New York, I Love You: Allen Hughes in Greenwich Village

New York I Love You

Allen Hughes’s segment of “New York, I Love You” stars Bradley Cooper and Drea De Matteo. The film, whose concept was created by Emmanuel Benihby, is being release October 16, 2009 by Vivendi Entertainment.

Two anguished lovers (Drea De Matteo, THE SOPRANOS; Bradley Cooper, THE HANGOVER, WEDDING CRASHERS) speed towards one another across Manhattan – one by subway, the other on foot – as they try to figure out if their one night stand meant something before they meet a second time. Fears, anxieties, excuses and defenses accompany them on their cross-town journeys, until all of their pretenses fall away the minute their eyes lock again.

The fast-paced urban feel of this segment came from the combined artistry of up-and-coming writer Xan Cassavetes and director Allen Hughes. Allen, along with his brother Albert, made an indelible mark on the film industry with their debut feature MENACE II SOCIETY, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and became an influential cultural phenomenon. They followed that with DEAD PRESIDENTS, the feature-length documentary AMERICAN PIMP and FROM HELL, their stylish take on the Jack the Ripper tale starring Johnny Depp. Scottish cinematographer Michael McDonough (QUID PRO QUO) joined the Hughes Brothers on the creative team for this segment.

For the producers of NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU, the chance to have Hughes’ participation was an exhilarating route to expanding the film’s stylistic terrain. “Allen’s work is a spectacle fused out of music, visuals and voiceover,” says Benbihy. “The Hughes Brothers are known for more urban filmmaking but here, Allen chose to go in a very unexpected direction and created a very sophisticated musical piece about the beginning of love from a very cinematic script by Xan Cassavetes. I really enjoyed working with Allen. He’s shy and private, yet at the same time he’s firm in his visual intentions, a real example of an iron fist in a velvet glove” Grasic was equally impressed. “The Hughes Brothers could clearly do anything in any genre,” she says. “This story brings in so many nice contrasts – downtown and uptown, the subway and the street – and captures the real-life feel of being in the city at night. That last shot where the two lovers finally kiss is one of the most beautiful and original I’ve seen.”

A long-time friend of the Hughes Brothers, Bradley Cooper was ready to come on board from the minute he read Xan Cassavetes’ script. “The minute I read it, I thought ‘I’ve been this guy,’” he recalls. “We’ve all encountered those moments when anxiety keeps us from seeing what’s really going on, when time and space diffuse our connection with someone until we are confronted with the power of them face-to-face. I also loved how the story used New York as a character, how the city becomes the conflict and the barrier between these two lovers. And I knew the way it would be done, it would be very interesting and unorthodox with that great Hughes rhythm.”

Cooper also enjoyed working with Drea De Matteo in such an intense fashion: “We had never met each other until we went to dinner the night before we shot. Immediately, I felt so lucky because she is fantastic. It was great that we hit it off because the shoot was like a race against time. We had 2 days and a story that goes from dawn to dusk, but it all worked because Alan knew everything he wanted to capture and always had new ideas.”



Director of Photography MICHAEL McDONOUGH
Original Music by ATTICUS ROSS