I am not a fan of Woody Allen. Neither him personally nor his movies. So while I’m clearly biased against him and his work, I still found the trailer for Cafe Society particularly egregious.
Man, do I hate this trailer. I hate the number of actors involved in this shitshow of a project who I very much like (Really, Corey Stoll? Really?). I hate Kristen Stewart’s nearly incoherent word salad justification in a Variety interview as to why she and Jesse Eisenberg decided it was cool to work with an accused child molester/ verified creepy son of a bitch:
“I was like, ‘What do you think? We don’t know any of these people involved. I can personalize situations, which would be very wrong.’ At the end of the day, Jesse and I talked about this. If we were persecuted for the amount of shit that’s been said about us that’s not true, our lives would be over,” Stewart says. “The experience of making the movie was so outside of that, it was fruitful for the two of us to go on with it.”
If it’s not true, then Woody’s been put through a real hard time? But none of that really matters because they’re just there for the artistic experience of it? She wouldn’t want to personalize any of this because somehow the possibility of identifying with the victim and not the perpetrator would somehow be “wrong”? Yeah, nothing rape culture-y about that rationalization.
But what I hate about this trailer in particular is the glamorous way that whitewashing has been implemented. Did you check out that whole trailer? Because it’s a lot of white people. They manage to work in a few black people during the jazz club scene because … that’s where black people lived in the 1930s? Other than that it’s white face after surprisingly whiter face. And please don’t start with the “historical accuracy” argument. There was an explicit racism and segregation in the 1930s that doesn’t occur today, but people of color still lived in both LA and New York at the time.
And the lack of representation of anyone other than white people is only half of problem. The depiction of white people and “white people” society is arguably a bigger problem. The summary describes the film as “a glittering valentine to the movie stars, socialites, playboys, debutantes, politicians, and gangsters who epitomized the excitement and glamour of the age.” Ah yes, those carefree, exuberant days of the 1930s. When all you needed was a dream, a nepotistic in at one of Hollywood’s biggest studios, a lack of debilitating poverty/ hunger, and either a penis or killer rack. We’ve got a star-studded, big studio movie that flagrantly misrepresents the most devastating period of the past century as being better and less diverse than it actually was, and then we’re shocked when assholes say they liked America better when it was whiter?
In short, fuck off, Woody Allen. You suck and your movies suck.