Monday, September 4, 2023, 9:45 p.m.
Amidst protests, the American director Woody Allen presented his new film, ‘Stroke of Luck’, at the Venice Festival. The author of ‘Annie Hall’ arrived at the Lido to celebrate the 50th film of his long career at the 80th edition of the Mostra, where he was received by a series of banners written in Italian, French and English accusing the management of the contest of welcome “rapists”.
“There is an atmosphere of a witch hunt, where every man in an office who winks at a woman has to call a lawyer to defend himself,” Allen told Variety magazine. The New Yorker also had time in Venice to defend the president of the Spanish Football Federation Luis Rubiales, declaring to the newspaper ‘El Mundo’ that “a kiss is not a rape”.
Allen’s brilliant career as a filmmaker has been marred by allegations that he sexually assaulted his adopted daughter, Dylan, when she was seven. For decades, the filmmaker has denied the allegations, saying they were fabricated by Mia Farrow when she began her relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, another of her ex’s adopted daughters from a previous relationship. The facts, which came to light in 1992, were investigated by the police and a US prosecutor, who exonerated Allen.
The filmmaker, who has seen his career semi-cancelled due to these accusations, presented ‘Stroke of Luck’ assuring that he has had many failures throughout his career, especially in the last 25 years. “There is a small possibility that it could be a masterpiece, but I doubt it,” he ironized about the film, a drama of adultery and crime in a bourgeois environment, shot with the actors Lou de Laâge, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Schneider and Valérie Lemercier. . The film will hit Spanish theaters on September 29.
At 87, the director of ‘Manhattan’ and ‘The Purple Rose of Cairo’, four times Oscar winner, has been averaging one film a year since the 1980s, always gravitating towards an intellectual comedy, in which which analyzes human relationships with a bittersweet nostalgia where death and adultery often go hand in hand. «Adultery, death, relationships, are themes that appear in stories since the time of the Greeks. I want to give my works suspense by combining drama and comedy, that’s why I include those themes,” Allen revealed during the press conference in Venice. The director was received with applause by the journalists.
a wonderful marriage
“I’ve been very, very lucky all my life. I had two loving parents and good friends. I have a wonderful wife and marriage, two daughters. When I started making movies, all the people were excited about my work,” Allen told the media about his life and career. He also explained why his new film is shot in Paris and in French. «When I was younger, the films that impressed me the most were by European filmmakers: French, Italian, Swedish… We all wanted to make films like Europeans. I was going to make this film with two Americans living in Paris, but as it was my 50th film I decided to make it a love letter to Paris.”
When asked if he would do another movie in his hometown, Allen said, “I have a great idea to shoot a movie in New York. But until someone comes out of the shadows and tells me: we financed your movie without reading the script and without knowing the cast. If under those circumstances you give me your money and walk away, if some fool agrees, then I’ll make the movie in New York.”
On the other hand, the American director Sofia Coppola presented ‘Priscilla’ yesterday in Venice, in which she revisits the myth of Elvis Presley through her relationship with his wife, whom he met in Germany while serving in the military. She was barely 14 years old, he was 24.
The film is based on the memories of the wife of Elvis, whom she abandoned in the early 1970s, when the singer was already immersed in a self-destructive spiral of drugs. Priscilla is played by singer and actress Cailee Spaeny and Elvis by Australian Jacob Elordi.
The filmmaker greeted his arrival in Venice, where he was greeted with banners accusing him of being a “rapist.”
- Woody Allen
- Venice Film Festival