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MANHATTAN (1979)

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MANHATTAN (1979)

Saturday, 23 March 2013 21:04

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Written by 

The Buzz:

 

     Auteur Woody Allen's love note to New York, this picture majestically follows Isaac Davis (Allen) as he and his friends (Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway, Michael Murphy, Anne Byrne) struggle with what it means to find happiness and love. They say that with age comes wisdom, but perhaps it also brings with it the weight of our past experiences.

 

 

 


They'll never find her body in this...

 

Life of the Party:

 

     You cannot talk about Manhattan without first talking about the cinematography. Say what you want about Allen, and many people do, but very few directors have an eye as keen as his. His personal love of art and photography has given him a great visual aptitude as a film maker. Allen chose to shoot Manhattan in a panoramic 2.35:1 aspect ratio and in black and white to make every shot look like old photographs of the city he loves that he remembered from his childhood. His talent behind the camera coupled for his love of the city come together to make one of the most visually remarkable films ever made. 

 

     In terms of writing and acting, this is Woody Allen. While I will admit that he is more successful with some films than others, all of his films are in some ways self reflection on his past and present and representative of his fear of what they mean for the future. As you watch Allen films you learn about Allen himself and as he is a very interesting and intelligent person, even his worst, I find, are worth a watch. But with Manhattan you don't have to worry about that… this is one of his best. Hell, it's been placed in the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress to preserve it due to it's cultural relevance and was nominated for best Screenplay at the Academy Awards in 1979. Speaking of awards, Mariel Hemingway won Best Supporting Actress for this film at just the age of 16 and she deserved it. Seriously, the fact that she not just holds her own on screen with seasoned veterans like Keaton, Allen, and Murphy, but also is a believable anchor to the entire emotional mire is astounding. The acting is honest. That's just the best way to put it. It's as honest as the material, you don't feel as though you're watching actors perform a script. You think you're a fly on the wall watching these people interact and struggle with their own personal baggage. 

 

     But I want to make sure that I don't scare you too much. While this film is relatively high brow and intellectual, Allen has a great sense of humor and this movie has plenty of it. It's not riotous. It's not slapstick or whacky like much of today's Rom/Coms. It's just funny in that way that we rarely see anymore…. smart. Allen makes references and allegories, juxtaposes ideas and people, and makes us realize the humor inherent in life itself even when maybe we're hitting rock bottom.  

 

Potential Hangovers:

 

     Allen doesn't pitch the jokes right over the plate. While the jokes are funny, they occasionally run the risk of going right over his audience's head. Then there's the fact that the picture doesn't have a "gets the girl" kind of happy ending (Allen's movies rarely do). It's not an unhappy ending or one without some kind of resolution, but it's not all neatly wrapped up for you. 

 

     That's really the only two bad things I could potentially say about this movie. That's not to say you may end up not liking it, maybe you won't… everyone has their own taste and as a fan of Allen's work I have come to accept that not everyone feels like I do about his work. But from a technical evaluation of this picture these are the only short comings I could find.

 

Before my brisk I was THIS big!

 

 

 

The Vibe: Date Night - Solo Experience - Deep Thoughts

 

     We have lots of movies on the site already for watching drunk with friends or maybe even appreciating on a lazy day by yourself. But we do not have many movies you could sit down with a wife, girlfriend, or potential significant other. I wanted to give that recommendation and Manhattan is a great one because I feel like it will appeal to the emotional side of the ladies and the sense of humor and cinemaphile of the guys (or in some cases vice versa!). But even if you don't have a girl to cuddle up with to watch this, if you enjoy some real introspection I still recommend putting this on.  Turn off the lights to make the fantastic black and white imagery really pop, grab a glass of your favorite wine or champagne, and treat yourself (and someone you love, hopefully). If you're single I like to think in the end this movie really gives you some hope and an empowering message at the end.. if you're in a relationship watching this, despite all of the fucked up things going on… I feel like at the end you could really connect and feel better about your relationship at the end. Hopefully you'll find the innocence and clarity of love that Hemingway's character brings and remember what it's really all about.

 

Plus/Minus:

+ Top notch production quality all around.

+ Beautiful black and white shots of New York at it's best.

+ A story about love, not a love story.

+ Smart

- Maybe a bit too smart at times

 

Read 771 times Last modified on Saturday, 23 March 2013 21:22

About Us

Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

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