Shooting 'Magic In The Moonlight' Was A Challenge For City Boy Woody Allen
The filmmaker discusses his enchanting new drama, and how its rural French location proved a challenge.
Woody Allen has recently unveiled his enchanting new comedy drama, Magic in the Moonlight, with an intriguing trailer and a promisingly star-studded cast. Set mainly in France in the 1920s, the unique story takes a look at the tussle between spirituality and scepticism seen through the eyes of two unlikely lovers.
Colin Firth & Emma Stone Are Resplendent In 1920s Glamour In Woody Allen's New Dramedy, 'Magic In The Moonlight.'
The filmmaker has spoken of his pride towards his latest venture but has also revealed that this was tinged with uneasiness surrounding the rather soporific surroundings. "This one's set in Nice in the 1920s. I have a great cameraman, terrific art director, but finding locations was hard. We had to travel around, do selective shooting to re-create primitive spots like in the old days," the director told the NY Post's Page Six.
"We're talking bootleggers, nightclubs, the Charleston. But where were the nightclubs? Nothing was there then. It was a great shock. That era was right after the Russian revolution. Rich Russians went to the South of France to escape."
It's true, not many people would resent filming on the French Riviera, which is arguably one of the most idyllic locations on Earth, but for those who thrive upon the pace, noise, and connectedness of city life like Allen, heading out into the countryside will be like visiting an alien planet.
"First I thought. Wow! Ten weeks. South of France. With a cast of Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Marcia Gay Harden, Hamish Linklater. Fantastic. My band flew over, and we did concerts and went to other cities. But then came another problem - it's countryside. And I'm a city person. I don't do greens, trees and butterflies," the 78 year-old director and native New Yorker admitted.
Magic in the Moonlight stars Firth as Stanley, a man who poses as an Asian magician whilst moonlighting as an expert in debunking fake spiritualists. He is directed to the South of France where his assignment is to unmask a purported spiritual medium named Sophie (Stone), who has people mystified with her seemingly otherworldly ability to contact other realms.
In order to try to expose Sophie, Stanley spends a lot of time by her side to observe her techniques and watch for cracks in her spiritual visage. However, in doing so, the Englishman instead ends up falling for Sophie's charms and a classic, quirky Allen love story is born.
Magic in the Moonlight will be released on the 25th July in the USA and on the 19th September in the UK.