Allen and stars plotless in Paris
Woody Allen has admitted he came up with the title for his latest film long before the plot.
Midnight In Paris, a romantic comedy about a young couple in the French capital, is opening the Cannes Film Festival.
Allen said: "I thought of a wonderful title, Midnight in Paris, because it's suggestive of an enormous amount of romance but I didn't know what was going to happen at midnight in Paris. Months went by and I couldn't think of what happened at midnight in Paris."
One of the film's stars Owen Wilson said at the festival that he appreciated the freedom Allen gave him.
"When I first met Woody in Paris he asked how my flight was and said, 'That will be the last you hear from me', but that wasn't the case."
His co-star Rachel McAdams said she was relieved not to be "playing the object of desire" for once.
Rachel's partner, actor Michael Sheen, whom she met on the set of the film, said it was "terrific" working with Allen.
"I'd heard that there wouldn't be much direction and there was a lot, but maybe I just needed it more than everyone else. There were notes that I got and that genuinely, and I'm not just saying this because he's here, that I will use in everything that I do from now on."
Allen admitted he had been lucky with his cast, which also includes French first lady Carla Bruni. He said: "The trick in casting is to hire great people and let them do what they do, don't interfere with them too much, and then when they are great take credit for it. I've done this for many years and it works like a charm."