5 things to learn from the film Midnight in Paris

Have you seen Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris yet? If not, get seeing! It’s an awesome film – here are five things that it highlighted for me. 


(Image – Wikipedia)

1) It’s common to believe that you would’ve belonged better in another place and/or time

This is the whole premise of the film. The protagonist, played by Owen Wilson, idolises the idea of Paris in the 1920s. Another character dreams about the late 1800s. I’ve often imagined growing up in the 50s and 60s. I can’t help but think how nice it would’ve been to live in a (somewhat) safer time, when mail came once a day rather than in a constant electronic flow. It’s easy to look at the past and think that, but each year, month and day had challenges of their own. The moral of the story is ‘although the past can be alluring, we must accept and live with what we have before us in the present.’

2) Sprinkle your life with whatever fuels your passion, no matter what era it’s from

Following on from the previous point, although we should accept the present, there’s no reason not to embrace the beauty of past. I love 1950s-style dresses and music from the 1920s – 80s. Many people buy items from vintage shops because they remind them of their grandparents’ homes, or simply because they’re unique items. Reproductions of paintings by artists from all eras adorn the walls of millions of people around the world. Mouth-watering recipes are passed on from generation to generation. These things make us happy! Keep them going!


My vintage cedar dining table – plenty of character and it came in one piece!

3) Do what you love, not what you think will pay the bills

In the film, the protagonist has an easy gig as a screenwriter for Hollywood. He’s good at what he does but his dream is to write a novel. It’ll be challenging, but he knows the emotional reward will trump his cushy salary. I could write a short story about this topic, but in a nutshell the important thing is, ‘It’s never too late.’ 

4) Reading is truly a portal for feeding creativity

In 1920s Paris, Owen Wilson’s character encounters Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and T. S. Eliot – writers whose works have inspired so many people. When we were young we read stories about caterpillars and wild beings that come out of the wallpaper. We moved on to drama, mystery and romance followed by stories of war, philosophy and history. Although the way sentences and words are put together may change over the years, the messages from good books continue to entertain, touch and inspire us. 
If reading has fallen off the radar for you, chip away at some of the titles on this list


Ernest Hemingway & F. Scott Fitzgerald (Image from Daily Mail)

5) Travel to the places you love

Paris is my favourite city in the world. I’ve been three times and the last time was for an entire month. Of course, before I went the first time I didn’t know how much I’d love it, but there was a little voice inside me that urged me, “Go, Solange, go to Paris.” Maybe it was my love for the French language? For croissants and pain au chocolat?
For some people it’s the spirituality in India. For others, the creativity in New York. Find the place that does it for you – there’s nothing like strolling down a street in a city that awakens every single one of your senses.


All images appearing on this blog (solange.posterous.com) may not be reproduced, copied or manipulated without the written permission of Solange Francois© 2011

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