Magic In the Moonlight is the new film written and directed by Woody Allen. Today saw the official site recieving a major upgrade. We have lots of new images, details on the cast and crew and a press kit featuring quotes from Allen himself.
You can find the new website here.
We now have character names and roles:
Eileen Atkins – Aunt Vanessa
Colin Firth – Stanley Crawford, although he masquarades as Wei Ling Soo and Stanley Taplinger
Marica Gay Harden – Mrs Baker, Sophie’s mother
Hamish Linklater – Brice Catledge
Simon McBurney – Howard Burkan, Stanley’s magician friend
Emma Stone – Sophie Baker
Jacki Weaver – Grace
Erica Leerhsen – Caroline Catledge
Catherine McCormack – Olivia, Stanley’s fiancée
Jeremy Shamos – George, Caroline’s husband
This is the first time we’ve heard of McCormack’s involvement.
The new site is littered with new photos. Here they are in one big gallery.
The press kit talks about Allen’s long fascination with magic, and how magic was the rage in the 1920s.
At the time much was made of it,” says Allen. “Very renowned people like Arthur Conan Doyle [creator of Sherlock Holmes] took it very seriously. There were all kinds of incidents like spirit photographs that people were wondering about. Séances were very common.” The greatest magician of that era, Harry Houdini, attended many séances, debunking every clairvoyant he encountered. Interestingly, Houdini wasn’t motivated by a desire to expose con artists, but by his sincere longing to discover that communicating with the dead was possible. Finding so much fraud was a disappointment to him, but at the time of his death, he still held out hope for an afterlife.
Directior of Photography Darius Khondji offers interesting notes about his process.
We wanted to make a light and happy picture but with a strong color palette to structure the film visually. My principal inspiration was the French photographer Jaques Henri Lartigue. We used old Cinemascope lenses from the seventies and photographed it on film, using a special process to lower the contrast and soften the images naturally. We then worked with color supervisor Pascal Dangin, who helped us render the images with a touch of the “autochrome” look of the early color from the beginning of the 20th century.
Firth on working with Allen:
On the face of it, it seems very simple but it does mean that everything has to be right. Sometimes you do seven or eight takes and he’d be delighted but you dropped your hat and you are going to have to do the whole thing again. He doesn’t rehearse so the first take is a kind of rehearsal and you have to repeat it until all the creases have been ironed out and everybody is up and running.
Stone on working with Allen:
Working with Woody was a dream come true for me. I had heard he was quiet and very serious and kept his distance, but my experience was just the opposite. He was incredibly friendly and funny and told me many stories.
And finally, Allen on love:
Seeing someone and being instantly attracted to them is an unexplainable thing. You can try to give reasons for it: I like the person’s style, I like their sense of humor, I like their ideas, I like the way they look – but in the end, you never really know what it is because someone with the same style and sense of humor or whatever, you are not attracted to. It is so complex because there is something intangible there. I’m sure a million years from now with computers they will be able to mathematically graph what is going on, but for now and for the foreseeable future there is no proof it will ever change. There is a certain magical excitement to meeting somebody and having positive romantic feelings for them.
There is a lot more in the press release and plenty of minor spoilers. If you don’t mind, you can read it here.
‘Magic In the Moonlight‘ is out on limited release in the US on 25th July 2014, just over two weeks away.