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August 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, who has been courting Woody Allen for the past four years in hopes of persuading him to make a film in his city, now says he’ll pay “whatever it takes” to do so. “I’ll pay 100% of the production,” Eduardo Paes told Sunday’s O Globo newspaper. In 2009, Paes met with Allen’s sister, Letty Aronson, and his agent/executive producer, Stephen Tenenbaum, and together they reportedly scouted possible production sites in Rio. At the time, the English-language Rio Times reported that the two said that it would cost $20 million to produce an Allen-directed film in Rio. A Brazilian-funded Allen film does not have universal support in the country, however, Brazilian director Cavi Borges wrote in Rio’s Jornal do Brasil newspaper that giving Allen public funds to make a movie in Rio was “incoherent.” He added, “If he likes the city and wishes to show Rio in his film, why not do it with his own money?” But Mayor Paes said on Sunday that he would put up with such criticism. Two years ago Allen told Britain’s Guardian newspaper that the 19th-century Brazilian novel The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas by Machado de Assis was among his top-five favorite books. “You would’ve thought he wrote it yesterday. It’s so modern and so amusing. … It was about subject matter that I liked and it was treated with great wit, great originality and no sentimentality.”