new york in black & white

18 Jul

i could be woody allen’s #1 fan.

wait wait.  i know what you’re thinking.  and before you judge me and say “how could you, he is sic, he married his wife’s adopted daughter etc…” i understand.  but hear my story first. long before all that drama…

it was my senior year in college and i took an urban life in media and film class.  it was supposed to be a blow off class but wasn’t and i got a lot out of it. it was there that i saw my first woody allen movie called Manhattan.

the scene opens with him reading lines from the start of a play, showing black & white, romantic shots of new york city dramatically shown to the tunes of George Gershwin.  he had me at hello…

“Chapter one. “ “He adored New York City. He idolised it all out of proportion. “
Uh, no. Make that “He romanticised it all out of proportion. “
“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.
“Chapter one. “
“He was too romantic about Manhattan, as he was about everything else.

sitting in that class, i realized that someone had captured in words and music the passion i felt for life and big city.  this was about a city i loved – nyc – but it was also how i felt about my city of chicago.  i used to take the metro train from naperville to the city and walk about 9 blocks to college.  i loved the crisp, morning air and even the monotony of the 9 to 5’ers as they took for granted their big city routine.  not me!  i didn’t take it for granted,  i loved it.  i was 21 years old and had my whole life ahead of me.  the best part about that last sentence was that i knew i had a lot of good things in which to look forward.   to me, the mornings on the train  – watching the suburbs pass slowly then whiz past the beige industrial areas then the anticipation as the train slowed again to enter the big city  – all had the background music of George Gershwin.  the day pulsated with hope, zest and young optimism. 

i loved that time in my life.  but back to woody.  my love for “slice of life” movies was born with Manhattan.  i loved movies that were like you were eavesdropping in on a personal conversation, an intimate dialogue, i was an innocent bystander.  ooohhh the dialogue, the real life situation and the humor.  wonderfully written and strangely aspirational.  i hungrily ate up annie hall, crimes & misdemeanors, hannah & her sisters,  september, husband & wives and many more.  when i was single and living in chicago i called woody my rainy day friend.  if it was a rainy saturday or sunday, i would pop a favorite in my VCR and cuddle up.  i had such a passion for his movies that when i moved from chicago to dallas, my group of clients gave me a full dvd collection of all of his movies as a going away present.  they knew me well!

so i know all the personal stories about him.  i just appreciate his talent big time.

talk to you tomorrow with “5 lovely links (you’ll love).  hope you have a great day filled with big George Gershwin music

5 Responses to “new york in black & white”


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