Book Trailer The Noble Train

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Dream of Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen's film Midnight in Paris is  A Moveable Feast. Most of us who write or read seriously know about the Left Bank crowd of writers and painters who set the bar in the twenties for all to follow for the next hundred years. It was an amazing amalgam of creative talent centered in post WWI Paris and more centered in the bars and bistros where the writers and painters cross pollinated and created literature and art that is probably unparalleled since the Renaissance. Who hasn't become a writer or a painter and think about going to Paris to live the life less certain?

I did and so did the Owen Wilson character who is struggling between art and commerce and a wife who wants the finer things. In his fantasy or Woody Allen's we meet Hemingway and Fitzgerald Dali Gertrude Stein Picasso Zelda Mcleish and are mindful of the lingering presence of Joyce and Faulkner and the many others who came to the heart of the world of art and writing to make history and live  the artist life in a world where art is preeminent.

This is the assumption and the dream and Fitzgerald is refined and Hemingway is coarse and hilarious and Gertrude Stein is the Grande Dam of writing and Picasso is conflicted and Zelda is brilliant and heading toward insanity. This is the world we dance through and of course Paris is the magical background that makes us want it all the more. And Owen Wilson wants it and when he finally throws over security for a life in Paris we say but of course.

And then the movie ends and leaves us with the dream of the Left Bank fantasy intact. And why not? Those people took a chance and went to Paris to be artists and live a life apart. Undoubtedly there was hardship and people starved and did not find literary fame. But Paris is not a dream, it is a real city, and as Owen Wilson says, just walking in the rain in Paris at night is enough. One can  only imagine.
Hemingways Attic-- surviving as a writer

Books by William Hazelgrove