13 jul. 2011

Midnight in Paris

I saw this Woody Allen film, "Midnight in Paris," in which the protagonist gets to travel back in time and meet Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Picasso, Buñuel, Dalí, and Stein in Paris. I thought back to a time about a year and a half ago in Madrid. I was at the Círculo de Bellas Artes with my favorite Spanish critic, Miguel Casado, my favorite living poet, Olvido García Valdés, and then was introduced to a woman who turned out to be my favorite Spanish novelist, Menchú Gutiérrez. She was very impressed I had read every single one of her novels, including a very obscure one about a light-house keeper. I didn't need a magical automobile at midnight to meet these people. Of course if I went back in time in Paris I'd travel to see Cortázar rather than Hemingway But in any case my experience had something at once magical and real to it, while completely lacking the cartoonishness of Allen's vision of the lost generation. I guess the point was supposed to be that our vision of the past is, in fact, cartoonish and unreal.

3 comentarios:

Vance Maverick dijo...

Ugh, glad in a way to see this impression confirmed, though it cost you an evening. Everything from the way the movie has been praised to the inanity and incompetence of the poster has screamed out the same warning.

I recently trusted critical praise of Evelyn Juers' biography of Heinrich Mann -- it too seems to think the only interesting people in the past were the ones who are famous now, and at the same time not to have anything interesting to say about them.

Jonathan dijo...

Actually I enjoyed the movie quite a bit as I was watching it. A bit kitschy, for the reasons I outline here, but it seemed to work for the audience I saw it with. There was a funny moment when the main character tells Buñuel the plot of The Exterminating Angel, and Buñuel doesn't get it at all.

Professor Zero dijo...

The film was vaguely amusing because I got to see it in an art house that had an art nouveau type bar, and I guess if I'd been in a mall I'd have been grateful to look at Paris. But.