Woody Allen, the king of New York films, says he began shooting movies in Europe because he couldn’t afford to do it any more in New York City.  He also dissed U.S. films.

The American film director told reporters Tuesday (Aug. 24) in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo that he finds Manhattan poses fewer limitations than European cities. More tailoring of the story is required to fit the location overseas.

But the costs have become just too prohibitive for his kind of film-making, he said.

Allen was in Spain to attend the premiere of his romantic comedy “You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger,” in nearby Aviles.

The film was shot in London and stars Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin and Antonio Banderas.

At the news conference in Oviedo, Allen was joined by Lucy Punch and Gemma Jones, who also star in the film.

Allen has recently been in Paris shooting his next movie, “Midnight in Paris,” which features French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy in a minor role.

Allen hit out at American cinema saying the majority of films over the past decade had been made just for money and lacked creative spirit. In comparison, he said European films are much more artistic.

Allen also praised Spanish actors saying they were now among the best.

He singled out Banderas in this film as well as Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, with whom he worked in his 2008 movie “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” It was filmed in Spain’s second largest city.

“I’m lucky I got to work with the very best ones,” said Allen, who said he could not afford to pay actors much but that they took part in his films because they liked to act.

Allen, who is in Oviedo with his wife Soon-Yi Previn, took part in a promotional video for the Asturias region, known for its stunning mountains and coastal scenery.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.