classics: Somewhere in Time/Midnight in Paris

Love indeed is timeless..

It is the first time that I’ll write about 2 flicks that I feel are classics already at the same time. I’ll definitely make this timely short as possible. =)

Anyhow, let’s go for the old one first. Somewhere in Time was released on 1980, I saw this when I’m around 9 years old or such, but definitely in betamax format. I still remember I cried in that movie which I don’t know why. I watched it again now but I didn’t cry, but I got that same bittersweet feeling watching this flick.

Story goes, a successful playwright receive a watch from an old lady then saying come back to her. Years passed well, he took a break from writing plays, took a vacation in an old but grand hotel, which he discovered a beautiful picture in it’s hotel museum. He discovered that the lady in the picture was that old lady he met years ago. A well known theater actress in 1912.. As he was very fascinated and fell in love with her, he discovered somehow how to travel time through his college philosphy professor, then attempted to do it.

It worked, by the way his name is Richard and the lady is Elise.. They met despite with strict watching eyes by Elise’s manager, Mr. Robinson, they were able to overcome struggles then fell in love. But such love story doesn’t come with happy ending.. Richard forgot he has a coin in the present which somewhat transported back to his real time. He became depressed, broken hearted and obssesed with Elise, wanting to get back right away.

Due to depression, he didn’t do anything, he starved himself, died.. But as that one sequence in the end, Elise and Richard met again which no one will separate. Then that famous music plays along.

Despite some major questions around the story, such how the old Elise got the watch if at that time she met Richard, she never saw that watch before. Richard’s character, well is he really present at 1912, or he just come out at 1972. Confusing. I don’t know…

Lastly, I hope there were a lot of screen time for Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve together. Well, you can’t blame those 2 stars experiencing actor’s strike and reduced budget at that time, but I hope, at least they have a lot of screen time together at least an hour.. I took 45 minutes when they first met, then another 15 minutes to have a scene they went out walking together. Then yeah it’s around 30 minutes you see them together.

That made me crave for more.

Great things I love this movie… First thing, costume design and setting as well made perfect for the story, I mean I thought it’s a big budget at that time, but I read it was done in a tight and slashed budget, you gotta give credit to that team, looking the film elegant and fit for the 1912 period.

Another thing, despite with the confusing story, got to give credit to the production team, from direction, screenplay, editing to make film focus in the relationship than the story itself. I just hope they have a longer running time.

2 great parts that I love this film that made it a classic.. Christopher Reeve really gave his all in this film, gave me a different impression than Superman 1. Great performance, and it really showed how he loves Elise. Jane Seymour, the only film I remembered about her, seriously, wedding crashers! I also remembered, I used to watch her at Dr. Quinn Medicine Women in TV her. Maybe that beautiful face.. Even when I was a kid, I don’t know that name, I knew Christopher Reeve because of Superman. But when I saw her again, that beauty, radiance, don’t forget that lovely voice and how she fell in love.. I just sigh and Richard was right, don’t care which time you’ll see that person, I’ll back in time just for that lady.

Don’t forget Christopher Plummer as that strict manager, which delivered a great performance, perfect for him even in such a short time.

Lastly, don’t forget that music used in that film. I know it’s only like 2 versions used to it, but it’s perfect for the film.. I can’t imagine other musical score can be used in such lovely claasic.. I love that version used in the film credit.. Very subtle yet, gentle and lovely.. Oh love.. Together walking along in a long winding road, hearing that theme, it feels nothing can really break your love for each other. Anytime, somewhere.

In time.

 Woody Allen almost done with his european tour set of films. Started with Matchpoint in UK, which I haven’t watch yet, Vicky Cristina Barcelona which is very hot perfectly fit in Spain, then Midnight in Paris then To Rome with Love.
For now, I can say, Midnight in Paris is the best out of those european tours! Very clever.
The story goes as one successful hollywood screenwriter tries going into writing novels, travels to Paris with his nagging girlfriend plus her family. The reason for the travel is his soon to be father in law has a business deal to finish in Paris. Gil by the way is the name of the writer, so loved Paris, just strolling around and not minding even when getting soaked in rain. He loves the sights and sounds, romanticism that Paris has to offer. Of course, along the way he met his girlfriend’s friend in college plus the boyfriend. Inez by the way is the name of his very stubborn girlfriend.
One night after that wine tasting party of sorts, as he lets Inez go out with her friends, and him wants to enjoy just walking around Paris.. He stumbled at midnight in a street and he was picked by a very old car with some people inviting him going to a party. He joined them, drank and yeah, invited inside the party. As he is listening to a familar music which he is quite confused it’s the real thing or recording, he was bumped by Zelda and asking what he does.. Gil said he’s writing then Zelda introduced Gil to Scott, Scott Fitzgerald.. Gil was surprised that their name sounds like well, as we know, very good american lit writers. But Zelda suggested as they are getting bored, go to other bar and party again!
Then, there they went and then go to another bar, as Scott introduced Gil to Hemingway, yes, Ernest Hemingway. Gil was shocked that he’ll face Hemingway face to face and talk to him. Gil having a hard time to really know if his novel will be successful or not, so he ask Hemingway to review his novel. Hemingway declined because he’s not good at giving opinion. He suggested that bring the novel to Gertude Stein, his critic. Gil was stunned about it, and told Hemingway he’ll be back with the novel right away!
As he went out from the bar, he goes back and it became a laundry store.
His feeling is on a high and very much inspired, so he looks forward every midnight and meet his legendary idols.
The second night, as Inez left him in that spot where the old car passing by, he met Pablo Picasso, Gertude Stein and the very lovely Adriana. He gave his novel to Gertude but he was mesmerized with Adriana.
As nights goes by, he got not only a direction and inspiration for his novel but also met a lot of the literary, film and art greats like Matisse, Gauguin, Buñuel, Dali, Cole Porter and others that I don’t know. But he also fell in love in Adriana… As much he wants to stay with Adriana, he can’t because Adriana suggest wants to stay in the period she’s in, and Gil although he loves classical, Paris and sorts, he wants to move forward and stay in Paris at the present time.
In the end, fell sorry for that detective who was stuck in Louis XIV time, somewhat he looks one.. Gil moved forward, no more 1920’s time at midnight, he settled with Gabrielle, a nostalgia shop saleswoman, but very lovely as well. They went walking within Paris in the rain.
Oh yeah, he discovered Inez was cheating so he separated for her, no more wedding. That b*tch.
The only flaw in this wonderful film, I want to see more screentime of the great cameos or greats like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, or even Picasso or others, even Dali. 90 mins is such a short time that Gil was able to get it right away and fell in love with Paris and his experiences, at least if Woody Allen was able to extend it for around another 20-30 mins, and go deepen with that relationship with Adriana, this will be a perfect film. But it’s not really a big flaw, it’s a suggestion and maybe they are in a tight budget at that time. I still love it!
Give the biggest credit to Woody Allen, let me say at the first 15 minutes of the film, I almost like I’m going to hate this boring film due to Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams acting like b*tch, pain in the arse.. After that he switched to full gear to awesome story.. That’s why this film run away with an Oscar for original Screenplay. I could have agreed more! As much I don’t like his infidelity part of film, as all his films has that.. I still love that dude. Knows how to depict love in a most simple yet glorious way.
His usual direction of clever yet short dialogue, fast paced, topic of love not only with 2 people, but love in the place, time and even the art itself. Give him credit for the compact film it is.. I know it’s short and kinda let down but with all those characters coming effectively at such short time, it’s a great film, and that takes well experience and smart screenplay.
Another credit to the production and costume design team, I mean I thought at first that 1920’s backdrop is like I thought it’s a party theme of sorts but when it moves forward, it’s a really a different time. Got give a lot credit to them for making it real. From the place, cars, even dresses, it’s indeed roaring 1920’s.
Another one, cinematography, those scenes that in 1920’s a different color used.. With that somewhat vintage color, it added to that feel of that period.
Music should be also given credit, as usual, French has a different kind of sound so you will feel all through out the movie, you’re in France indeed. Especially that last scene and the music used in the credits, very French and lovely.
Lastly, don’t forget the very great cast assembled in this film, not only by their names but also what they’ve done..
From Owen Wilson who I thought he’s a young Woody Allen, more younger and good looking. Rachel McAdams as much that’s her role, it fits her at least. Her parents at the film, very great portrayals.. Hmmmmm then Tom Hiddleston as F.Scott Fitzgerald, despite with short screening time, he did leave a mark, same as Alison Pill as his wife Zelda, then that Ernest Hemingway dude, damn I know he’s not known but they can make a biography out of that character plus the actor alone!
Kathy Bates as Gertude Stein, very well acted, intellectual of sorts.. Then Marion Cotillard, wow.. She’s not only a great actress but also great looking. I think I should watch her Oscar performance in La Vie Rose. Every film I watch with her on screen, I’m getting interested about her.
Then other unknown actors whose roles are the greats, they kinda look alike and felt their prescence even really having a script. Fave cameo, Adrian Brody as Salvador Dali.. Wow.. I was laughing and had fun about that short role of his. He can pull some laughs. Ah of course, don’t forget ever reliable Martin Sheen.
Well, as much Vicky Cristina Barcelona is damn lovely because of those 3 great actors and actresses.. I mean indeed lovely for that film, but when I saw this film.. I forget Vicky and put this on top already. No doubt! The twist, cameos, design, everything, this really put it as one of the best, an instant classic.
But I should watch more Woody Allen flicks, to know which is the best film from him. I bet it’s Annie Hall. I don’t know yet.
Anyway, you may wonder why I have this two flicks in one blog as classics..
They have the same great element used for this film which they indeed use it effectively.
Time Travelling!
Other time travel flicks are about revenge, or saving one’s life, or how about getting famous or rich..
These two flicks used time travelling in best ways..
For Somewhere in Time, finding love despite odds in different time, believing love is eternal, no time needed.
For Midnight in Paris, finding inspiration for one’s work, to strive for the best way possible to express his feeling.. Of course, there is also searching for love, but it’s more about loving the whole city, and especially the greats and arts. Everything in Paris, even in 1920’s.
Both of them, really did not make things complicate using time travel as a theme for films. It can be a great tool for being inspired by looking back in time.
Or if you can, if you can’t really find love here, maybe time travel into a different period and place to search that one true love!
Indeed, these films are classics for me.
Timeless classics, whenever time I watch these…
Passage of time isn’t a problem.

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