Friday, February 24, 2006



Dir: Woody Allen

In case you haven't noticed, I went on a Woody Allen run. This is probably my second most frequent Allen film in terms of times seen (behind Bananas), and obviously it is one of the great pieces of American cinema. By far his most beautiful film visually, and without a doubt one of his most sensitive narratively, Manhattan is in the conversation about best of Allen, best of the 70's, and best of all time.

I won't bother with plot analysis. If you haven't seen it yet, then you are too hopeless to worry about. But the direct references to Bergman were meanigful to me this time around given my recent exploration of his catalogue. By the time of Manhattan, Bergman had such a signature style that he was in danger of being a caricature of himself. Diane Keaton makes an early condemnation of his pretentiousness, his coldness, his Scdandanavianess. But at the end, Swedish cinema ends up in Allen's masterful list of things that make life worth living. And Allen is correct this time. Bergman's confessionality is just as present as Allen's; both are keen observers of human relationships; both are obsessed with love and death; both wear their philosophical allegiances on their sleeves (Kierkegaard and Freud).

And both are reclusive geniuses. I love them both. Not much more to say.