The movie will be introduced by Paolo Mereghetti.
The opening montage of Midnight in Paris is bound to elicit comparisons with the glorious city-symphony in miniature of Manhattan (79), and, perhaps on first viewing, some puzzlement. Where the earlier film builds to a magnificent crescendo in heart-stopping rhythm with “Rhapsody in Blue,” Midnight’s opening, set to Sidney Bechet’s “Si tu vois ma mère,” is more mysterious. As we shuffle through these vistas of Paris, we look in vain for the spark of romance, the perfect gesture or arrangement of forms and colors that will instantly evoke the image, the Paris of accumulated legend—impressionism x Atget x the New Wave. The distances remain too great, the light a little too flat and uniform, the music a little too teasing. It’s not that Allen has chosen the least picturesque parts of Paris, but that he’s photographed and arranged the areas we do know, however handsomely, as empty vessels waiting to be filled. In Manhattan, the character projects his own longings and desires onto the city (“To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin”), and he is obviously in perfect concert with the director. Here, there is no voiceover, and the director is quietly and assuredly laying the groundwork for a film that, we will soon see, is all about romantic projection.
Kent Jones, Film Comment, May-June 2011
“It’s a recurring, nagging feeling of mine that the reality we’re all trapped in is, in actual fact, if you dissect it, like a nightmare. I’m always looking for ways to escape that reality. One escapes it by going to the movies. One escapes it by becoming involved in the trivial nonsense of […] ‘Are the Mets going to win?’ When in fact it means nothing. But life means nothing either. It means as much as the ballgame. So you’re constantly looking for ways to escape from reality.” (Woody Allen)
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