This is the story of a girl who's been told, more than once, she belonged in a Woody Allen movie. On Friday the 13, in August 2010, she walked over to the Hotel Bristol with her best friend Alice, and a few crystals in her pocket. For luck. She handed Woody Allen, who was shooting his new movie in Paris, these questions knowing very well that this exchange could change her life forever. Her name is Lisa Rovner.
He never answered her letter. His assistant wrote:
I just wanted to let you know that we received your lovely letter but unfortunately Mr. Allen is unable to give you an interview because we are flying back to America today and to the relentless post-production phase of this filmmaking journey. Mr. Allen wishes you the best of luck, as do I."
Her life is pretty much the same as it was before that Friday the 13th. She still hopes he'll answer one day.
I love the story of your film the Purple Rose of Cairo: Mia Farrow plays a woman so in love with a film that she visits it every day until the star (Jeff Daniels) walks out of the picture and falls in love with her. I want to ask you these questions now partly because of this film, mostly for the love of cinema. Ken Wilber, in the pages of the magazine I work for, said "you cannot experience love through a telescope". I'm not sure I agree...
I cry at almost every film I see. What do you think this means about me? Do you ever cry watching films?
Have you ever seen a movie and thought: "That's me?"
Would you agree with Tarkovski when he says cinema is an unhappy art?
Ok, so seriously now, did you sleep with Carla Bruni? Did she sleep with you for the role? You can tell me...
Did you imagine her when you wrote the film?
I have read that you write your films in your bedroom. Is this true? Did you write Carla's dialogue lying down?
Do you write most days? Always in your bedroom? Ever in your car? I read you have a chauffeur, that must be nice. I love cars. In a story I wrote, where I am the first person to be teleported, I am teleported from a place called Sealand to a Dodge Charger parked in upstate New York.
Where did the inspiration for your new film "Midnight in Paris" come from? What were you reading? You wrote the script in 2008, in New York?
How much has the script changed since then? Since you came to Paris? Since you started shooting?
You are here in Paris making a film thanks to a government sponsored initiative to encourage foreign productions in France? Is that correct? Would you say that Paris, the city, is a protagonist in your film?
You have been living in the Bristol? Would you call film making a struggle? Ha!
Who was the funniest to work with?
Who was the craziest?
Who was the most successful with women?
Who was the most charming? Stuburn? Courageous?
The most French?
In Godard's film, "Vivre sa vie", there's a scene where Anna Karina cries in a movie theater watching Dreyer's Jeanne d'Arc. I love it when movies talk about movies. Will you reference any movies in your next film? Any French movies? Do you like being influenced?
Do you like Godard's films? The trailer for his last film, "Socialism" is amazing. Did you see it? It appears to be the entire film in fast forward. Do you ever think of effecting social change through the dissemination of information as well as through aesthetic experience?
What was the last film you watched? Do you ever watch films while you shoot? How about when you edit?
What song are you listening to most these days? One of the songs I've been playing all the time recently is called "Faking jazz together". The other one starts with "There's sap in the trees if you tap them." Do you know where one can see good jazz in Paris?
When Godard interviewed you in 1981, he asked you whether you were afraid of the press. You answered that you weren't. Has that changed?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I can't tell you how happy I would be if you granted me this interview.