By S.T. VanAirsdale
Woody Allen is once again a man without a country, The Guardian reports. While his upcoming Vicky Cristina Barcelona is in the can, the Woodman's production affiliate Mediapro backed out of two other Barcelona films on the basis of their partial public financing and resulting outcry from Spanish filmmakers:
[Mediapro president] Jaume Roures blamed what he said was the "small-minded attitude" of local politicians and press, who complained Allen received special treatment in Barcelona.
The controversy began when it was revealed that 10% of the budget for the film, starring Scarlett Johansson, Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, would come from Barcelona city hall and Catalan regional taxpayers. Barcelona provided €1m (£700,000) of funding for the film, which the city expects to recoup from the film's profits. Regional authorities added another €500,000 to the film's budget.
Roures denied that there was anything out of the ordinary about this funding, but local filmmakers complained that Barcelona city hall had bent over backwards to help Allen, rerouting traffic whenever the director wanted, besides providing the kind of funding they would never expect to receive. Producer Quique Camín told the daily Periódico de Catalunya: "I'm thinking of giving my company a name that sounds foreign... maybe that way I'll get [some money]."
Really, though: Does any name roll off the tongue more lyrically than "Quique Camín"? Memo to Quique: Do not make any rash changes. You are only eight Oscars, one marriage to your stepdaughter, a dozen nubile muses and 15 years' worth of some of the best, most profitable films of your generation away from your own worldwide brand. Knock knock. Who's there? Camín! Hey, that's my line!
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Posted at November 30, 2007 9:18 AM
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