“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 3 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part B, THE SURREALISTS Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel try to break out of cycle!!!)

In the film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS the best scene of the movie is when Gil Pender encounters the SURREALISTS!!! 

This series deals with the Book of Ecclesiastes and Woody Allen films.  The first post  dealt with MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT and it dealt with the fact that in the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon does contend like Hobbes  and Stanley that life is “nasty, brutish and short” and as a result has no meaning UNDER THE SUN.

The movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS offers many of the same themes we see in Ecclesiastes.


In the third post in this series we discover in Ecclesiastes that man UNDER THE SUN finds himself caught in the never ending cycle of birth and death. The SURREALISTS make a leap into the area of nonreason in order to get out of this cycle and that is why the scene in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel works so well!!!! These surrealists look to the area of their dreams to find a meaning for their lives and their break with reality is  only because they know that they can’t find a rational meaning in life without God in the picture.

As Francis Bacon (a noted British artist) has put it: “I think that even when Velasquez was painting, even when Rembrandt was painting, they were still, whatever their attitude to life, slightly conditioned by certain types of religious possibilities, which man now, you could say, has had cancelled out for him.”

(Francis Bacon pictured in  Vogue, 1962)

Francis Schaeffer has put it like this: “The tragedy is not only that these talented men [artists] have reached the point of despair, but that so many who look on and admire really do not understand. They are influenced by the concepts, and yet they have never analyzed what it all means.”

Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias 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.” 

Ecclesiastes 1:1-11:

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
    vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes,
    but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
    and hastens to the place where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
    and on its circuits the wind returns.
All streams run to the sea,
    but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
    there they flow again.

All things are full of weariness;
    a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done,
    and there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there a thing of which it is said,
    “See, this is new”?
It has been already
    in the ages before us.

(Below the Queen of Sheba meets King Solomon, Tiepolo)

Francis Schaeffer noted:

Solomon is showing a high degree of comprehension of evaporation and the results of it. Seeing also in reality nothing changes. There is change but always in a set framework and that is cycle. You can relate this to the concepts of modern man. Ecclesiastes is the only pessimistic book in the Bible and that is because of the place where Solomon limits himself. He limits himself to the question of human life, life under the sun between birth and death and the answers this would give.

Ecclesiastes 1:4

English Standard Version (ESV)

A generation goes, and a generation comes,
    but the earth remains forever.


Ecclesiastes 4:16

English Standard Version (ESV)

16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.


In verses 1:4 and 4:16 Solomon places man in the cycle. He doesn’t place man outside of the cycle. Man doesn’t escape the cycle. Man is only cycle. Birth and death and youth and old age. With this in mind Solomon makes this statement.

Ecclesiastes 6:12

12 For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?


There is no doubt in my mind that Solomon had the same experience in his life that I had as a younger man. I remember standing by the sea and the moon arose and it was copper and beauty. Then the moon did not look like a flat dish but a globe or a sphere since it was close to the horizon. One could feel the global shape of the earth too. Then it occurred to me that I could contemplate the interplay of the spheres and I was exalted because I thought I can look upon them with all their power, might, and size, but they could contempt nothing and I felt as man as God. Then came upon me a horror of great darkness because it suddenly occurred to me that although I could contemplate them and they could contemplate nothing yet they would continue to turn in ongoing cycles when I saw no more forever and I was crushed.

THIS IS SOLOMON’S FEELING TOO. The universal man, Solomon, beyond our intelligence with an empire at his disposal with the opportunity of observation so he could recite these words here in Ecclesiastes 6:12, “For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?”


How do the surrealists attempt to break out of this cycle that man finds himself trapped in? They attempt to do in part by looking to their dreams. Surrealism is a 20th-century avant-garde movement in art and literature that sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind, for example by the irrational juxtaposition of images.



Hitchcock – Spellbound dream sequence

Uploaded on Oct 2, 2010

This excerpt includes the Salvador Dali dream sequence but puts it in context: Gregory Peck’s character suffers from amnesia, and Ingrid Bergman has brought him to her own analyst and mentor. “JB” (Peck) recounts a dream which the two analysts examine for clues to a murder mystery. The film as a whole makes an appealing but illegitimate analogy between psychoanalysis and solving a mystery which proved to be central to the appeal of psychoanalysis in popular culture.

La colaboración de Hitchcock y Dalí en “Recuerda” (Hitchock and Dali “Spellbound”)

Alfred Hitchcock about his collaboration with Dali on Spellbound


Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

the surrealists 1930 Salvador Dali, Paul Eluard, Max Earnst ,Man Ray,Luis Bunuel ,Joan Miro,Marcel Duchamp


Tom Cordier as Man Ray with Oscar Winner Adrian Brody as Salvador Dali alongside the two friends in real life.

Midnight in the Paris-best scene of the movie Salvador Dali, Man Ray and Woody Allen

published on Dec 18, 2012

Woody Allen talking with Salvador Dali and Man Ray and Luis Bunuel. 

This is the transcript of

DALI: We met, earlier tonight…At the party! Dali.

GIL: I remember!-

DALI: A bottle of red wine!

GIL: It can’t be… Yeah….So?

DALI: Another glass for this man, please. I love the language!The French! The waiters? No.You like the shape of the rhinoceros?

GIL: The rhinoceros? Uh…Haven’t really thought about it.I paint the rhinoceros.

DALI: I paint you. Your sad eyes.Your big lips, meltingover the hot sand,with one tear.Yes! And in your tear, another face.The Christ’s face!Yes, in the rhinoceros.

GIL: Yeah. I mean, I probably do look sad. I’m in…a very perplexing situation.

DALI: Diablo…Luis! Oye, Luis!(Damn. Luis! Hey, Luis!)My friends.This… is Luis Bunuel…and…Mr. Man Ray.-

GIL: Man Ray? My Gosh!- How ’bout that?

DALI: This is Pen-der. Pen-der. Pender!- Yes. And I am Dalí!- Dalí. Yes.You have to remember. Pender is in a perplexing situation.

GIL: It sounds so crazy to say.You guys are going tothink I’m drunk, but I have to tell someone. I’m…from a…a different time. Another era.The future. OK? I come…from the 2000th millenium to here.I get in a car, and I slide through time.

MAN RAY: Exactly correct.You inhabit two worlds.- So far, I see nothing strange.- Why?

GIL: Yeah, you’re surrealists!But I’m a normal guy. See, in one life,I‘m engaged to marry a woman I love.At least, I think I love her.Christ! I better love her! I’m marrying her!

DALI: The rhinoceros makes love by mounting the female.But…is there a difference in the beauty between two rhinoceroses?

MAN RAY: There is another woman?Adriana. Yes, and I’m…very drawn to her.I find her extremely alluring.The problem is that other men,great artists – geniuses- also find her alluring,and she finds them. So, there’s that…

MAN RAY: A man in love with a woman from a different era.I see a photograph.

LUIS BUNUEL: I see a film.I see an insurmountable problem.I see……a rhinoceros.

Let me make a few points here.

1. Surrealists like Salvador Dali, Man Ray and Luis Bunuel had accepted that life without God in the picture is absurd with no meaning or purpose.

2. In the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Gil Pender is from the year 2010 but he is struck with love for Adriana who lives in 1925 and he asks the surrealists about this PERPLEXING PROBLEM. There are two elements to this perplexing problem.

A. God created us so we can’t deny that we are created for a purpose and when a person falls truly in love with another person then they have a hard time maintaining  this is only just a product of evolution and has no lasting significance. Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russell wrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”

B. Gil Pender explains that he has traveled through time and the Surrealists accept this because they are used to leaping into the area of nonreason in order to find a meaning for their lives. The Atheist can only come to the conclusion of despair according to Ecclesiastes,but humans many times try to go to the area of non-reason for meaning in their lives instead of turning to God!

Dustin Shramek in his article, Atheism and Death: Why the atheist must face death with despair, notes:

Francis Schaeffer illustrates this problem well. He says that we live in a two story universe. On the first story the world is finite without God. This is what Sartre, Russell, and Nietzsche describe. Life here is absurd, with no meaning or purpose. On the second story life has meaning, value, and purpose. This is the story with God. Modern man resides on the first floor because he believes there is no God. But as we have shown, he cannot live there happily, so he makes a leap of faith to the second story where there is meaning and purpose. The problem is that this leap is unjustified because of his disbelief in God. Man cannot live consistently and happily knowing life is meaningless.

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

We can see that later in both the lives of Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali that they struggled to find a rational source of values and purpose. Schaeffer noted that in Bunuel’s film BELLE DE JOUR  (1967), Bunuel showed pictorially (and with great force) what it is like if man is a machine and also what it is like if man tries to live in the area of non-reason. In the area of non-reason man is left without categories. He has no way to distinguish between right and wrong, or even between what is objectively true as opposed to illusion or fantasy….One could view these films a hundred times and there still would be no way to be sure what was portrayed as objectively true and what was part of a character’s imagination. If people begin only from themselves and really live in a universe in which there is no personal God to speak, they have no final way to be sure of the difference between reality and fantasy or illusion (pp. 201-203).


Belle de Jour Presentation

Adrien de Van and filmmaker Luis Buñuel.

(You will notice in the last part of the 14 minute clip above, it shows how the movie “Belle de Jour” ends. Even though her husband has been shot three times which was the result of the horrible friends she had associated with, he is pictured in her dreams as recovering from his wheel chair and blindness and he gladly kisses her. Francis Schaeffer below in his film series shows how this film was appealing to “nonreason” to answer our problems.)


On November 20th, 1972, George Cukor hosted a lunch in honor of Luis Buñuel. Attendees included Robert Mulligan, William Wyler, Robert Wise, Jean-Claude Carriere, Serge Silberman, Billy Wilder, George Stevens, Alfred Hitchcock,

(Basket of Bread. Date: 1926 above)

From the book  THE GOD WHO IS THERE written in 1968 by Francis Schaeffer pages 70-72.

In his earlier days Salvador Dali (1904-1989) was a surrealist. As such he united the teaching of Dada with the concept of the Freudian unconscious, because this is what surrealism is. But at a certain point he could stand this no longer, and so he changed.

One day he painted his wife and called the picture THE BASKET OF BREAD, final title was Portrait of Galarina (1940–45)It is obvious from looking at the picture that on the day he really loved her. It is the same kind of situation as when Picasso wrote on his canvas, “I love Eva.” Before I had heard of any change in Dali, I saw a reproduction of this picture, and it was obvious that there was something different being produced. It is significant that his wife has kept this painting in her private collection.

So on this particular day Dali gave up his surrealism and began his new series of mystical paintings. He had, in fact, already painted two other pictures with the title A BASKET OF BREAD, one in 1926 and one in 1945. These just showed baskets of coarse Spanish bread. But third picture, also painted in 1945, was of his wife Galarina, and shows her with one breast exposed. Her name is written on the picture, and the wedding ring is prominent on her finger.

The second painting in his new style was called CHRIST OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS, painted in 1951, which now hangs in the Glasgow Art Gallery. Salvador Dali has written about this painting in a little folder on sale in the museum: “In artistic texture and technique I painted the CHRIST OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS in the manner in which I had already painted my BASKET OF BREAD which even then, more or less unconsciously, represented the Eucharist to me.

File:Christ of Saint John of the Cross.jpg

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What does he mean? He means that when he looks at his wife one day, really loving her, and paints here with one breast exposed, that is equated by him to the Eucharist, not in the sense that anything really happened back there in Palestine 2000 years ago, but his love jarred him into a modern type of mysticism.

In this painting he differed from Picasso’s J’aime Eva. As far as we know, Picasso never really went beyond the problems of his individual loves; but to Dali it became the key to mysticism. In order to express the leap that he felt forced to take, he picked up Christian symbols, not to express Christian concepts, but a non-rational mysticism. 

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Retrieved from http://www.dali-gallery.com/images/works/1955_01.jpg on 13 Sep 2009. Resolution lowered for illustration purposes.

After these two  painting his next crucifixion was called CORPUS HYPEROULUS, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY and then later THE SACRAMENT OF THE LAST SUPPER, which is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington. This later painting expresses his thought vividly. As the viewer looks at Jesus he can see the background showing through him; he is a mist.

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This is no Christ of history. Above him stands a great human figure with arms outspread, it’s head cut off by the top edge of the picture. No one is sure what this figure is. However, it is stranger reminiscent of the “Yakso” which in Hindu art and architecture often stands behind the “saviors” (“savior” here bearing no relation to the Christian idea). Yakes and Yaksi connect vegetable life with man on one side and the complete concept of pantheism on the other. I think this is what Dali is also saying by this cut-off figure in the painting. Whether this is so or not, the symbolism of the form of the “room” is clear because it is constructed by means of the ancient Greek symbol of the universe.

In an interview Dali connects this religious interest of his later life with science’s reduction of matter to energy. “…the discoveries in quantum physics of the nature of energy, that matter becomes energy, a state of dematerialization. I realized that science is moving toward a spiritual state. It is absolutely astonishing, the eminent scientists: the declaration of Max Planck and the views of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), a great Jesuit scientist: that man in his constant evolution is coming closer to an oneness with God.”


Here he relates his own mysticism and the religious mysticism of Teilhard de Chardin to impersonal dematerialization rather than to anything personal. He is quite correct and need not have confined himself to modern liberal Roman Catholicism, but could also have included the Protestant forms of the new theology as well.

It is perfectly possible to pick up no defined Christian symbols on words and use them in this new mysticism, while giving them opposite meanings. Their use does not necessarily imply that they have Christian meanings. Dali’s secular mysticism, like the new theology, gives the philosophic other or impersonal “everything” a personal name in order to get relief by connotation from meaningless. 



Matt Chandler in his sermon on ECCLESIASTES CHAPTER ONE finishes up with this paragraph:

So this circular silliness that we find ourselves caught up in, it needs someone from BEYOND THE SUN to come break it. So the Scriptures tell us that Christ comes, John 10:10 said, to give us life to the full. You want to hear a really good translation of what’s going on in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” He’s basically saying this, “You’re living and you’re breathing, but you’re not alive. You’re just existing. In Me, there’s life. You’re existing, but you’re not living. I have come so that you might have life, what you were created for.” Now all of a sudden, these things do have meaning. Now all of a sudden, when this happens, money can just be money. Like, money no longer becomes our master. We don’t have to have to have some kind of social status. It just becomes money. So, we can give it away or buy a house and it doesn’t own us. Christ removes the futility and vanity from the soul and brings about the purpose that you and I are dying for. Everything else under the sun is running on a treadmill. My hope is that you’ll start to honestly evaluate life and that that might lead you to look BEYOND THE SUN.


The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. GOD HAS SPOKEN AND HAS NOT BEEN SILENT, BUT YOU CAN’T JUST CONTINUE TO LOOK FOR ANSWERS JUST “UNDER THE SUN.” You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.
(GALA’s daughter Cécile  Éluard is pictured below)

Photo taken in 1944 after a reading of Picasso’s play El deseo pillado por la cola: Standing from left to right: Jacques Lacan, Cécile  Éluard, Pierre Reverdy, Louise Leiris, Pablo Picasso, Zanie de Campan, Valentine Hugo, Simone de Beauvoir, Brassaï. Sitting, from left to right: Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Michel Leiris, Jean Aubier. Photo by Brassaï. –

Paul Eluard, Gala et leur fille Cécile à la fin des années 1920.

Paris: The Luminous Years

gala dali

“A Friends’ Reunion” by Max Ernst. Seated L to R: Rene Crevel, Max Ernst, Dostoyevsky, Theodore Fraenkel, Jean Paulhan, Benjamin Peret, Johannes T. Baargeld, Robert Desnos. Standing: Philippe Soupault, Jean Arp, Max Morise, Raphael, Paul Eluard, Louis Aragon, Andre Breton, Giorgio de Chirico, Gala Eluard. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Man Ray : Nusch Eluard, Valentine Penrose, Roland Penrose, Paul Eluard, Pablo Picasso, Cécile Eluard vers 1937


Related posts:

A list of the most viewed posts on the historical characters mentioned in the movie “Midnight in Paris”

Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 38,Alcoholism and great writers and artists)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 36, Alice B. Toklas, Woody Allen on the meaning of life)

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

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 34, Simone de Beauvoir)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 33,Cezanne)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 31, Jean Cocteau)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 30, Albert Camus)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 29, Pablo Picasso)


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