May 21, 2014

Shot by Gordon Willis

There are few greater documentarians of New York City in the 1970s than the late cinematographer, Gordon Willis.  In Woody Allen's opening monologue to 'Manhattan,' he uses sweeping romantic metaphors to describe the city which was his leading lady in his most memorable films. But, it was Willis that brought this opening sequence to life in vibrant black and white. It's one of the greatest love scenes of any film. Beyond 'Manhattan,' the crisp grittiness of 'The Godfather,' the mod sexiness of 'Klute,' and the underbelly of Washington's corrupt inner sanctum in 'All the President's Men' are conveyed on screen via this unique vision that Willis brought to his camera.

Gordon Willis captured time and place perfectly and, as I was a child in 1970s Manhattan, he has left me with a trunk of visual memories for which I am eternally grateful. You will be forever missed, sir.

All the President's Men

Annie Hall


The Godfather Part II

Broadway Danny Rose

Pennies From Heaven

The Godfather


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