Woody Allen is an American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, jazz musician, author, and playwright. Allen’s distinctive films, which run the gamut from dramas to screwball sex comedies, have made him a notable American director. He is also distinguished by his rapid rate of production and his very large body of work. Allen writes and directs his movies and has also acted in the majority of them. For inspiration, Allen draws heavily on literature, sexuality, philosophy, psychology, Jewish Identity, and the history of cinema, among a wealth of other fields of interest.
“Comedy just pokes at problems, rarely confronts them squarely. Drama is like a plate of meat and potatoes, comedy is rather the dessert, a bit like meringue.”
Annie Hall (1977) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrxlfvI17oY&feature=related
Manhattan (1979) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuU6XU0_Gfs
Love and Death (1975) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbk9YFxRDqE
“I wish I hadn’t forgotten to buy condoms before we pitched a tent” - Vadym Vlasenko, (level 5 AEC) On dialogue with Alexander usuing ‘I wish’ structure.
“I admire your bed skills.” -Alexander Parfenchuk, (Level 5 AEC) On dialogue of ‘breaking up with another student in english.’
1. What’s your name? Séan Schermerhorn
2. Education: where and what did you study? I have not attended university.
3. Describe your hobbies or spending free time. Music; listening, studying, and playing. My interests consist mostly of jazz, free jazz, funk, soul, and punk rock. Reading, studying literature, predominantly that of the “classic” Russian novels, French existentialist literature, philosophy, cultural essays. I travel, dabble in various creative sources, write, cultivate ideas, and drink vodka.
4. How would you identify yourself? (nationality, religious group identity, subculture identity etc.) I’m a deep skeptic; I think that is my best feature. I don’t think any single or multiple “God(s)” exists and the world we exist is completely void of any cosmic meaning, such is contrary to most (if not all) religious doctrines. Needless to say, I am not religious. I owe much of my teenage years to punk rock, which consequently led my maturing interests to focus on philosophy, literature, and cultural theory. Intellectually speaking, I like to identify myself with the title of “an active pursuer of ideas” i.e. “the world is meaningless, why not move to Ukraine?” This title could dually be dubbed ‘artist,’ but that of an artist who acts through and pursues ones ideas on an experimental basis i.e. that of the above mentioned line, and not that of the traditional artist with a canvas and paint brush in hand. Ethnically, I belong to the Caucasian majority, being born in the US, I mark the box that says “US citizen“ when there is a question of peril, but as far as my family history goes, I’m largely ignorant. My forefathers came to the US mostly from Northern Europe sometime in the nineteen-century…. I think. Further being a US citizen, I’ve been privileged the rights of international travel, I like to say that “I hate my country, but I love my passport.” This is an idea of humorous extremity which I like to facilitate during the introduction process when living and traveling the rest of the world, for I am painfully aware of image that comes to mind when I a tell someone I’m from the USA. I have never felt any sense of nationalism with my birth land. That is not to say that I loathe it, but neither do I love it especially aside from the fact that it is my personal history; I’m indifferent to it. I could have just as easily been born in Turkmenistan and sacrificed myself for the cause of some religious extremism, but apparently that wasn’t in the cards, thus; Indifference. I feel privileged to have been born in a country where I have the right to an international passport, and I feel I’ve been further gifted the opportunity of deeming myself a ‘citizen of the world’ rather than the citizen of merely one country. I feel this notion strongly, and more and more so is this idea reinforced as I discover and learn more about global culture and the human community at large.
5. How long have you lived in Ukraine? Eight months, worsening lungs and a half broken liver.
6. Do you know Ukrainian? I study Russian, passively, barely. I aspire to one day read some of my favorite writers in their original language. Such is the reason I chose to study Russian rather than Ukrainian; nevertheless I am fully aware of the harmony and beauty of the latter.
1. What is globalization for you? Where is it seen the best, in what situations/countries/places? Globalization is the spread of mass culture, the assimilation of individual’s own traditions, culture, and values into a bigger melting pot where it is thereby largely compromised in the name of “establishing a global community of common interests.” It is a growing and evolutionary phenomenon as seen most popularly in areas of mass industrialization and capitalist development since the industrial revolution. The USA is a prime example of a nation where a multitude of ethnic backgrounds exist. Most commonly such individuals’ heritage is gradually compromised within a few generations of immigration to that of the dominant “white American culture,” religion, eating habits, and way of life. In the American Empire we proudly preach values of “freedom and equality,” but if one belongs to a religious or ethnic minority they will soon understand that actually the contrary of social acceptance exists for those seeking equal opportunity. On the subject, something that perturbs me is the Americanization of individuals identity, it begins with names such as “Andrei Aleksandrovich” to “Andrew Alexanders.” Furthermore, a plethora of the bastardization of name pronunciations exists such as “Bo-ris’” to “Bore-iz” or “Antonio” to “And-tony-oh.” Such is the willful ignorance of the cultural melting pot. Justice is neglected upon these individuals heritage, “they are now American; they shall have American names.” Specifically speaking, outside of the USA, “globalization” gives opportunity for a deeper understanding of the concept of common humanity; we all eat, shit, sleep, fornicate, and die. This gives way to a deep connection to one’s own humanity and ultimately cultivates compassion. For example, the simple realization of the fact that Ukrainians use brown stiff toilet paper, whereas Americans use soft triple layered paper which is white and fluffy to cleanse their arse. This makes me smile. We are not as different as we think, and to what superficially appears; we all suffer, we all love, smile, cry, have sexual urges, shit sitting down, enjoy eating McDonalds, and none of us really understands why we’re here or what to do with this absurdity.
2. What are the advantages of globalization? see above answer
3. What do you know about global financial trades? Not enough to subject myself to more than one sentence: Profitable exploitation on behalf of the bourgeoisie.
4. Describe your understanding an idea of Universal principles? Is it common for all people all over the world? Is it real nowadays? Where and when are they violated?
5. What is your attitude to your country? Describe your country and its politics. previously answered.
1. Do you define Ukrainian culture as European? Ukraine sits geographically between the East and the West, as such it is culturally exists in between.
2. Are you tolerant to other cultures? Not on Sundays.
3. Imagine that in your city there’s a big religious group, that practice female genital cutting and make ritual scarves. What is your attitude to this? Does it contradict the Universal principles? Does a universal principal exist that can put these practices into contradiction? I’m not sure, if there is, it is Man’s law, not God’s law. In most researched cases the example of the former is done under unsanitary conditions, dull and dirty glass for cutting, and the women are reported to so willingly, this is a problem of infection and disease, which can lead to death. I can only speculate at how I would react, it would take the actual event happening for me to say that I would walk away thinking there had been a “Universal Principal” violated. For example, if the women were tied down, and the procedure was done forcefully and violently, and was traumatizing for me, yes alas, I would concur. On the contrary if the event happened to take place ceremoniously with celebration, and all parties were happily willing, I would call the culture backwards and leave as soon as possible. In our sad, miserable, lonely world there should be a Universal Principal that exists that all of us have the right to pleasuring ourselves through sexual intercourse, and playing with ourselves.
1. What is your opinion to Barack Obama? He’s the first African American president of the US, good. He has a decent agenda leaning left (for US standards,) but I don’t think he’ll actually accomplish half the things he had ambitioned to, for The Right is at his throat at every breath. During his campaign those who supported The Right, who probably also voted for Bush (twice) took to the streets to demonstrated against Obama. First of the outrage were signs saying he was a communist, next were those with an illustrated mustache in the style of Hitler on his portrait. The US has a long way to come in terms of education; knowledge of the world around it, it’s place in the world (which is not #1!) mainly the rest of the human community around the world.
2. Are you interested in the US political life? I don’t have hope in the current US predicament; I can’t imagine living there in the state is in today. It is deeply disheartening. I am not interested.
3. Is the USA is a good example of multiculturalism? If it isn’t, describe why?Previously answered
4. What do you suggest about Ukrainian politics? Less corruption, more democracy.