New Woody Allen film, 'Rifkin´s Festival' stars Christoph Waltz
Woody Allen is back and busier than ever. His Jazz band are doing a sell out European tour, he's directed his first opera and he has just begun work on a new film which has been backed by a Barcelona-based company called Mediapro. The new film is called Rifkin's Festival it stars the brilliant German-Austrian Christoph Waltz (who has won many a Bafta, Golden Globe and Academy Award) plus Spanish actors, Elena Anaya and Sergi López plus longtime collaborator Wallace Shawn as well as Gina Gershon and Richard Kind (who have both appeared in Curb Your Enthusiasm). The director of photography on the film is Vittorio Storaro who is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential cinematographers of all time. Storaro worked on both Coppola's Apocalypse Now,Bertolucci's The Last Emperor, and Last Tango in Paris.
Recently I've noticed more and more of Woody's friends and fans saying good things about him. These days it's news when Charlotte Rampling says her experience of making Stardust Memories was entirely positive: "we had this wonderful, platonic playfulness, constant playfulness" journalists assume she would want to distance herself from him. Likewise, much was made of Jude Law's comments about it be being "a shame" A Rainy Night in New York will be released in Europe but not America. Personally I was thrilled when I saw Woody's cheeky tribute to Diane Keaton a few year's back as it was clear there was still life in the old dog.
Scarlet Johansson was seen dining with Woody in Come Prima on Madison Avenue in May of last year. Allen directed her in 3 movies; “Scoop,” “Match Point” and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” Scarlet on Woody: "“I would sew the hems of his pants if he asked me to.”
Anjelica Huston collaborated with Allen on two of his his films, “Crimes and Misdemeanors” in 1989 and “Manhattan Murder Mystery" in 1993. Recently she told Variety magazine she would work with Woody again "in a second".
Posey Parker worked with Woody on Irrational Man. She told the Guardian that when she got told she'd been given the job she was so happy she burst into tears. In more recent interviews to promote her memoirs she has been quoted as saying, "Woody is a very talented, intuitive auteur and I think he knows intrinsically how to direct and how to push to the performance he wants. The roles he’s written for women are some of the best."
Kate Winslet was brilliant in Woody's 2017 flick Wonderwheel. She told the Sydney Morning Herald that she loved Woody's scripts... "I think on some level Woody is a woman. I just think he's very in touch with that side of himself. He understands the female characters he creates exceptionally well... His female characters are always so rich and large and honest in terms of how they're feeling and he just knows how to write dialogue for them to communicate all that."
Catherine Deneuve said in a recent interview with Paris Match that if Woody offered a role, she’d take it in a minute. She continued, “I would love to work with him, he is a man of immense talent,”
Miley Cyrus who worked with Allen on the series, Crisis in 6 Scenes, told Variety that she thought Allen was "an incredible person and an incredible Dad". Interestingly in the same interview she revealed that a framed photo of Woody Allen had been one of her most precious possessions for many years.
Alan Alda who has appeared in 1989’s Crimes and Misdemeanors, 1993’s Manhattan Murder Mystery, and 1996′s Everyone Says I Love You was asked about Woody in January of this year.He told reporters, “I’d work with him again if he wanted me... he’s an enormously talented guy.”
Ray Liotta was asked in June of this year which director he would drop everything to work for and straight away he answered: Woody. When pressed about the allegations made against him by the Farrow family Liotta added, "I believe what he says. I don't think he did what they accuse him of. He's too — for his particular case I don't buy it."
Alec Baldwin, who worked with Allen on Blue Jasmine and To Rome With Love and Alice has also defended the director on Twitter and in interviews. Baldwin claims the three times they've worked together were "privileges"
Javier Bardem is another actor keen to speak up for Wood: "At the time I did Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the allegations were already well known for more than 10 years, and two states in the US deemed he was not guilty. If the legal situation ever changes, then I’d change my mind. But for now I don’t agree with the public lynching that he’s been receiving, and if Woody Allen called me to work with him again I’d be there tomorrow morning. He’s a genius.”
The Wit and Wisdom of Woody Allen.
1) "As a child I attended an interfaith camp where I was sadistically beaten by boys of all races and creeds.”
2) "The man who said "I'd rather be lucky than good" saw deeply into life. People are afraid to face how great a part of life is dependent on luck."
3) "If my films don't show a profit, I know I'm doing something right."
4) "God is dead, Marx is dead, and I'm not feeling too good myself."
5) “I’ve never felt Truth was Beauty. Never. I’ve always felt that people can’t take too much reality. I like being in Ingmar Bergman’s world. Or in Louis Armstrong’s world. Or in the world of the New York Knicks. Because it’s not this world. You spend your whole life searching for a way out. You just get an overdose of reality, you know, and it’s a terrible thing.”
6) "I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. That's the two categories. The horrible are like, I don't know, terminal cases, you know, and blind people, crippled. I don't know how they get through life. It's amazing to me. And the miserable is everyone else. So you should be thankful that you're miserable, because that's very lucky, to be miserable."
7) "If my film makes one more person miserable, I'll feel I've done my job."
8) "There's an old joke - um... two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of 'em says, ‘Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.’ The other one says, ‘Yeah, I know; and such small portions.’ Well, that's essentially how I feel about life."
9) "Those who can’t do, teach, and those who can’t tech, teach Gym."
10) "I'm not saying I didn't enjoy myself, but I didn't."
11) "The most beautiful words in the English language aren’t ‘I love you’ but ‘it's benign.’"
12) "80% of success is showing up."
13) "Between the Pope and air conditioning, I'd choose air conditioning."
14) "You know a lot of geniuses, y’know. You should meet some stupid people once in a while, y’know, you could learn something."
15) "That's why I can't say enough times, whatever love you can get and give, whatever happiness you can filch or provide, every temporary measure of grace, whatever works. And don't kid yourself. Because its by no means up to your own human ingenuity."
16) “I'm not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there when it happens.” ...
17) “My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.”
18) "I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it’s the government."
19) "Life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates bad television."
20) "“Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too soon.”