Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Manhattan

This is one of those movies that I pretty much know every line to but it doesn't matter because every line and every moment is worth watching over and over again.

I hadn't seen this film in at least ten years but my love for it came rushing back pretty quickly. It was fun watching it with Sujan who had never seen it before. It was interesting watching it shortly after watching the PBS doc about Allen where he talked about how he didn't really like the film that much. And despite how much I love it, I can kind of see why. It looks great, yes. And the Gershwin score is something else. But the characters really aren't terribly likable. And the story is pretty pedestrian (at least that's probably what Allen was thinking at the time) especially when sandwiched between Interiors and Stardust Memories.

But he's wrong - this really is one of those great films from his classic era. And while it still makes me cringe to think that his 42-year-old character is dating a 17-year-old girl (especially with the knowledge of later events) it still somehow works due to the incredible performance by Mariel Hemingway. And that ending gets me every time.

And is there any other movie that makes New York look so great? I'd love to watch this back to back with Taxi Driver to really get the full flavor of 1970's New York.

Directed by Woody Allen
1979
HBO

2 comments:

Crispin H. Glover said...

i like that woody's down on some of his classics and that he seems to go for quantity over quality. it's a nice, workmanlike approach to filmmaking. i just watched manhattan murder mystery last night and liked it even though it was super hammy at times and basically consisted of 92 minutes of bickering. one of my favorite parts of MMM was when woody was fighting with a cassette and batting the unspooling tape around like a kitten. it reminded me of his early, slapsticky comedies. also, at one point bunk shows up in a wordless role as a cop at the waldron hotel which was an unexpected treat. who says there's no black people in his films?

Listmaker said...

i've only seen manhattan murder mystery once when it first came out on video. i want to say that it was with balgavy in his dorm room but i could be mistaken.

i'd like to see it again though. especially after your brief description!