[Rector]

Woody-anx

 

Hollywood is still having troubles pulling out of the "Relationship Movie" groove. They seem fascinated with the countless possibilities in human relationships. How would I handle it if my wife grew hair all over her body? This, and other countless human relationship dramas, have spawned the constant sentimental slop dished up night after night on our TV screens. Often we would be better off watching a Teenie Bopper movie produced to satisfy the under twenty theater goer.

Every now and then there is a change in style. All the old ex Cowboy fans just drool when we get an adventure film on the box. Silverado, Aliens..... Good versus evil, great stuff.

Always worth a view is an old Woody Allen film with his characteristic "Woody-anx". His ever reoccurring theme of anxiety seems to help us to "cathart". No such word, but the point is simple enough; he allows us to use his films as a release for our own anxieties. Our fears: claustrophobic, sexual, status, death..... they are all there. Woody is the fear in all of us. Hanner's Sister (or was it Hanner and her Sister?) is a great little movie. It's Woodies usual package, presenting us with his bundle of fears.

There was one fear he played with which was very subtle indeed. It was the fear that life was without meaning. His idea was based on a quote from Tolstoy. "The only absolute knowledge attainable by man is that life is meaningless". Woody, the hypochondriac, afraid of sickness, has just discovered that he is not sick. For one short moment he experiences happiness before anxiety sets in again. For you see, if he was now to live he had to have some purpose to live for. What if there was no meaning to life? So for the next year our little friend, although he didn't believe in God, tried desperately to convert to Christianity.

The answer to the meaning of life and all that for Woody Allen, if not 42 (was that the number?), was that we take the moment we have and enjoy it as much as we can. As Hanna's dad said. "When you're dead, you're dead". As for worrying about being dead, "I'll worry about that when I'm dead". So life is for living. Other than that, "life is meaningless."

Mind you, if we are not dead when we're dead, there could be a problem. If Jesus actually did rise from the dead, then Woddy and his mates are in hot water, to say the least.