Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season

Woody Allen Talks The Inspiration Of Italian Cinema For 'To Rome With Love'

The Playlist By Gabe Toro | The Playlist June 21, 2012 at 1:59PM

“With Woody Allen, you have someone who is responsible for more memorable moments than anyone who’s ever been involved in films,” says Alec Baldwin, one of the stars of “To Rome With Love,” who joined various cast members and the director in New York City to talk with press with about the film. The 42nd film of the career of the writer, director and legend, Allen doesn’t have to go far to find an exciting collaborator like Baldwin, who bluntly says, “When he calls you and asks you to come and do this, if you’re available, you go.”
2
To Rome With Love, Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg

Allen also sought inspiration from older films, with one in particular. “One of the films that I was thinking of was one of my favorite Fellini films, ‘The White Sheik,' ” Allen offers. Suggesting that he was subconsciously borrowing from films from the Italian masters, he says, “I love the film so much, that stuff creeps into your pores and you do it without even know you’re doing it.”

Penelope Cruz stars in the film as Anna, a feisty call girl and a font of advice for an engaged Italian on vacation. In speaking a language that was not her native tongue, she also sought very specific inspiration. “There were things about [Pasolini's] ‘Mamma Roma’ that were in the back of my head with this role,” she says, citing the Italian neo-realist classic. “She’s a character that has no filter in her brain, and it’s so liberating and refreshing to play someone like that, and to be a part of this homage to Italian cinema.”

Allen also took this opportunity to return to acting, as he hadn’t been seen onscreen in one of his own films since 2006’s “Scoop.” In Allen’s typically modest, straightforward manner, he flatly states, “In the last half dozen scripts I wrote, there wasn’t been anything that I thought I could do.”

"I’ve been performing for years, I made my first film in 1968. I’ve always been open to acting in other peoples’ films, but no one has ever asked me over the years,” he shrugs. “Two or three times I’ve been asked, and I always said yes.” Which explains his involvement in John Turturro’s upcoming “Fading Gigolo." “It’s shooting in New York City so I said sure, because no one ever asks me.”

While Allen’s role in “To Rome With Love” is in English, he had to direct the film’s many foreign language sequences, despite not speaking the local language. This has apparently never been a problem for Allen, who also worked with Penelope Cruz in her native tongue for “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” “I can tell acutely; you just see them acting, and they’re clearly convincing in their body language,” says Allen. “When I did ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona,’ Javier Bardem and Penelope were ad-libbing all over the place. I didn’t understand anything they were saying. To this day I have no idea what they were saying in those scenes. But it didn’t matter to me, I could see that they got it right, they were acting in the correct fashion for that moment. It was academic what the actual words were. The emotions were clearly correct.” Scoffs the prolific living legend, “I did three films in a row with a Chinese cameraman who didn’t speak any English, and the photography was beautiful!”

“To Rome With Love” opens in limited release this Friday.

This article is related to: Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, Greta Gerwig, Fading Gigolo, To Rome With Love


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates