Midnight in Paris

Right before entering the “belle époque”, from the 1920s

Happened to catch the movie on Netflix and having watched and enjoyed it before a few times, decided to watch a bit of it again, and — given how relaxing it was, just what I needed — ended up watching it all over again.

Some quotes by characters in the movie

Paul (the annoying pedant):

Nostalgia is denial – denial of the painful present… the name for this denial is golden age thinking – the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one ones living in – its a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present

Gertrude Stein:

We all fear death and question our place in the universe. The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair, but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.

Hemingway gets two quotes:

You’ll never be a great writer if you fear dying, do you?

No subject is terrible if the story is true. If the prose is clean and honest and if it affirms courage and grace under pressure.x

From the beginning of the book Gil was writing:

“Out of the Past” was the name of the store, and its products consisted of memories: what was prosaic and even vulgar to one generation had been transmuted by the mere passing of years to a status at once magical and also camp.

Finally, Gil himself (the “protagonist”):

Adriana, if you stay here though, and this becomes your present then pretty soon you’ll start imagining another time was really your… You know, was really the golden time. Yeah, that’s what the present is. It’s a little unsatisfying because life’s a little unsatisfying.

P.S.

  1. It came out at a time when it was believable fantasy, because it was before the era of “ubiquitous smartphones”. Today one would wonder why he didn’t have his phone on him to take a selfie as proof. No one is sitting and looking at their phones, c’mon !!

  2. I wonder how much longer it will still be possible to make “a movie set in a different era — surely the basic logistics of maintaining old cars must get too unwieldy, etc.

  3. (In the movie) the renaissance is to the 1890s, what the 1890s is to the 1920s, what the 1920s is to 2010. It is easy to imagine, now, how 2010 might seem like someone’s idea of a high point, just before the new hive-minds emerged, perhaps from the vantage point of … 2050?

  4. I realize now how it is one of the best “time travel” movies, without “overt” science-fiction-y touches.

  5. True story: Me and my wife watched “Midnight in Paris” in 2011 when it came out. At midnight. In Paris.

  6. This is one of the most brilliant soundtracks of all time. Leave it on in the background, you’ll see what I mean.

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