I rewatched Midnight In Paris last night, and must say I was much more taken with it this time. A film all about nostalgia, in a way it could be seen as Woody Allen’s love letter to paris, or a romanticised vision of the past which he admits to romanticising. I found it fascinating as well as beautiful: ever since I heard about Hemingway – or, rater, the myth of Hemingway – I too have yearned to go back to that period, to see those guys for myself. I loved how they were depicted in the film: the level-headedness of Gertrude Stien, the lunacy of zelda fitzgerald, the directness of Hemingway. I found myself falling in love with that myth all over again.
As soon as it was over I ran into the living room and asked Lyn if we could move to Paris. Needless to say, she did not seem impressed with the idea. I was of course enacting the very thing the film shows to be folly – there is little point to nostalgia, for there were no golden ages. The more I think about that film, the more taken I am by it. I think I’ll definitely have to watch it again soon; it makes some fairly subtle points about art, history, and even film. I think I also need to engage with Hemingway again, as the film showed me things about the old bastard I’d missed. I’m now pretty sure he would loathe the waffling, verbose prose I churn out, Yet I’m fascinated by his attempt to cut writing down to the essential, the very essence of what you are trying to express. Everything else, I’m sure he would say, is bullshit.
This film made me think about such things again, and I can’t now get it out of my head. That, of course, is the mark of a good film – I loved it.
More on this soon, I’m sure.