The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 10 Salvador Dali)

Artists and bohemians inspired Woody Allen for ‘Midnight in Paris

I love the movie “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen and I am going through the whole list of famous writers and artists that he included in the movie. Today we will look at Salvador Dali.  By the way, I know that some of you are wondering how many posts I will have before I am finished. Right now I have plans to look at Rodin,Coco Chanel, Modigliani, Matisse, Luis Bunuel, Josephine Baker, Van Gogh, Picasso, Man Ray, T.S. Elliot and several more.

In this clip below you will see when Picasso first met Dali.

Adrien Brody plays Salvador Dali in “Midnight in Paris.”

Adrien Brody 3

Associated Press

Salvador Dalí in 1971

Dalí, Salvador (1904-89): Spanish painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and designer. After passing through phases of Cubism, Futurism and Metaphysical painting, he joined the Surrealists in 1929 and his talent for self-publicity rapidly made him the most famous representative of the movement. Throughout his life he cultivated eccentricity and exhibitionism (one of his most famous acts was appearing in a diving suit at the opening of the London Surrealist exhibition in 1936), claiming that this was the source of his creative energy. He took over the Surrealist theory of automatism but transformed it into a more positive method which he named `critical paranoia’. According to this theory one should cultivate genuine delusion as in clinical paranoia while remaining residually aware at the back of one’s mind that the control of the reason and will has been deliberately suspended. He claimed that this method should be used not only in artistic and poetical creation but also in the affairs of daily life. His paintings employed a meticulous academic technique that was contradicted by the unreal `dream’ space he depicted and by the strangely hallucinatory characters of his imagery. He described his pictures as `hand-painted dream photographs’ and had certain favorite and recurring images, such as the human figure with half-open drawers protruding from it, burning giraffes, and watches bent and flowing as if made from melting wax (The Persistence of Memory, MOMA, New York; 1931).

(My wife and I saw the Alfred Hitchcock film “Spellbound” in 1985 at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and we saw this dream that Dali contributed as seen in clip below.)

In 1937 Dalí visited Italy and adopted a more traditional style; this together with his political views (he was a supporter of General Franco) led Breton to expel him from the Surrealist ranks. He moved to the USA in 1940 and remained there until 1955. During this time he devoted himself largely to self-publicity; his paintings were often on religious themes (The Crucifixion of St John of the Cross, Glasgow Art Gallery, 1951), although sexual subjects and pictures centring on his wife Gala were also continuing preoccupations. In 1955 he returned to Spain and in old age became a recluse.

Apart from painting, Dalí’s output included sculpture, book illustration, jewellery design, and work for the theatre. In collaboration with the director Luis Buñuel he also made the first Surrealist films—Un chien andalou (1929) and L’Age d’or (1930)—and he contributed a dream sequence to Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound (1945). He also wrote a novel, Hidden Faces (1944) and several volumes of flamboyant autobiography. Although he is undoubtedly one of the most famous artists of the 20th century, his status is controversial; many critics consider that he did little if anything of consequence after his classic Surrealist works of the 1930s. There are museums devoted to Dalí’s work in Figueras, his home town in Spain, and in St Petersburg in Florida.

Dali

1904: Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí was born on May, 11th in Figueras, Catalonia, Spain.

1917: He started to visit the School of Art. First paintings.

1918: First small exhibition in the Theatre.

1921-25: Went to Academy of Arts in Madrid. Conflicts with his teachers.

1925: First stand-alone exibition of Dalí at the Galery of Dalmau.

1926-28: Early explorations of the Surrealism. Dalí in Cadaqués 1927

1929: Gala went into his life. Joined the group of Surrealists in 1930 Gala 1927, and Dalí 1929

1934-37: Dalí had his paranoid-critic-epoch. Dalí and Gala in 1937

1941-44: “Avida Dollars” in America.

1945-49: Dalí the Classic. Dalí and his Daddy in Cadaqués 1948

1950-65: His mystic period. He wrote several books (The secret life of Salvador Dalí).

1963-78: Dalí the Divine – Dalí and the Science.

1979-83: Theory of Disaster.

1982: Gala died.

1989: Dalí, Jan. 23th, died.

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode 8 – The Age of Fragmentation

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Francis Schaeffer- How Should We Then Live? -8- The Age of Fragmentation

Joseph Rozak·

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEmwy_dI2j0

 

__________

The above clip is from the film series by Francis Schaeffer “How should we then live?” Below is an outline of the 8th episode on the Impressionists and the age of Fragmentation.

AGE OF FRAGMENTATION

I. Art As a Vehicle Of Modern Thought

A. Impressionism (Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Degas) and Post-Impressionism (Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat): appearance and reality.

1. Problem of reality in Impressionism: no universal.

2. Post-Impression seeks the universal behind appearances.

3. Painting expresses an idea in its own terms as a work of art; to discuss the idea in a painting is not to intellectualize art.

4. Parallel search for universal in art and philosophy; Cézanne.

B. Fragmentation.

1. Extremes of ultra-naturalism or abstraction: Wassily Kandinsky.

2. Picasso leads choice for abstraction: relevance of this choice.

3. Failure of Picasso (like Sartre, and for similar reasons) to be fully consistent with his choice.

C. Retreat to absurdity.

1. Dada , and Marcel Duchamp: art as absurd. (Dada gave birth to Surrealism).

2. Art followed philosophy but came sooner to logical end.

3. Chance in his art technique as an art theory impossible to practice: Pollock.

II. Music As a Vehicle of Modern Thought

A. Non-resolution and fragmentation: German and French streams.

1. Influence of Beethoven’s last Quartets.

2. Direction and influence of Debussy.

3. Schoenberg’s non-resolution; contrast with Bach.

4. Stockhausen: electronic music and concern with the element of change.

B. Cage: a case study in confusion.

1. Deliberate chance and confusion in Cage’s music.

2. Cage’s inability to live the philosophy of his music.

C. Contrast of music-by-chance and the world around us.

1. Inconsistency of indulging in expression of chaos when we acknowledge order for practical matters like airplane design.

2. Art as anti-art when it is mere intellectual statement, divorced from reality of who people are and the fullness of what the universe is.

III. General Culture As the Vehicle of Modern Thought

A. Propagation of idea of fragmentation in literature.

1. Effect of Eliot’s Wasteland and Picasso’s Demoiselles d’ Avignon

compared; the drift of general culture.

2. Eliot’s change in his form of writing when he became a Christian.

3. Philosophic popularization by novel: Sartre, Camus, de Beauvoir.

B. Cinema as advanced medium of philosophy.

1. Cinema in the 1960s used to express Man’s destruction: e.g. Blow-up.

2. Cinema and the leap into fantasy:

 

The Hour of the Wolf, Belle de Jour, Juliet of the Spirits,

The Last Year at Marienbad.

3. Bergman’s inability to live out his philosophy (see Cage):

Silence and The Hour of the Wolf.

IV. Only on Christian Base Can Reality Be Faced Squarely

I looked up the definition of Surrealism and here it is:

(1920s-1930s)  Surrealism was both a art and literary movement that stressed the significance of letting one’s imagination rule through the use of the sub-conscious without the hindrances of logic and normal standards.  The anti-rationalist characteristic that stemmed from the Dadaist movement was a part of Surrealism.  However, Surrealism involved more playful and spontaneous in spirit.  Ways of thinking about how a viewer perceives the world around himself helped to shape the movement.  The movement was begun in 1924 in the city Paris by Andre Breton, the author of the ‘Manifeste du surrealisme.’  His writings encouraged the expression of one’s imagination through the use of dreams.  His writings attracted many artists of the Dadaist movement.  The Surrealist movement was helped along in its development during the 1920s and 1930s with the famous artist Salvador Dali.

________________________________

Below is a review I got off the internet:

Cannes (France), 12 May (EFE).- Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’ was chosen to open the 64th Cannes Film Festival, a film partly set in Paris the 1920s, a point in time that fascinated the American director

Owen Wilson as Gil and Rachel McAdams as Inez in "Midnight in Paris." 2011 Sony Pictures Classics.

Owen Wilson as Gil and Rachel McAdams as Inez in “Midnight in Paris.”

Paul Walker-Vin Diesel’s FAST FIVE Biggest 2011 Worldwide Blockbuster: Box Office

Woody Allen‘s latest, Midnight in Paris, is doing remarkably well in limited release. Starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Michael Sheen, Adrien Brody, Kathy Bates, Léa Seydoux, and Tom Hiddleston, Midnight in Paris collected $599k at six theaters, averaging an outstanding $99,834 per location.

That’s not only the best per-theater average of 2011, but also the best debut-weekend average of a Woody Allen movie since time immemorial, i.e., B.M — or before Manhattan (1979), as that’s where Box Office Mojo’s opening-weekend list ends.

Even adjusting for inflation (using Box Office Mojo’s chart), back in 1985 The Purple Rose of Cairo, one of Allen’s best-received efforts, averaged $84,205 at 3 locations. In 1995, Mighty Aphrodite, which would earn Mira Sorvino a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, collected $31,049 per site at 19 locations. Manhattanaveraged $52,450 at 29 locations. (Note: All things being equal, the higher the number of theaters, the lower the per-theater average.)

A few more comparisons: Midnight in Paris earned nearly four times more than You’ll Meet a Tall Dark Stranger‘s $160k — also at six sites — on its debut weekend in September last year. At four theaters, The King’s Speech averaged $88,863 in November last year.

According to Box Office Mojo, Midnight in Paris boasted the 16th highest weekend per-theater average among movies in limited release since 1982. (Most of those on the top-ten list are costlier, special screenings of Disney movies.)

Dreamgirls, Brokeback Mountain, Precious, and Red State (at a single location) are the four non-Disney, non-animated releases ahead of Midnight in Paris. The list, of course, hasn’t been adjusted for inflation.

Other posts with Woody Allen:

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 10 Salvador Dali)

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