Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Escape, Love and Death ...

I needed to escape for a bit tonight. Lucky for me, the movie “Midnight in Paris” happened to be playing. I had heard great things about this movie and it seemed to get high marks from both the critics and the general viewing audience alike.  So I sat down late this evening to see if this movie would actually hold my attention.

I’m funny about movies. I wouldn’t call myself a movie critic --I figure we all have different tastes and perspectives-- and in order to be a critic you have to finish all of a movie before you can offer a critique. For me if a movie doesn’t have me within the first 15 to 20 minutes I can’t see wasting my valuable time sitting there to watch the rest of it. This of course drives people I watch movies with nuts sometimes, because I often lose interest and start flipping through a news journal, magazine, or book … or I’ll start scribbling lines for a poem or story, or start sketching some sort of doodle. If the movie is really mind-numbing for me I just have to get up and get out of the room altogether --perhaps one of the few times that doing the dinner dishes actually has appeal to me ; ) ... So it seems to work out rather well for me when I happen to be up alone, late at night, to view a movie for two reasons: 1) I have a better chance of starting with a movie that I’ll be likely to sit through and 2) I don’t have to worry about disappointing anyone because I can’t sit through a movie that they might have selected. 

[End Scene of the movie.  Gil finds someone
who doesn't mind walking in the rain.]

Well, I am happy to report that “Midnight in Paris” wound up being a most welcome escape for me.  I was able to escape into a movie about escaping to another, simpler, grander time: Paris in the 1920’s. This movie had a great story-line and it flowed nicely between the here-and-now and the past of the 1920’s Paris. Owen Wilson did a great job in his role as the struggling writer. I could relate. Very cool how Owen's character gets to meet with writers and artists of that “golden era” … especially Hemingway, who was a most interesting character in this movie. I have read a few works by Hemingway, but I don’t recall the quote his character gives to Owen Wilson’s character, Gil, upon their first meeting:

“I believe that love that is true and real, creates a respite from death. All cowardice comes from not loving or not loving well, which is the same thing. And then the man who is brave and true looks death squarely in the face, like some rhino-hunters I know or Belmonte, who is truly brave... It is because they make love with sufficient passion, to push death out of their minds... until it returns, as it does, to all men... and then you must make really good love again.”

~Character of Ernest Hemingway in movie “Midnight In Paris"

Is that not a fabulous way to look at Love? I did some quick searching tonight and could not find this quote among those attributed to Ernest Hemingway, but one source said that there were over 5,000 quotes attributed to Hemingway. So, I guess, I’ll have to keep looking if I want to verify this an authentic Hemingway quote?

This movie has a good ending, but I’ll not say more as I don’t want to give anything away. I can say that I happen to agree with Gil’s assessment as to why so many hold a nostalgia for times past …

“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.”

~Character Gil, in the movie “Midnight in Paris”

The present is perhaps unsatisfying because it is intimately interwoven with the mundane?  We tend to edit out the mundane in our recollections and revisiting of the past, do we not?

All in all this was a great movie and if you haven’t seen it, you might give it a whirl. I have not made it to Paris, myself. I almost got there once: I was in Belgium and we ventured across the border into Bordeaux. I suppose one of these days a visit to famed city of Paris would be a wonderful adventure. One of my Christmas presents (had been on back-order all these many months) just came a few weeks back.  It is an ART book cataloging all of the over 10,000 pieces of ART on display in the Louvre: “The Louvre, All the Paintings”, By Erich Lessing and Vincent Pomarede. Perhaps after flipping through the pages of this enchanted book and browsing through the accompanying ART CD my desire to visit Paris will be greatly enhanced? If I were ever to visit, Paris at midnight --being the night-owl that I am-- would have infinite appeal to me, and being no stranger to rain up here, in Seattle, I wouldn't mind a stroll in the rain either.  I love to dance in the rain ...

History, ART, culture, and epicurean delights galore … How could one go wrong with Paris? And on that note, I don’t think you’ll go wrong if you take “Midnight in Paris” for a spin on a low-key, rainy night. Might I also suggest a roaring fire and nice bottle of red wine, with some cheese & bread to enhance your viewing experience? Cheers and do enjoy!  = )

Song: "Have You Ever Seen the Rain", By CCR (

P.S. Happened to come across this site while searching for the above Ernest Hemingway quote ... might prove useful to some of you singles out there?

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