Saturday, December 23, 2006

"Annie Hall"

Of all places in this huge and rainy world of ours, among the least heterocentric ought to be New York's West Village. And yet... When I got to the Film Forum tonight, as I purchased my ticket to "Annie Hall," I was informed that this was the last one. Knowing that fellow IFSer Charlotte was just down the street, I explained that my friend would be there soon. I kept saying, "My friend, she's just down the street," but the ticket salesmen insisted my friend was a "he" and wanted a description of what "he" looked like. I wouldn't have made a fuss about it, but to get her the ticket, I did need to describe who she was so that she could get in once I'd saved her a seat, and her being a "she" is one of the more ways of describing her, as gender is for the great majority of people. Is it that inconceivable that two women might go to a movie together on a Friday night? Is the "I like boys" sign still as visible as ever?

As for "Annie Hall" itself... it seemed the perfect pre-Israel-trip movie, a look at diaspora Judaism at its most self-loathing before encountering the "Jewry of muscle" Nordau dreamed of and Herzl and so many others gave their lives to provide with a country. But for all the despicable things it may stand for, "Annie Hall" is evidence that Woody Allen is, at times, quite brilliant:

Alvy Singer: I think, I think there's too much burden placed on the orgasm, you know, to make up for empty areas in life.
Pam: Who said that?
Alvy Singer: It may have been Leopold and Loeb.

That, and it's an amazing story about New York. One that makes perfect sense even in 2006.

No comments: