The great Woody Allen was interviewed over the weekend in the Wall Street Journal, and the interview makes me think we could get him to make a movie here in Buffalo.
I am not sure if the WSJ lets non-subscribers in on its Web site, so I will cut and paste the parts that apply to us here in the Queen City.
How did you decide that you wanted to set your recent films in London, Paris, Rome or wherever?
Well, the Italians call and say, "We want to pay for it." It's strictly economics. It started with "Match Point." I wrote that film, and it was originally going to be about a family in New York, in Long Island and Palm Beach. But it was expensive to do in New York. And they called me from London and said, "Would you like to make a movie here? We'll pay for it." And so I said, "Yes." It was very easy to anglicize it. From then on, other countries call up and invite me to make movies, which is great because they don't invite me in the United States. What happens in Europe, in South America, in China and Russia—all these countries call me and say, "Would you make a movie here if we financed it?"
Do you think maybe Americans are loath to finance your films because you retain so much control over everything?
Yes, that's a big problem for me. Where it starts is that I feel I've been making films for years. They know what they're buying when they buy into me. I usually have a good cast of actors and actresses. They know that over the years, all of my films cost about $17 million or $18 million. They know that none of them are suddenly going to balloon to $25 million. They can rely on a good cast. And they know I'm not going to do like a medieval religious movie or something like that. So they know what they are buying. But I don't let anybody read a script, so that's an immediate deal breaker for 95% of them.
All this makes me pretty hopeful!
Buffalo would not have a problem with his artistic control, would we?
We would let Woody Allen do whatever he wants, as long as he is here! And now I think we could get him here. I had not realized things were that simple. Darn, I once actually got to interview Woody Allen in New York. I did not think to ask him about this, or I could have gotten the wheels turning a long time ago.
Think of what it would mean. You always hear about Woody Allen's movies being "a love letter" to this or that city. His latest, "To Rome With Love," is described as, you guessed it, a love letter to Rome.
His movie here could be a love letter to Buffalo! Surely he would recognize and appreciate the unique nature of our town, not to mention its sheer beauty. Plus, he always has great casts with unusual people. (In the interview he talks about how he wanted to offer parts to such people as Tonya Harding and Princess Diana.)
C'mon, we can raise the money. It's not that much, compared with other things we spend money on. And even if we can't raise it, we can spend it. You know us.
All our various boards and committees should get on this at once.
Make it happen!
-- Mary Kunz Goldman
taggedFilm | Movies