Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Golden Age

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?


  1. Sounds good and I love the Van Gogh as the background! Hmm, Idk when my Golden Age would be...

  2. My mom told me I'd like this, and I didn't realize it was a Woody Allen film. Now I'm more interested! His films vary a lot in quality, but I still have a soft spot for him and usually give them a chance.

    I like throwing in historical novels to my reading mix. I also enjoy reading about different time periods. When they're done well I almost feel like it's a history lesson, even if it's fiction. I appreciate well-researched details.

  3. NiaRaie: I love the Van Gogh background too.

    Stephsco: I agree that his films vary a lot in quality. I don't know what to compare this one too, except it felt a bit like Manhattan Murder Mystery with it's quirkiness. I did feel that the pacing was off at times, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment.

  4. I'm going to see the film tonight. I'm a child of the 1960s and the energy of what occurred: Civil Right, Womens' Rights, all of that, I still miss it.

  5. I saw this Saturday! Definitely a surprising twist; I wasn't expecting it at all, but I loved it! I think I'd love to live in the '70s, but the '20s are pretty cool too. I'd probably be a better hippie than flapper.

  6. I'm afraid I've never been much of a Woody Allen fan. :(

    However, I am very interested in the Victorian age -- the beautiful clothing ...

    I'm sure if I actually had to live in corsets and hoops for more than a few hours, I'd hate it, but I like looking at pictures! :)

  7. I haven't seen this film, but I always thought I would like to see the world just before the turn of the 20th century. Just before the modern age struck in force. Simplicity is perhaps what I'm daydreaming about.

    Then again, I do like my modern conveniences . . . :)

    Fun question!

  8. i just saw that movie yesterday and really liked it- and it's so true, that no matter what era you're from, it's tempting to look back on history as "the good old days", whether they really were are not!

    such a clever film- loved everything about it. and it made me, too, yearn for paris!!

  9. sold.

    why don't you live near me, so we could go together?