Woody Allen vs Mia Farrow parallels the book Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
warning contains Spoilers for the book, Infinite Jest and the movie Wonder Wheel
Moses Farrow posted a blog on Blogger about his point of view. I am a supporter of Woody Allen. I never believed that he molested his daughter, Dylan. It is very hard to wrap ones head around how Mia Farrow did this to her daughter. I think she created false memories in her daughter’s mind. But, maybe Mia Farrow does believe the molestation happened? I don’t think it happened, because as the blog explains, and as Woody Allen has said many times, he was not allowed to be in the house and did not go to visit. If he had he would not have been allowed to be alone with Dylan. The house was filled with people. Mia had many adopted children and biological children, and all of them had been told Woody Allen was bad person. I can’t defend him about the Soon-Yi incident, but she was 21 at the time. Certainly he should have broken it off with Mia, because having a relationship with Soon-Yi. But, the incident mushroomed a Shakespearean style tragedy.
I was reminded about the David Foster Wallace Book Infinite Jest in which,
Spoilers for Infinite Jest follow
the young female romantic character, Joelle, is disfigured when her mother throws acid in her face by accident. This is how it happened. The family was having dinner and the mother felt the father was spending too much time with his daughter Joelle and giving her too much attention. Maybe the mother was jealous? The father confesses that he is sexually attracted to his daughter, but he would never touch her and he tried to fight the feelings, by treating her as if she was younger than her real age. By treating the daughter like a little girl he hoped he could drive the feelings away. But, when the mother hears the confession, she flies into a blind rage, because he own father had molested her. In this rage she picks up a vile of acid and throws aiming to hit the father, but instead hits her daughter in the face causing the acid to burn her face. The character Joelle always wears a veil for this reason.
There is some speculation that Joelle has not really been hit with the acid, because the woman who relays the story is an unreliable narrator named Molly Notkin. I believe the name Molly is a nod to the book Ulysses by James Joyce in which there is a character named Molly Bloom. In an interview, David Foster Wallace spoke of reading the book Ulysses with his mother chapter by chapter as a child. David Foster Wallace’s mother, Sally, wrote a book on grammar called Practically Painless English.
The parallel with the Woody Allen Mia Farrow conflict was that the mother hurt and destroyed her own daughters just to get back at her husband. I also noticed this conflict in Woody Allen’s movie Wonder Wheel.
Spoilers for the movie Wonder Wheel.
In the movie, the older woman is jealous of her husband’s wayward daughter. The older woman has an ongoing affair with a younger man. Then she discovers that the younger man is interested in her husband’s daughter. She feels so upset, that she tips off the mob to the location of the daughter, and the daughter just disappears. The phone call she makes is done off camera, but the audience wonders if she made the phone call. At any rate, the daughter does disappear, but it not clear if she just left on her own due to the conflict in the family, but it can be assumed the she is killed by the mob.
If you have any comments please leave them below. I can’t say, I know anything for sure, as I have no contact with any of the people involved. But, this blog is not posted to debate Woody Allen’s guilt or innocence. The reason for this blog is to point out the parallel situation in the book Infinite Jest. One more reason to consider why the molestation did not happen is that since Mia Farrow had already decided in her mind that Woody Allen was child molester, there would be no way she would then allow Woody Allen to be alone with Dylan. And if it did happen the way she said, she would bear some responsibility for allowing that situation to occur. Dylan was Woody Allen’s not biological daughter and he never had visitation rights. What kind of mother would allow her daughter to be alone with a known child molester?
Updated January 2021: I am listing to a new Woody Allen audiobook called Woody The Biography
by David Evanier. I was going to return the book because it was going on and on about each and every movie Woody Allen ever made. In spite his success with Annie Hall and Manhattan his other movies are not very good. So, the funny part is when the aliens tell him to go back to making funny movies, when I don’t like his so called funny movies. The only other two Allen movies that I think have some merit are Hannah and her Sisters and Blue Jasmine. But at some point the book stopped talking about movies and got into the subject of Mia Farrow.
I wanted Woody Allen to marry Dianna Kenton. I was not trilled when he started up with Mia Farrow. I have spend a lot of time thinking over the situation. I want to be fair to all parties. This is my take on it.
I was fascinated listening to Mia Farrow’s relationship with Frank Sinatra and André Previn in the Woody Biography. Andre Previn divorced his wife to marry Mia Farrow. Its hard to explain and you would have to read the book to get what the author means, but he is saying its similar to Woody Allen leaving Mia Farrow for Soon Yi. There are a number of similarities the age of both parties and Mia and Woody were living lives apart also in the way that Mia claimed Previn’s wife was old and not close to him at the time in which she stole him. But I still feel what Woody did was worse due to the photos. He needed to talk to Mia first and tell her he was leaving her before she found those photos. The author used writings that Mia did about how she was feeling at certain times in her life about her ex husbands. This part of the book was so interesting that I decided to nix the plan to return the audiobook.
There was song that was created by Andre Previn’s first wife involving an attic and Mia had heard the song. Likely she was feeling upset or guilty about Previn’s ex wife at the time and the story got lodged in her brain. When she made up the story about the attic, she may not have remembered the song or the reason why the story rang true to her. I really do like Woody Allen, but I do not agree with many of things he has done in his life including the Soon Yi affair. But, I also learned that Mia had an affair with Roman Polanski. This makes Mia Farrow have more of a connection to the Manson Case. I have written about Sharon Tate and Susan Atkins. Suddenly I could see so many connections between these famous people who are a more then a generation older then myself.
Mia Farrow is comfortable with Roman Polanski? I don’t understand why she did not flip out at him over his case of the molestation of a 13 year old girl. Then there is also Woody’s Autobiography in which he states that Mia was so angry she called him up and spilled her hand. She said she would do something do him that would cause him to lose his daughter Dylan. Woody was cleared of all the charges. I don’t understand why so few people don’t believe him?
Part of the reason may be because Woody comes off as selfish and unlikeable in interviews. For example, I was shocked to hear Woody say he started the affair with Soon Yi as just a fling. What kind of grown man has a fling with his adopted daughter? I may have been able to respect him if he done it correctly. He needed to tell Mia and break it off with her before the fling. It was like he wanted to have an affair while keeping the door open to going back to Mia. In spite of a few good movies he has made so many flops that it hardily matter if his movies are blocked from Amazon Prime because I don’t think they will be worth watching. Dylan is the real victim and I feel very sorry for her.
Since I am interesting in how the relationship between Mia and Woody worked, I bought a book that I had never heard of based on a tip from the definitive Woody biography. The book is called Woody and Mia and it was written by their nanny at the time along with the help of another writer. The man who wrote the definitive biography is a superfan who thinks almost all of Woody’s Movies are fantastic, but Woody does not cooperate with him. Woody wants all his fans to leave him alone. Since this obscure book is not on Kindle, I had to buy the physical book. When it comes I may have an updated report or not depending on the quality of the information in the book. If you read the publishers summary on Amazon it gives the angle of the book without having to buy the physical book. It said Woody mostly ignored the children, and Mia was depressed and desperate after the Soon Yi affair. Mia continued to talk to Woody as much as 10 times a day. She was falling apart. A normal mother having discovered the Soon Yi affair would have cut off all contact with Woody at once, Mia continued to allow him to be a part of her life. This is when the so called incident in the attic either happened or was made up. Most people think the incident happened years before, as this is the more logically timeline. Its seems that Woody is a mostly cold and angry person who at times can turn on great charm and become very likeable. Since he does not care if people are upset with him he is not willing to be charming to everyone he comes into contact with. Maybe he developed this leave me alone persona based on years of fans annoying him and asking him questions? But, this attitude while sparing him emotional pain is counterproductive his career. I assume he is always loving to his wife Soon Yi. I hope he does not scream at her the way he would blow up and scream at Mia. For a man who it is claimed in the book does not like children, he got involved with Mia when she had seven children, and later adopted two more children with Soon Yi. I think he clearly does like children, its people he does not like. Children are people. He can sometimes find a common ground to relate to people and children, but when he can’t he just turns off and becomes very cold to them. Once he find this common ground he is very warm and loving. Its like he has a spilt personality.
2/21\2020 Updated: There is a new documentary on HBO which I have not watched because I don’t want to pay for HBO. Its not that it cost that much to have HBO for a short time, but I hate to be manipulated by HBO to subscribe. Instead I went to You Tube and I found a number of You Tubers telling both sides of the story. I want to remain neutral. I think the biggest mistake was Mia and Woody both trying to use the courts to resolve their differences. I have heard both sides of the story Mia’s camp says that Woody felt terrible guilt about the affair and asked Mia to marry him. Woody’s camp claims that Mia believed she and Allen would marry even after she brought the allegations. I am not saying either Woody or Mia asked these people to created these videos for them or told them what to say at all. But I see two types of videos each one is slanted to favor either Mia or Woody, but I would like to see more neutral videos that give both side of the argument. The HBO documentary is in the Mia camp, but that was likely because Woody and Soon Yi did not want to tell their story to HBO. At this point is in not a case of wrong and right any longer because I don’t think we can ever know for sure. One one hand you have Moses, Woody and Soon Yi saying nothing happened and on the hand you have Mia, Dylan, and Ronan saying it did. I just want to leave it all that.
Updated: April 2021 I found a Youtube Channel besides the larger “Woody Problem” Channel which covers a number of topics about Mia’s children that I knew of, but it’s convenient to have all the information neatly organized into videos. The video I linked to includes the information about the song My Father in the Attic.
Updated May 2021 I have been reading Mariel Hemingway’s book “Out Came The Sun” and although Woody asked her to go to Paris, he accepted it when she said she did not want to go. Her parents were ok with the idea, but she felt that she did not want to go. If he was such a child molester why did he not at least try to kiss her or something like that?