Woody Allen, The Faith Behind the Films (VIDEOS of Allen With Billy Graham)

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By Kayla Amadis, Christian Post Contributor
November 20, 2011|3:41 pm

American filmmaker, Woody Allen, will be starring in an exclusive two-part documentary film beginning tonight. The “Annie Hall” director and actor is notorious for his privacy. However, this three-and-a-half hour film claims to be a right of entry into the life and art of Woody Allen.

The works of Allen have always been a peculiar one for most viewers throughout generations. He has a touch for making artful flicks with the just enough humor included. His films, sometimes controversial, have also been unique in that they are driven by his distinctive vision and artistry. Allen has never been an artist to succumb to altering a script so it would appeal to mainstream audiences.

Therefore, many have noted reoccurring themes throughout Allen’s work over the years. He often integrates pop culture and religion sub-textually into the content of his writing.

Allen, now 75, grew up in a Jewish household. Now, as an agnostic, many of his films including “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and “Match Point” have subject matters concerning forgiveness, how to handle sin, finding meaning in life without God, or religious figures.

Many evangelicals including Chuck Colston and Southern Baptist leader, Richard Land are devoted fans of Allen. Although the filmmaker remains disclosed, he continues to be one to speak openly about deep issues in life even outside of his films. Allen has always been honest enough to ask many questions about morality and religion, but never has any of the right answers, Land suggested.

In the archives of Woody Allen appearances, one can find an old talk show video (below) in the 1960’s in which he interviews Billy Graham. Of course, Graham, clearly anchored in his beliefs in God, shared completely different views on life compared to the wisecracking Allen.

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The conversation sounds undoubtedly tense upon first hearing. However, both counter-parts handled their discussion with much composure and the heart to agree to disagree.

Allen: “If you come to one of my movies or something, I’ll go to one of your revival meetings.”

Graham: “Well now that is a deal.”

Allen: “You could probably convert me because I’m such a pushover. I have no convictions in any direction and if you make it appealing and promise me some sort of wonderful afterlife with a white robe and wings I would go for it.”

Graham: “I can’t promise you a white robe and wings, but I can promise you a very interesting, thrilling life.”

Allen: “One wing, maybe?”

The dialogue was both light and deep all at once. “I find Woody over the years, and of course this is true of people as they get older, there is more resignation,” Land said to the Washington Post.

“There is a light touch and a confidence in his earlier movies - I’m not dead, I won’t die for a long time so I have a long time to figure this all out. Some of his more recent movies, you can see he’s aware of his own mortality.”

Decades later, one would hope Allen would come around to considering the true answers to all of his moral questioning. Perhaps he would think back to some of the words Graham spoke many years ago. However, Allen remains with doubtful views. “Sooner or later,” he said in a 2010 interview. “…reality sets in, in a crushing way. As it does and will with everybody, including Billy Graham. But it’s nice if you can delude yourself for as long as possible.”

“Woody Allen: A Documentary,’’ directed by Robert B. Weide, will touch on the career of Allen more intimately. Many look forward to understanding the true man behind the art and humor.

PART TWO

 

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