Characters: Irrational Man

Allen has gotten considerably better as he’s aged. I’m not a fan of the early stuff. Blue Jasmine, though, was a stunner.

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“Professor Lucas has careened headlong into nihilism, taken to drink, lost his sense of purpose and meaning in life, and become creatively blocked, impotent and suicidal, (at one point playing Russian Roulette with a loaded pistol at a student party), all the while spouting pithy quotes from Continental philosophers Sartre, Kierkegaard, Kant and Heidegger, a heady combination his students and co-workers clearly find quite romantic and downright irresistable. Despite being preceded by a wicked reputation as a womanizer, it seems Abe had always as a younger man wanted to do good, selflessly volunteering to help others after natural disasters and being an activist for those things he truly valued and felt passionately about. But then something happened. There are hints provided that he has been severely traumatized by life, having lost his mother to suicide when was twelve, later being betrayed and abandoned by his wife and best friend, and, perhaps the final straw, having another close buddy blown up by a landmine in the Middle East. These are existential crises, major losses, from which he evidently never recovered, but rather resulted eventually in a profound frustration, anger, rage, embitterment toward life, existential despair and morbid depression.”

Woody Allen’s Existentialism: Irrational Man


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