CULTURE

Filmmaking jazzman set to jam in Athens

If you already have plans for the Christmas season, it is time to change them. On December 30, filmmaker/jazzman Woody Allen will be in Athens with his band for one performance at the Athens Concert Hall. The Woody Allen New Orleans Jazz Band, as it appears on the band’s official website, is planning to tour Europe during December. The band will play in the UK (Dec. 19), Italy (21 & 22), Spain (23 & 28), Portugal (27), Turkey (29), Greece (30) and then Poland on New Year’s Eve, which will be the tour’s final stop. Greek audiences will have an opportunity to see the musical side of Woody Allen, which is very different from the neurotic characters he directs and portrays in films and for which he is famous worldwide. Music critics have praised his musical talent and said he is good, that he has a lot of rhythm and gives soulful performances. They have gone on to say that he does not seek recognition from the audience but that being able to focus on his clarinet is good enough for him. The concert will come just before the opening of his new film, «Match Point» (starring Scarlett Johansson and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers), which will hit cinemas in February. It would also be a good idea to brush up on the soundtracks of Woody Allen movies, since he usually includes pieces like «Chimes Blues,» «Basin Street Blues» and «All the Girls Go Crazy» in his live shows. On December 1, Woody Allen will turn 70; older but not wiser, as he admitted in an interview – a rare occasion – with Vanity Fair magazine, and due to be published next week. He dismissed all the talk about being happy and wise with old age as nonsense; he said he didn’t feel he had become more mature or perceptive and that he would repeat all the same mistakes again. The distinguished twice Oscar-winning filmmaker also said he could never film a movie like Ingmar Bergman’s «Seventh Seal» or compare himself to legends like Federico Fellini and Akira Kurosawa. He added that it may not be in his genes and that although he has produced some decent films, if he were a teacher he would grade himself with a B. In the interview, Allen also talked about the end of his relationship with actress Mia Farrow and his 1997 marriage to Farrow’s stepdaughter, 35-year-old Soon-Yi Previn and the scandal that caused in the media. Allen said that it was one of the luckiest things that ever happened to him and added that if anyone had ever told him he would end up marrying a Korean girl 35 years his junior and totally disinterested in show business he would think they were crazy.