Friday, 27 April 2012

Greetings Worm

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From the pages of Diane Keaton's memoir, Then Again, come four brief and unsurprisingly entertaining letters from the inimitable Woody Allen. Says Keaton:
I was his endearing oaf. He was my "White Thing." [...] We thrived on demeaning each other. His insights into my character were dead on and—duh!—hilarious. This bond remains the core of our friendship and, for me, love.
The first letter was written in March of 1969, as the pair starred in Woody's Broadway play, Play It Again, Sam; the remaining three were penned in 1974/5, as they filmed Love and Death.

(Source: Then Again, by Diane Keaton; Image: Diane Keaton & Woody Allen, via.)

Beet Head,

Humans are clean slates. There are no qualities indigenous to men or women. True, there is a different biology, but all defining choices in life affect both sexes & a woman, any woman is capable of defining herself with total FREEDOM. Therefore women are anything they choose to be & frequently have chosen & defined themselves greater than men. Don't be fooled by THE ARTS! They're no big deal; certainly no excuse for people acting like jerks & by that I mean, so what if up till now there were very few women artists. There may have been women far deeper than, say, Mozart or Da Vinci but contributing their genius in a different socially circumscribed context. Note how I switched from pen to pencil at this moment because in Lelouch's film, A MAN & A WOMAN, he switches from color to black & White—So I underline my point using the same symbolism—Very clever? OK, then, very stupid.

Woody

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Greetings Worm,

We have enough rehearsal time, but not as much as in L.A. Still, I think Love and Death will be easier than Sleeper as there is not a lot of...falls and spills and water stunts...Our dialogue exchanges should be brisk and lively...but we'll get into that ...so snookums...speak with you soon.

Also finished 1st draft of 2 New Yorker pieces. Hey! My book—Getting even—is a hit in France. Go figure. You remain a flower—too, too delicate for this harsh world & Dorrie is a flower & your mother is a flower & your father is a vegetable & Randy is a flower in his way & Robin is a cat. And I remain a weed.

Will call.

Woody

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Greetings Worm,

I am jettisoning some old socks in my travel bag to make room for some idiot's sunflower seeds. Guess who? You, my pal, are my cross to bear.

So they’re saying I’m a genius—but you know better, you little hellgrammite. Are you sure they're not calling me "White Thing?" "And he changes his underwear to sleep in." And all the things you call me rather than genius? I am tortured by the most incredible dreams of sexuality that revolve around you and a large 2E BRA that speaks Russian

That genial pal and good egg, Woody

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Lamp-head,-simpleton-oaf—

I have decided to let your family make me rich! It turns out they are wonderful material for a film. A quite serious one, although one of the three sisters is a fool and a clown. (I think you can guess which, ducky!) I didn’t send you a big letter, because you’re coming to Paris soon. I wonder if your observations about my family clock them as weirdly as I see yours? Do you have insights into my father & mother? I can imagine. The blind perceiving the blind. Last night I had a tender dream about me & my mother. First dream of her in years. Wonder why? I wept in the dream & ate my laundry. Just kidding—I ate her boiled chicken which tastes worse.

Love from the fabulous Mister A, a man with healing humour.

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