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Part Trois-de-Trois

January 12th, 2013 § Leave a Comment

I have absolutely no idea if that is correct French right there in the title, much less so as our two films this week tread nowhere near the language. Okay, I guess that’s not completely true. In our comedy of comedies, “Love and Death,” Napoleon is the force with which our Russkie heroes must do battle, both literally and preternaturally. Okay, now I’m just getting a wee bit silly.

What am I really trying to say? Not much more than one of my favorite directors of all time has his best (to my mind) film of all time playing in 35mm at my favorite theatre in my favorite city. So can you say I’m stoked? Yeah, you can. Do it.

“Manhattan” is a film that makes other films lose their luster and their meaning. Sure, techno-marvels like “Hugo” claim to profess the magic of movie making and touch the core, but filmdom already peaked in 1979 with the opening to “Manhattan” and “Rhapsody in Blue.” Perhaps the best use in a film of popular music plucked from the public lexicon outside of a Kubrick flick, I dare anyone and everyone to not love New York after watching this movie. I’m still waiting for Allen or any other filmmaker to make a love letter to a city and filmmaking like this goddamn gem.

Yeah, this is the shot. This is the one.

Yeah, this is the shot. This is the one.

To finish off our Allen run, let’s harken way back to the beginning of this blog post with “Love and Death,” the middle of the 70s and a pivot point for Allen. After genre experiments and sight gags gone wild, Allen reigns it in a little bit, but not too much. Those of us who love “Bananas” and “EYEWTKASBWTATA” can still enjoy “Love and Death” as a fun parody filled with sex jokes, but those astute followers will notice Allen downshifting and about to pull the handbrake to spin us into the whirl that will take us to “Annie Hall” and ultimately “Manhattan.”

For those of you just now discovering these films, shame. But know that at the GI we take the devout and the fallen. All rise.

—let down by “To Rome With Love,” but ever faithful, dan

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