View Full Version : Woody Allen Defects to London

May 12th, 2005, 03:33 PM
Allen gives London starring role

CANNES, France (Reuters) -- Woody Allen in London? "Mr. New York" making a film about rich British people?

Incredible as it may seem, the American director who gave his beloved Manhattan a supporting role in many of his films strayed across the Atlantic for "Match Point", which was warmly received at its world premiere on Thursday in Cannes.

Allen said it was a desire to get away from intrusive Hollywood studios and pushy U.S. film executives rather than any larger political reasons that led to the decision to move his latest film to Europe, where he has long been hugely popular.

"Match Point", a dark thriller starring Scarlett Johansson, is set in London's high society.

"I did the film in England because it's increasingly difficult to get financing in the United States," Allen told a news conference at the Cannes Film Festival.

"It's become more and more prevalent for (U.S.) studios and financiers to participate in the project. They don't want to be thought of as just a bank. They want to have a say in casting and read the script, and occasionally come to the set. I can never work like that. I don't let people read scripts."

Allen, who does not appear in the film that he wrote and directed, then paused before deadpanning:

"I want the money in a brown paper bag and to give them the film a few months later, and that's that.

"In London, that's the way it was," said Allen, 69, who plans to make another film in London this summer after that encouraging experience. "There's no rigmarole from people who want to participate."

With partial backing from BBC Films, "Match Point" is about lucky or unlucky bounces in life. A struggling young Irish tennis instructor is drawn into an upper-class world and starts a dangerous affair with his brother-in-law's fiancee, Johansson.

Although filled with amusing moments, the film veers darkly towards a tragic conclusion. Then the tennis instructor, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, gets an incredibly "lucky bounce" when a key piece of evidence spares him from his due punishment.

As with his New York films, Allen gives London a supporting role with shots of the giant Tate Modern art gallery, Millennium Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral, St. James's Park and the well-heeled Belgravia district.

Allen had his own "lucky bounce" with the casting for the role Johansson eventually played, to critical acclaim in Cannes.

He originally cast Kate Winslet. She later backed out, but Allen then discovered that he did not have to have an all-British cast for tax and financing reasons.

"I thought everybody had to be British," he said. "I didn't think I had an option. Then we found out we met the 'British percentage' and had enough left over so we could use an American. Scarlett was available and it was good luck for me."

Allen said he thought Johansson was fantastic for the part.

"We can't afford to pay for anyone and we have a very democratic way of working -- no one gets anything," Allen said.

"She was willing to work that way because she was interested in working in a creative way rather than for the usual superficial rewards. I got a chance to hire her. I was very lucky that I caught her in between projects. The entire film is permeated with luck. It's all about luck."

Allen -- who added that he treasured the cool, damp and gray British summer weather compared to "the hot and oppressive" New York summer heat -- conceded that he was satisfied with the end product, for a change.

"My opinion is that this film came out pretty well," Allen said. "I'm usually a very harsh critic of my own films. This one I felt positively about. It was quite a bit of luck."

Rem 311 JHF
June 6th, 2005, 04:17 PM
To Some New Yorkers,Woody Allen has Contributed alot to The Film and TV Industry here Due to The Fact (That Like Spike Lee) He Films all of His Movies here in The City!!

But What The F$%# was It That He Wasn't Able to Find a Woman his Own Age That He had to Look to His Own Foster Daughter Soon Yi as His Wife?, My God!!.It's a Miracle That Mia Didn't Go Ballistic and Took a Knife (A La Lorena Bobbitt) and Cut His You Know What OFF!!. He's Very LUCKY,Very,Very LUCKY!!

June 6th, 2005, 04:31 PM
Please turn off the bold font. Your posts will get noticed without it.

June 9th, 2005, 09:27 AM
Please turn off the bold font. Your posts will get noticed without it.