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Why Woody Allen made Match Point in London


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#1 Robert Edge

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 10:58 AM

This morning, a US programme called Breakfast with the Arts aired a lengthy interview with Woody Allen about his new film Match Point.

Allen said that he intended to make the film in New York and that the script was written accordingly.

Why the change? He said that there are several US production companies that want to work with him, but he doesn't want to work with them. He said that US producers are not content to be financiers, but rather fancy themselves, erroneously, as filmmakers, and that they insist on interfering with the script, casting, etc. Allen said that European financing is put together in a way that gives a director much more independence, and that this led him to shoot the film in London.

Given Allen's history, this doesn't make any sense unless US production companies have indeed become more controlling, to the point where Allen won't put up with it, or Allen has become less tolerant of interference.

I was just struck by the fact that he was so blunt, essentially saying that he made the film in London because he couldn't get sufficient creative control to make it worth his while to make the film in his home town.

Has anyone seen Match Point?
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#2 Dickson Sorensen

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 11:45 AM

I saw Match Point last night. What can I say? Once again Woody Allen has made a masterpiece. I can't tell you how many times I have seen one of his films and walked out of the theatre and said, "this is his best film ever." His ability to change genre is amazing. This is not a Woody Allen film as you know them, more like Hitchcock or Sidney Lumet.

One question for anyone out there who has a really good eye.

The opening scene is a tennis ball going back and forth over the net. In the theatre I was in the ball had some sort of weird motion blur. It looked almost like two balls, one following the other very closely. I know from my own experience that shooting a small object moving at a right angle to the lens can be problematic. Did any one else notice or find annoyance with it and what happened?
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#3 Robert Edge

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 07:33 PM

Allen spoke as a man who is very confident about his film.

He chose a reputable weekly programme for a rare interview and he had some fairly hard-nosed things to say.

He said that he wrote the script with the intention of making the film in New York, and that the differences between the original script, given what he considers to be major similarities between New York and London, including class differences, are "cosmetic".

He said straight out that the film was shot in London because he concluded that he would have more artistic freedom there, and he referred specifically to what he called the "studio system" in the US. I don't know whether he was using the phrase "studio system" literally, but it was clear what he meant figuratively.

It was also clear that he was being deliberate in his remarks. The one thing that wasn't clear was whether Breakfast with the Arts did the interview themselves or whether the show was airing an interview done by someone else. The interview did not fit their normal format.

Allen was also highly effusive about the talent and work ethic of the UK actors that he worked with, right down, as he put it, to actors who had one line.

He was quite obviously expressing reservations about making films in the US at the moment. Whether one agrees with him or not, and whatever one thinks about him, one has got to admire Allen for speaking his mind.
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#4 Max Jacoby

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 04:48 AM

He shot his subsequent film in the UK as well. So folks, from his interview you can gather that not everyone in the UK is like Phil Rhodes. :-P
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#5 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 04:53 AM

the beginning of the film shows why he shot it in London

BBC and Lottery Film Fund

my 2 cents

Rolfe
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#6 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 09:09 PM

I'm sorry - but I thought the film was awful. Badly cast, directed and acted. Maybe it's because I live here and found the dialogue strange, I don't know. It just felt wrong all the way.
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#7 Robert Edge

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 12:05 AM

These comments from him sound a bit strange to me


I spend a lot of time in New York. I love the city and i'm a fan of some of Allen's films, especially Interiors.

As you probably know, the interview was aired on a New York based programme that is aired nationally and, for that matter, internationally. He didn't have to say what he said. His comments were deliberate.

I suppose that one can take what he said at face value or suggest that he has a hidden agenda.
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#8 Dominic Case

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 12:20 AM

Maybe it's because I live here and found the dialogue strange

Haven't seen it yet - but the Guardian newspaper wasn't impressed with its authenticity either:-

"But the problem with Match Point is that the dialogue is composed in a kind of Posh English that Allen seems to have learned from a Berlitz handbook."

"Allen's Brit-dialogue sounds clenched, stilted and occasionally plain bizarre."
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#9 Robert Edge

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 12:36 AM

[quote name='Dominic Case' date='Jan 16 2006, 10:20 PM' post='84909']
Haven't seen it yet - but the Guardian newspaper wasn't impressed with its authenticity eitherquote]

I wonder what this means. If one reads Allen's short stories, it is clear that he has never been concerned with "authenticity" of dialect, and I certainly wouldn't call the language of his New York films natural. Mark Twain, he ain't, and has never been.

On the other hand, he said during the Breakfast with the Arts interview that the actors in Match Point were given a great deal of room to improvise their dialogue. If that is true, one has got to wonder, given that the actors are Brits, and talented, what it means to say that the dialogue is "inauthentic".

Like Dominic, I haven't seen the film yet, but I am curious about it.
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#10 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 09:23 AM

Haven't seen it yet - but the Guardian newspaper wasn't impressed with its authenticity either:-

"But the problem with Match Point is that the dialogue is composed in a kind of Posh English that Allen seems to have learned from a Berlitz handbook."

"Allen's Brit-dialogue sounds clenched, stilted and occasionally plain bizarre."


Good to know I wasn't the only one. :)
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#11 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 09:20 PM

You've got to imagine what it's like to know Woody Allen, and then consider working for the man. I couldn't imagine it.

I understand where he is coming from. This was a film that didn't include an appearance from him ( was upset with that, but he wouldn't have fit), so he was indeed directing every scene.

The man knows what he want's and he should be respected for that.

Working with "producers" that don't know poop about film, except that they make money, is poop.

I wasn't happy with this film, as compared to Annie Hall or Manhattan, but this is a different kind of Woody Allen Film.
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