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Woody Allen Pans Columnist

Publicity-shy Woody Allen says reporters who personally dislike him have given his movies poor reviews.

"If the writer goes in not liking you, they can write negatively about you," Allen said in the current issue of Indie, a subscription-only magazine about independent films.

Allen, who rarely gives interviews, took aim at New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, saying she wrote a scathing review about Deconstructing Harry because "she doesn't like me."

Dowd dismissed the movie in a Jan. 11 column as "a tiresome Manhattan whine" told from the perspective of a "weaselly, overcivilized, undermoralized, terminally psychoanalyzed terminator" of a character.

"She's not a film critic. Why does she go to the movies to see my films? She goes only so she can write something nasty," he said.

Dowd did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

Allen, 62, also said he cannot understand the preoccupation of the press with his relationship with former lover Mia Farrow and Farrow's adopted daughter, Soon-Yi.

"I could never understand the morbid fascination with my private life: before I met Mia, after I met Mia, when I got married (to Soon-Yi), when I work. You know, everything little thing I do," he said.

On another subject, Allen said his casting of Leonardo DiCaprio in Celebrity, set to open next year, was "fortuitous."

DiCaprio appears in only 12 minutes of the movie, but could help pull in a larger audience than the filmmaker has experienced with his recent movies.

"I needed a guy who could play a young, good-looking celebrity," he said.

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