Woody Allen’s latest film Café Society had its world premiere at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in the South of France on May 11, where it screened as the festival’s opening film, out of competition.
Café Society stars Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carrell and Kristen Stewart, and is a romantic comedy set against the jazz and swing era of the 1930’s in Hollywood. It follows the story of a young Brooklynite who moves to Tinseltown to live with his uncle, an agent to the stars.
In order to capture the atmosphere of the times, Allen enrolled the Nighthawks Orchestra, led by Vince Giordano, to perform many of the songs on its soundtrack. The Orchestra specializes in the jazz styles of the 1920s and 1930s, and collaborated with Allen on some of his previous outings, most notably on his 1996 musical comedy film Everyone Says I Love You.
Allen has always been passionate about jazz, and spent his youth determined to make it as a New Orleans-style clarinet player, originally writing music scripts “just to pay the bills.” The vast majority of his films open with jazz songs playing over his opening credits, and many jazz artists have contributed original music for his soundtracks in the past; more recently, guitarist Stephane Wrembel composed the score of his Oscar-winning film Midnight in Paris (2011).
Café Society will see its full cinema release at the end of July.