Woody Allen received a five-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival for his new film, hours after addressing his experiences of “cancel culture”.
In recent years, the Oscar-winning director has been embroiled in controversy after Dylan Farrow, his then-seven-year-old adoptive daughter with Mia Farrow, accused him of molesting her as a child.
Allen has denied the allegations, which Dylan first made in 1992. She shared her allegations as an adult in an open letter published in 2014 on The New York Times’s website, as well as in a 2016 opinion piece for The Los Angeles Times, and a 2018 interview with CBS.
No charges have been brought against Allen.
On Saturday (2 September), the Midnight in Paris director debuted his 50th film, the romantic thriller Coup de Chance, at the Venice Film Festival.
During a second screening on Monday (4 September) in Venice, Allen’s film was well received, with the director being met with five minutes of applause.
Earlier that day, Allen spoke in an interview with Variety about whether he felt that he had been “cancelled”.
“I feel if you’re going to be cancelled, this is the culture to be cancelled by,” Allen told the publication, adding: “I just find that all so silly. I don’t think about it.”
He continued: “I don’t know what it means to be cancelled. I know that over the years everything has been the same for me. I make my movies. What has changed is the presentation of the films.
“You know, I work and it’s the same routine for me. I write the script, raise the money, make the film, shoot it, edit it, it comes out. The difference is not is not from cancel culture. The difference is the way they present the films. It’s that that’s the big change.”
Coup de Chance is scheduled for release in France on 27 September, but does not currently have a US release planned.
Allen’s last film was 2020’s Rifkin’s Festival, which debuted at San Sebastián International Film Festival. The movie received a limited release in the US and on streaming services.
In the years between the two films, HBO released the four-part documentary series Allen v Farrow about the allegations against Allen.
The series aimed to go “behind the years of sensational headlines to reveal the private story of” the allegations involving Allen and Dylan. It included “intimate home movie footage, court documents, police evidence, revelatory videotape and never-before-heard audio tapes”, as well as interviews with Mia, Dylan, and her brother Ronan Farrow.
The show also went into the subsequent custody case, as well as Allen’s relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and musician André Previn.
Allen denounced the HBO documentary, calling it a “shoddy hit piece” and a “hatchet job riddled with falsehoods”.
If you are a child and you need help because something has happened to you, you can call the NSPCC free of charge on 0800 1111. You can also call the NSPCC if you are an adult and you are worried about a child, on 0808 800 5000. The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (Napac) offers support for adults on 0808 801 0331.