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Quendrith Johnson

Quendrith Johnson is Los Angeles Correspondent covering everything happening in film in Hollywood... Well, the most interesting things, anyway.
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RIFKIN’S FESTIVAL Opens 68th San Sebastian Film Fest, But First a Funny Or Die Review?

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

Official word is that Woody Allen’s world premiere venue for his latest film RIFKIN’S FESTIVAL, about a guy who goes to a film festival (imagine that), will unspool in Spain at the 68th edition of the San Sebastian Film Festival.

This comes on the heels of the dismissal without prejudice of his four-year, $80 M USD legal tussle with Jeff Bezos and Amazon that was settled out of court for “an undisclosed sum,” as they say.

Last summer Allen told The HollywoodReporter, “I don’t think of political movements or social movements (read: #MeToo, #TimesUp, Cancel Culture). I’m just not equipped mentally to have any deep insights on those things. I deal mostly with human relations and people and comedy. And as long as I stay focused, I don’t think I’ll ever retire. I’ll probably die in the midst of setting up a film shot one day on a set making a movie."

Basically this auteur may deal “with human relations” on film, but he should have been more worried about public relations, including Crisis PR, since both career and reputation have been such a slow-motion car wreck for the 25 years or so.

He would have been better off to adopt Rosemary’s baby than to face off against the Mia Farrow clan in court, much less write a memoir "Apropos of Nothing" about everything from a close-fisted point of view.

Of course he did himself no favors by defending Rosemary’s Baby’s director Roman Polanski, dismissing Farrow’s onslaught of 1000 cuts by media, or having a public spat with Frank Sinatra’s boy, uh, Satchel Allen, uh, Ronan Farrow unarmed with a DNA test. Needless to say, less hell would have broken loose if he hadn’t married that Previn girl from the ill-advised nudie snapshots found by adoptive mother Farrow.

Plus he could have given ALICE, that mad-hatted, herbal tonic snorer (a Farrow-starrer, sadly) a miss for the good of his audience.

For the last couple decades and change, the jury has been out on Woody Allen and character. For now, in case you missed it, we compiled a Woody-o-graphy for the last 55 years.

But first, just to prepare you for his new picture, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and the upbraid-y bunch over at Funny Or Die offer an advance critique.

Funny Or Die Already Reviewed All Woody Allen Films, Including Rifkin’s Festival



ICYMI: Woody-o-graphy Since 1965

Rifkin’s Festival

Director, Writer from 2020

A Rainy Day in New York

Director, Writer from 2019

Wonder Wheel

Director, Writer from 2017

Cafe Society

Director, Writer, Actor, from 2016

Irrational Man

Director, Writer from 2015

Magic in the Moonlight 

Director, Writer from 2014

Blue Jasmine - Oscar glory for Cate Blanchett in this masterpiece for its time.

Director, Writer from 2013

Fading Gigolo

Actor from 2013

To Rome With Love

Director, Writer, Actor, from 2012

Midnight in Paris - Biggest box office grosser, due to Owen Wilson, ps.

Director, Writer from 2011

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

Director, Writer from 2010

Whatever Works

Director, Writer from 2009

Vicky Cristina Barcelona - Wow for Penelope Cruz, A+.

Director, Writer from 2008

Cassandra's Dream

Director, Writer from 2007


Director, Writer, Actor from 2006

Match Point - Whereby Scarlett Johansson croaks, later to disown the role.

Director, Writer from 2005

Melinda and Melinda - my personal unsung favorite film

Director, Writer from 2004

Anything Else

Director, Writer, Actor,, from 2003

Hollywood Ending

Director, Writer, Actor, from 2002

The Curse of the Jade Scorpion - Helen Hunt is awesome, later nixes Allen for scandal.

Director, Writer, Actor, from 2001

Picking Up The Pieces

Actor from 2000

Small Time Crooks

Director, Writer, Actor, from 2000

Sweet and Lowdown

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1999


Voice from 1998


Director, Writer from 1998

Deconstructing Harry

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1997

Wild Man Blues

Subject of Documentary from 1997

Everyone Says I Love You - Too much singing, even Drew Barrymore?

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1996

Mighty Aphrodite - Yes, Mira Sorvino Oscar-ed, but as a trafficking activist regrets it all.

Director, Writer, Actor from 1995

Bullets Over Broadway - Dianne Weist soars, "Don't speak!"

Director, Writer from 1994

Manhattan Murder Mystery

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1993

Husbands and Wives - Director uniquely unsuited to make this movie, ps.

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1992

Scenes From a Mall

Actor from 1992

Shadows and Fog

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1991

Alice - In blunderland cinematically speaking.

Director, Writer from 1990

Crimes and Misdemeanors

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1989

New York Stories (Director: Oedipus Wrecks segment) - Never heard of it?

Segment Director, Segment Writer, Actor, from 1989

Another Woman

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1988

Radio Days

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1987

September - Should carry a warning for depressives.

Director, Writer from 1987

Hannah and Her Sisters - Foreshadowing scandal, or lustful thinking?

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1986

The Purple Rose of Cairo

Director, Writer from 1985

Broadway Danny Rose

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1984


Director, Writer, Actor, from 1983

A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1982

Stardust Memories

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1980

Manhattan - Mariel Hemingway later says she felt awkward, no surprise there.

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1979


Director, Writer from 1978

Annie Hall - GOAT of his work.

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1977

The Front

Actor from 1976

Love and Death

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1975

Sleeper - Hyper-relevant today.

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1973

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) - TMI!

Director, Screenplay, Actor from 1972

Play It Again, Sam

Writer, Actor from 1972


Director, Writer, Actor, from 1971

Don't Drink the Water

Film Based On His Play from 1969

Take the Money and Run

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1969

Casino Royale

Actor from 1967

What's Up, Tiger Lily?

Director, Writer, Actor, from 1966

What's New Pussycat?

Actor, Writer from 1965


This list doesn’t include his books, essays, musical interludes, or personal guesting/grievances, or festival appearances, or where to buy a t-shirt, which his website doesn’t actually sell.

Allen hasn’t exactly sold out to merchandising, exploited his “brand” or hawked embroidered bomber jackets from his set with logo/movie titles.

Folks, Woody Allen’s latest movie, RIFKIN’S FESTIVAL (out of competition) as a world premiere at the 68th edition of the San Sebastian Festival on Sept. 18 in the Kursaal Auditorium isn’t the worst thing to happen this Fall - we have an election coming in the US, remember? ;)

CAST: Christoph Waltz, Gina Gershon, Louis Garrel, Elena Anaya Sergi López, Wallace Shawn, Steve Guttenberg, Damian Chapa, Georgina Amorós, Ben Temple, Andrea Trepat, Luz Cipriota, Yan Tual, Douglas McGrath, and Bobby Slayton.

Anyone care to take bets on who among those listed disavows the director come Award Season, lolz?

Cancel culture aside, this is one of our greatest living filmmakers. Before The Scandal of  August 1992, that is. Maybe the perspective of world events 2020 will upend things again?

# # #


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About Quendrith Johnson

Johnson Quendrith

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