Filmmaker Woody Allen is often praised for his witty dialogue and the A-list ensemble he manages to collaborate with in each of his features. Allen’s features, however, are also blessed with a beautiful visual sense. During what some may considered his creative peak, Allen extensively worked with cinematographer Gordon Willis (Annie Hall, Manhattan, Broadway Danny Rose). Allen’s work with Carlo Di Palma was also revered thanks to their work on Hannah and her Sisters, Bullets over Broadway,and the criminally underrated Shadows and Fog.
Allen’s latest director of photography choice is Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now, Reds), and Storaro’s painterly, golden light was evident in last year’s Cafe Society and now with Wonder Wheel.
Click on the media bar to hear Allen discuss working with Storaro, who’s considered one of cinema’s most talented cinematographers:
Wonder Wheel, starring Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake, is now playing nationwide.
Filmmaker Woody Allen’s latest New York story is set in 1950s Coney Island, as Wonder Wheel centers on a waitress named Ginny (Kate Winslet) who’s trapped in a loveless marriage with a carousel operator (Jim Belushi). Justin Timberlake plays Mickey, a lifeguard and wannabe playwright who seemingly offers Ginny a way out of her melancholy state of mind.
“I was just overwhelmed by the magnitude of all these characters,” said Winslet, who was recently seen opposite Idris Elba in The Mountain Between Us. “In particular Ginny, the character I play – she’s so multi-layered and very rich and complex and emotionally very powerful.”
The project reteams Allen with acclaimed cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now, Reds), as they recently worked together on Café Society. Click on the media bar to hear Allen talk about the Coney Island that is envisioned in Wonder Wheel:
Wonder Wheel, co-starringJuno Temple, opens nationwide December 1.
Various Woody Allen films have placed one foot firmly in the past (Radio Days, last year’s Café Society), and now Wonder Wheel takes a look back at 1950s Coney Island.
The story centers on the inevitably intersecting lives of an ex-waitress turned actress named Ginny (Kate Winslet), her rough and tumble carousel operator spouse Humpty (Jim Belushi), Humpty’s estranged daughter (Juno Temple), and a wannabe playwright (Justin Timberlake). Along with Allen’s continuing employment of a stellar ensemble, the director again teams with renowned cinematographer Vittorio Storaro(Apocalypse Now, The Last Emperor) for his latest feature. Storaro and Allen worked together on Café Society.
We’ve interviewed Allen over the years, and one of his many wonderful insights has his talking about why the advantages of fame outweighs its eventual price. Click on the media bar below to hear Allen:
Wonder Wheel opens in select theaters December 1. Check out the trailer below and leave us a comment!
Written and directed by Woody Allen,Café Society centers on Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg), a Bronx raised man whose journeys through Los Angeles and back to New York leads to romances with two vastly different women (Kristen Stewart,Blake Lively).
While promoting the film at the Cannes Film Festival, the filmmaker offered up his thoughts on fame. “There are great upsides to it and great downsides to it,” said Allen. “My own opinion, after years in the spotlight is that the perks far outweigh the downsides. Celebrities often kvetch about the lack of privacy and being bothered by paparazzi and things like that. These are not life threatening problems and they get enormous advantages as they go through life. So the perks are much more advantageous than the downsides.”
Click on the media bar below to hear Woody Allen discuss his thoughts on fame and how Jesse Eisenberg was perfect for the lead role in Café Society.
Café Society, which also co-stars Steve Carell and Corey Stoll, opens July 15.
Greta Gerwig stars in writer/director Rebecca Miller’sMaggie’s Plan, a New York set comedy that is a welcome change of pace from her previous work (The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, The Ballad of Jack and Rose). Though Miller’s dramas are arresting in their own right, it’s wonderful to see Miller bring a lighter touch with her latest effort.
Maggie (Gerwig) has a solid career in education and her ethical and focused manner has put her in good stead. Her main desire is to have a family, and her “plan” is to have a pickle business owner (Travis Fimmel) serve as her sperm donor. Complications arise when she falls in love with a self-absorbed anthropology professor (Ethan Hawke) who’s married to an ambitious and exacting academic (a scene stealing Julianne Moore).
The film, which subtly pays homage to Woody Allen’s own New York stories, opens in New York and Los Angeles May 20, and during this week’s press conference I asked Gerwig about her own intentions to direct (she’s writing and directing the feature Lady Bird).
“I knew that there were people who directed,” said Gerwig, who also co-directed the 2008 movie Nights and Weekends with Joe Swanberg and co-wrote the Noah Baumbauch directed Frances Ha and Mistress America. “I knew there were women who directed. It was not like I didn’t know that it existed. But I think in absence of any examples it’s very hard to imagine yourself doing it.”
Click on the media bar below to hear Gerwig talk about how Rebecca Miller has inspired her as a director.