Thursday, December 29, 2011

Midnight in Paris

We recently watched Woody Allen's latest movie Midnight in Paris. I loved it. Not necessarily for the acting or even the cast. Owen Wilson isn't one of my Hollywood favorites. And while I'm no Woody Allen expert, I don't think it's one of his very best movies. But what's not to love about a creative, romantic movie based in one of the most amazing cities in the world? I loved the scenery and the costumes - partially because I'm obsessed with Paris, partially because I've always been fascinated with the style and glamor of the 1920's era.

Midnight in Paris may not be Woody Allen's best, but it's certainly one of his more creative, thought- provoking movies. It got me thinking about all kinds of things, and stirred my imagination.

Where would I go, if I could land somewhere at any point in history? Honestly, I'd probably go right into the movie set first, Paris in the 1920's. Next stop would be Chicago during that same time period, in the height of that city's artistic, theatrical, and underground speakeasy era. Stop number three would be NYC in the 1980's, just to see that city transforming from a grungy city with a tough rap into the artistic, cultural mecca that it is now. Where would you go and when?

Next question I thought about with the movie - would anyone want to come back to the present to visit? What legacy are we leaving, and will anyone ever want to jump back in time to now? Was the past a more intelligent, interesting time, or is there a romantic quality to the past that makes it seem that way? After all, the computer came of age during my lifetime. Women couldn't vote in the 20's, and definitely didn't have the opportunities we have now. People of color didn't stand a chance at becoming President. Was the past really all that great or do we just think it was? I think I could go a million different directions with this discussion. I'll wait til I have a bottle of wine in hand. Do you think anyone will come back to now?

The movie also got me thinking about style and fashion. Why am I so obsessed with the beautiful dresses, hats, gloves, and shoes of the 1920's, when all I wear are cheap jeans and Converse with a t-shirt? I like comfortable fashion and I'm glad I don't have to wear a corset or anything crazy like that like women in the past, but part of me wishes there were more places to dress up nice for a fancy night out, like old-school dance halls or speakeasy type places that require nice clothes.

Who would I visit in my trip to the past? In the 20's, I'd want to visit many of the writers and poets in the movie. I'd also want to visit Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart, women I admire for their brains and courage. In 1980's NYC, I'd visit one of my favorite artists, Keith Haring, probably found spraying graffiti on a subway car or wall in the city. Who would you visit in the past?

And now that my mind is sparked from this movie, I want to see all of Woody Allen's best movies. What a brilliant writer he is, a brilliant mind, from our very own time period - maybe someone would come back in time to meet him??

In 2012 I think I'll watch all of his movies, starting with Manhattan. And we'll see where my mind goes from there.

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