Woody Allen Talks Making Movies in Streaming Era: “A Lot of the Thrill Is Gone”

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Woody Allen says he’s no longer much interested in making movies in the streaming era.

“I will probably make one more movie, but a lot of the thrill is gone because it doesn’t have the whole cinema effect. When I started, you would do a film and it would go to movie houses all over the country and people would come,” the filmmaker told Alec Baldwin during an appearance on Instagram Live on Tuesday to tout his latest collection of humor stories, Zero Gravity.

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“Now you do a movie and you get a couple of weeks in a movie house, maybe six weeks or four weeks, and then it goes right to streaming or to pay-per-view. People love sitting at home and watching on their big screens, … and they have good sound and a clear picture. It’s not the same thing as when I went into the movie business. And so, it’s not as enjoyable to me,” Allen added.

His last movie, Rifkin’s Festival, which follows a writer and film teacher accompanying his publicist wife to a festival in Spain, stars Wallace Shawn, Gina Gershon, Louis Garrel and Elena Anaya and just had a commercial release.

“I don’t get the same fun of doing a movie and putting it in a movie house. It was a nice feeling to know 500 people were seeing it at once. … I don’t know how I feel about making movies. I’m going to make another one, and I’ll see how it feels,” Allen said as he put a question mark over continuing to make movies after his next project.

Allen told Baldwin he will make another untitled movie in Paris in the fall without giving details. The director of 49 movies over his long career has also become something of a pariah in Hollywood in recent years as allegations that he sexually abused his 7-year-old daughter Dylan Farrow have resurfaced.

Amazon Studios notably canceled a $68 million four-film deal, and Allen’s recent movies are struggling to gain distribution.

More recently, Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering’s four-part HBO docuseries Allen v. Farrow, featured Farrow recounting in detail allegations of incest she had leveled against Allen.

Despite Farrow going public with her allegations against Allen in 2013 and 2014, it wasn’t until the #MeToo movement took off that the director would face a backlash.

During the Instagram Live, Allen and Baldwin steered well clear of Farrow’s claims.

Allen said he didn’t watch streaming TV, sticking instead to live sports like the New York Knicks basketball games and the news. “I don’t have the time” to view online video platforms, he told Baldwin.

Baldwin’s controversial interview of Allen comes amid the actor’s own legal issues stemming from the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western Rust in October 2021. In that incident, Hutchins was fatally shot and director Joel Souza was injured when a live round was discharged from a prop firearm held by Baldwin.

Baldwin faces a number of lawsuits stemming from the Rust movie incident, which remains the subject of an investigation by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office. Allen’s release of Zero Gravity marks his first book since his controversial memoir Apropos of Nothing was published two years ago.

Allen also recounted his wife of 25 years not wanting a syrupy book dedication in Zero Gravity. Soon-Yi Previn instead apparently wanted a Friar’s Roast-style dedication.

“I naturally wrote an affectionate dedication. She saw it and said, you’re not going to do that clinical stuff, that gooey stuff. Give me something nasty,” Allen recalled.

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