BFG Podcast #101: ‘Beau Is Afraid,’ Woody Allen Shut Out of Cannes, and Defunding Libraries

Our critics break down the culture, across the ideological spectrum

An interesting mix of topics and points of view highlights this week’s episode of the BFG podcast. Host Neal Pollack welcomes Sharyn Vane to talk about the somewhat sinister trend of conservative legislators and legislatures trying to defund libraries. Sharyn says this is an extension of the movement to keep kids away from sexualized literature, particularly literature about transgendered culture and politics. But public libraries are a non-ideological good that provide multiple public services to people of all ages, politics, and walks of life. Surprise surprise, we are against defunding them.

We’re also against the idea that people should ban or refuse to screen the films of Woody Allen. But the Cannes Film Festival has decided to do just that with Allen’s latest film, Coup de Chance, which he shot in Paris, starring a cast entirely of French actors. Michael Washburn stops in to say “we’re seeing a lack of moral courage on the part of the festival’s organizers.” Neal and Michael discuss the modern films of Woody Allen, but the politics of his lingering abuse scandal, however exonerated he might be, continue to hover over his career. Maybe Book and Film Globe will host a screening of the movie when they get the chance!

Finally, it’s time for Stephen Garrett to appear, reviewing the movie of the week, Ari Aster’s ‘Beau Is Afraid,’ a deeply bizarre psychological comedy about maternal obsession, neurosis, and anxiety, starring Joaquin Phoenix. Stephen admires Ari Aster’s “original vision,” but says “it just doesn’t gel”. Neal calls it the “ultimate Jewish theater kid with mommy issues movie.” If you want to see Ari Aster’s id on the screen, this is the movie for you. It is not the movie for us, particularly.

Enjoy our show.

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