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Midnight In Paris Essay

2085 words - 8 pages

The star-studded romantic comedy Midnight in Paris is one of Woody Allen’s most recent films which he did both, wrote and directed. It is a film about a man named Gil (Owen Wilson) who travels to Paris with his fiancée’s parents in order to expand his imagination and he ends up embarking on a journey to the 1920s while walking the streets of Paris at night. Not only is this film engaging and witty, but it also manages to provide both, overt and covert examples of postmodernism in film. By analyzing Woody Allen’s 2011film Midnight in Paris, we can identify the presence of many underlying motifs in both the narrative and the characterization of the film when using some of Frederic Jameson and Jean Baudrillard’s concepts on postmodernism.
One of the main concepts that postmodernism relies on is bricolage, which is reflected in Midnight in Paris through the usage and mixtures of the different styles and genres. It is not exactly simple to pinpoint or even categorize the type of film Midnight in Paris is, the assemblages of genres include romance, comedy, fantasy, adventure, history, and time travel. There is certainly a blurred line to which genre dominates this film because all these genres are seamlessly blended in together making it difficult to distinguish where each decides to be featured. Allen managed to extenuate the use of long and still shots in order to highlight the city of Paris towards the beginning of the film as his opening shots, a technique that is not used very often in mainstream Hollywood films. He then brings the city to life at midnight; where his cinematography is soften for the shots which were intended to take place in the golden age. The other modern day shots are very vivid and sharp compared to those of the 1920s. Allen effectively mixes different styles and genres in a manner that does not call attention to itself.
In Midnight in Paris, Gil tags along with her fiancées family to a trip in Paris in order to become more inspired by the ambiance of the beautiful city, by having Gil experience the golden age without any help of technology, he is deliberately opposing the idea of postmodernism and how people tend to connect to people and places. According to Jameson, everything we experience is mediated by technology or capitalism, so we no longer experience things as “natural” unmediated. It is inferred that Gil understands this, and therefore decides to get out of Los Angeles in order to experience Paris for himself, instead of through the use of technology. We see how his fiancées opposes his views in the scene in which it is raining, and she attempts to avoid the rain while Gil is happily enjoying walking in the rain. In this film, we can see how Inez’s character represents popular culture which does not bother experiencing things without being mediated, while Gil attempts to accomplish the opposite. He attempts to have a fell for the mood and ambient of the city in order to regain the inspiration and motivation he had...

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