AllenThe notorious underground filmmaker, author and disciple of Aleister Crowley, Kenneth Anger got there long before him (fifty-one years before, as it happens), but it seems a current Hollywood B-lister has decided the time is right to expose Tinsel Town as a hotbed of vice and debauchery, that’s if Elijah Wood’s weekend accusation is anything to go by. Perhaps he’s got a movie to plug. Mind you, someone ranking far higher in the constellation of contemporary celluloid royalty beat him to it when she decided to side with the ‘injured party’ in a marital squabble that has been revived after two decades in abeyance. Step forward Susan Sarandon, leading light of the liberal left in Hollywood, the one that was so mercilessly (not to say brilliantly) skewered in ‘Team America: World Police’.

Sarandon didn’t mind getting her tits oot for the lads in earlier cinematic outings which (probably to her embarrassment) have retained cult appeal, specifically ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ and ‘The Hunger’; but since her marriage to Tim Robbins and celebrated role in ‘Thelma and Louise’, Sarandon has been elevated to the PC Premier League in that self-important corner of California that reached an apex of patronising preaching at this year’s Oscars ceremony. What Sarandon has to do with the subject she publicly intervened in last week remains questionable; but she has taken sides, of that there is no doubt. And the side she has taken is that of a woman scorned.

Let’s be honest, fewer cases of a woman scorned come more humiliating than the scenario Mia Farrow experienced in the early 90s, when her partner of twelve years, Woody Allen, left her for her adopted daughter from a previous marriage. It’s hard to think of a harder hammer-blow an actress in her late 40s could receive than her partner abandoning her for a 21-year-old, let alone one that had kick-started her serial adoption programme. How did Mia react? Well, she immediately alleged her seven-year-old adopted daughter Dylan was a victim of sexual abuse on the part of the man who had just walked out on her.

It seems a long time ago now, but the whole unedifying Farrow-Allen abuse battle was headline news for a good year or so in the early 90s, long before such things became fashionable. Farrow was quite a pioneer in devising new means of vengeance for an injured party. The director who had revived Farrow’s movie career by giving her 12 leading roles in his films was denied access to his children with her for a period, though when enough time had passed since the height of the scandal, Dylan Farrow started the abuse ball rolling again by making fresh allegations a couple of years ago. In response to these renewed claims, Farrow and Allen’s adopted son Moses retorted by claiming his mother was the abuser, albeit physical and psychological rather than sexual. He also alleged Farrow ‘coached’ her children into believing every accusation she’d flung at Allen.

Ronan Farrow is yet another of the numerous children to have filled the Farrow household during the tenure of her relationship with Woody Allen, yet his paternal parentage has bizarrely been attributed to his mother’s ex, Frank Sinatra, who was in his seventies when Ronan was born, twenty years after the end of the short-lived Sinatra/Farrow marriage. He recently added to the renaissance of the abuse allegations by endorsing his sister Dylan’s accusations in ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ via a piece titled ‘My Father Woody Allen and The Danger of Questions Unasked’. He compared Allen’s ‘immunity’ from the law to the current experience of Bill Cosby, citing the advantages that the so-called powerful have over their accusers when an allegation is made as being responsible for the doubts that continue to plague his sister’s allegations. We’ve kind-of heard it all before over here (at least since 2012), though that hasn’t prevented it – as the Kids say – Going Viral.

Eavesdropping on a famous family at war is a horrible voyeuristic exercise encouraged by media outlets that thrive on such scandals, yet the unnecessary intervention of Susan Sarandon when at Cannes to appear at an event called ‘Women in Motion’ (not to be confused with the parallel Cannes event, ‘Women Stationary’) has merely added fuel to the fire. ‘I think he sexually assaulted a child and I don’t think that’s right’ was the earth-shattering observation made by Sarandon that received the most coverage last week. Sarandon said she had nothing good to say about Allen and then added ‘I don’t want to go there’. Afraid you already have, Susan. Ronan Farrow’s contribution to the ongoing scandal was perfectly timed, appearing as it did on the same day as Woody Allen’s latest movie premiered at Cannes, a red-carpet event at which (unbelievably) Susan Sarandon was present.

I confess I am a long-time fan of Woody Allen’s work, particularly the string of movies he produced from the late 60s through to the early 80s (roughly ‘Take the Money and Run’ to ‘Stardust Memories’), and whether he did or didn’t do the dirty with a little girl won’t alter that at all. But I don’t really believe we’ll ever get to the truth of events that did or didn’t occur when he was involved with Mia Farrow because the nature of the arena in which these disputed events have been played out isn’t concerned with the truth. That’s show-business, honey.

© The Editor


  1. As with many successful and creative artists, Woody Allen always fitted into the file marked ‘Odd’ – but then, so did Mia Farrow, so it’s no surprise that any kids in their household could have ‘issues’. Indeed, it may be more surprising if any of them turned out to fit into the file marked ‘Normal’ after the start they’d all had in life.
    You always got the impression from his work that Allen has tended to obsess with his female stars, not unlike Hitchcock in that way, so maybe that pattern extended into his family life too, with the just-a-tad-too-young step-daughter as a readily available on-site fixation. Or maybe not.
    Whether it’s anyone else’s business is the real issue but it will certainly interest the public, rather than being in the public interest – but if there’s a new movie to promote……
    As you wisely note, we will probably never learn the real truth, if only because, in such an unconventional household, their various versions of truth will not only be manifold and different, but also creatively lit, cleverly scripted and smartly edited – the PhotoShop version of real life.

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    1. Apologies for the rapid turnover of posts at the moment, by the way; I appreciate not everyone will be able to keep up. I just figured if I write something I think is good enough, I may as well post it. There’s a minor technical problem with scheduling a post in advance, so putting them out regardless of how few hours since the last one have elapsed seems the best option. For some reason, some posts come to me at a ridiculously late hour; the one titled ‘As Nature Offended’ ended with me clambering into bed at 3.45am. No pain, no gain, as they say. Zzzzzzzz…


  2. I was surprised by Sarandon´s outburst; I’d thought it had all been put to bed years ago. I thought I’d have a bit of a gander having been a fan of his work as a kid, and ended up reading both the Ronan Farrow-piece & the complete 33-page custody ruling which he linked-to.

    It’s interesting what use words can be put to: to force or to permit, that is the question… can you guess which of the following came from Ronan Farrow & which came from the judge?

    Was Allen “climbing into her bed in the middle of the night, forcing her to suck his thumb” or was he “reading to her in his bed while dressed in his undershorts… … permitting her to suck on his thumb.”

    There’s quite a difference!
    But the ruling is a truly depressing read anyway as the swarm of kids are bundled off to one psychiatrist after another, Mia Farrow seeing adopting/producing another one as the solution to any problem which arises. Her (later) claims that Allen had been looking at Dylan “in a sexual way” and that he had fondled her as a two to three year old might have been more convincing if she hadn’t, er, continued in the relationship for a few more years, desperately trying to get pregnant (with an initially unenthusiastic Allen) and then opting for a few more adoptions to ‘save’ their relationship! And then she became pregnant, anyway… I think… I lost track. The whole lot of ’em are nuts.

    Have a read of it if you need reminding why it’s never a good idea to have heroes!

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