WOODY ALLEN’S CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (1989) AND MATCH POINT (2005)

Crimes And Misdemeanors (1989 Woody Allen)

In 1935, Peter Lorre (in one of his few great roles) seared the screen as Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment (Josef von Sternberg directed, unevenly). Woody Allen is too original to give us a direct adaptation of his literary hero, but he certainly utilizes a   Dostoyevsky diving board  for his own Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), just as he did (in parody) in Love and Death (1975).

Crimes And Misdemeanors (1989 Woody Allen) Martin Landau

Judah Rosenthal (Martin Landau) is a phenomenally successful Manhattan ophthalmologist having an extramarital  affair with flight attendant Dolores (Anjelica Huston). It’s his first affair, and it turns out to be brief and tragic. Judah consults with both his blind rabbi best friend Ben (Sam Waterston) and his mafioso brother Jack (Jerry Orbach). Both give contrasting advice, as expected. As he did in 1986’s Hannah and Her Sisters, Allen utilizes a large ensemble cast here, interweaving character narratives. Allen himself plays Cliff Stern; a serious low-budget documentarian who, through family connections, has been commissioned to make a promotional film about smug television producer Lester (Alan Alda).

Crimes And Misdemeanors (1989 Woody Allen) Alan Alda

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HEART OF THE BEHOLDER (2005) & THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST (1988)

Heart Of The Beholder (2005) poster

In 2005, Ken Tipton made a labor of love, an indie film called Heart of the Beholder, regarding the true story of the initial video release of Last Temptation of Christ and the effects it has on a family who owned a small video chain in St. Louis, Missouri during the 1980s.

Heart Of The Beholder (2005) screenshot

The CFD, Citizens for Decency, arrived when the owners of the chain chose to carry  Martin Scorsese’s controversial film.  These God-loving red, white and blue, flag- waving Americans came out in droves to harass, bully and literally threaten their employees, family, business and life.

Heart Of The Beholder (2005)

These are the same Americans who undoubtedly burned Dixie Chick albums when that group criticized God’s ambassador here on earth, little George W, and are the same Americans who still visit the Heart of the Beholder website telling Mr. Tipton and company that they are going to  hell while undoubtedly pleasuring themselves at the thought of the filmmakers frying for all eternity. Heart of the Beholder is a damned important, desperately needed film.

Heart Of The Beholder (2005) poster.

Although Heart of the Beholder received positive reviews and even won some festival awards, predictably, no distributor would touch it.  One would surely think that the making of the film would have brought in some support, perhaps from Temptation‘s producers, Scorsese, etc.  However, even in matters of something this vital, money talks.

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