“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 13 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part L Ernest Hemingway 1st part “Declare yourself the best writer!!!”)

Woody Allen talks ‘Midnight in Paris’

AT THE 27 MIN MARK Woody Allen says:

I have never gotten to the point where I can give an optimistic view of anything. I have these ideas for stories that I hope are entertaining and I am always criticized for being pessimistic or nihilistic. To me this is just a realistic appraisal of life. There are these little Oasis’s these little distractions you get. Last night I was caught up in the Bulls and Heat basketball game on television and for the time being I was thinking about who was going to win. I wasn’t thinking about my mortality or the fact that I am finite and aging. That was not on my mind. Labron James was on my mind and the game. That is the best you can do is get a little  detraction. What I have learned over the years is that there is no other solution to it. There is no satisfying answer. There is no optimistic answer I can give anybody.

The outcome of that basketball game is no less meaningful or no more meaningful than human life if you take the long view of it. You could look at the earth and say who cares about those creatures running around there and just brush it. Ernest Hemingway in one of his stories ( A FAREWELL TO ARMS) is looking at a burning log with ants running on it. This is the kind of thinking that has over powered me over the years and slips into my stories.

I have always been an odd mixture, completely accidentally, I was a nightclub comic joke writer whose two biggest influences were Groucho Marx, who I have always adored and he still makes me laugh  and Igmar Bergman. I have always had a morbid streak in my work and I when I do something that works , it works to my advantage because it gives some substance and depth to the story, but I when I fail the thing could be too grim or too moralizing or not interesting enough. Then someone will say we only like you when you are funny.

I love sleep.  My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know? — Ernest Hemingway

In the film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Hemingway says that he is very competitive in his writing and he wanted to be the best. However, later in his life he embraced a very pessimistic view of life and of his work.

HEMINGWAY:Writers are competitive.

GIL PENDER:I’m not gonna be competitive with you.

HEMINGWAY:You’re too self-effacing.It’s not manly.If you’re a writer, declare yourself the best writer!But you’re not, as long as I’m around. Unless you want to put the gloves on and settle it?

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS correctly notes what Hemingway’s outlook on life was in the 1920’s but later in life he seems to agree with Ecclesiastes outlook.

Keith Porter has rightly noted that Solomon takes the view in Ecclesiastes that The materialistic, naturalistic, secularist world-view of life under the sun is futile...I believe Solomon is merely telling us what he himself concluded when God became absent from his life.  That life without God is futile, meaningless and empty.   As a wise man, inspired by God, Solomon is attempting to get us to think about what life would be like without God in our lives.   Because most of us enjoy an awareness of the God-image which all humans possess, our thinking tends to default in terms of the eternal, life ABOVE THE SUN, or with eternity in our hearts.   I believe Solomon is attempting to get us to think about life without an overwhelming God-presence so we might be more grateful and motivated to enjoy life UNDER THE SON and follow God with all of our hearts, mind, soul and strength.”

Famed Author Ernest Hemingway Experienced World War II From the Caribbean to D-day’s Normandy

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Matadors Luis Miguel Dominguin and Antonio Ordonez, with American Writer Ernest Hemingway

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Scott F. Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, Joan Miro and John Gris meet and mingle.

 

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Description: Nancy “Slim” Hawks Hayward, Ernest Hemingway, and Lauren Bacall sitting and laughing outside a café, probably in Pamplona, Spain. Summer, 1959.

 

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. The second post looked at the question: WAS THERE EVER A GOLDEN AGE AND DID THE MOST TALENTED UNIVERSAL MEN OF THAT TIME FIND TRUE SATISFACTION DURING IT?

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.

The fourth post looks at the solution of WINE, WOMEN AND SONG and the fifth and sixth posts look at the solution T.S.Eliot found in the Christian Faith and how he left his fragmented message of pessimism behind. In the seventh post the SURREALISTS say that time and chance is all we have but how can that explain love or art and the hunger for God? The eighth  post looks at the subject of DEATH both in Ecclesiastes and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. In the ninth post we look at the nihilistic worldview of Woody Allen and why he keeps putting suicides into his films.

In the tenth post I show how Woody Allen pokes fun at the brilliant thinkers of this world and how King Solomon did the same thing 3000 years ago. In the eleventh post I point out how many of Woody Allen’s liberal political views come a lack of understanding of the sinful nature of man and where it originated. In the twelfth post I look at the mannishness of man and vacuum in his heart that can only be satisfied by a relationship with God.

In the thirteenth post we look at the life of Ernest Hemingway as pictured in MIDNIGHT AND PARIS and relate it to the change of outlook he had on life as the years passed.

Paris: The Luminous Years

A love letter affair: A personal and rather racy letter Ernest Hemingway wrote to actress Marlene Dietrich (pictured together in 1938) in 1955 is expected to fetch $50,000 at an upcoming auction

The Lost Generation A&E Biography. I DO NOT OWN THIS MATERIAL.

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SCOTT FITZGERALD: Greetings and salutations.You’ll forgive me. I’ve been mixing grain and grape.Now, this a writer. uh…Gil. Yes?- Gil…

GIL PENDER: Gil Pender.- Gil Pender.

Hemingway & Fitzgerald Clip – Midnight in Paris

HEMINGWAY:Hemingway.

GIL PENDER:Hemingway?

HEMINGWAY:You liked my book?

GIL PENDER:Liked? I loved! All your work.

HEMINGWAY:Yes, it was a good book,because it was an honest book,and that’s what war does to men.And there’s nothing fine and noble about dying in the mud,unless you die gracefully,and then it’s not only noble, but brave.

ZELDA FITZGERALD:Did you read my story? What’d you think?

HEMINGWAY:There was some fine writingin it, but it was unfulfilled.-

ZELDA FITZGERALD: I might’ve known you’d hate it.-

SCOTT FITZGERALD:But darling, you’re too sensitive.

ZELDA FITZGERALD:You liked my story, but he hates me!

SCOTT FITZGERALD:Please, old sport, you make matters extremely difficult.

ZELDA FITZGERALD:I’m jumpy. Suddenly I don’tlike the atmosphere here any more.Ah! Where’re you going?

JUAN BELMONTE:Para reunirse con mis amigos en Saint-Germain.(To meet some friends on Saint-Germain.)-

ZELDA FITZGERALD:He’s going to Saint-Germain. I’mgoing with him. –

SCOTT FITZGERALD: Zelda, sweetheart…

ZELDA FITZGERALD:If you’re going to stay here and drink with him, I’m going with the toreador.

SCOTT FITZGERALD:Would you bring her back at a reasonable time?-

HEMINGWAY:She’ll drive you crazy, this woman.-

SCOTT FITZGERALD: She’s exciting,and she has talent.

HEMINGWAY:This month it’s writing. Last month it was something else.You’re a writer. You need time to write. Not all this fooling around.She’s wasting you because she’s really a competitor. Don’t you agree?

GIL PENDER:Me?

HEMINGWAY:Speak up, for Christ’s sake! I’m asking ifyou think my friend is making a tragic mistake.

GIL PENDER: Actually, I don’t know the Fitzgeralds that well.

HEMINGWAY:You’re a writer. You make observations.You were with them all night!

SCOTT FITZGERALD: Could we not discuss my personal life in public?

HEMINGWAY:She’s jealous of his gift, and it’s a fine gift. It’s rare.- You like his work? You can speak for it.-

SCOTT FITZGERALD: Stop it! Stop it.

HEMINGWAY:You like Mark Twain?

SCOTT FITZGERALD: I’m going to find Zelda. I don’t like the thought of her with that Spaniard.

GIL PENDER: May I?

HEMINGWAY:Yeah,

Midnight in Paris (2011) Scene: “What are you writing?”/’Hemingway’

Published on Jul 15, 2015

Gil (Owen Wilson) sits down and has a chat with Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll) about his unfinished novel.

‘Midnight in Paris’; A film by Woody Allen.

Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Tom Hiddleston, Marion Cotillard, Corey Stoll, Alison Pill, Adrien Brody & Kathy Bates.

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GIL PENDER:I’m actually ahuge Mark Twain fan.I think you can even make the casethat all modern American literaturecomes from Huckleberry Finn.-

HEMINGWAY:You box?-

GIL PENDER:No. Not really. No.

HEMINGWAY:What’re you writing?-

GIL PENDER:A novel.-

HEMINGWAY:’Bout what?

GIL PENDER:It’s about a man who works in a nostalgia shop.

HEMINGWAY:What the hell is a nostalgia shop?

GIL PENDER:A place where they sell old things. Memorabilia.and… Does that sound terrible?

HEMINGWAY:No subject is terribleif the story is true.If the prose is clean and honest, and ifit affirms grace and courage under pressure.

GIL PENDER:No good.Can I ask you the biggestfavor in the world?-

HEMINGWAY:What is it?-

GIL PENDER:Would you read it?-

HEMINGWAY:Your novel?-

GIL PENDER:Yeah, it’s like 400 pages long, and I’m just looking for, you know, an opinion.

HEMINGWAY:My opinion is I hate it.

HEMINGWAY:GIL PENDER:I mean, you haven’t even read it.

HEMINGWAY:If it’s bad, I’ll hate it because I hate bad writing,and if it’s good, I’ll be envious and hate it all themore. You don’t want the opinion of another writer.

GIL PENDER:Yeah.You know, it’s just… You know what it is?I’m having a hard time,you know, trusting somebody to evaluate it.

HEMINGWAY:Writers are competitive.

GIL PENDER:I’m not gonna be competitive with you.

HEMINGWAY:You’re too self-effacing.It’s not manly.If you’re a writer, declare yourself the best writer!But you’re not, as long as I’m around. Unless you want to put the gloves on and settle it?

GIL PENDER:No, I don’t.

HEMINGWAY:Hey, I’m not gonna read your novel,but I’ll tell you what I’ll do.

GIL PENDER:Yes?

HEMINGWAY:I’ll bring it to Gertrude Stein’s.She’s the only one I trust with my writing.

GIL PENDER:You’ll show my novel to Gertrude Stein?-

HEMINGWAY: Give it to me.-

GIL PENDER:I’ll bring it to you.-

HEMINGWAY:And she gets back from Spain tomorrow.-

GIL PENDER:Great.I’m gonna go get it. I’m gonna…I can’t tell you how excited I am! This is gonna be such a lift!My heart is just racing right now!I’m gonna get it, and I’ll be back.Whoa, whoa, Gil! Take it easy!You had a big night.Fitzgerald. Hemingway!Papa! You gotta…OK, we never said where we were gonna meet.

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Futility — Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

Keith Porter pastor of Hillsdale Free Methodist Church

Solomon went through the process of thinking what life would be like without God, to discover that and then you will really appreciate life with God. Solomon wants you to know that the only way you can have real life is to recognize God in it. Eccl 1:1-11

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

[a]Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,
[b]Vanity of vanities! All is [c]vanity.”

What advantage does man have in all his work
Which he does under the sun?
A generation goes and a generation comes,
But the earth [d]remains forever.
Also, the sun rises and the sun sets;
And [e]hastening to its place it rises there again.
[f]Blowing toward the south,
Then turning toward the north,
The wind continues [g]swirling along;
And on its circular courses the wind returns.
All the rivers [h]flow into the sea,
Yet the sea is not full.
To the place where the rivers [i]flow,
There they [j]flow again.
All things are wearisome;
Man is not able to tell it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor is the ear filled with hearing.
That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one might say,
“See this, it is new”?
Already it has existed for ages
Which were before us.
11 There is no remembrance of [k]earlier things;
And also of the [l]later things which will occur,
There will be for them no remembrance
Among those who will come [m]later still.

September 15th, 2013

Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

“Futility”

Most men would rather die, than think. Most men do.  —Bertrand Russell

That God does not exist, I cannot deny; That my whole being cries out for God I cannot forget.  — Jean-Paul Sartre

Life has no meaning the moment you lose the illusion of being eternal. — Jean-Paul Sartre

Everything has been figured out, except how to live — Jean-Paul Sartre

Life has no meaning a priori.  Before you come alive, life is nothing; it’s up to you to give it a meaning and value is nothing else but the meaning that you choose — Jean-Paul Sartre

No finite point has meaning without an infinite reference point — Jean-Paul Sartre

Man is a useless passion. — Jean-Paul Sartre

I love sleep.  My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know? — Ernest Hemingway

Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know. — Ernest Hemingway

But man is not made for defeat.  A man can be destroyed but not defeated. —  Ernest Hemingway

I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after. — Ernest Hemingway

More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads.  One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness.  The other, to total extinction.  Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly. — Woody Allen

 

The question to be answered is . . . Why does Solomon promote such a futile, meaningless and empty perspective of life while writing the book of Ecclesiastes?

 

Answer: I believe Solomon is merely telling us what he himself concluded when God became absent from his life.  That life without God is futile, meaningless and empty.   As a wise man, inspired by God, Solomon is attempting to get us to think about what life would be like without God in our lives.   Because most of us enjoy an awareness of the God-image which all humans possess, our thinking tends to default in terms of the eternal, life ABOVE THE SUN, or with eternity in our hearts.   I believe Solomon is attempting to get us to think about life without an overwhelming God-presence so we might be more grateful and motivated to enjoy life UNDER THE SON and follow God with all of our hearts, mind, soul and strength.

The Word for the Day is . . . Futile

 

What is Solomon trying to get us to see in the prologue of Ecclesiastes?:

I.  The materialistic, naturalistic, secularist world-view of life under the sun is futile.  (Eccl 1:2-11)

(GET EXACT QUOTE AT 17 MIN MARK) This is what so crazy about so many of these atheistic philosophers and that is they wanted God to be in their life but they did not find him because they thought that the existence of evil in the world proves he doesn’t exist and it is funny that many of them such as Nietzsche, Hemingway, Bertrand Russell and Sartre had bad childhoods.

Life on planet Earth is not a bowl full of cherries; it’s the pits.  Instead of enrichment and joy, we find emptiness and sorrow.  (Charles R. Swindoll, Living on the Ragged Edge, 7)

We must see one thing right from the beginning: this book is an examination of secular wisdom and knowledge.  The book clearly states at the outset that it limits itself primarily to things that are apparent to the natural mind.  One of its key phrases is the continual repetition, under the sun.  (Ray Stedman, Is This All There Is to Life?, 9)

Ecclesiastes, then, is a summation of what man is able to discern under the sun–that is, in the visible world.  The book does consider revelation that comes from beyond man’s powers of observation and reason, but only as a contrast to what the natural mind observes.  (Ray Stedman, Is This All There Is to Life?, 10)

Vanity characterizes all human activity (1:14; 2:11): joy (2:1) and frustration (4:4, 7-8; 5:10) alike, life (2:17; 6:12; 9:9), youth (2:15, 19), diligent and idle (2:21, 23, 26).

All is literally “the whole.”  All earthly experience, seen as a unit, is “subject to vanity” (cf. Rom 8:20).  The same expression occurs in the Hebrew of 1:14; 2:11, 17; 3:1, 19; 12:8.  A qualification is found in v. 3 (“under the sun”), repeated in 1:14; 2:11, 17; and, with variation, 3:1.  It is only to one seeking satisfaction in disregard of God that the Preacher’s message stops at “All is vanity.”  For any who adopt his total world-view he has a note of encouragement.  When a perspective of faith is introduced “All is vanity” is still true, but it is not the whole picture; “under the sun” it is the whole truth.  When, in 2:24-3:22 and intermittently thereafter, new factors are brought in (the generosity of God, divine providence, divine judgment), the “vanity” of life is not obliterated or forgotten; but the new factors transform the perspective and turn pessimism into faith.  This prefigures the NT perspective in which the believer is “outwardly…wasting away” (2 Cor 4:16), is “subjected to vanity” and “groans” with creation “right up to the present time” (Rom 8:20-22).  Yet he “knows’ what is happening (Rom 8:22), “gazes” at a different perspective (2 Cor 4:18), “waits” for something different (Rom 8:25).  The new perspective does not cancel out the old, the believer is living in an overlap.  But the new perspective revolutionizes his outlook.  (Michael A. Eaton, Tyndale OT Commentaries: Ecclesiastes, 56-57)

If his resources are entirely this-worldly, “No profit” is the motto over all he does.  There is another realm altogether, the Preacher will contend later (5:2), when he will speak of God who may be approached and worshiped (5:1-7).  Meanwhile the abyss of pessimism has to be explored.  (Michael A. Eaton, Tyndale OT Commentaries: Ecclesiastes, 58)

Ecclesiastes is a testament to the spiritual insights of its author, Solomon.  It comes from his deep seeing into the nature of reality.  Solomon looked and saw that all is empty of permanence; he also saw that human energies are largely invested in a pursuit of permanence–a pursuit that is doomed from the start.  Ecclesiastes is his report of his journey to the heart of reality and his insights into how we should live, given the fact of life’s impermanence.  (Rami Shapiro, The Way of Solomon, 2)

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)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 8, Henri Toulouse Lautrec)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 7 Paul Gauguin)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 6 Gertrude Stein)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 5 Juan Belmonte)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 4 Ernest Hemingway)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 3 Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 2 Cole Porter)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 1 William Faulkner)

MUSIC MONDAY Cole Porter “Let’s Do it, Let’s Fall in Love” in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

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