Peter Bart: Woody Allen’s Book ‘Apropos Of Nothing’ Is Brilliant And Baffling

Peter Bart: Woody Allen’s Book ‘Apropos Of Nothing’ Is Brilliant And Baffling
Although his latest film remains hidden from public view, Woody Allen’s memoir finally was published today and, while its first printing quickly sold out, the book exhibits the same absence of order and discipline that has haunted both his films and his personal life. Indeed, it has re-ignited a predictable torrent of criticism about the scandals without adding new information or insight.

Titled Apropos of Nothing, the memoir is actually three books: One is a hilarious account of his Brooklyn upbringing; the second is a superbly revealing analysis of triumphs and flaws in his filmmaking; and the third is a baffling and unhinged report of his personal encounters, which reads like a bad parody of a Dostoevsky novel, with subtitles by Freud. Readers might be surprised by Allen’s candor but, as he explains, “when you view something as an innocent person you relish the close looks because you have nothing to hide.
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