Woody Allen Given Standing Ovation by the Media in Venice

"Coup De Chance" Photocall - The 80th Venice International Film Festival - Credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images
"Coup De Chance" Photocall - The 80th Venice International Film Festival - Credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

As Woody Allen took the press conference stage for his recent film Coup de Chance, the disgraced filmmaker was given a lengthy standing ovation by the (largely European) media assembled in the room — arguably the most rapturous reception any filmmaker received. It was difficult to watch.

During the press conference, Allen, who is 87 years old, was joined onstage by his Italian cinematographer, Vittorio Storaro (Last Tango in Paris), and his French actresses Lou de Laage and Valerie Lamercier. He was queried about his screenwriting habits, about writing a film in French, about the role luck has played in his career, and about penning roles for men versus women. He conceded that he’s “been lucky my whole life,” and has never, ever been admitted to a hospital. He said he shot his recent picture, a thriller of sorts, in France, because he wanted to join the ranks of the European filmmakers he idolized growing up, like Truffaut and Renoir.

At no point did the media attending the presser ask Allen about the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct levied against him — the alleged child sexual abuse of his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, at the age of seven, which was explored in-depth in the recent HBO docuseries Allen v. Farrow; allegations (repeated in Allen v. Farrow) that he’d initiated a sexual relationship with eventual wife, Soon-Yi Previn (the adoptive daughter of Allen’s then-partner, Mia Farrow), when she was in high school; that he allegedly began dating Stacy Nelkin at the age of 17, while she was still attending Stuyvesant High School; that he allegedly began an affair with Babi Christina Engelhardt when she was 17; and that he allegedly propositioned his Manhattan actress Mariel Hemingway to run away to Paris with him when she was 17.

Allen also was not asked about the protest signs lining the Lido presumably aimed at him: “Will the Golden Lion go to a rapist?” (The signs were also likely directed at Roman Polanski and Luc Besson, who also have films at the festival.) The members of the media who were called on during the presser — all of whom were from European outlets — didn’t touch any of these subjects, giving him a pass.

To make matters worse, Allen’s only agreed to a single interview with a major media outlet thus far during the Italian fest — with Variety, who very gently pressed him on the disturbing allegations with the following questions: “What is your response to [Farrow’s] accusations?” “Do you feel you’ve been ‘canceled?’” And that’s it.

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