The stories in the movies draw people to the cinema.
It is our great luck that Woody Allen has chosen to ride the crest of this wave with a fond look at the city and the days when Americans came in droves to fulfill their artistic dreams. Although the phenomenon of Americans in Paris is two centuries old, the Lost Generation remains its most powerful embodiment, the huge success of the exhibition of the Stein family as art collectors [showing in San Francisco, Paris, and New York] being yet additional proof.
In managing to bring this particular moment of the past and present together in so entertaining a fashion, Woody Allen has offered those of us who teach the history of Paris on North American campuses a great vehicle for discussion, as Jeff Jackson demonstrates.
The fascination, one should note, is mutual, and the French remain as mesmerized by Manhattan as Americans by the City of Lights.
Midnight in Paris Jeffrey H. Jackson Rhodes College Woody Allen is one of those rare American film directors who is widely appreciated by French audiences and critics. Perhaps it comes as no surprise that Allen would choose to craft a cinematic love letter to Paris.
But Midnight in Paris is not about the city as much as it is about the American fascination with and romanticization of Paris. Allen employs the Midnight in paris analysis essay Americans have constructed about the City of Light to ruminate on larger themes of nostalgia, memory, and history.
Paris provides the perfect backdrop for such an exploration, Allen implies, because the American imagination of Paris is bound up with these issues. Even Americans who have never been to Paris are somehow nostalgic about it. The film begins as a satire targeted at some of the stereotypical Americans who visit Paris.
He loves Paris in the rain for its beauty, while the people around him simply find it inconvenient. They complain about the traffic, go to American movies, and see almost nothing of the city outside a few high-end retail destinations. When Gil mentions the idea of moving there, he is roundly ridiculed.
He gets into an amusing disagreement with a guide at the Rodin museum, played by French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkosy, allowing Allen to ridicule another variety of American abroad. On a series of midnight walks, Gil is whisked away by a s roadster transporting him back to the era of the Lost Generation.
Each evening, Gil the frustrated writer meets and learns from his literary and artistic heroes. Eliot, and many others. She suggests he find an antidote to the meaningless of existence. Here the film becomes a straightforward love story: The scenes set in the past are often corny evocations of famous people; Hemingway spouts a string of Hemingway-isms about writing, truth, death.
Their very unreality is precisely their charm. The central themes of nostalgia and myth-making about the past can lead to some of the most fruitful discussion for students since fantasies about Paris are still part of the experience of many Americans who go or dream of going there.
Incorporating the work of several scholars who have written about the American fantasy of Paris as well as the realities of the s would also be extremely instructive for students.
Being an expatriate was never as simple or fun as Allen makes it seem. Capital of the World among several other works could help students situate the often difficult issues of expatriation and trans-Atlantic exchange in the early twentieth century while also complicating the questions Allen raises.
Ultimately, the film asks us to consider the question why does the dream of Paris still seem more powerful for Americans than the reality?
This question is especially important since Allen engages in quite a bit of myth-making of his own. Paris in this film is remarkably unified, something established with the opening montage.
Characters move quickly through the urban space as though every neighborhood were in close proximity. Students might ponder what Allen includes and excludes, both in the past and the present. For instance, there are relatively few ordinary French people in the film, an interesting omission which Hemingway also commits in A Movable Feast.
It should also come as no surprise that this is a sanitized version of Paris. There is nothing troubling here, no banlieues, poverty, or construction. Perhaps Allen chose to focus on the s because the Lost Generation shaped much of the twentieth century version of the American in Paris fantasy.
Ironically, there is almost no jazz performance, and very few African-Americans are depicted in the film despite their importance to the artistic scene.In Woody Allen's film Midnight in Paris, the main character Gil, played by Owen Wilson (center) travels back in time from modern-day Paris to the city in s.
Allen is on the right. Vacationing in Paris with his fiancé and future in-laws, he is overwhelmed by nostalgia for the period of the Lost Generation, the s, when brilliant American writers and visual artists from all over Europe lived and worked in Paris.
While taking a midnight stroll Gil is magically transported to the s where he meets Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Salvador Dali and other famous writers and artists of the .
The American love story with Paris, rudely interrupted by the “Freedom Fries” episode, has recently revived with a vengeance in the form of memoirs, scholarly analyses, and a string of “chick-lit” romances.
Essay on Midnight in Paris Words 7 Pages The star-studded romantic comedy Midnight in Paris is one of Woody Allen’s most recent films which he did both, wrote and directed. "Midnight In Paris," as a depiction of modern speculative fiction, is successful in some, but not all categories of the genre.
The film comprises of romantic elements, from the characters’ relationships to the embellishment of Paris itself, but contrastingly permeates skepticism: this is obvious thr. Free Essay: The star-studded romantic comedy Midnight in Paris is one of Woody Allen’s most recent films which he did both, wrote and directed.
It is a film.