Monday, August 15, 2011

Con Amore

Asleep, my love?
What, dead, my dove?
O Pyramus, arise!
Speak, speak. Quite dumb?
Dead, dead? A tomb
Must cover thy sweet eyes.
These lily lips,
This cherry nose,
These yellow cowslip cheeks
Are gone, are gone.
Lovers, make moan.
His eyes were green as leeks.
O Sisters three,
Come, come to me
With hands as pale as milk.
Lay them in gore,
Since you have shore
With shears his thread of silk.
Tongue, not a word.
Come, trusty sword.
Come, blade, my breast imbrue.
And, farewell, friends.
Thus Thisbe ends.
Adieu, adieu, adieu.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Golden Age

Woody Allen just premiered my favorite film of his, ever. Welcome to Paris in 2010, where  the city of lights by day is romantic, charming and enchanting as only this city could be. There is magic in this place where the light is pink, though, and at Midnight In Paris, wishful daydreams come true.

Enter Gil (Owen Wilson) who discovers at the stroke of midnight each night, that his dream of living in what he believes is the "Golden Age" of Paris in 1920, can be a reality. He climbs into a vintage car that stops for him on the Rue du Montagne Ste Genevieve and whisks him off to a party where Cole Porter is playing piano for all the guests, including his wife Linda, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Scott's wife, Zelda. Scott takes him to meet Ernest Hemingway who takes him to meet Gertrude Stein and we see cameos of Alice B. Toklas and Josephine Baker. Stein is, of course, hanging out with Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. More visits to this beautiful golden era find Gil in the company of T.S. Elliot, Salvador Dali and Luis Buñuel.

Gil meets a lovely lady in the 20's who dreams of being in Paris before the turn of the century when Maxim's was all the rage and her dream comes true for her, just as Gil found himself in the 20's of Paris, Gil and his lady friend Adriana find themselves back in time in her ideal golden age where they meet Toulouse, Gauguin and Degas.   

The question then becomes... are all those golden eras that we believe came before us really golden or were they just as common as our own era today is? I have said that I would love to have lived during the height of Egyptian and Greek and Roman glories, the Renaissance, and in the 20's, and in the 40's and that I was born too late for the old soul that I am, but perhaps I did live in those times and that's why they are precious to me, or perhaps the romantic in me loves the idea of being in a time and place that saw the birth of the things I love so much now.   

It's a wonderful query, and it is an abundant banquet of a film that is delicious in every single aspect; in writing, music, history, literature, art, humor, politics, 
romance, surrealism, nostalgia, idealism, and love...
and most of all, it is the very quintessential heart of one of the most special, wonderful cities in the world, the city of lights; Paris.

There is a day trip to the Palace of Versailles and some wonderful views of the grounds and the Hall of Mirrors there.

One of the sweetest moments in the film is found in a poetic comment Gil makes to Adriana on the 
Rue du Chevalier de la Barre stairway in Montmartre, just underneath Sacre Coeur, when he tells her that Paris must be the most beautiful city in the universe.

There is also a quick cameo moment when he walks out of Shakespeare and Company; an English bookstore across the Seine from Notre Dame, a bookstore which is owned by Walt Whitman's grandson.
This is Allen's crown jewel, I believe, and I can't wait to dance to the luscious, rich soundtrack, and find myself in this wonderful story and dream, again and again.