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The Reluctant Film Art of Woody Allen$
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Peter J. Bailey

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813167190

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813167190.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 17 October 2019

That Voodoo That You Do So Well

That Voodoo That You Do So Well

Mighty Aphrodite

(p.215) 16 That Voodoo That You Do So Well
The Reluctant Film Art of Woody Allen

Peter J. Bailey

University Press of Kentucky

The good-feelings aura of Manhattan Murder Mystery was undermined by the lack of any real creativity in that movie; the Greek chorus framing Mighty Aphrodite and thematically connected to its search for origins makes it a more compelling comedy. Mighty Aphrodite dramatically opposes Allen’s pessimistic perception of human life with his desire to make movies that provide the condemned with consolatory laughter, the Greek chorus transforming itself from a prognosticator of dark fates to celebrants of “that voodoo that you do so well.” Heredity proves to be other than deterministic in Mighty Aphrodite,which offers as benignly comedic a validation as Allen could manage to create on film of his much-quoted self-justification during the tabloid wars, “the heart wants what it wants.”

Keywords:   Oedipus the King, Agon, Cassandra, fatality, Dithyrambs, Oprahesque kibitzing of the chorus, Greek Theater, “When You’re Smiling”

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