Dali and his surrealist friends provide the funniest scene of Woody Allen’s latest film “Midnight in Paris.” Here are links to what I have written about these gentlemen before:
December 31, 2015
Dear Mr. Hefner,
Every year people get out and celebrate New Years Eve and they toast the arrival of the new year at MIDNIGHT and I am sure that a lot of babies are born about nine months later. That reminds me of one of my favorite Woody Allen movies MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. I know that you are a big Woody Allen fan so I wanted to discuss with you this movie.
Woody Allen believes that we live in a cold, violent and meaningless universe and it seems that his main character (Gil Pender, played by Owen Wilson) in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS shares that view. Pender’s meeting with the Surrealists (Man Ray, Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel) is by far the best scene in the movie because they are ones who can understand his predicament concerning the absurdity of life UNDER THE SUN (as Solomon used to phrase it.) If we are here as a result of chance then what lasting purpose can be found? The Surrealists truly grasped the problem and it seems that Gil does too realize the full weight of the predicament.
In the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS the main character Gil Pender gives his book to Gertrude Stein and she commented to him:
Gil Pender realizes that it is difficult to come up with a meaning for life. At one point he tells Adriana concerning their mutual love of Paris:
You know, I sometimes think,”How’s anyone gonna come up with a book, or a painting, or a symphony or a sculpture that can compete with a great city?”You can’t, ’cause, like,you look around, every…every street, every boulevard is its own special art form.And when you think that in the cold,violent, meaningless universe,that Paris exists, these lights…I mean, come on, there’s nothing happening on Jupiter or Neptune,but from way out in space you can see these lights, the cafe’s, people drinking, and singing…I mean, for all we know, Paris is the hottest spot in the universe.-
This admiration of the city of Paris does not change Pender’s view that the universe brought to us by Darwinian chance plus time must be ultimately meaningless.
Let’s see what King Solomon had to say about that. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 9:11-13 “I have seen something else UNDER THE SUN: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.”
WHY IS SOLOMON CAUGHT IN DESPAIR IN THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES? Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘UNDER THE SUN.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTS ARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULT OF MINDLESS CHANCE.
By the way, the final chapter of Ecclesiastes finishes with Solomon emphasizing that serving God is the only proper response of man. Solomon LOOKS ABOVE THE SUN AND BRINGS GOD BACK INTO THE PICTURE in the final chapter of the book in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “ Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”
WITHOUT GOD IN THE PICTURE WHERE DOES MODERN MAN TURN AND THE ANSWER IS YOU BRING CHANCE INTO YOUR ARTWORK!!! The SURREALISTS were the same men who started the “Dada Movement” and Francis Schaeffer noted concerning that movement:
Dada was started in Zurich and came along in modern art. Dada means nothing. The word “Dada” means rocking horse, but it was chosen by chance. The whole concept of Dada is everything means nothing. [In this materialistic mindset Chance and Time have determined the past, and they will determine the future according to Solomon in life UNDER THE SUN]… Dada carried to its logical conclusion the notion of all having come about by chance; the result was the final absurdity of everything, including humanity.
(Surrealists: Man Ray, Jean Arp, Yves Tanguy, André Breton; Tristan Tzara, Salvador Dalí, Paul Eluard, Max Ernst and Rene Clevel, 1930.)
Lennon picture: REX
Henri Matisse, 1913, photograph by Alvin Langdon Coburn.jpg
Henri Matisse (center) and Hans Purrmann (right) dining with Michael, Sarah, and Allan Stein at their apartment at 58 rue Madame, Paris, circa 1908. The paintings in the background, all by Matisse, are The Young Sailor I (far left); Pink Onions and Male Nude(left column); Fruit Trees in Blossom, Woman in a Kimono, Nude Reclining Woman, andNude before a Screen (center column);Madame Matisse in the Olive Grove, a sketch for Le Bonheur de Vivre, and Madame Matisse (The Green Line) (right column).
Paris: The Luminous Years