Monday, August 18, 2008

Woody Allen To Set A Film In Ireland?

The Times just posted an article about how Woody Allen would jump at a chance to shoot a film here in Ireland!
Woody Allen has said he would jump at the chance to make a movie in Ireland if he was to receive financial backing to shoot here.

In what amounts to a clear come-and-get-me invitation to the Irish Film Board, the director of Manhattan and Annie Hall, who is a regular visitor to Sligo, Kerry and Wicklow, describes Ireland as beautiful.

“If I got the offer of financing, I wouldn’t hesitate to go and make a movie in Ireland,” said Allen, 72, in an interview with The Sunday Times. “Ireland is a place I would not have a problem living in for the couple of months it took me to make the film.

“The light is so beautiful, you know right away you’re going to get a beautiful film. Those grey skies and the terrain: Ireland is one of those places that lives up to the hype and is as beautiful as everyone tells you it is.

“Ireland is a misty and isolated place. You really have to have the right story for it but it’s a great atmosphere.”

Allen’s latest movie, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, was shot in Spain. The film is an erotic story about young Americans Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) who spend a summer in Catalonia where they become involved with an intense painter (Javier Bardem) and his disturbed wife (Penélope Cruz).

The movie is like a love letter to Barcelona and it’s likely to have the effect of attracting even more visitors and film-makers there.

The director made similarly complimentary remarks about Britain when he moved there from Manhattan four years ago. He said that he loved filming in Britain because of the creative freedom and the “beautiful” grey skies. He also praised London’s landmarks such as the Gherkin and the London Eye.

Last year he left the UK and followed the money to Spain. Allen is an astute businessman who has always played by his own rules, and has raised his own finance outside the Hollywood system. For years he set most of his work in New York, but then he was approached with an offer of finance from London. The BBC put up a large part of the budget for both Match Point and Scoop, both shot in Britain.

“When I did Match Point, I thought I was going to shoot it in New York, but London called and said ‘we’d like you to make a picture’ so I changed it around,” said Allen.

“After that they financed Cassandra’s Dream and then a company in Barcelona called and asked if I would film there and they would finance it. Since the financing came so fluidly and had no strings attached, I felt it was a great opportunity.”