As humans, people are not looking for more technology and advancements; they look for longing and time. People live life searching for their place and most people believe they cannot find it in the time they are in. No matter what era a person is from they will never think that their era is the greatest time in the world. Some people believe they should be from a time before their own; this is called nostalgia, which is the theme to the move Midnight in Paris. People look for flaws in things around them.
Gil, the main character, is a screenwriter trying to write a novel, so he sees everything in a deep perspective and looks for every flaw possible. He believes he is out of place. He thinks his life would be better if he were born in the time of 1920s in Paris of the artistic and literary renaissance. Many people talk about how they feel they were born at the wrong time, for whatever reason. They feel that what talents they have would be better resembled and appreciated, or their outlook on how to live was more acceptable in the past.
The only reason that people believe that decades in the past are better than the one they live in because of how these past decades are portrayed in movies or even songs. In the film, Gil and his fiancee, Inez, are visiting Paris with her parents. They find their impending marriage is doomed when Gil finds himself in some sort of time-travel to 1920s Paris. Inez is the total opposite of Gil, so their marriage was doomed before Gil started going to the past. Gil liked walking through the rain, Inez hated getting wet.
Inez liked to spend to time with her know-it-all friends, Gil liked to be alone and walk to find inspiration. Everything he had dreamed about the 1920s happened to him while he was there. He fell in love, got to dance to his favorite singers, and got to meet some of his idols like, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway. Gertrude Stein even helped him make his novel better by editing his work and giving him advice. When watching Midnight in Paris, there is a moment were it feels the movie is at a standstill when he sits on the steps at midnight.
Nobody knew what was going to happen until the sound of the automobile came by and he was suddenly in the 20s. When Gil is in the 1920s, he sees not everything is dandy like he had always thought. He sees that the artist and painters that he had looked up to had problems and was not in love with the 1920s has much as he does. He realizes just because they were great does not mean they did not have problems just like the people in the twenty-first-century. For example, Gil found Zelda Fitzgerald at the bay crying. He went up to her and asked her what was wrong.
She said that she felt that Scott did not love her and that he loved his works more than he loved her. She had been drinking and this scared Gil. What Gil discovers in this movie, is that the change in time did not stop the pull to nostalgia. He sees that the people he meets in the 1920s are nostalgic too, as of what they perceive as golden ages before their times. The girl that Gil falls in love with in the 1920s also has a case of nostalgia. Adriana hated the 1920s, it was a bit ironic, and she loved the 1890s.
She thought that was the time to live. She and Gil are taking a stroll through Paris in the 1920s and just like every other time he got in the car to go to the 1920s, they got in the car to go to her nostalgic time. When they go to the 1890s, Gil has an epiphany. He realizes that no matter what era a person is in there will always be flaws and good things. He realized that he had to live in the moment to truly achieve what he thrived for. After Gil went back from the 1890s to the 1920s, Hemingway talked to Gil about his novel.
Hemingway said that in the novel, the main characters wife is cheating on him and he knows about it and he felt like it was nonrealistic. This made Gil realize that his wife was cheating on him and that he needed to focus on his real life and what is going on in his present. Allen’s movie demonstrates the entirety of what nostalgia really is. People tend to ignore the good and glory of the present, and chose to ignore the bad and brutality of the past. “Memory is hunger,” Hemingway said.
The warm memories, of times people have known or of times people wish they knew, point them to a world they only believe is right. Nostalgia is at the base of everything humans do. And in lives many people imagine their pasts as being idyll, and they hope they can get back there again. All people feel nostalgia at some time in life, it is then realized that it is all an illusion. But that doesn’t mean when it is there they should end it. People are made for nostalgia. It is a part of life that will always be there.
Midnight in Paris. Dir. Woody Allen. 2011. Sony pictures Home Entertainment, 2012. DVD
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