Woody Allen presents new film in Barcelona

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The director filmed “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” in the title city, and returned for the premiere.

23 September 2008

BARCELONA -- Woody Allen presented his latest movie on Saturday in Barcelona, the city where it was filmed. "I wanted to portray an exotic, romantic location", the director said of “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”.

"One that is stimulating for the imagination of American tourists who arrive in the city for their vacation. A place with charisma - and the Mediterranean".

The 72-year-old said that the city was a backdrop for two young American women during their summer vacation.

The film’s success in the US may bring many American tourists to Barcelona. According to Allen, "the city is currently exploding worldwide, just like Paris did some years ago".

The movie includes many shots of the majestic Sagrada Familia cathedral, the roof of Gaudí's La Casa Milà building, and the vibrant colours of La Rambla.

Catalan identity

In the movie, Scarlett Johansson plays the more light-hearted of the two tourists. Rebecca Hall plays a student writing a thesis called "Catalan identity".

"The difference [with Spanish culture] is well known outside of here, and I decided that one of my characters should be studying this particular aspect as if she were going to present it as an intellectual theme", the director said.

The cast also includes Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

"When Woody Allen calls you up, you can only answer, 'When and where?'" said Bardem, who was also with Allen at the film screening in Barcelona.

"I dedicate my life to finding people with huge talent", Allen said, "and then I give them complete freedom to do what they want, and sit back and take all the credit".

[El Pais / Fermin Robles / Expatica]

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