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Woody Allen, Mia Farrow and what popular culture wants to believe

But at the heart of the matter were these two stories. Until very recently, audiences preferred one that allowed Allen to continue making films, films in which comparatively helpless young women willingly entered into relationships with older, more powerful men.

This summer and last fall, when my marriage imploded very quietly, I spent the little free time I had jogging in the park near my Brooklyn apartment, trying, I guess, to understand my own story, 3.3 miles at a time. While I was running I listened to “You’re Wrong About,” an irreverent and sharp podcast that often talks about maligned women from the 80s, 90s and 00s – Anna Nicole Smith, Tonya Harding, Janet Jackson, Monica Lewinsky, a half – dozen more.

These stories have a wide variety of hairs in terms of individual guilt, but in any case, popular culture has found a way to blame the woman, often to excuse a more blameworthy man. Take, for example, Janet Jackson’s Nipplegate, a scandal that never touched Justin Timberlake. Or Monica Lewinsky, described as a slut, as if it somehow reverses the outrageous imbalance of power in Bill Clinton’s relationship with her. It is reminiscent of another lesson I learned from the media of the ’80s and’ 90s: the only good victim is a perfect victim. Otherwise, it was probably his fault.

This particular narrative reappears in the recent documentary “Framing Britney Spears”. This film shows the turn-of-the-century media panting to tell the story of a star acting inappropriately, a party girl going wild when she should have been at home. “Britney: Out of Control,” read a cover of Us Weekly. Who is in control? Ideally, the tabloid framing poses the Spears spiral to its own bare feet. It avoids attacking the people who hold real power, magazine editors and record label executives who shaped, monitored and profited from its image.

I asked Sarah Marshall, journalist and host of “You’re wrong”, why popular culture likes to portray women as accomplices and deserving of contempt. “It justifies subjugating them,” she said. “If women are randomly slaughtered for possessing what we consider to be an alarming degree of power, even if they don’t, then maybe they will be more afraid of the way they are. ‘exercise.

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Allen v. Episode 2 recap. Farrow: a torn family

At the end of Episode 1 of “Allen v. Farrow, ”the HBO documentary series that investigates decades-old sexual abuse accusations of Woody Allen’s adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, the family has just begun to face the revelation that Mr. Allen and Soon- Yi Previn were involved in a secret relationship.

In January 1992, Mia Farrow, Mrs Previn’s mother and Mr Allen’s girlfriend, discovered nude photos of Ms Previn, who was then in college, in Mr Allen’s apartment.

The second episode examines the fallout from this discovery and Dylan Farrow’s claims that her father sexually assaulted her in August 1992, when she was 7 years old.

After the premiere of the first episode, a spokesperson for Mr Allen and Ms Previn, who have been married for over 20 years, released a statement saying the show was “riddled with lies” and suggesting that the filmmakers did not have them. given sufficient notice. to answer. The publisher of Mr. Allen’s recent memoir, “Apropos of Nothing,” also objected to the inclusion of excerpts from the audiobook, which he said were used without permission.

The filmmakers said in a statement Wednesday that Mr. Allen and Ms. Previn were approached in December and had two weeks to confirm their interest in an on or off camera interview. A representative confirmed receiving the request but did not respond, the statement said.

Mr. Allen has denied ever having been sexually inappropriate or abusive towards Dylan Farrow.

Here’s what we saw on Sunday night, in Episode 2.

This episode, using interviews with reporters and clips from Mr. Allen’s films, explores Mr. Allen’s attention to the romantic relationships between older men and younger women.

In addition to the films with this theme that have been produced (“Husbands and Wives”, “September”), the episode takes into account those which did not make it to the screen and which reside in the archives of Woody Allen at the ‘Princeton University. The archive contains several versions of film scripts and idea pages with notes in the margins. Richard Morgan, a freelance reporter who has examined the Washington Post archives, said in the documentary that this reveals a “focus” on “very young women.”

The episode includes an interview with Christina Engelhardt, a woman who says she started a relationship with Mr. Allen when she was 17 and in his early 40s. Ms Engelhardt, who was a model as a teenager, said she believed their relationship was the basis of ‘Manhattan’, Mr Allen’s acclaimed 1979 film, which centers on a romance between a high school student and a man – played by Mr. Allen – who is older than his father.

She says in an interview with the filmmakers that her relationship with Mr. Allen, which she said lasted until the age of 23, “wreaked havoc” on her, affecting her subsequent relationship. She says the experience also made her a “watchful mother.”

After Ms Farrow finds out about Ms Previn’s nude Polaroids, the family is in shock. Daisy Previn, one of Mrs. Farrow daughters, recounts how she told her sister, Soon-Yi, that she needed to come back to the family – that their mother would forgive her – and how Soon-Yi went in another direction, to Mr. Allen.

Ms Farrow recalls a moment she was “not proud” of during this time: she found Soon-Yi talking to someone on the phone and, assuming it was Mr. Allen, Mrs. Farrow said she “jumped on it.” slapping Soon-Yi on the side of the face and on the shoulder. (In 2014, Moses Farrow, Mia and Woody’s son, told People magazine that his mother bullied the children and hit him. Moses, who sided with his father in saying he did not did not believe Dylan had been assaulted, did not participate in the docuseries.)

A portion of a recorded telephone conversation between Ms. Farrow and Mr. Allen from the summer of 1992 is included in the episode. Ms Farrow says she decided to tape it because she believed Mr Allen had already recorded one of their phone calls. During the conversation, Ms Farrow and Mr Allen discuss what they should tell the media if his relationship with Ms Previn becomes public.

Fletcher Previn, one of Ms. Farrow’s older children, tells filmmakers that during this time her opinion of Mr. Allen changed dramatically.

“He went from being a father figure to being a predator that we need to keep out of the house and protect ourselves,” Mr. Previn said.

Amid this chaos, the family drove to their Connecticut country home, and despite the split between Ms Farrow and Mr Allen, he had the legal right to see Dylan and Moses Farrow because he had adopted them. in 1991.

The episodes include a mix of interviews and court testimony from those present on August 4, 1992, the day Dylan Farrow says her father assaulted her. Mia Farrow had gone to the store with Casey Pascal, a family friend whose children and babysitter were at home that day. Sophie Bergé, a French tutor staying with the family that summer, said Mr Allen arrived while they were shopping.

On that day, there were about 20 minutes that Dylan Farrow could not be found, according to 1993 testimony in the custody case of Kristi Groteke, the babysitter of the Farrow children. Ms Groteke told the court she searched the whole house for Dylan but couldn’t find her.

When Ms Farrow and Ms Pascal returned home, Ms Farrow said she noticed Dylan was not wearing any underwear and asked her babysitter to buy a new pair.

On August 5, Ms Pascal said she called Ms Farrow to tell her that the Pascals’ babysitter Alison Stickland had witnessed something bothering her: Dylan Farrow sitting on the couch, with Mr. Allen kneeling, his head buried in his daughter’s lap.

Ms Farrow tells the filmmakers that when she asked her daughter what had happened, Dylan confirmed that Mr Allen put his head on his knees and he also took her to the attic and touched her ” private parts”. Ms Farrow says she decided to film her daughter’s story because she wanted to talk to Dylan’s therapist, who was away for the summer.

This sequence, which is shown publicly for the first time in this series, later became the subject of controversy: some thought it was clear proof that Dylan Farrow was telling the truth, while others saw it as proof that Mrs. Farrow had trained her. girl on what to say.

In the video, Dylan Farrow says that in the attic, her father told her, “Don’t move, I have to do this,” and that if she stood still, they could go on a trip to Paris.

Dylan Farrow, now 35, says in the documentary that she remembers during the assault she focused her attention on her brother’s train.

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Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn call HBO Docuseries a ‘shoddy hit’

Shortly after the premiere of the first episode of “Allen v. Farrow, ”an HBO documentary series that re-examines Dylan Farrow’s sexual abuse allegations against filmmaker Woody Allen, his adoptive father, a spokesperson for Mr. Allen released a statement Sunday night criticizing the series, calling it of “poor quality hit”.

Letty Aronson, Mr Allen’s sister, sent the statement – attributed to a spokesperson – shortly after the first episode aired, on behalf of Mr Allen and Soon-Yi Previn, the filmmaker’s wife and Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter. In 1992, Ms Farrow, Mr Allen’s longtime girlfriend, learned of Mr Allen’s relationship with Ms Previn while Ms Previn was a freshman at university. This relationship is also scrutinized in the four-part docu-series.

Neither Mr. Allen nor Ms. Previn participated in the series, but it does include audio clips from Mr. Allen’s recent memoir, “Apropos of Nothing.”

“These documentary filmmakers had no interest in the truth,” the statement said. “Instead, they spent years surreptitiously collaborating with the Farrows and their enablers to put together a hatchet job riddled with lies.

On Monday, the publisher of Mr. Allen’s memoir Skyhorse raised another objection to the series: that the filmmakers had used clips from the audiobook without permission. In a statement, Skyhorse president and editor Tony Lyons said the “unauthorized” use of the audio in the first episode was “a clear and willful violation of existing legal precedent.”

Mr Lyons said in the statement that the filmmakers had not applied for permission to use the clips and that the publisher learned late last week that the episodes “extensively” use the audiobook. The publisher’s attorney informed HBO on Friday that “if the use of the audiobook was pretty much what we heard it would be copyright infringement,” he said.

The brief was originally scheduled to be published last year by Grand Central Publishing, a brand of Hachette Book Group, until dozens of Hachette employees staged a walkout in protest and the publisher gave up. About two weeks later, his book was published by Arcade Publishing, a brand of independent publisher Skyhorse.

Responding to the publisher’s objections, an HBO spokeswoman provided a statement from the filmmakers, saying, “The creators of ‘Allen v. Farrow ‘legally used limited audio clips of Woody Allen’s memoir in the series under the fair dealing doctrine. The doctrine was invoked to allow artists and journalists – including documentary filmmakers – to use limited amounts of copyrighted works for certain purposes, including using the material to illustrate an argument or to serve as a subject for criticism.

Episode 1 includes in-depth interviews with Mia Farrow and Dylan Farrow, who accused Mr. Allen of sexual assault when he was 7. It also included interviews with family and friends who said that even before August 4, 1992 – the day Dylan Farrow says Mr. Allen assaulted her – they had witnessed Mr. Allen towards his daughter whom they considered inappropriate.

Mr Allen has long denied the abuse allegations, arguing that Mia Farrow trained Dylan to make the allegations after learning of his relationship with Ms Previn.

In Sunday’s statement, Mr. Allen continued to deny the allegations.

“As has been known for decades, these allegations are categorically false,” the statement said. “Several agencies investigated them at the time and found that whatever Dylan Farrow may have been led to believe, no abuse had ever taken place.”

In later episodes, the series raises questions about one of those investigations, in particular: a report released by the Yale Child Sexual Abuse Clinic, at Yale-New Haven Hospital, which revealed that Dylan had not been assaulted by anyone after questioning the child. nine times in a seven month period. According to the series, all interview notes from those sessions were destroyed when the final report was released.

Attorneys in Connecticut, where Dylan Farrow says Mr. Allen sexually assaulted her, refused to prosecute Mr. Allen in 1993. The state attorney said he did so to spare Dylan the trauma from a trial but believed she had been assaulted.

The statement said Mr. Allen and Ms. Previn had been approached about the documentary less than two months ago and had “only had a few days” to respond. He also said that it was “sadly not surprising” that HBO is airing the series, given a production deal with Ronan Farrow, Dylan Farrow’s brother, who has spoken on behalf of his sister, y included in the series. (Mr. Farrow, an investigative reporter who has talked a lot about sexual misconduct, has made a deal with HBO to create special investigative material, though he’s not on the production team of ” Allen v. Farrow. ”)

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Allen v. Episode 1 recap.

The first episode of the four-part HBO documentary series “Allen v. Farrow ”debuted Sunday night, providing a fresh examination of Dylan Farrow’s decades-old sexual abuse allegations against filmmaker Woody Allen, his foster father.

When Ms Farrow was 7, she accused Mr Allen of sexually assaulting her at the family’s Connecticut country home on August 4, 1992. Mr Allen has long denied the allegations, which were at the center of a bitter battle for custody. between Mr. Allen and Mia Farrow, the powerful Hollywood couple who have made 13 films together.

Mr. Allen’s relationship with Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn is also at the heart of the series. About seven months before the day Dylan Farrow says her father assaulted her, Mia Farrow discovered nude photographs of then-freshman Ms Previn at the university in Mr Allen’s apartment.

Beginning in 1992, there were several years of focused media attention on the family amid the custody battle and authorities’ investigations in response to Dylan Farrow’s account. Mr Allen has long argued that Mia Farrow trained Dylan to make the allegations after learning of his relationship with Ms Previn, whom he married in 1997. Although a Connecticut state attorney refused to prosecute Mr. Allen, saying he wanted to spare Dylan the trauma of a lawsuit, he said he believed she had been molested.

Almost three decades have passed since the accusations surfaced, but the convoluted saga has repeatedly come back and become the subject of debate – most recently during the #MeToo movement.

This series, created by documentary directors Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering, and Amy Herdy, features lengthy interviews with Dylan and Mia Farrow, as well as Dylan’s siblings and family friends. It includes footage of Dylan Farrow at age 7 telling his mother, who is behind the camera, what she says her father did to her in August 1992 – a videotape that had never been released before. Letty Aronson, Mr Allen’s sister, who is currently handling publicity requests for him, declined to comment on the documentary.

This sequence does not appear in the first episode, which explores the beginnings of Ms. Farrow’s relationship with Mr. Allen and observations on how Dylan became the subject of his father’s “intense affection”.

Here’s a recap of what we saw on Sunday night.

The series opens at a 1992 press conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, in which Mr. Allen defends himself against the abuse allegations and accuses Mia Farrow of inciting them.

But the episode quickly moves away from the narrative of Mr. Allen, who was not on the series but whose perspective is often captured by audio clips from his recent memoir “Apropos of Nothing.” He turns to adult Dylan Farrow, now 35, who is seen leafing through a family photo album.

Texas-born, adopted baby Dylan Farrow recounts a ‘idyllic, most of the time’ childhood, describing what it was like to be the child of a famous Hollywood actress and director: Memories of stumbling around the movies backdrops like a child, being in private planes for family vacations, swimming in “chic” hotel pools – all of this is illustrated by home video footage taken by Ms. Farrow as her children were growing up.

But beneath the surface of this bustling, unconventional family – nine children, cared for by single movie parents – things were complicated.

The episode looks back at the beginning of the romance between Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, from their first meeting at Elaine’s, the Manhattan restaurant, in 1979. Mrs. Farrow recalls how the couple turned on their lights from the windows of their apartment. visible to each other from Central Park. The signal was a way of saying “I love you,” she said. Hanging a red towel by the window meant “I love you very much.”

Despite the fact that Ms Farrow already had seven children – three biologically with her then-husband André Previn and four of them adopted – she said she was okay with Mr Allen telling her that he had “no interest in children.”

But gradually Mr. Allen began spending more time with the children at the Connecticut home and his apartment in the city, forging a particularly strong bond with Moses Farrow, whom Ms. Farrow adopted after her divorce from Mr. Previn.

When Mrs Farrow wanted to make the family even bigger, she said, Mr Allen told her that he still didn’t want to be responsible for his own child but that he “might be more willing if he did. was a little blond. daughter. ”Ms. Farrow ended up adopting Dylan, who quickly became the subject of Mr. Allen’s affections. Two years later, Ms. Farrow had a son, Ronan Farrow, who was originally named Satchel. (Ms. Farrow a suggested later in a 2013 interview with Vanity Fair that Ronan may have been Frank Sinatra’s child, not Mr. Allen.)

In 1991, Ms. Farrow accepted a family dynamic that would shape the legal conflict in the years to come: Mr. Allen adopted Dylan Farrow and Moses Farrow.

The heart of the first episode is a series of interviews with members of the Farrow family and friends, some of whom have never spoken publicly, who say they witnessed behavior by Mr. Allen towards Dylan Farrow that they felt was inappropriate or made them uncomfortable.

Dylan Farrow said she had memories of lying down with her father – both in their underwear – and he wrapped her around her “very intimately”. Family friend Priscilla Gilman, who became close to the family while dating Matthew Previn, one of Mia Farrow’s eldest sons, recalled that she saw Mr. Allen in this situation, get out of bed in underwear. Ms Gilman, who often spent time with the children, said she had also seen Dylan Farrow sucking Mr Allen’s thumb. (Ms Gilman said Mr Allen told her that sucking her thumb calmed her daughter, but adult Dylan Farrow now sees a violation, recalling that her father specifically told her how to do it.)

Mia Farrow’s sister Tisa Farrow said in an interview that she once saw Mr. Allen’s hand linger “suggestively” between Dylan Farrow’s buttocks when applying a screen solar.

Mia Farrow, who remembers seeing Mr Allen kneeling in front of their daughter or sitting next to her with her face on her knees, said she had at one point confronted what she had witnessed, saying she wasn’t “comfortable with the way you handle her and look at her.” She said Mr. Allen got angry and ended up apologizing profusely. But then a respected psychiatrist from Ms Farrow’s apartment building, Ethel Person, called to tell him there was something ‘tramp’ about the way Mr Allen greeted Dylan Farrow. Mr. Allen then agreed to see a psychologist.

The psychologist said she saw Mr. Allen being “excessively intense” with Dylan Farrow. But, Ms Farrow told the filmmakers, the therapist didn’t believe the behavior was sexual – even though viewers or the child herself might perceive it as sexual.

In an interview with the filmmakers, Dylan Farrow said she loved her father but received “intense affection all the time”; people around her, including Ms Gilman and her brother Ronan, noticed that she often wandered away or tried to hide when Mr Allen called her or entered the room.

“Over time, Dylan went from being an extrovert and effervescent and chatty to her having that sadness and quality withdrawn,” Mr. Farrow said in an interview with the filmmakers.

Mr Allen has denied ever having been sexually inappropriate or abusive towards Dylan Farrow, instead describing himself in his own writings as an initially reluctant father who surprisingly fell in love with his daughter and liked to shower her with affection. In part of her memoir which was included in the episode, Mr. Allen wrote, “I adored Dylan and spent as much time with her as possible since she was a child. I played with her, bought her endless toys, dolls, stuffed animals, my little ponies.

Then, in January 1992, came the discovery that changed everything. Ms Farrow said she went to Mr Allen’s apartment to retrieve a coat and found racy Polaroid photos of her college-aged daughter Ms Previn next to the phone.

Ms Farrow said she remembered putting the photos in her pocket and leaving, in shock. Upon her return home, she said that she had confronted Ms. Previn. (Ms. Previn did not participate in this documentary.)

Dylan Farrow’s therapist advised his mother to tell the children about the photos, Mia Farrow said. She was reluctant, but she did, and Dylan Farrow said it was the first time she realized she might not be the only one receiving her father’s behavior, saying that ‘she thought to herself,’ Oh, it’s not just me. “