I recently saw Woody Allen's latest film, Midnight in Paris. The film is about a successful Hollywood screenwriter (played by Owen Wilson) who visits Paris with his fiance and her family.
As he wanders the streets of Paris and attempts to finish the novel he's been writing for years, he becomes completely taken with the city and swept up in all the romantic notions of Paris in the 1920's when artists and writers like Hemmingway and Fitzgerald made their own pilgramage to the City of Light.
The plot takes a surprising turn early in the film and I'd rather not give anything away because it's better not knowing but I do recommend it to all writers (and non-writers for that matter). It is smart and funny and I found myself laughing out loud far more than I thought I would.
And it helps that the way it captures Paris, the way Allen frames each shot, how it is meticulous and deliberate, yet, odd and haphazard all at the same time, is absolutely beautiful.
I like the way it dealt with time. The main character is caught up in the past while trying to figure out his present and change his immediate future. And we meet many characters with their own ideas about their own golden ages, whether it is now, or the 1920's in Paris, or the age of enlightenment, etc.
I left the film wondering about my own golden age. Thanks to books and films, I've wanted to experience so many periods of history. I love the energy and charge of the late 1960's in America. And Willa Cather always left me fascinated with frontier life, which sounds difficult and harrowing, and, lets be honest, I wouldn't last a day but, still, I have romanticized the idea of living off of the earth... Dancing and drinking with the Fitzgeralds in Europe or the Gold Coast also sounds like a rip roarin' good time.
Have you seen the film? Even if you haven't, what is your golden age?