MIDNIGHT IN PARIS: Darius Khondji on the Set of Woody Allen's latest Film


MIDNIGHT IN PARIS: Darius Khondji on the Set of Woody Allen's latest Film
by Darius Kadivar

A romantic comedy about a family traveling to the French capital for business. The party includes a young engaged couple forced to confront the illusion that a life different from their own is better. The Film was shot in Paris last Summer and made headlines because it included a cameo role for France's First Lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy (Her scene is said to have finally been dropped in the final cut by Woody Allen who was unsatisfied with her work and due to pressures from her husband the French President who was constantly on the Set). Respected French Iranian Cinematographer Darius Khondji (Seven, EVITA, Delicatessen, Alien Resurrection) was chosen by Woody Allen to work on his film. 

"Midnight in Paris" (2011) directed by Woody Allen Starring Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Owen Wilson, Adrien Body,

Carla Bruni Sarkozy and Marion Cotillard.

Midnight in Paris - Allen, Wilson, Cotillard, Brody, McAdams - Tyrone Rubin Film Show:


Carla Bruni Sarkozy on the Set of Woody Allen's Film:

Woody Allen on why he "Fired" Carla Bruni ( actually dropped the scene in the final edit cut):

Woody Allen interviewed by Another "Darius" , Darius Rochebin ( Also Half Iranian) on Swiss Television:




French -Iranian Cinematographer Darius Khondji is considered as one of the leading experts in his field. His ground breaking work on such films like David Fincher's Se7en, Alan Parker's Evita or Jean Jacques Jeunet's Delicatessen have pushed the creative bounderies in filmmaking to higher limits.



About Darius Khondji:

He was born to an Iranian father and a French mother. At an early age, his family relocated in France. He became interested in film early on and made Super-8 films in his teens. Later in life, he moved to the United States to study at UCLA and then majored in film from New York University and the International Center for Photography. During this period two teachers influenced his decision to become a cinematographer: Jonas Mekas and Haig Manoogian (Martin Scorsese's film teacher). He realized that "all I wanted to do was shoot the other students' films. I was concerned with the power of the image and much less with story." Khondji returned to France in 1981 and worked as an assistant for cinematographers like Bruno Nuytten, Martin Schafer and Pascal Marti. He also began shooting commercials and music videos.

His second feature film was Le tresor des Iles Chiennes (1991), a low budget, black and white, post-atomic adventure film. His work on this movie was significant enough to warrant the Cahiers du cinémato publish one of its rare interviews with a cinematographer. It was on this film that he demonstrated an affinity for Cinemascope. He remarked in an interview, "I think it's the most beautiful format to frame. one can become absorbed in the faces when they're framed in 'Scope."[1] His subsequent work on Delicatessen established his international reputation and earned him a Cesar nomination for Best Cinematography. One of his highest profile films was Se7en which he got based on a Nike ad he shot with David Fincher and his work on Delicatessen.

He has worked with several notable film directors including Jean-Pierre JeunetDavid FincherBernardo BertolucciAlan ParkerRoman PolanskiSydney PollackWoody Allen, and Wong Kar-wai. His work on Evita was nominated for an Oscar for the Best Cinematography.

Khondji cites Gregg Toland as his favorite cinematographer. "I particularly admire his work on John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath."[1] He also greatly admires James Wong Howe's work, in particular Hud. Khondji has said that his dream project would be "a 16mm black and white film of On the Road!"


Related Blog:

STUNNING CARLA: Did French First Lady Make Republican Guard Go Weak At The Knees? 


Recommended Readings:




DARIUS THE GREAT: In The Shadows of Cinematography with Darius Khondji by Darius KADIVAR


Persian Golden Boys in Hollywood by Darius KADIVAR   




more from Darius Kadivar

Good for him

by comrade on

Khonji deserves recognition and elite status. I hope he won't get bored working with Allen who, in my commie opinion, has been in the same mold for decades. 


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