The first time I watched Midnight in Paris was in 2015, and I instantly fell in love with it. It’s been a sort of yearly tradition ever since, where I’d watch the film at least once a year. Each time I watch it, I feel transported into a different time and a wonderful fantasy world, where we could interact with our favourite people from the past. If you’ve seen Woody Allen’s films, such as Blue Jasmine, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, To Rome With Love and You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, then you’ll know his style. Not to mention, the soundtrack was so exquisitely and magically beautiful.
There are so many parts to think about, from love, relationship, era, history, writing, artists, nostalgia, imagination and self expression. Even the simple things, from seeing the beauty of walking in the rain at midnight in Paris. There’s something timeless about it. You lose sense of the present, and your thoughts wonder off into a world unknown, perhaps with a saxophone playing in the distant. The film starts with a montage of Paris scenery set to 1940’s jazz clarinetist Sidney Bechet’s “Su Ti Vois Ma Mere” to set the atmosphere.
There is beauty in the most small, delicate things. The thought of rain in Paris against the night light reminds us of the simple beauty in life. Gil tries to explain to Inez in a scene, but she can’t imagine such a thing. Gil: This is unbelievable! Look at this! There’s no city like this in the world. There never was. Inez: You act like you’ve never been here before. Gil: I don’t get here often enough, that’s the problem. Can you picture how drop dead gorgeous this city is in the rain? Imagine this town in the ’20s. Paris in the ’20s, in the rain. The artists and writers! Inez: Why does every city have to be in the rain? What’s wonderful about getting wet?
We often want what we don’t have or cannot experience. No matter how wonderful it would be, I know I won’t ever be able to see Ella Fitzgerald perform live, talk to Audrey Hepburn over coffee or hear Karen Carpenters beautiful voice in the flesh. There is sometimes a kind of romanticisation when looking at the past. It brings a strong sense of sweet nostalgia. We see the surface of others life, and may feel like it seems magical and amazing. However, it’s an illusion in the sense that we all live our lives with the good and bad.
Interact with those who support you and are extremely honest about your work. It’s important to surround yourself with those who inspire you, and those who support you. Perhaps if you’re an artist, having other artists giving honest feedback can be beneficial. This means that they aren’t afraid to tell you when they like or dislike something. Their comments are there to encourage growth and improvement. Hemingway (seen in the film), had a way of being incredibly honest, that you almost felt like the words come straight out of his soul.
Connecting with creative minds can solidify great friendships. Similarly to the previous points, being surrounded by those who share a passion similar to your own eg. art, writing, film, and engaging with them can create strong friendships over time. You talk about your point of views, opinions and thoughts. It allows you to broaden your knowledge and see things from different angles. A strong and true community is important.
The importance of writing and how it lives on in every era. Writing through every age communicates to people. Held at the hands of each person, the words soak in and we’re left feeling a certain way or thinking about certain things. You can read something from over 100 years ago, and ponder about it. How does it relates to your life in the present. Writing teaches us something, as much as reading does. Although, a writer should read often in order to write with an open mind.
Loneliness is in the mind, but so is imagination. Many artists can often feel lonely, especially within the process of creating. However, it’s that same experience that they all have, in which they all use their imagination and creativity to bring something real and raw. When we use our imagination, we lose sense of loneliness and time, and we enjoy the time we can spend in solitude and thought. We’re more likely to have sparks of creativity and energy to express ourselves.
Be persistent in the pursuit of your dreams. If no one believes in you, who is left to? The simple answer is you. You’re the one who is there for yourself to pursue and be motivated in chasing whatever it is you’d like to accomplish in life. No one can bring you down, unless you allow them to. Even the goals we set in mind, can only be completed if we set out to do so. We might write them on our to-do list and make sure of ticking them off. No one else is going to tick them off for us.
We must be grateful for the time we live in and learn to see its magic. When we live in the present, we can truly live our lives with fullness. Gil: 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. It’s a reminder that we must cherish the moment we live in, it’s the moment we truly have.
Love should cancel out all feelings of death. Ernest Hemingway: 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 when the man who is brave and true looks death squarely in the face like some rhino hunters I know, or Belmonte, who’s truly brave. It is because they love with sufficient passion to push death out of their minds, until the return that it does to all men. And then you must make really good love again. Think about it.
Artists go through their journey of struggle to something great. Every artists struggles before creating something great. It makes me think of J.K. Rowling, when she talked about how she had years where she was struggling in her life, yet through that time she created Harry Potter, and what it is today. She brought magic and made it alive for every person to experience, even when she battled through difficult periods in her life.