Sunday, February 19, 2012

Don't Make a Scene: Manhattan

The Set-Up: I was thinking, seriously, of putting up the ending of Manhattan for one of the "Happy Endings" of January. Been there. Done that. Wrote the checks and put "Paid" to it. Time to move on.

But, the glorious opening to Manhattan.  Ah, now that's a much better idea. Yeah, yeah, much better..."especially for a man of my taste."

Also, for where I am right now.  Having undergone a change of address (both physical and ISP), I'm now ready to let the disruptions of life go by the way-side and actually become a little more disciplined about things.  Having adjusted to a work schedule ("day-job"), the occasional freelance sound design gig ("night-work"), I can get a better handle on free-time and actually make time to look at a movie and even write about it.  Time to start afresh, renew efforts, and make a stab at making LNTAM a regular (or more regular) part of my life.  And, hopefully yours.

So, the opening to Manhattan is doubly appropriate.  The start of a new time, with emphases on the rough-draft stages.  I'm trying to let go of my perfectionist way of knocking out reviews ("Really?" I hear you say.  "I hadn't noticed.") and be a little more impressionistic...no...no...sounds like I'm being vague....a bit more disciplined about not being disciplined in making sure that I've covered absolutely everything I want to talk about, no matter how obscure and irrelevent it is to the subject at hand...which is whether to spend your hard-earned sheckles on the thing.  

The goal this year ius to get all the "Draft" stage articles onto the screen, the piles of red envelopes opened and viewed, the library rentals digested and returned, that National Registry article written, and those recommendations from my fellow trainees that I watched months ago out here on the center-stage...plus, there are still movies I haven't seen yet (fortunately, the list hasn't been exactly expanding over the last couple weeks).  The list of scenes for Sunday are less "theme"-oriented and are there because...heck, I just like them, they speak to me, or have an interesting back-story.  And, I have an Essay for this week commissioned by Encore Entertainment that neatly sums a dominating theme from the films of 2011...and thoughts that have been primarily sparking my frontal lobe this past year, as well—interesting how the two came together at this time.

But, that's all prologue.  Let's get started.  It's time to hit the keys.

"Chapter One..."


The Story:  There isn't one yet, mookie. Now, Sssshhh! the show's just startin'.

Yo, Action!


ISAAC (narrating): "Chapter One...."

ISAAC (narrating): "He adored New York City. He idolised..."

ISAAC (narrating): "...it all out of proportion." Uh, no. Make that "He...

ISAAC (narrating): "romanticised it all out of proportion. To him..."

ISAAC (narrating): ..."no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white..."

ISAAC (narrating): "...and pulsated to the..."

ISAAC (narrating): "...great tunes of George Gershwin."

ISAAC: Uh... no. Let me start this one over.

ISAAC (narrating): "Chapter one. He was too romantic..."

ISAAC (narrating): "...about Manhattan, as he was about everything else. He thrived on the..."

ISAAC (narrating): "... hustle, bustle of the crowds and the traffic."

ISAAC (narrating): "To him, New York meant beautiful women and street-smart..."

ISAAC (narrating): "...guys who seemed to know all the angles." Ah...

ISAAC: Corny. Too corny for a man of my taste. Let me try to be...

ISAAC: ...more profound. (narrating): "Chapter One. He adored..."

ISAAC (narrating): "...New York City. To him, it was a metaphor..."

ISAAC (narrating): "...for the decay of contemporary culture."

ISAAC (narrating): "The same lack of individual...


ISAAC (narrating): "...integrity to cause so many people to take the easy way out..."

ISAAC (narrating): "... was rapidly turning the town of his dreams..."

ISAAC: No, it's gonna be too preachy. I mean, y'know...

ISAAC: ...let's face it, I wanna sell some books here.
(narrating) "Chapter One."


ISAAC (narrating): "He adored New York City..."

ISAAC (narrating): "...although to him it was a metaphor..."

ISAAC (narrating): "...for the decay of contemporary culture. How hard it was..."

ISAAC (narrating): "...to exist in a society desensitised by..."

ISAAC (narrating): "...drugs, loud music, television..."

ISAAC (narrating): "...crime, garbage..."

ISAAC: Too angry. I don't wanna be angry.

ISAAC (narrating): "Chapter One. He was as..."

ISAAC (narrating): "...tough and romantic as the city..."

ISAAC (narrating): "... he loved. Behind his black-rimmed..."

ISAAC (narrating): "...glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat. "

ISAAC: I love this. (narrating) "New York..."

ISAAC (narrating): "...was his town..."

ISAAC (narrating): "... and it always would be."




Words by Marshall Brickman and Allen Konigsberg Woody Allen

Pictures by Gordon Willis and Woody Allen

Manhattan is available on M-G-M Home Entertainment







1 comment:

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I need to re-watch this, I remember it being (unlike usual Woody) one of those films of his that seemed palpably directed, not a criticism just an interesting observation in relation to how he's sometimes very hands off.