The Implants and Midnight In Paris

Pretty soon the Dentist will start by numbing the upper right side of my mouth and then he’ll slice me open revealing the bone, cutting-into an area where three molars made their home a long long time ago.

At least that’s how I pictured it, as I sat in the waiting area. The only fun part of this morning was me driving to the appointment in my nineteen year old Corvette.

And now as you read the following I’m ten minutes into a forty minute wait for three pain and antibiotics prescriptions. I also wish I could share pictures as it would save me allot of words but, In this experience; a picture is not worth a thousand words.

The Dentist got the ball rolling with a numbing cotton ball swab he dipped in some kind of pink liquid. Minutes later the right side of the face started to feel numb. That’s when the needle shows up, and about a half dozen apologetic pokes later I don’t feel my throat. Guess that means I’m now ready. Then the drilling starts but now for the movie distraction.

Some other sounds the movie would’ve been a good distraction but, the headphones were inoperative. Yes, just like an airplane. They play a movie with a screen to your front and above on the ceiling. I chose “Midnight in Paris” as my key distraction.

I was hoping to zone it all out but, couldn’t with all the drilling and grinding.

The movie Midnight in Paris plot makes more sense to me now that I’ve actually gotten a chance to see it at least three times and without sound. The plot goes something like this:

“In 2011, Gil Pender, a successful but creatively unfulfilled Hollywood screenwriter, and his fiancée Inez, are in Paris vacationing with Inez’s wealthy, conservative parents.

Gil is struggling to finish his first novel, centered on a man who works in a nostalgia shop. Inez dismisses his ambition as a romantic daydream, and encourages him to stick with real screenwriting work.

Gil is considering moving to Paris (which he notes, much to the dismay of his fiancée, is at its most beautiful in the rain).

A night of wine tasting gets Gil drunk and he decides to walk the streets of Paris to get back to the hotel without Inez who looks extremely “hot” as in sexy in anything she wears. I guess the rain would’ve cooled her off.

At midnight, a 1920s car pulls up beside him, and the passengers, dressed in 1920s wardrobe, urge him to join them.

The car is a 1928 Peugeot Type 184 Landaulet a dream of a car but turned out to be a flop in real life. The six-cylinder Type 184 was essentially obsolete the day it debuted and was the last big limousine type car Peugeot ever produced.

They hit a party for Jean Cocteau attended by notable people of 1920s Paris: Cole Porter and his wife Linda Lee Porter, Zelda, and Scott Fitzgerald. The name Fitzgerald is the only one I recognized so I looked up the others. Cocteau called himself a poet but, he also did films like The Blood of a Poet (1930), his best known films include Beauty and the Beast(1946), Les Parents terribles (1948), and Orpheus (1949).

His final film, Le Testament d’Orphée (The Testament of Orpheus) (1960), featured appearances by Picasso and matador Luis Miguel Dominguín, along with Yul Brynner, who also helped finance the film.

Zelda (Fitzgerald’s wife) gets bored at the party and encourages Scott and Gil to leave with her. They head first to Bricktops where they see Josephine Baker dancing, and then to a cafe, where they run into Ernest Hemingway and Juan Belmonte.

And who is Juan Belmonte you might ask:

Why a Spaniard bullfighter of course. As an adult, his technique was unlike that of previous matadors; he stood erect and nearly motionless, and always stayed within inches of the bull, unlike previous matadors, who stayed far from the animal to avoid the horns.

As a result of this daring technique, Belmonte was frequently gored, sustaining many serious wounds. One such incident occurred during a November, 1927 bullfight in Barcelona, Spain.

Belmonte was gored through his chest and pinned against a wall. Among the spectators that day were the King and Queen of Spain.

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast,” Hemingway wrote in “A Moveable Feast,” his memoir that was posthumously published in 1964.”

After discussing writing, Hemingway offers to show Gil’s novel to Gertrude Stein. As Gil exits the building to fetch his manuscript from his hotel, he finds he has returned to 2011.

An important character in the movie is Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946) an American novelist, poet, playwright, and art collector.

Born in the Allegheny West neighborhood of Pittsburgh and raised in Oakland, California, Stein moved to Paris in 1903, and made France her home for the remainder of her life.

She hosted a Paris salon, where the leading figures of modernism in literature and art, such as Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Ezra Pound, Sherwood Anderson and Henri Matisse, would meet.

Zelda gets upset when Hemingway says her novel was weak, and she heads with Belmonte to St. Germain, followed shortly thereafter by Scott, who doesn’t like the thought of his wife and the toreador.

The next night, Gil wants to share with Inez his time travel experience but can’t – as the place he visited is now a laundromat.

She doesn’t believe him so, during a falling out he once again returns to the same spot and runs into Hemingway on his way to visit a friend.

Gil is next introduced to Gertrude Stein and other friends at her apartment: Pablo Picasso and his lover Adriana.

Adriana and Gil are instantly attracted to each other.

Stein reads aloud Gil’s novel’s first line:

‘Out of the Past’ was the name of the store, and its products consisted of memories: what was prosaic and even vulgar to one generation had been transmuted by the mere passing of years to a status at once magical ……

Adriana says that she is hooked by these few lines and has always had a longing for the past.

Gil continues with his time travel for the next couple of nights. Inez is annoyed at the boulevards and bistros and Gil’s wanderings.

Her father is suspicious and hires a private detective to follow him.

Adriana (Picasso’s lover) has her time with Hemingway, and eventually Gil, although he is conflicted by his attraction to her. Gil confides his predicament to Salvador Dalí, Man Ray, and Luis Buñuel, but being surrealists they see nothing strange about his claim to have come from the future, finding it to be perfectly normal.

Each discusses the impossibility of Gil’s relationship with Adriana, and as artists, what work of art from each could come of the romance.

Gil would suggest a film plot to Buñuel that is the cause of him attempting to understand the purpose of the plot.

Inez and her parents are traveling to Mont Saint Michel while Gil meets Gabrielle, an antique dealer and fellow admirer of the Lost Generation.

He buys a Cole Porter gramophone record from her, and later finds Adriana’s diary from the 1920s at a book stall by the Seine, which reveals that she was in love with him.

Reading that she dreamed of receiving a gift of earrings from him and then making love to him, Gil attempts to take a pair of Inez’s earrings to give to Adriana, but is thwarted by Inez’s early return to the hotel room.

Gil buys earrings for Adriana. Returning to the past, he finds her at a party and tells her, “I sense there are some complicated feelings you have for me.”

He takes her for a walk, they kiss, and he gives her the earrings. While she’s putting them on, a horse-drawn carriage comes down the street, and a richly dressed couple inside the carriage invite Gil and Adriana for a ride.

The carriage transports the passengers to the Belle Époque, an era Adriana considers Paris’s Golden Age. Gil and Adriana go first to Maxim’s Paris, then to the Moulin Rouge where they meet Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Gauguin, and Edgar Degas.

Gil asks what they thought the best era was, and the three determine that the greatest era was the Renaissance.

The enthralled Adriana is offered a job designing ballet costumes and proposes to Gil that they stay, but Gil, upon observing that different people long for different “golden ages”, has an epiphany and realizes that despite the allure of nostalgia, any time can eventually become a dull “present”, so it’s best to embrace your actual present. A very important point was just made in case you missed it.

Adriana however, elects to stay in the 1890s, and they part ways.

Gil rewrites the first two chapters of his novel and retrieves his draft from Stein, who praises his progress as a writer and tells him that Hemingway likes it, but questions why the main character has not realized that his fiancée (based on Inez) is having an affair with a pedantic character (based on Paul).

Gil returns to 2011 and confronts Inez. She admits to having slept with Paul, but dismisses it as a meaningless fling. Gil breaks up with her and decides to move to Paris.

Amid Inez’s pique, Gil calmly leaves, after which Inez’s father tells her and her mother that he had Gil followed, though the detective has mysteriously disappeared.

It is revealed that the detective found himself in the Versailles of Louis XIV, and is last seen fleeing from the palace guards amid threats of “Off with his head!”

Walking by the Seine at midnight, Gil bumps into Gabrielle, and, after it starts to rain, he offers to walk her home and they learn that they share the love of Paris in the rain.

And so you see, if you got this far with my story then you learned that a little distraction in life can go a long long way.

Now go watch the movie Midnight in Paris and look up those characters you still know little about.

Ai revoir.

Ralph