André Delvaux’s: To Woody Allen, from Europe with Love.

To Woody Allen, from Europe with Love

In the coming weeks Cinematek is showing 2 films by one of Belgium’s most respected filmmakers, André Delvaux (1926-2002).

The first film is ‘To Woody Allen from Europe with Love’ (1980) which is a bit of a rarity and is currently not commercially available, and is shown on 19nov15 at 17h00.

It’s a documentary Delvaux made for the BRT (flemish television, currently known as VRT) while Woody Allen was shooting ‘Stardust Memories’ (1980) and includes the only footage in existence of Woody Allen filming one of his films. Whenever you see another doc with Allen (e.g. Woody Allen: A documentary , 2012) on a set it’s taken from the Delvaux film.

Allen never gave any crew acces to his sets but Delvaux had a few collaborators in common, his frequent cinematographer the Belgian Ghislain Cloquet also shot Allen’s ‘Love and Death’ (1975) and the actress Marie-Christine Barrault who starred in ‘Stardust Memories’ and had just finished shooting Delvaux’s ‘Een Vrouw tussen Hond en Wolf’ (Woman Between Wolf and Dog, 1979), which probably helped to be granted acces to Allen.

We get to see Allen at home, play the clarinet and behind the editing table. As the film dates back to the early eighties the only Allen films which are being discussed date from the period 1966-1980. This may make the doc a bit outdated as Allen has made some 35 films since, but for real fans it’s a must see none the less. Delvaux frequently draws parallels to refer to specific preoccupations of directors, e.g. he cuts from Allen in New York to himself in Brussels while both are editing their separate films.

Jan Bollen


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