• Sally Feldman

Hits and memories: 6

Updated: May 27, 2020

Manhattan soundtrack, Gary Graffman and New York Philharmonic (1979, Sony)

I think my whole family could sing along to this record, note for note, from start to finish. In fact, Mum and I used to, as we were driving to and from her chemo appointments in Darlinghurst a few years ago.

My father recorded it on a cassette tape for me, but the tape wasn’t quite long enough to fit all of Rhapsody in Blue on the first side. Every time I play it now, I still expect that abrupt end about 18 minutes in.

He recorded it for Mum, too – I remember the first time we played the cassette in her new car after shed moved to Sydney and both of us cracking up when it came to its orchestral emergency stop.

I loved Woody Allen’s films, although, of course, it’s almost impossible to watch them now without breaking out into a cold sweat. That said, I still sneak a look at Love and Death now and again, if only for what’s probably my favourite Allen throwaway line, spoken by Diane Keaton, playing Allen’s cousin, Sonja, when she’s in a clinch with Napoleon.

“I wonder if you would be more difficult to conquer than Russia?” he murmurs.

“Well, I weigh less.”

So much gold in that film. And wheat.

I watched Annie Hall for the first time alone in a cinema in Leicester Square, then stayed in my seat to watch it all the way through again. I was an enthusiastic adopter of Keaton’s look, with a collection of ties (including a turquoise glitter one with matching heart-shaped sunglasses… seriously), shirts and jackets and baggy trousers – perfect camouflage for a bird with an eating disorder and body-image issues.