This morning Cyrus is lecturing on Woody Allen’s Manhattan in our Writing New York class. It’s one of my favorite lectures of the semester — one of the real pleasures of team-teaching a course like this. Even better, sometimes, than getting to teach some of your favorite books or other cultural artifacts is getting to listen to someone else do it.
I’ve seen the Allen film probably a dozen times by now, but I really don’t ever get sick of it. For one, it’s interesting to return to it each spring with a group of new students — many of whom haven’t seen it before. (I know, it seems amazing! When I was in college one of the first rites of passage was finding the right group of people with whom you could rent — and then memorize and recite whole chunks of — Woody Allen’s oeuvre.)
One of my favorite viewings of the film, though, came not for the class but during a summer’s research trip to LA, when I went with a few friends to see it outdoors at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. I wrote about that viewing elsewhere, if you want to read my whole take on the weird LA/NY tension that organized the evening, but for now I want to call out a moment near the end of my post when I misquoted some lines from the film’s ending. I wrote: