I promised you a work of art that achieves transcendence despite its creepiness factor and here it is: Manhattan, starring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, and Mariel Hemingway.
I LOVE this movie.
The glory of Gershwin, the sweet loveliness of young Mariel Hemingway, the skyline of our beautiful city. This film is a love affair with New York, in glorious black and white.
Its creepiness factor? Woody Allen's character, Isaac, is having an affair with 17-year-old Tracy, played by the oh-so-innocent looking Mariel. It become even more creepy knowing that Woody had an affair with his now wife when she was quite young (she's still very young), and she grew up with Allen as the father figure in her life.
Who has an affair with the daughter of his longtime girlfriend with whom he's had a child and lets Mama find out when she discovers nude photos of her daughter in her "husband's" apartment?
We all know it. We know it's wrong. But somehow most of us look past it (it's o.k. Mia we still love you) and we still love his films.
I am extraordinarily fond of Annie Hall. Was Diane Keaton ever more beautiful? La di da, la di da.
But it's Manhattan that I truly adore.
I read on IMDB that Woody offered to make another picture for free for Universal if they would shelve Manhattan. He supposedly thought it was terrible and the worst thing he had ever done.
I hope he got over it, and if he didn't, then I disrespectfully disagree with him.
Isaac Davis: Chapter One. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion. Eh uh, no, make that he, he romanticized it all out of proportion. Better. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin. Uh, no, let me start this over.
Isaac Davis: Chapter One: He was too romantic about Manhattan, as he was about everything else. He thrived on the hustle bustle of the crowds and the traffic. To him, New York meant beautiful women and street smart guys who seemed to know all the angles. Ah, corny, too corny for, you know, my taste. Let me, let me try and make it more profound.
It's profound, Isaac.
Splendor in the skyline, glory in the concrete. I love New York. And it just doesn't get any better than Rhapsody in Blue.
Infinities of love,