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What means most to Woody Allen? Not films

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

"I think I did as many takes for this whole film as I did for one scene in Miami Vice," Colin Farrell told the press conference for Woody Allen's new film, Cassandra's Dream, yesterday. He and Ewan McGregor play brothers with money troubles who are persuaded to commit murder.

Allen shoots one film a year, at top speed, always for the bargain price of about $15-million (U.S.).

Asked why he works so quickly, Allen answered, "You'll laugh at this, but I'm not a dedicated filmmaker. I'm lazy. It's not the be-all and end-all of my life."

So what is Allen's be-all? "I went into films for the most shallow reasons: to meet women and not have an arduous life of drudgery," he said. "I don't want to have to work late and miss the basketball game. My family, my children, my clarinet playing, dinner with friends, basketball and baseball games are more important to me than making a perfect film.

"I could do better work if I was more conscientious, but I'm not a perfectionist. I like to throw a lot at the wall and see what sticks," he continued. "I brood about a lot of things, but not about films."

Asked how he thought Cassandra's Dream would fare (reviews have been unenthusiastic), he replied, "I never have any idea which films will do well. I only ever try to do two things: I want people to see the movie and not feel bored or that their intelligence has been insulted, and I want them to be involved with the characters, empathize with them or cerebrally appreciate their situation.

"... I hope they don't think, 'I can't wait till this is over,' or, 'What does he take me for, a moron? A bunch of toilet jokes, and I'm supposed to laugh?' "

He mentioned toilet humour again later: "There are all these dumb teenage toilet joke movies that cost $50-million, and I had to sweat all the time to get $15-million.

"And I'm not a big risk. I'm not going to lose the whole $15-million. I may lose $12-million." He grinned. "But I'm not a big gain, and that's what studios want. They want to make $70-million, and I can't do that."

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