«Enough cinema»: the farewell (without heirs) of Woody Allen

from Maurizio Porro

The decision is becoming more and more plausible, after the troubles passed in recent years and the difficulties in obtaining funding for new films

Interviewed yesterday by the Spanish newspaper “LaVanguardia” on the occasion of the release of his short story book “Zero Gravity”, Woody Allen, born in New York on December 1, 1935,
has announced a willingness to retire from the cinema
and devote himself to writing, thus returning to the origins. “Wasp 22”, which will start shooting in France in two weeks, will be his 50th and last title and should recall the Dostoevskian existential thriller atmosphere of “Match point”.

“I’ll make another film and retire to write novels,” said the director much loved in Italy, who is often a guest in Venice. A resolution that the famous author-actor, 4 times Oscar, with 24 nominations, of films such as “Manhattan”, “Me and Annie”, “Blue Jasmine”, “Zelig”, “Radio days”, “Crimes and misdeeds”, to name but a few, he had already announced on other occasions. A retreat which, however, is now becoming more and more likely and imminent
after the troubles passed in the past years
. Allen has increasing difficulty in setting up new projects that he has often carried out in Europe, between France, Spain and even Italy, in Rome, because he has lost the American market that has turned its back on him.

Much of the enthusiasm has disappeared – he said -. Once, when I made a film, it went to the cinema all over the country. Now you make a movie and it stays in theaters for a couple of weeks, or four or six and then you end up streaming or pay-per-view. It’s not the same, it’s not as pleasant for me, I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to, it was a great feeling to know there were 500 people to see it. I don’t know how it makes me feel now to make films. I’ll do another one and see how I feel ». Probably this bewilderment is common to many authors linked to theatrical distribution as the only element of the destiny and fortune of a film, which today instead passes through other channels, in a moment of transition.

Woody’s latest title will all be shot in Paris where yesterday the director moved, finally calm, with his family to shoot this latest work which he described as «exciting, dramatic and also very sinister» and also «a poisonous romantic thriller». But it doesn’t seem true that there will only be one Woody Allen film, the 50th of him, and that’s it. Closed the game. We miss him already now, and we will miss him a lot in the future because he leaves no heirs. Yet in the interviews he always said he was waiting to make a really great movieso far unhappy with himself.

In an interview, the actor, who has been silent for some time also due to the well-known family events that for years have upset his life and cracked his popularity after a long legal battle with his ex-wife Mia Farrow about his

alleged attentions dedicated to daughter Dylan
(also ended up in an HBO miniseries), an accusation from which he was then completely acquitted, reiterated that he was in the final game and that he will devote himself to writing. He will therefore return to his first love when his story began writing lines for comedians in cabaret, stand up comedians and radio. All things that he has told with spirit in his biography «About nothing» and in the collection of humorous stories «Zero gravity», successfully released in Italy for «La nave di Teseo».

It is not the creative vis that is extinguished, these are the last years lived on the barricades: the fact that “A rainy day in New York” did not come out in America and not even the film shot in Spain, in San Sebastian, “Rifkin’s festival” (gross of only $ 2.3 million), on the other hand, titles distributed in Italy, which has always been, with France, its true “homeland” and where it has garnered the greatest consensus. And then there were many actors who even renounced having acted with him – most recently the popular Timothée Chalamet – and it was increasingly difficult to have funding that Allen was now only finding in Europe and no longer in America, where only in big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia his works had a diffusion, despite the Oscars won for the direction of “Me and Annie” and the screenplay of “Midnight in Paris” and “Hannah and her sisters”.

Let’s hope for an afterthought because Woody he had accustomed us well since ’69 with “Get the money and run”, his auteur debut, even though “The dictator of the free state of Bananas” was released first in Italy and the public had begun to know him as a young actor in an «apocryphal» version of the agent 007 series «Casino Royale» and «Hello, Pussycat». We hope that the return to Paris, the city he loves, also reconciles him with the set and is just a moment of despair.

September 18, 2022 (change September 18, 2022 | 22:26)

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«Enough cinema»: the farewell (without heirs) of Woody Allen

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