Thursday, September 15, 2011

Things That Make Life Worth Living

Woody Allen's Manhattan is a gorgeous film. Shot in black and white, it captures the beauty of New York City in a way that colour could not. Allen plays Isaac Davis, a twice-divorced 42-year-old comedy writer who temporarily dates a 17 year-old girl called Tracy, before deciding that he would be better suited to someone closer to his age. Towards the end of the film, when Isaac's relationship with the older woman has failed, he realises that he enjoyed Tracy's company all along. This realisation comes to Isaac in the form of an epiphany, almost. He is lying on his couch, voicing the things that make his life worth living into a tape recorder. The final thing he says is "Tracy's face", before he races out of his apartment building and reaches Tracy moments before she leaves for London. Allen's "What makes life worth living?" scene has stuck with me ever since I saw Manhattan, a bit over a year ago.

I thought I'd have a go at my own monologue (in the style of Allen's), about the things that make my life worth living. Here goes:

Alright. Why is life worth living? That's a very good question. Uh...well...there are certain things I guess that make it worthwhile. what? Okay. Um...for me? I would say Neil Finn, to name one thing. And Oscar Wilde, and that sense of urban alienation captured in Edward Hopper paintings. Nighthawks is a personal favourite. The thrill of almost being caught masturbating. Extra cheese on pizza, naturally. Shaun Micallef. Stephen Fry. Uh...the plastic bag scene in American Beauty. That whole film, actually. Making eye contact with attractive strangers on a train, especially when they reciprocate for a few seconds. Michael Hutchence-era INXS, for sure. The Simpsons before it jumped the shark. Uh...the karaoke scene in Lost in Translation, and the fact that no-one knows what Bob whispered in Charlotte's ear at the end of that film. The Internet - that's a major one. Oh, and I mustn't forget animals. Especially pets. And High Fidelity by Nick Hornby - my favourite novel. And Woody Allen, especially his monologues and characterisation of self-referential neurotic protagonists.

1 comment:

  1. ...oh to be locked in our own cultural time zone; this (what makes life worth living monologues) needs longitudinal study ( ages ago, now, when I'm older, and lastly...) - does it change? p.s. not sure "thrill" is exactly the right word...