Chiefs Culture Challenge: Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen, part II on the Culture Challenge.  Owen Wilson and Woody Allen.  Bound to be cheeky, right?

 

First of all, this is deemed to be a “Sony Pictures Classic” by the DVD main screen.  It was released in 2011.   This is a classic as much as this year’s Super Bowl was.

 

The title of the movie does the trick, but if you didn’t know this was set in Paris, the first five minutes would do the trick.  Lots of scenic France.  I’ve never been, but it looks beautiful.

 

“Why does every city have to be in the rain?” says Rachel McAdams to Owen Wilson, who was waxing poetic about cities and weather.  I’m going to like this.

 

Oh my gosh, the father is a guy from Wayne’s World.  I’ve always wanted to go to Noah’s Arcade.

 

 

 

 

Owen Wilson just killed a moment with a story about “sauerkraut and frankfurters” along with James Joyce.  Nice work.

 

Gil is a former Hollywood guy who is now writing a book.  He is taken with Paris and its culture.  He is also thoroughly offended by McAdams’ friends who seem to be….taken with Paris and its culture.  What’s a Woody Allen without a jug of self-loathing.

 

“Nostalgia is denial….denial of the painful present.”–Golden Age Thinking, according to the self-righteous Parisian friend of Rachel McAdams, Paul.  He is the guy who helps the tour guide.  Or argues with the tour guide.

 

Gil–a few wines above the general limit–just hopped in a car with some random people.  Some of these people seem to be F. Scott Fitzergald and Jean Cocteau.  Now, he’s just met Hemingway who is at a bar quoting A Farewell to Arms.  Fitzgerald just called this woman “old sport.”  This is awesome.

 

 

Hemingway is bringing Gil’s novel to Gertrude Stein.

 

Gil says, as they get into a car, “Are you sure you don’t want to walk in the rain?  It’s our last chance.”  Hopeless romanticism, overboard.

 

“All cowardice comes from not loving or not loving well”–Hemingway.  Beautiful.

 

Hemingway just described Picasso as “no Miro.”  Classy.  Art fight.

 

 

“Let’s get some culture”–Gil.  The new slogan for the Culture Challenge.

 

Kathy Bates.  Shouldn’t she be in a tub?  Oh, no, I guess she’s just going to talk about innuendo and implied sensuality.  As Gertrude Stein.

 

Hey look, Owen Wilson just gave Zelda Fitzgerald a Valium.  And then he met Salvador Dali who is babbling about “the Christ face” and the “rhinoceros”.  Can you imagine a knockoff of this where a failed athlete meets old athletes, and the athletes bring the guy’s self-esteem up my making him feel like he’s simply been born in the wrong era.  I can see the millions rolling in now.  For Denzel Washington and Greg Kinnear.

 

Boy, this marriage isn’t working out between Gil and Inez.  Wayne’s World guy doesn’t like Gil one bit.

At the tail end of the movie, there’s an argument over which era was the best to live in.  Some think their era is best, others believe some other era is ideal.  What a divide.

I love a movie that makes me think deeply.  This did.  Tremendous.

Speaking of deep thinkers:

 

Next week on the Culture Challenge, Kevin reviews Rick Astley’s 10th compilation album, Playlist: The Very Best of Rick Astley.  The Culture Challenge gets Rickrolled.

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