we are very fortunate to be able to see a new print of woody's "manhattan" tonight at the samuel goldwyn theater.
the film is being screened as a part of the "film formats through the 21st century" series which discusses the much confused subject of film aspect ratio.
"manhattan" was one of the first films on home video to be shown exclusively in letterbox. it was never released in the once popular pan & scan format. woody allen wanted to preserve gordon willis's compositions and insisted that the aspect ratio be preserved when the film was released on video. indeed it is one of the finest examples of frame composition.
update: this has to be one of the most enjoyable cinematic experiences of my life!
i have seen this film many times (this and crimes & misdemeanors rank as my favorite woody allen movies) but i have never seen a more beautiful print.
the theater is one of the greatest, one of the reasons for living in los angeles! there were over 1000 seats and it was nearly filled and yet still so intimate and personal! the screen was immaculate the sound was revelatory (gershwin & james sabat!).
my eyes filled with tears several points in the film, after the opening sequence with gershwin's "rhapsody in blue", mariel hemingway's tears, and woody's expression in the final shot. it's an expression of knowledge and arrival. we are here, this is where we are now.
how wonderful to experience this in such a glorious fashion. oh, we are independently wealthy.