Image Credit: Munawar Hosain/Fotos International/Getty ImagesAfter a very brief return to New York City for 2009’s Whatever Works, Woody Allen has resumed his romance with the great cities of Europe. Midnight in Paris will premiere this May at Cannes, and he recently announced plans to shoot his next film in Rome. “It’s fantastic to have the possibility to work there,” Allen told the Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, “like when I shot Manhattan in New York, Match Point in London, and Vicky Cristina Barcelona in Barcelona. Each time, it’s like a declaration of love for certain places. I project onto the big screen my feelings for places which count a lot in my life.”
It’s also where the money is. Allen is a true independent filmmaker and he’ll go where he’s wanted and where he’s promised autonomy. He originally wrote Match Point to be set in New York, Long Island, and Palm Beach, but when pounds outweighed dollars, London became the new setting. Not for nothing, but that movie also made nearly three times as much abroad as it did in North America. We may think of Allen as an American cinematic treasure, but his recent films have been box-office hits in Europe while barely registering stateside.
But if Allen is a traveling gun for hire, willing to spin a tragicomic tale into a 90-minute infomercial for your city, there are a few American cities who should scrap together the spare change — about $20 million should do — and make a pitch. Hello, New Orleans? I mean, Allen plays in the New Orleans Jazz Band! Or, how about Trenton? I already have the title and plot for that one: Trenton Makes, The World Takes: The annual Washington-Crossing-the-Delaware reenactment celebration plunges into chaos when the British troops, led by the illegitimate son of the aging general, refuse to be surprised and instead sink the Americans in their dinghies.
In what city would you next like to see Allen’s magic unfold? And what city most needs it? Give me the best titles and pitches to bring Allen and his storytelling back to our shores.