Movie Diary 3/6/2023

Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979). Saw the movie a few times in a theater when it first came out (well, specifically the Ridgemont in Seattle) and a few times since. So there aren’t many surprises left, but there are still a lot of welcoming moments, and if it meant something to you 44 years ago, it probably still means something to you. The movie is in the ranks of the problematics, for reasons you know, and I can live with that without it getting in the way of the film itself. One new thought: The film is a bridge from Allen’s reliance on cutting within scenes (the first dialogue scene at Elaine’s, which cuts back and forth among the four people at the table and finds a busy, close rhythm) to his later reliance on uncut shots, which works fine when the players are on the ball but not so well when they aren’t (and doesn’t give you the chance to cut out the awkward stuff). Here, though, the balance between those two styles is ideal.