Raw, adjective: 7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions

The sun finally came out this morning. Thank god.

The other night I saw Woody Allen's 1979 film, "Manhattan." Often lauded as his masterpiece, it's another in the long line of Allen films complete with mad NYC love, a nervous Diane Keaton, and Woody carrying a tennis racket around while prattling on (and on, and on) about himself -- oh, I mean, his "character." I'm sorry, I mean, I can see why people think this guy's a genius in some ways, in terms of having captured a certain moment of life in the NY intelligentsia of the late 1970s and making some admittedly astute observations about relationships and love in the modern world, but enough already with the neurotic analyst sex talk and the thinly-veiled autobiography.

"Manhattan" does win points for a seriously killer orchestral Gershwin soundtrack; all the usual standards are there and I found myself distracted by playing name-that-tune throughout the course of the film. The cinematography is often breathtaking and shows flashes of great ingenuity; the iconic shot here of Keaton and Allen under the 59th St bridge is hauntingly beautiful, for sure. And I dug the black and white aesthetics.

But Allen's relationship with the young Mariel Hemingway, whose character was supposed to be 17 at the time, now rings creepily true to life, years after Woody shacked up with his adoptive daughter Soon-Yi. It's hard to watch the film with that backstory informing the viewing. And I can't say I'm feeling the Keaton love. Enough flitting and hemming and hawing already! Nearly thirty years later, she's still pulling the same shit. The jig is up, Diane. It's called self-possession. Get some.


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