Thursday, July 17, 2014

Guest Blog Post: Gordon Willis Tribute: Manhattan/Annie Hall Double Feature By Intern Miyako

I always cry at the beginning of Manhattan.

This would be a slightly more impressive opener if I was a tough-as-nails, streetwise, spunky type who never cries. In this case, it would be the pure cinematic beauty of George Gershwin’s swelling symphony, Gordon Willis’ beautiful black & white cinematography and Woody Allen’s witty yet sentimental writing coming together for full nostalgic effect that would break my typically impenetrably, tough urban demeanor and reduce me shockingly to tears. Unfortunately, I am the crying type, so of course the beauty of black and white New York, messy and harsh and crushing but still beautiful, gets to me.

That being said, it is a really, really great scene. And it’s one of quite a few reasons I’ll be at the Aero Theatre this Friday, despite the fact that I’ve seen Manhattan and it’s double bill partner Annie Hall countless times.
Another reason is that I can spend (and have spent) a happy amount of time reading from the Annie Hall IMDB quotes page, alternately laughing and getting a little misty-eyed (told you I was the crying type). My simply writing “it’s so funny” hardly does anybody justice, so take a moment and watch a bit of it:

This could be written off as personal bias- I grew up on these movies and loved them then and grew up to be a slightly neurotic, fast-talking, half-Jewish Humanities major who would, naturally, love them. This sort of thing is right up my alley. But it would be hard to do so because my own good opinion of these movies is backed by prominent critics, 4 Oscars and 7 nominations between them, Golden Globes and BAFTAS,  spots on AFI top lists, consistent spots on most other lists of Best Films and certainly Best Comedies or Romantic Comedies, and legions of fans.

But perhaps the main reason I’m going this Friday is because I’m dragging along a guest, because I want everybody I know to see my favorite movies and because there’s no better way to get somebody to sit down and watch your favorites than to get them to a movie theater, where it’s dark and cold, and a little bit magical if you’re a sap like me, and where it’s frowned upon to fall asleep or leave for longer than an urgent bathroom break.

So bring a friend and come out to the Aero tomorrow! Or bring yourself if you’ve never seen these movies, because there’s nothing like watching a great movie, but there’s really nothing like watching a great movie on a big screen, where the sun doesn’t glint off the TV screen and you can’t hear cars over the dialogue. And by all means, come if you’re like me and you’ve seen it a million times, but it’s just too good to pass up. It’ll be an excellent, laugh-filled Friday night and if that doesn’t convince you, think of the bragging rights. We can deny our self-promotional instincts as much as we like, but the satisfaction of a sleekly filtered Instagram picture and telling people we saw a Woody Allen double feature at the Aero Theatre, fancily placed “r” and all, is a wonderful way to kick off the weekend. And if you do Instagram, don’t forget to tag us!

-Miyako, Intern 

Friday, July 18th, 2014 - 7:30pm

Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Avenue 
Santa Monica, CA, 90403