The Set of 400: #101 – My Favorite Salvador Dali Cameo

Today! Because if it’s bad, I’ll hate it because I hate bad writing, and if it’s good, I’ll be envious and hate all the more. You don’t want the opinion of another writer –

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Directed by Woody Allen (x9)

Starring Owen Wilson (x4), Marion Cotillard (x2), Rachel McAdams (x3), Michael Sheen, Corey Stoll, Lea Seydoux (x2), Adrien Brody (x3), Tom Hiddleston (x2), Alison Pill, Mimi Kennedy (x2), Kurt Fuller (x2), Carla Bruni, Kathy Bates (x4), Tom Cordier, Gad Elmaleh, Nina Arianda

I don’t have a real personal connection with a lot of Woody Allen movies, I’ve just really liked them for a long time, and thus so many have finagled their way onto this countdown. However, Midnight in Paris isn’t an old Allen film, and does go a fair bit deeper for me than his other movies. To recap from some prior post (#108 Hunchback of Notre Dame, I’m guessing?) – we got married in 2011, replete with songs from #111 Muppets Take Manhattan, and the brand-new Muppets film, and then didn’t go on a honeymoon for two long years. Why? I don’t remember why. I guess the destination wedding took it out of us for a while? We had the wedding at Caesars in Vegas – I’m not going to say it was because of The Hangover, but it certainly could’ve been. We visited Vegas to look at venues eight months prior, and never went to Caesars, so how we ended up there only makes sense byway of Mike Tyson comedies.

Apparently Iron Mike was coked out of his melon when they filmed this! More on this later.

Anyway, when we finally did get around to picking the old honeymoon spot, Paris leaped to the forefront of the contenders. Again, I’m not going to say it was definitely because of some movie, but we were really into Midnight in Paris around this time, so it would make sense. Hell, we went around taking pictures of locations in the film –

These are those steps Owen Wilson is sitting on waiting for his ride to the past! Look at that boots!

And this is where that car pulls up! And we haven’t aged a day!

And because we went there in the basic chronological vicinity of when it was filmed, the movie functions as a neat kind of home movie for this trip. Does anyone else find this? They filmed The Dark Knight in Chicago the year before I moved here, so I always think of that as sort of a home movie, too. To this day I refer to the stretch of LaSalle leading to the Board of Trade as “Batman Street,” because that’s where they flip that tractor trailer.

More on this later as well

And so for all the cool time period mash-ups Midnight in Paris does – with it’s 1920’s literary figures like Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda, and Hemingway – and the solidly romantic/fantasy plot, I’ll always have a soft spot for this movie because of when it was made and when we were there. Maybe if we ever get to Paris again that’ll dim this somewhat, but it’s not like we were going to cutting edge/modern Paris – I imagine a lot of what we saw in 2013 will look the same in 2023 or 2033 or whenever. Jim Morrison’s old bones will still be in the same place, and I’ll still be down to take borderline inappropriate pictures with statues.

Okay, the plaster hang-dang is borderline inappropriate, not so much the picture

This is the ninth Woody Allen movie on the list, far outpacing everyone else at this juncture, and as I said last week in Love and Death, this stretch of the list is just teeming with his movies. But again, after this hectic patch, it dries up and the love gets spread around pretty significantly. Will anyone catch him for the overall directing lead, though?? Midnight in Paris, #107 Love and Death, #349 Broadway Danny Rose, #144 Bullets Over Broadway, #203 Purple Rose of Cairo, #304 Take the Money and Run, #168 Sleeper, #180 Hannah and Her Sisters, #320 Match Point! And his tenth film – no lie – is the day after tomorrow. I’m sorry!

Film MVP? Again, there are a lot to choose from, but I’m going with the great Corey Stoll, in the first thing I remember him from –

His introduction: “Hemingway”

Owen Wilson (#319 The Darjeeling Limited, #267 The Life Aquatic, #134 Wedding Crashers) and Kathy Bates (#296 Titanic, #385 Bee Movie, #196 Dick Tracy) lead the acting group, joining the Four-Timers! This post has more than enough media, so let’s make this a text only spotlight, huh? Spotlight!

Coming tomorrow! The only friend I had was Snowden and I didn’t know him –

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