Monday, February 15, 2016
hockey for opera, etc.
When the Woody Allen film, Manhattan Murder Mystery came out in 1993, I saw it in the theater.
----------------------------------- At that time I had not seen Alan Alda in anything since M*A*S*H had ended, ten years before.
And it had been fourteen years since Diane Keaton had last played opposite Allen.
Like many of Allen's films, Manhattan Murder Mystery takes place in New York City. Shot all on location.
Hand-held camera was sort of a new thing, in 1993: reviewers commented on it. (For perspective, Woody Allen's movie from the year before, Husbands and Wives, had begun the hand-held camera effect, & it was so snappy and jerky in that film, the viewer could almost feel like he was on an elevator whose cables had given way.)
Manhattan Murder Mystery's visuals were much smoother, but still the be-bop broken rhythm of the hand-held camera was an integral part of this movie's style, as well.
Alan Alda plays Ted, a recently-divorced friend of married-couple Larry and Carol Lipton (Allen, and Keaton). Carol calls Ted from this apartment where she's "spying" for clues -- she tells him breathlessly, "I'm dizzy with freedom -- this is the craziest thing I've ever done"...!
He replies, "Yes, but soon we'll be too old to do anything crazy! Now, I'd get out of there if I were you -- we'll talk more from your apartment."
At the beginning of the movie Larry and Carol are at a hockey game. They have a deal: Carol will attend the hockey game with Larry (it's his thing), and then next week Larry will go with Carol to the Wagner opera (her thing). [Wagner = "Vog - nah"]
In a later scene, after the opera ("Llaaaaahhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"), Larry reflects on his latent desire to "buy up all the Wagner records and rent a chain saw"...
These New-York-characters talk-talk-talk, yadda-yadda-yadda, advising and admonishing each other, arguing, discussing, ideas going to and fro like the birdie in bad-mitten: the story does not get "told" so much as it "bubbles up" from the constant talking, laughing, walking, speculating, contemplating, blah-blah-blah-ing that these people do on the screen -- like pasta-water coming to a boil, or coffee percolating...