April 9, 2008
Ever since I signed up for Netflix, I’ve been on a classic movie kick. Thus far I’ve burned through La Dolce Vita (sexy as hell), Rebel Without a Cause (Jimmy Dean is more whiny bitch than rebel) and Bonnie and Clyde (Faye Dunaway was a fox). But the film that struck a chord with me the most was Woody Allen’s ode to the Big Apple, Manhattan.
Allen’s 1979 romantic-comedy tells the story of Isaac, a 42 year-old divorcee who is dating a 17 year-old high school girl (hmm). His lesbian ex-wife, played by a cold-as-ice Meryl Streep, is writing a tell-all memoir about their ill-fated romance. The story revolves around these and other dysfunctional relationships between uptown intellectuals. As a result, the screenplay is full of obscure academic references and esoteric vocabulary, but is brilliantly written nonetheless. But the reason I enjoyed the film so much is that the main character is Gotham itself. Allen’s use of stark black and white photography captures the city beautifully…It’s almost as though New York was meant to be viewed in shades of gray. The cinematography, combined with a jazz soundtrack highlighted by George Gershwin reminded me why I love the city I live in.