Woody Allen, the master filmmaker who is currently working on his 50th movie, Wasp 22, has told Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia at the San Sebastian Film Festival that he will be retiring once the aforementioned project is completed. This will close the chapter of one of Hollywood’s most iconic film careers.

With Allen’s retirement announcement, it is now a pertinent time to remember his only Oscar appearance, which took place at the 2002 Academy Awards. Despite winning a number of Oscars over the years, the filmmaker had never been present at the ceremony before. He made an exception that year to pay a tribute to New York, the city which was ravaged by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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Allen was introduced by Whoppi Goldberg as “a New York landmark” and “a movie icon”, while the filmmaker was given a standing ovation. Being his usual humourous self, Allen remarked after the ovation, “That makes up for the strip search”.

The movie maverick went on to say that when he first received the call from the Academy, he thought they were asking for his Oscars back. When he was told he had to introduce the tribute film, “Love Letter to New York in the Movies”, Allen said that he began suggesting other filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, and Sidney Lumet, whom he considered more “talented” and “smart” than he was.

You can watch the entire speech right here:

Allen said that the Academy spokesperson said that he was being called since the names he mentioned were not available. The camera cuts at this moment to another legend sitting in the audience- Sir Paul McCartney

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The Manhattan director then goes on to say how he enjoys shooting his films in New York and that it remains an exciting city. He implores the Hollywood stalwarts present in the auditorium to continue filming their projects in New York.