Monday, August 25, 2008

Images From My All Time Favorite Films: Woody Allen's Manhattan (1979)

Recently I was honored to be named as one of the influences on a new series at Ed Howard's fantastic Only The Cinema blog. Introducing the series, Ed pointed out that he doesn't spend a lot of time necessarily writing about his favorite films, and I was reminded me that I often overlook many of my personal top picks here as well.
The reason for these exclusions is simple for me, as I would much rather write about a more obscure work that hasn't been written on endlessly rather than something like The Godfather that has already been covered in every possible way. I've battled a bit with myself here before on this because this does cause me to leave out many of my favorite filmmakers and films simply because I don't feel like I have a lot to bring to the table in regards to them.
To rectify this a bit I thought of this new series that will operate like my Images from the Greatest Films of the Decade where each week or so I will pick a classic work that happens to be among my favorite films and present ten screenshots from it. I'm actually pretty excited about it because it will give me the opportunity to salute classic, and usually much discussed, films without rehashing thoughts that have been said a million times over by much better writers than myself.
This of course doesn't mean that my selections don't deserve more writing on them...not at all...it just means that I don't feel I am the person to do it. For whatever reason, I only feel like my writing is at all successful when I am able to write on something a little left of center which is of course a failing on my part, but one that I can admit.
I hope the series proves enjoyable and that some of Moon in the Gutter's readers might share some of my favorites as well. These won't be in any kind of order, and they will just reflect my moods each week. Here's my first pick from someone who will always be one of my favorite filmmakers:

Manhattan 1

Manhattan 2

Manhattan 4

Manhattan 5

Manhattan 6

Manhattan 7

Manhattan 8

Manhattan 9

Manhattan 10

Manhattan 11

7 comments:

Ed Howard said...

Awesome, I'm glad I could inspire this series in turn. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with -- and I'm curious to what extent we'll converge in our choices.

As I'm sure my blog makes it clear, I'm a big Woody Allen fan, I've been watching all his films in roughly chronological order and am currently up to the mid-90s. Manhattan is quite good, as much for its gorgeous B&W cityscapes as for providing the model for much of Woody's bittersweet drama/comedies in the next few decades of his career.

Steve Langton said...

Great choice. Manhattan is my all time fave pic from The Woodster, closely followed by Hannah And Her Sisters. I never tire of seeing this classic and appreciate the shots you have chosen.

The King Of Cool said...

I've seen so many Woody Allen films over the years. This is one that for some reason I've never seen. I'll have to rectify that soon. Great shots from it. I've always heard so much praise for this film.

J.D. said...

It's a cliche, I know, but this probably my fave Woody Allen film. A lot of people cite ANNIE HALL, which is an awesome film, but MANHATTAN has that something extra - probably the gorgeous b&w cinematography by Gordon Willis (man, was he on a roll in the '70s!).

I also think that it features some of Woody's best dialogue. So many quotable bits, like the party where a woman says, "I finally had an orgasm, and my doctor told me it was the wrong kind," to which Woody responds, "Did you have the wrong kind? Really? I've never had the wrong kind, ever. My worst one was right on the money."

I could go on and on, quoting dialogue from this film. In many respects, it is something of a comfort movie and for the longest time, I had a ritual where I watch it every Sunday morning.

Nice pick, Jeremy.

Mr. Peel said...

This brought up a few interesting points for me. I saw VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA a few days ago, which I thought was terrific, so Woody has been banging around my brain lately. Also, I have sometimes been faced with the problem of trying to say something new about a film that has been discussed many, many times before. What can I say about CHINATOWN, ANNIE HALL, CITIZEN KANE, not to mention so many others? But I still love those movies, just like I love MANHATTAN and I love the shots you chose.

Sometimes when I'm at a public event chatting with people I'll think 'why isn't this as interesting as the ERA benefit in MANHATTAN?'?Maybe I should write about trying to find that feeling here in L.A.

Joe said...

Great screenshots from one of my favorite romantic comedies. While Allen seems to far prefer The Purple Rose of Cairo, Husbands and Wives and Bullets Over Broadway, like Steve and J.D., this is my favorite Woody Allen film. While I don't find it hilarious any more, there's no mistaking it for a gorgeous work of art.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks to everyone for the great comments. It's been a tough week and I'm sorry I haven't responded to each one. I did enjoy reading all of them and hope my upcoming pics continue to get such great reactions...