Wednesday, May 5, 2021

WOODY ALLEN ON OLD AGE, DEATH AND THE EARLIER STUFF

May 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Woody Allen, generally regarded as the quintessential New York movie director, told a news conference at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday why he now prefers to make his movies in London. “The films I do in London, I could make in New York,” he said. “It’s just less expensive to do them there.” Allen also seemed to suggest that the settings of his films were far less consequential than the actors appearing in them. “The trick in making these films is to be a good hirer,” he said. Bring together a talented cast, he said, “and you can’t go that wrong.” His policy: “Hire the right people, give them the responsibility and then keep your mouth shut — and pick up your paycheck.” He also revealed why he now rarely appears in his films: age. In his earlier films, he observed, he was able to play the romantic lead, something he can no longer do at the age of 74. “It’s no fun not playing the guy who gets the girl,” he said. Nowadays, he quipped, he’s just “the old guy over there in the corner [who’s] the director.” Asked whether the title of his new movie, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, referred to “the grim reaper,” Allen said that it was intentionally “ambiguous” but had both a literal and a figurative meaning — and, yes, the figurative meaning was death. “How’s your relationship with death?” a reporter bluntly asked. Allen parried, “My relationship with death remains the same. I’m strongly against it” (bringing a roar of laughter from the assembled reporters). The same for old age, he indicated. “I find it a lousy deal,” he said “There is no advantage in getting older. You don’t get smarter you don’t get wiser. … It’s a bad business getting old, and I would advise you to avoid it.” In fact, Allen didn’t have many good things to say about living, either. “I have a very grim, pessimistic view of it,” he said. “I do feel it’s a grim, nightmarish, meaningless experience.”