Woody Allen's appearance at the Venice Film Festival to promote his latest film, "Coup de Chance," was accompanied by a cloud of controversy, spanning from his comments on the Luis Rubiales incident to protests calling for his cancellation.
The standing-room-only press conference for "Coup de Chance" drew significant attention from the media and the public. It was a rare public appearance for Allen, who has become known for his reluctance to engage in publicity events.
Amazon Studios pulled the release of the film following the resurgence of sexual abuse allegations against Allen, stemming from his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow in 1992. Consequently, much of the support for Allen's work now comes from abroad and European festivals, as American audiences remain divided on his legacy.
Inside the press conference, the atmosphere was anything but restricted. Journalists had free rein to ask whatever they pleased, but to everyone's surprise, they didn't touch on any of the simmering controversies.
The real show, however, was happening outside the venue. The red carpet premiere of "Coup de Chance" was invaded by protesters. Chanting slogans like "no rape culture," they sought to disrupt the event. Their presence underscored the festering controversy surrounding Allen's inclusion in the Venice Film Festival lineup.
The festival organisers had also given spots to films by directors Luc Besson and Roman Polanski, both of whom have faced Me Too scandals and multiple allegations. This decision to feature directors with controversial histories raised questions about the festival's stance on ethical considerations in the era of the Me Too movement.
Woody Allen AND Roman Polanski are there!? The fuck is wrong with those film festival guys up in Italy!?!? https://t.co/83VkZSxPRi— Ethan | Trying to do better. (@funEman_) September 4, 2023
But Allen, never one to shy away from voicing his opinions, decided to venture into a completely unrelated controversy involving Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales, during an interview with Spanish outlet El Mundo. Rubiales had faced backlash for an unsolicited kiss planted on Women's World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso after a match.
Spain’s women’s football team announce they will not play another match until Spanish football president Luis Rubiales resigns, which he refuses to do.— Rapheal king (@rapheal_king) August 26, 2023
Rubiales grabbed team member Jenni Hermoso and planted a non-consensual kiss on her lips at the World Cup final. pic.twitter.com/KW8OMxKQSc
Allen, perhaps feeling a kinship with Rubiales, offered his two cents, suggesting that while the kiss was wrong, it shouldn't result in Rubiales losing his job. The irony, of course, seemed lost on him.
Allen has been accused of molesting his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, when she was just seven years old. Allen vehemently denies these allegations, contending that they were fabricated by his former partner, Mia Farrow, after he began a relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, another of Farrow's adopted daughters from a previous relationship.
woody allen defending you gotta be one of the worse things that could happen when you’re fighting allegations— 𝕛𝕒𝕟𝕖𝕒 (@heyyitsjanea) September 4, 2023
mostly because the picture on the right is of his step daughter and the one on the left is of his wife https://t.co/OqsSAU6Vqr pic.twitter.com/tw8UvvylIJ
This long standing controversy has divided public opinion, and Allen's comments on the “Kissgate” scandal has only fueled the debate further.
While Allen's career remains a subject of ongoing debate and division, making any public appearance a high-stakes affair, his latest Paris-set drama centers on a couple whose relationship is threatened by the return of the wife’s former classmate. Shot in fall 2022 in Paris, Coup de Chance stars Niels Schneider, Lou de Laage, Valerie Lemercier, and Melvil Poupaud and recieved a three-minute standing ovation at Venice.
When questioned about the possibility of making another film in New York, Allen hinted at having new ideas for New York-based projects but lays out a set of demanding conditions for potential financiers. These conditions include not allowing them to read the script or know the cast, essentially requiring them to provide funds blindly and step away from the creative process.
In his conversation with Variety, Allen discusses the considerations he faces as he contemplates making more films. He candidly admits that one of the challenges he encounters is the arduous process of fundraising for a movie. While the act of creating a film itself is exciting, securing the necessary funding seems like a tedious and unglamorous process for him, unsurprisingly.
Woody Allen’s 50th film Coup de Chance is (to my surprise) his best in quite some time. A delightful swirl of genres; drama, comedy and mystery which Allen gets the balance just right. It manages to be dark, playful and breezy simultaneously. If this is his supposed final film,… pic.twitter.com/lJ5YarNdaz— Luke Hearfield @ Venice 🎥🍹🇮🇹 (@LukeHearfield) September 4, 2023