Maybe it’s because I’m a New Yorker at heart that I find Woody Allen interesting. He reminds me of all those dear Jewish friends and eccentric characters with whom I grew up. And there may be another reason. Common to most of his screenplays is concern for understanding and coming to terms with eschatological reality. In other words, Allen raises the questions for which the gospel of Jesus Christ provides answers. Here is one such Allen statement from a 1977 edition of Esquire Magazine.
“I always see the death’s head lurking. I could be sitting at Madison Square Garden at the most exciting basketball game, and they’re cheering and everything is thrilling, and one of the players is doing something very beautiful — and my thought will be: ‘He’s only twenty-eight years old and I only wish he could savor this moment in some way, because, you know, this is as good as it’s going to get for him.’ . . . The fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless. As Camus wrote, it’s not only that he dies or that man dies, but that you struggle to do a work of art that will last and then realize that the universe itself is not going to exist after a period of time. Until those issues are resolved within each person — religiously or psychologically or existentially — the social and political issues will never be resolved, except in a slapdash way.”
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).
1. Woody Allen, quoted in Frank Rich, “Woody Allen Wipes the Smile off his Face,” Esquire, May 1977, page 75. HT Ray Ortlund