It’s old news that the increased presence of high-profile film stars in TV land is just another not-so-subtle sign of the recession in action: Those usually used to a fat paycheck from the film studios have had to think out of the box — or rather, right into it, as have 2012 Emmy nominees Glenn Close of Damages, Kathy Bates of Harry’s Law and Steve Buscemi of Boardwalk Empire, to name just a few. But their presence is also a sign of another larger shift in the entertainment media landscape, one that has also been in development for a while now: The boundaries between the kind of content on TV and in film may be disappearing altogether.
2011 marks the 20th anniversary of Woody Allen’s SHADOWS AND FOG, meaning, among other things, that the prolific filmmaker has made 20 films since (actually, he’s made 21, but who’s counting?). In 1989 Allen made the much-loved CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS, followed by the slightly less loved ALICE, and then SHADOWS AND FOG, which was, unfortunately, even less of a hit amongst audiences. The early 90s New York Times film critic Vincent Canby actually ended his review with a ridiculous “note of caution: SHADOWS AND FOG operates on its own wavelength. It is different. It should not be anticipated in the manner of other Allen films.”
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, Woody Allen’s latest film starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, and Marion Cotillard, opened in the U.S. on Friday May 20th. The film, a romantic comedy set in Paris, is Allen’s forty-first feature film and his sixth film shot in Europe since 2005.
In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, Gil (played by Owen Wilson) is on vacation in Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her parents. From the outset, their polar opposite views on Paris are apparent: Gil, a successful Hollywood screenwriter, has a romantic view of the city while Inez, more comfortable with her California lifestyle, sees it as just another place in the world. After dinner with Inez’s overbearing friends Paul (Michael Sheen) and Carol (Nina Arianda), Gil calls it a night as they hit a club. Lost and a little drunk, Gil finds himself on a quiet street as the bells strike midnight. When a car pulls up filled with English speaking revelers, Gil is pulled into their party and circumstances that he never could have imagined.
This is Allen’s second film in Paris, the first “Everyone Says I Love You,” included Paris in only a portion of the film, but MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is Allen’s cinematic love note to the city.
From the film’s press kit, “Of course I’m partial to New York because I was born there and grew up there,” he says, “but if I didn’t live in New York, Paris is the place I would live.” This feeling echoes the sentiments of the film’s main character, Gil, who looks back with regret on an opportunity he had to move to Paris twenty years earlier but didn’t take. Allen himself had a similar opportunity during the filming of WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT in the 60’s. “It was an adventure that was too bold for me at the time. In retrospect I could have stayed, or at the very minimum taken an apartment and divided my time – but I didn’t and I regret that.”
Allen sat down with reporters to discuss MIDNIGHT IN PARIS at a press conference for the film on May 17th in New York.