Woody Allen is decidedly not a fan of Los Angeles.

In “Annie Hall,” his character, Alvy Singer, famously quips, “I don’t want to live in a city where the only cultural advantage is you can make a right turn on a red light.”

Nevertheless, Allen is returning here later this month to shoot his first L.A.-set film since that 1977 Oscar winner.

The as-yet-untitled movie stars Bruce Willis and Kristen Stewart and, just as with “Annie Hall,” will shoot in both New York and Los Angeles.

Allen has lately been making films elsewhere. Current release “Irrational Man” was shot in Rhode Island, last year’s “Magic in the Moonlight” was filmed in France and the United Kingdom, and 2013’s “Blue Jasmine” was set in San Francisco.

In “Annie Hall,” Allen took aim at L.A.’s supposed lack of culture, but he seems to have had a change of heart over the decades, participating in a handful of local cultural events while in town.

In addition to a performance with his jazz band at downtown L.A.’s Orpheum Theatre last week, he will direct the L.A. Opera’s staging of the Puccini opera “Gianni Schicchi” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, starting Sept. 12, with the company’s general director, Placido Domingo, starring.

Net Neutrality

Westwood news and politics website Opposing Views is rapidly becoming a big deal. Through the first half of the year, its audience has surged to an average of 23 million unique visitors a month, up from an average of 14 million a month last year and fewer than 3 million a month in 2013.

This year’s monthly average puts the site ahead of better-known competitors such as the Daily Beast and struggling Gawker.com, according to Comscore data.

Vic Belongoff, chief executive of the 16-employee company, credits a switch in Opposing View’s editorial policy for the gains. The site used to simply run reports from news agency Reuters, but it now pairs those stories with content from the site’s staff and about 20 freelancers. The new aim is to target readers willing to consider different political opinions before making up their minds.

“People on the hard left and hard right might shout the loudest but there’s a large audience of independents who we felt were underserved, and those people respond to the way we present the news without taking a side,” he said.

Short Takes

The Rose Parade will be getting a touch of British elegance in the form of a special “Downton Abbey” float that PBS will use to promote the hit show’s sixth and final season, which will begin Jan. 3 – two days after the New Year’s Day event in Pasadena. … Rob Oliver, an illustrator on “The Simpsons,” is the creative force behind a new product aimed at educating young minds, the Mostly Math Tablecloth. Available online, it mixes his animal illustrations with math problems in order to make mealtimes an educational experience. … The L.A. singing teacher who taught Whitney Houston, Andrea Bocelli, Seal, Shakira and many other greats is getting his own Web series. Gary Catona will search for and mentor the next singing superstar in “Ultimate Diva” on YouTube. … The Warner Bros. studio tour in Burbank has a new addition. “Stage 48” is a 25,000-square-foot immersive exhibit of sets, props and computer-generated effects created by L.A. design company Thinkwell Group. … Clever Root, a new print magazine headquartered in Los Angeles and set to launch next month, will focus on all kinds of produce that grows in California, from grapes to cannabis.

New Hires

Iconic moviemaking facility Culver Studios, previously owned by the likes of Cecil B. DeMille, David O. Selznick and Lucille Ball, has named three new vice presidents: Jim Bass, finance; Steve Auer, studio operations; and Abigail Zellmer, sales and marketing. The studios were taken over last year by Hackman Capital Partners of West Los Angeles. … After 15 years working her way up at Done + Dusted, a U.K. production company behind a string of Hollywood award shows and specials, Melanie Fletcher has been promoted to chief operating officer and will work from the firm’s Santa Monica office to spearhead its further growth in the United States. … Santa Monica’s Universal Music Group has appointed industry veteran Jay Frank senior vice president of global streaming marketing to maximize the performance of the group’s artists on various streaming platforms.

Staff reporter Sandro Monetti can be reached at smonetti@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 226.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.