NEW YORK – Virtually ignored in the US and as he prepares to shoot his fiftieth film, Woody Allen is about to give a book of short stories to the press for the first time in 15 years. “Zero Gravity”, which comes out tomorrow simultaneously in Italy with Elisabetta Sgarbi’s La nave di Teseo, suggests in the title that “writing is not to be taken seriously, but as with all true humor, not all laughter is weightless”. “Park Avenue, upper floor. Sell or throw away” (on the carelessness and greed of real estate agents), “Mad Cow”, “A touch-up doesn’t hurt anyone”, “Almost Rembrandt” (in which a horse paints pictures at oil and risks becoming famous), these are some of the titles of the collection which is the fifth for Woody after the classic “Revenge” of 1971, “Senza Feather”, “Collateral Effects” and “Pura Anarchy” of 2007, while two years ago the autobiography “About Nothing” has been published.
The director, who is back in the US after the flashback of the accusations of his adopted daughter Dylan of having molested her as a child (relaunched by the explosive documentary on Hbo “Allen vs. Farrow”), collects songs published in the “New Yorker “and eleven other short stories created specifically for the book dedicated with irony to the daughters Manzie and Bechet (” who grew up before our eyes using credit cards behind us “and to his wife Soon Yi:” If Bram Stoker had known you, he would have known how to write a sequel. “
His friend Daphne Merkin, always with him even in the most recent storm, wrote the preface, recalling Allen’s best lines which, whether they come from movies or books, are still rooted in our culture. “Allen hasn’t lost an iota of his ability to have fun. In these times, one of the few reliable remedies for gloom and despair is humor. Never before is it important to get clowns out on the track,” Merkin wrote. . Among the titles, in addition to “Fare la nanna concette di pollo” and “When the emblem on the hood of the car there is Nietzsche”, the collection includes a long and intense short story which, explains the friend Daphne, represents “the quintessence of Allen’s style, in his mixture of romantic lightness and astonished disbelief in the face of ‘a world made for him to never get over it “. Woody’s alter ego this time is 21-year-old Jerry Sachs, and the love story involves a purple-eyed girl named Lulu who is writing a thesis on Rilke: since it’s an Allen story, happiness doesn’t last long. There’s a quick dig into the ‘woke’ culture, and Hollywood, with its illusory luxury and phony hierarchies, is not spared. In the US “Zero Gravity” is published by Skyhorse, a publishing house that in recent years has made it a point of honor to publish “untouchable” authors: besides Woody Allen, also Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen and the writer ( and failed biographer of Philip Roth) Blake Bailey, accused of rape.