the emergency doors and promising yourself to never waste your time like that again.
Finally the elderly celebrity turns to the matter at hand. “What have you got Sarah, what I am looking at?”
“Zombie thriller. Hear me out,” the Canadian director says as she stares down the barrel of the glasses. “The plot centres around this really repulsive guy who won’t go away, even after the heroes come forward and reveal he’s actually dead and is only pretending to be normal. He just keeps denying it and walking around trying to eat everyone’s brains, distracting them beforehand by waving his hands a lot and rubbing his glasses.”
“Could work,” Allen says, seeming almost approachable for a moment, before adding, “But this zombie character, I mean, is he really all that bad?”