Thursday, 1 March 2012

Midnight in Paris

I've been exposed to many great films lately, but I think the one that has inspired me the most as a writer is Woody Allen's latest film "Midnight in Paris".  It wasn't just because the main character was a writer, or that he was in a beautiful city with a rich history of art and literature - or that I wanted to punch the pretentious academic character in the face every time he shouldered his way onscreen.  What really got to me was Ernest Hemingway.

I hate his books.  A strong, and albeit suicidal in some circles, comment to make.  I hate the emotional disconnect between his characters and the disconnect I feel when I finished A Farewell to Arms.  And I hate them because they are good.

He was my favourite character in the film.  How intense he was, and the level of dedication to his work.  He knew what he thought, knew that death was inevitable, and valued above all else the power of courage in an individual's life. I laughed from the heart at his sincerity because it was just so ridiculous and noble.

Something else that I loved about the film was how Allen emphasized the importance of the present.  Famous authours were once obscure men and women who lived lives in their ordinary present; we clothe them in gold and give their streets an auspicious glow, but in reality, that's what it felt like to be them: real, with the struggles that visit all on their backs.

In any case, a good film, a word feast, and Owen Wilson does well as Woody Allen's character.

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