Woody or wouldn’t he?

‘Failed Artist’ Woody Allen Talks Up European Film
ROME (Reuters) – Quirky comedy director Woody Allen dismissed himself as a failed artist on Saturday and described American cinema as a sink-hole of mindless entertainment where everyone was obsessed with money.
“If I had to describe myself in three words, I would say: A Failed Artist,” a deadpan Allen told reporters in Rome, where he is promoting his latest film “Hollywood Ending.”
“I don’t know how to act, I mean, I’m not an actor like Dustin Hoffman is an actor or Jack Nicholson is an actor, and I don’t have enough talent to be a jazz musician. I’m very, very mediocre. In fact, I’m less than mediocre.”
While characteristically self-deprecating, Allen was also full of criticism for U.S. films, and for Hollywood in particular, a place he had appeared to court in recent months, even making a first-ever appearance at the Oscars in March.
“I’ve always had a very critical attitude to Hollywood. Essentially, it’s a place where people spend a huge amount of money and yet make very few, if any, decent films,” he said.
“If I compare U.S. films to the European films I saw as a child, the European ones were so much more original, rich and imaginative, and they really contributed to the development of cinema as an art form.
“I’ve never really seen the same thing from Hollywood, which always has one eye focused on entertainment and money.”
While Hollywood may have produced masterpieces such as Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane,” Stanley Kubrick’s “Paths of Glory” and John Huston’s “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” Allen said overall it was small beef next to Europe’s output.
“If you look at European films, there’s no question that they are deeper works of art. You look at something like “The Bicycle Thief,” or “Grand Illusion,” or Fellini’s “8 1/2″ — there’s no comparison.”
While Allen’s withering criticism may come as no surprise to those familiar with his laments, he seldom heaps scorn on his home country’s film-making, and has certainly done so less since DreamWorks started producing and distributing his films.
But he seemed almost indignant on Saturday about American shortcomings.
“You know, it’s got to the stage in the States that you struggle to find something to watch on a Saturday night — it’s all just silly pictures.
“Sometimes, like I did last Saturday night, you find a theater showing a European film and it can transform the evening. We watched Pedro Almodovar’s movie and it was a great experience. It’s an intelligent and very, very fine film.”
Asked whether the lack of quality entertainment back home made him want to move to Europe, Allen turned evasive, however.
“Well, it’s not easy to just pull up your life and move to Europe. It’s something that I have at times considered, but it’s not an easy thing to give up your home and your language,” said the director, who has lived all his life in New York city.
“I would happily come and make movies in Rome, or Paris, or London, or Berlin if I had an idea that worked in those places, but it’s having the idea that’s difficult.
In the end, he said he would do whatever his wife, Soon Yi, whom he secretly married in Venice five years ago, decided.
“My wife likes to come to all these places in Europe. Whatever makes her happy makes me happy, so I’ll do that.”