I’ve got an idea for a funny movie.
A famous, long-time director does a deal with Amazon to create a TV series for its streaming service and he hasn’t a clue what a streaming service is.
Wait. Woody Allen, who’s currently at the Cannes Film Festival, just stole it.
You know Woody Allen. He’s the director of the classics “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan.” He’s also the director of one of the most painful movies ever made — “Cassandra’s Dream” — in which Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell pretend to be brothers who can speak English.
He’s still making movies, some of them truly charming. However, he doesn’t find the modern, digital world too charming at all.
In an enlightening interview at Cannes with Deadline Hollywood, Allen reportedly admitted proudly: “I don’t own a computer.”
Of course there will be those who will chuckle at his fuddy and his duddy.
This may only be increased by this quote in the Q&A: “I’ve never seen anything online at all — nothing. I don’t own a word processor. I have none of that stuff. It’s not an act of rebellion. I’m just not a gadget person.”
A word processor? What’s that?Allen does shoot using digital cameras, he admitted. But someone else is pushing the buttons. He works with the actors and sets up the shot.
But isn’t this the same Woody Allen who signed on to do a TV series for Amazon’s streaming service? It is.
However, he reportedly said: “I don’t even know what a streaming service is, that’s the interesting thing. When you said streaming service, it was the first time I’ve heard that term connected with the Amazon thing. I never knew what Amazon was.”
Can it be possible that he’d never heard of Amazon? Might this be artistic posturing? Perhaps, but Woody’s world just isn’t yours.
He explained that Amazon executives were so nice to him that he was persuaded by this niceness. Well, this niceness and a large green wad.
So he’s excited about creating six half-hour episodes for Amazon?
He said: “I have regretted every second since I said OK.”
Allen explained that stopping and starting a series isn’t natural for him. He thought it would be one long movie that he could just chop up. Sadly, not. Still, he has until the end of 2016 to mess it up.
Allen did admit to a terrible sadness that people now watch movies on tiny screens. He said: “There is no reverence. It’s a different time. I think it’s a big loss.”
But, as all of us who will soon make way for robot masters and robot directors know, the march of supposed progress cannot be halted, especially not by a cultural predilection.
As Allen said of those who now watch movies on phones and iPads, rather than in theaters: “They are the future and I’m not.”