Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 35, Recap of historical figures, Notre Dame Cathedral and Cult of Reason)

I have really enjoyed doing this study and I am also including some additional posts concerning issues brought up by the movie. Below are the links to all the historical characters so far mentioned in the film “Midnight in Paris.” Below that I look at the history Notre Dame Cathedral and the “Cult of Reason” that was put in during the French Revolution.  Woody Allen believes that God is not in the picture and that man must use his reason to get to values and morality. However, that did not work well for those in the time of the French Revolution and it will not work out today.

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 33,Cezanne) July 11, 2011 – 6:15 am

(Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)July 10, 2011 – 5:53 am

 (Part 29, Pablo Picasso) July 7, 2011 – 4:33 am

(Part 28,Van Gogh) July 6, 2011 – 4:03 am

(Part 27, Man Ray) July 5, 2011 – 4:49 am

(Part 26,James Joyce) July 4, 2011 – 5:55 am

(Part 25, T.S.Elliot) July 3, 2011 – 4:46 am

(Part 24, Djuna Barnes) July 2, 2011 – 7:28 am

(Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso) July 1, 2011 – 12:28 am

(Part 22, Silvia Beach and the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore) June 30, 2011 – 12:58 am

(Part 21,Versailles and the French Revolution) June 29, 2011 – 5:34 am

(Part 16, Josephine Baker) June 24, 2011 – 5:18 am

(Part 15, Luis Bunuel) June 23, 2011 – 5:37 am

(Part 1 William Faulkner) June 13, 2011 – 3:19 pm

I have been going through all the historical characters mentioned in Woody Allen’s latest movie “Midnight in Paris,” but today I am looking at the history of Notre Dame Cathedral and the cult of reason.

Notre-Dame Cathedral attracts 13 million visitors each year.

Notre Dame Cathedral (full name: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, “Our Lady of Paris”) is a beautiful cathedral on the the Île de la Cité in Paris. Begun in 1163 and mostly completed by 1250, Notre Dame is an important example of French Gothic architecture, sculpture and stained glass.

The Notre Dame is the most popular monument in Paris and in all of France, beating even the Eiffel Tower with 13 million visitors each year. But the famous cathedral is also an active Catholic church, a place of pilgrimage, and the focal point for Catholicism in France – religious events of national significance still take place here.

East View

Cathedral view from the southeast, on a bridge over the Seine.


The Notre Dame de Paris stands on the site of Paris’ first Christian church, Saint Etienne basilica, which was itself built on the site of a Roman temple to Jupiter.

Notre-Dame’s first version was a “magnificent church” built by Childebert I, the king of the Franks at the time, in 528, and was already the cathedral of the city of Paris in the 10th century. However, in 1160, having become the “parish church of the kings of Europe,” Bishop Maurice de Sully deemed the building unworthy of its lofty role, and had it demolished.

Construction on the current cathedral began in 1163, during the reign of Louis VII, and opinion differs as to whether Bishop Maurice de Sully or Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stone of the cathedral.

Construction of the west front, with its distinctive two towers, began in around 1200 before the nave had been completed. Over the construction period, numerous architects worked on the site, as is evidenced by the differing styles at different heights of the west front and towers.

Between 1210 and 1220, the fourth architect oversaw the construction of the level with the rose window and the great halls beneath the towers. The towers were finished around 1245 and the cathedral was finally completed around 1345.

During the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV at the end of the 17th century the cathedral underwent major alterations, during which many tombs and stained glass windows were destroyed.

In 1793, the cathedral fell victim to the French Revolution. Many sculptures and treasures were destroyed or plundered; the cathedral was rededicated to the Cult of Reason and later to the Cult of the Supreme Being. Lady Liberty replaced the Virgin Mary on several altars. The cathedral also came to be used as a warehouse for the storage of food.

Napoleon Bonaparte, who had declared the Empire on May 28, 1804, was crowned Emperor at Notre-Dame on December 2, 1804.

A restoration program was initiated in 1845, overseen by architects Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Lassus and Eugene Viollet-le-Duc. The restoration lasted 23 years, and included the construction of a spire.

In 1871, a civil uprising leading to the establishment of the short-lived Paris Commune nearly set fire to the cathedral, and some records suggest that a mount of chairs within the cathedral were set alight. In 1905, the law of separation of Church and State was passed; as all cathedrals, Notre-Dame remains state property, but its use is granted to the Roman Catholic Church.

The Te Deum Mass took place in the cathedral to celebrate the liberation of Paris in August 26, 1944. The Requiem Mass of General Charles de Gaulle took place in the cathedral on November 12, 1970.

In 1991, a major restoration program was undertaken. It was expected to last 10 years but continued well into the 21st century – the cleaning and restoration of the old sculptures was an exceedingly delicate job. But now the scaffolding is down and the result is spectacular: the stone architecture and sculptures gleam in their original honey-toned color instead of industrial black.

North Rose

The beautiful north rose window.

E P I S O D E 5

T h e


I. Bible as Absolute Base for Law

A. Paul Robert’s mural in Lausanne.

B. Rutherford’s Lex Rex  (Law Is King): Freedom without chaos; government by law rather than arbitrary government by men.

C. Impact of biblical political principles in America.

1. Rutherford’s influence on U.S. Constitution: directly through Witherspoon; indirectly through Locke’s secularized version of biblical politics.

2. Locke’s ideas inconsistent when divorced from Christianity.

3. One can be personally non-Christian, yet benefit from Christian foundations: e.g. Jefferson and other founders.

II. The Reformation and Checks and Balances

A. Humanist and Reformation views of politics contrasted.

B. Sin is reason for checks and balances in Reformed view: Calvin’s position at Geneva examined.

C. Checks and balances in Protestant lands prevented bloody resolution of tensions.

D. Elsewhere, without this biblically rooted principle, tensions had to be resolved violently.

III. Contrast Between English and French Political Experience

A. Voltaire’s admiration of English conditions.

B. Peaceful nature of the Bloodless Revolution of 1688 in England related to Reformation base.

C. Attempt to achieve political change in France on English lines, but on Enlightenment base, produced a bloodbath and a dictatorship.

1. Constructive change impossible on finite human base.

2. Declaration of Rights of Man, the rush to extremes, and the Goddess of Reason.

3. Anarchy or repression: massacres, Robespierre, the Terror.

4. Idea of perfectibility of Man maintained even during the Terror.

IV. Anglo-American Experience Versus Franco-Russian

A. Reformation experience of freedom without chaos contrasts with that of Marxist-Leninist Russia.

B. Logic of Marxist-Leninism.

1. Marxism not a source of freedom.

2. 1917 Revolution taken over, not begun, by Bolsheviks.

3. Logic of communism: elite dictatorship, suppression of freedoms, coercion of allies.

V. Reformation Christianity and Humanism: Fruits Compared

A. Reformation gave absolutes to counter injustices; where Christians failed they were untrue to their principles.

B. Humanism has no absolute way of determining values consistently.

C. Differences practical, not just theoretical: Christian absolutes give limited government; denial of absolutes gives arbitrary rule.

VI. Weaknesses Which Developed Later in Reformation Countries

A. Slavery and race prejudice.

1. Failure to live up to biblical belief produces cruelty.

2. Hypocritical exploitation of other races.

3. Church’s failure to speak out sufficiently against this hypocrisy.

B. Noncompassionate use of accumulated wealth.

1. Industrialism not evil in itself, but only through greed and lack of compassion.

2. Labor exploitation and gap in living standards.

3. Church’s failure to testify enough against abuses.

C. Positive face of Reformation Christianity toward social evil.

1. Christianity not the only influence on consensus.

a) Church’s silence betrayed; did not reflect what it said it believed.

b) Non-Christian influences also important at that time; and many so-called Christians were “social” Christians only.

2. Contributions of Christians to social reform.

a) Varied efforts in slave trade, prisons, factories.

(1) Wesley, Newton, Clarkson, Wilberforce, and abolition of slavery.

(2) Howard, Elizabeth Fry, and prison reforms.

(3) Lord Shaftesbury and reform in the factories.

b) Impact of Whitefield-Wesley revivals on society.

VII. Reformation Did Not Bring Perfection

But gradually on basis of biblical teaching there was a unique improvement.

A. With Bible the ordinary citizen could say that majority was wrong.

B. Tremendous freedom without chaos because Bible gives a base for law.

A Christian Manifesto Francis Schaeffer

Published on Dec 18, 2012

A video important to today. The man was very wise in the ways of God. And of government. Hope you enjoy a good solis teaching from the past. The truth never gets old.

The Roots of the Emergent Church by Francis Schaeffer

Francis Shaeffer – The early church (part1)

Francis Shaeffer – The early church (part 2)

Francis Shaeffer – The early church (part 3)

Francis Shaeffer – The early church (part 4)

Francis Shaeffer – The early church (part 5)

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

10 Worldview and Truth

Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100

Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette review:

LITTLE ROCK — Midnight in Paris 88 Cast: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Alison Pill, Kathy Bates, Michael Sheen, Adrien Brody Director: Woody Allen Rating: PG-13, for some sexual references and smoking Running time: 100 minutes

In Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, a 1920 Peugeot cruises down a narrow, cobbled street. Somewhere, a clock sounds midnight. The car comes to a stop in front of Gil.

Played by one of Allen’s best avatars, Owen Wilson, this American in Paris has joined his rather forceful fiancee, Inez (Rachel McAdams), and her underwhelmed parents in the City of Light.

“Take a cab,” Inez had told him earlier in the evening. “You’ll get lost.”

Now, he is. And Gil will be a great deal more turned around before he finds his soul’s bearings. That vintage sedan is the color of a bumblebee, and a festive buzzing emanates from within.

There’s heightened buzz around Allen’s comedy too, with some hailing it as his best work in 10 years. (It opened May’s Cannes Film Festival.)

Yet, as playfully inventive a jaunt as Midnight in Paris is, this assessment suffers from the very hankering that afflicts Gil: nostalgia for a bygone era at the risk of missing out on the present.

Midnight in Paris isn’t as telling about class as Allen’s Match Point, or as celebratory and vivid about being smitten by a European city as Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

It is a lyrically crafted fable about romance, creativity and the pleasures – and cautionary lessons – met when idealizing another artist’s era.

You see, Gil loves Paris, especially that burg of the 1920s when a whir of creativity put the likes of Er-nest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald in the company of artists Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. These are not the travelers who people the recently published tome, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, by David McCullough, but that vivid generation that came after.

That vintage convertible transports Gil, the successful screenwriter but full-of-doubt novelist, night after night to the Paris of the 1920s. As he moves back and forth between now and then, the beguiling, amber-hued nights of Scott (Tom Hiddleston) and Zelda (Alison Pill), Dali (Adrien Brody) and Hemingway (Corey Stoll)trump the present of Inez and her parents.

Kathy Bates has fun presiding over a salon as Gertrude Stein, or Gert to her friends and the authors who bring their manuscripts to her.

One night at Gert’s, Gil meets Adriana. With a face seemingly crafted by fate for the old-fashioned close-up, Marion Cotillard (those eyes!) portrays the woman who captures the fancy of Picasso, Hemingway and, yes, our shirt-tucked-intohis-chinos scribe.

Midnight in Paris is charming and clever, at times wickedly astute and hopeful.

But what stands between this movie and greatness is contempt. Not Gil’s – he’s a naif, an optimist. The current of dislike is Allen’s – for Inez and herugly American ilk.

The pseudo-cultured and glibly provincial are well-represented by Inez and her monied parents John and Helen. And actors Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy make it so easy to bristle at these two. Inez’s friend Paul (Michael Sheen) is equally insufferable.

These people aren’t nice. But the deck feels a bit too stacked.

We’re led to ask – even as we root for Gil – how has hegotten this far in a relationship with this harridan – beautifully clad, shapely but a harpy just the same? What are we to make of that?

MovieStyle, Pages 31 on 06/10/2011

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: