Why do you like Woody Allen's films

Woody Allen: "Men are quick to find something that excites them"

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Are Woody Allen Comedies Out of Time? In case of A Rainy Day in New York the suspicion arises not only because the film, like one of its two main characters, Gatsby (Timothée Chalamet), seems to prefer the past to modern times. What is more irritating is the look at his girlfriend Ashleigh (Elle Fanning), the naive young reporter who makes the tired hearts of several men race on a trip to New York. All of these men, such as a director in crisis (Liev Schreiber), work in the film business.

One could therefore believe that Woody Allen had already made a strange reference to the MeToo debate with the film. But it is more the other way around, as the film itself was gripped by the turning point of the movement when his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow made her accusations in a commentary in the Los Angeles Times renewed. The film was dropped by the Amazon studio and is now delayed in theaters in Europe. We met the director in Paris.

DEFAULT: Timothée Chalamet, star of your film, and actresses like Greta Gerwig have declared that they no longer want to play under your direction. How do you react to that?

All: These are all free people who can say what they want. You need to look closely at the situation and then evaluate it. And realistically.

DEFAULT: They obviously made that. How do you deal with that? Do you feel like a victim of a moral crusade?

All: No not at all. I consider myself lucky that I can continue to make films. I've just finished another one with Christoph Waltz in a smaller role, a wonderful actor.

DEFAULT: The circumstances don't affect your job at all?

All: No, the work and the writing have always been tough. I lock myself in a room and think about a new film. This is the toughest phase. I have to come up with a plot. It has always been difficult, no less now than it was then. At the same time, I love this work. It doesn't have to be a film at all. But as long as you give me money for it, I'll keep going. Otherwise I just write for the theater or a book.

DEFAULT: With the MeToo movement, one of your classics, "Manhattan", began to be discussed controversially. One clashes in the depiction of the affair of a 42-year-old man with a 17-year-old woman.

All: That too is entirely up to them. If I Manhattan I didn't like him too much myself, by the way. I didn't even want to bring him out. I wasn't a big fan, couldn't share people's enthusiasm. But it hit a nerve with people, generated a positive response, which of course made me happy. However, I told United Artists that I was unhappy about the film and I even offered them to make another film for free. They said I was crazy.

DEFAULT: Why were you so dissatisfied?

All: He could have gotten better. He could have explored the relationship more tenaciously. There were certain jokes that I didn't like that much. I didn't hate him, but I thought I didn't give enough. That’s what happened to me with some of my films. I liked few Match point, Midnight in Paris. Or The Purple Rose of Cairo, Bullets Over Broadway - they started with a great idea and it worked. That was often not the case. Even with Hannah and her Sisters I was dissatisfied.

DEFAULT: In A Rainy Day in New York tell of a blonde student who comes to New York and falls into a shark tank there. All men desire them. Is that how you see the world of film?

All: I've seen her more as a character coming to New York and everyone falls in love with her.

DEFAULT: Did you look at her through romantic glasses?

All: The director is inspired by her and wants to move to France with her. It's the same with the author, she saves his day. The actor wants to go to bed with her. You love her spiritually and emotionally - she's a big hit. Just not with Gatsby.

DEFAULT: There is a strange standard situation where she runs away with a trench coat - she has nothing on underneath.

All: She is torn about whether to go to bed with the star. In today's world she would. He's too charismatic to resist. She probably thinks she can tell her grandchildren about it. But overall, it's not just about sex, the other two see it more as inspiration. As someone who has a fresh, unspoiled view of life.

DEFAULT: But can that still be told today with such a supposedly innocent look?

All: Men flirt with women. It always was, always will be. Women will want that too, they will continue to like it. Men are more sexually aggressive. They find women beautiful, they quickly find something that excites them. It might be her intellect, it might just be looks, or it might be what she represents. When you see a woman at a party, it's first appearance that you look for. Then you go to her, speak to her, and then she can still turn out to be a failure.

DEFAULT: Her main character is called Gatsby, has Salinger traits and prefers women who talk back boldly. Why these literary connections?

All: Because they're two important New York writers. I love Fitzgerald and Salinger, they cover two different ages. I wanted to conjure up a nostalgic New York. Gatsby is a character who would rather live in the past. He loves old music and what the city used to be like. Salinger falls into a similar category, he also wrote about the Manhattan Gatsby lived in: the Upper East Side.

DEFAULT: Nostalgia seems important to you. You can see that in the way Vittorio Storaro puts New York into the picture.

All: I have a tendency to film cities romantically. Spike Lee's New York is of course different. I see it idealized. Even a rainy day cannot harm the city with the colors and the light I choose. Many would see it differently. They would curse them for not getting taxis. (Dominik Kamalzadeh, December 5, 2019)


Woody Allen and his relationship with Amazon

A Rainy Day in New York was the first work Woody Allen directed for Amazon under a high-profile four-film deal. After Allen was accused again by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow of sexually molesting her in the course of the MeToo movement in 2017, Amazon withdrew from the contract and no longer released the film. The company sued all of them for $ 68 million, and an out-of-court settlement was only reached in early November. At the time of the interview, Allen was not allowed to talk about Amazon.

In the case that allegedly occurred in 1992, the investigation against Allen was dropped. It's one word against the other. Unlike in the past, however, Allen is now socially ostracized for this in the USA. His older films are also being discussed anew, but the fact that actors like Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Hall have announced that they no longer want to shoot with him will weigh more heavily on the director. (came)

Woody Allen (84) is a New Yorker, director and writer.