Woody Allen isn’t joking much about death anymore, says Douglas McGrath in Interview. Black humor has long been a hallmark of Allen’s career, but now he’s 72, and death is no longer just the punch line of an existential joke. “There’s nothing good about getting older,” he says. “Absolutely nothing. Your body breaks down and you’re closer to death. So that’s an unbeatable combination.” Any advantages that age confers, he feels, are vastly overrated. “You do gain a couple of things—a little bittersweet and sour wisdom from your heartbreaks and failures. But what you lose is so catastrophic in every other way.” Allen still just can’t wrap his head around the finality of it all. “The whole thrust of science and the medical profession is to try to prolong life, to keep you from dying. But death is a no-win proposition. Because you know what happens? You die. I’m not a religious person, so you die, and then you disintegrate in one way or another—either you’re cremated or you decompose—and you’re gone. That’s it. There’s no other at bat. It’s one strike, and you’re out.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- Alien conspiracy theorists think the government is on the verge of spilling big secrets
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- 7 health benefits of playing video games
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
Subscribe to the Week