The only thing I didn’t like about “Midnight in Paris” was that it ended, and that I would be unable to go see it again the following weekend due to its short shelf life at the movie theater here in Lihu‘e.
It crossed my mind to duck between the rows of seats, nurse the rest of my popcorn and wait for the next showing to start. Fortunately, my better half snapped me out of it, reminding me of our plans to play chefs in our home kitchen where we later cooked up a fabulous feast for the week ahead in the form of Phad Thai, South African Sweet Potato Patties and Spanish Tortilla.
I can count on one hand the number of films I’d want to see again on the big screen: “La Vita É Bella,” “Amélie,” “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” “Volver,” “Fight Club.”
The characters Woody Allen brings back to life in “Midnight in Paris” were coincidentally some of my favorite literary heroes and artistic idols. Ernest Hemingway, Paul Gauguin, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Salvador Dalí, Luis Buñuel, Pablo Picasso and T.S. Eliot.
Maybe the short run for this movie here, not unlike “Win Win,” is a reflection on likely viewers. When we saw “Midnight in Paris,” there were about eight people in the theater. I mean, why keep a movie for more than five days if you’re running the reel for empty seats?
Perhaps it has something to do with what is being taught in school these days. Do kids still read the classics? Is art history even part of the curriculum? I sure hope so. But if not, I could understand not appreciating “Midnight in Paris” since all the characters would be alien.
The actors portraying each person in the film exude an exaggerated likeness and likability of the sort you find yourself wanting to spend more time with laughing and intellectualizing and skirting off to 1920s Parisian bars. The movie itself becomes an allotrion, which the New York Times (in a recent article about Freud’s work with the coca plant) defines as an idle pursuit that distracts from real responsibilities.
I left the theater eager to pour ample amounts of thought and vino into the paradox Allen distills through his lens.
The film was an escapist fantasy, yet inspiring to the point of wanting to abandon modern comforts for the pursuit of creating something truly great.
Alas, responsibilities keep me rooted in the routine. Common sense pervades my mind and I strike an accord between my romantic and classical sensibilities.
I reach for a reasonable balance between daring to dream and carving out an existence where I can ripen. As fate would have it I’ve found real happiness in the process, particularly due to the wide open landscape that is our future.
And so it goes.
It was a weekend for the record books, from a marvelous matinee to a killer Kilauea sunset. Time spent with friends, enjoying the beauty of Kaua‘i, time spent with each other, enjoying the beauty of simplicity, bound by a braided thread of good wine, good food and good company.