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Words with Woody

Famed helmer discusses Cannes

The French venerate Woody Allen and his films, so much so that boffo B.O. for his pics are a given in the country, no matter what they do in the U.S. So it’s especially fitting that Allen’s “Hollywood Ending” will open the 55th Cannes Film Festival, his fourth film to unspool there. And this time, the somewhat travel-phobic New Yorker will attend the event.

Allen has attributed his Franco following to “clever subtitling,” but his individual style and large body of work — 30-plus films as a writer and director — mark him as a true auteur. Indeed, Allen blows a funny little kiss to the Gauls at “Hollywood’s” end.

On going to Cannes this year:

The French have been so supportive of me for so many years. They have been so affectionate.

I felt I wanted to reciprocate and this time not say “no” as I have for many years in the past when they invited a movie of mine.

My going is a gesture of thanks to them. It was just like going to the Oscars. They invited me and I thought going was an appropriate gesture in support of New York.

Favorite French directors:

Truffaut, Godard, Renoir, Rene Clair … the same ones that everyone loves.

On seeming to be getting out more in public:

“Seems” is a good word. Next year I may be locked in a closet.

On the French passion for his pics:

I’ve been asking myself (why) for years. I really can’t figure it out. Maybe my films gain something in translation. Maybe it’s that people just love things that are foreign. Hey, but I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

On pro basketball and filmmaking:

This year my films have been more cheerful than the Knicks.