I have just finished watching Midnight in Paris, written and directed by Woody Allen. It was one of those films that really got me thinking.
For those who haven’t seen it, the core of this story is writer Gil Pender’s (Owen Wilson) nostalgic sentiments towards the long gone era of the 1920s. He is disenchanted with the present day world.
One night, whilst wondering the streets of Paris, as the clock strikes twelve, a mysterious car pulls up alongside him, and the party-goers inside it, persuade him to go with them. Gil then finds himself in the 1920s Paris that he was longing for, talking to the likes of Hemmingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
As I watched this Gil character flitting between modern day and 1920s Paris, trying to finish his novel, I was thinking about my own writing. A few of my recent attempts at flash fiction, which seemed like a good idea beforehand, now seem boring.
The film references surrealism quite a lot, making me realise that my stories are boring because they are too realistic. There is no real imagination in them.
I like the idea of taking the real, the mundane, and making it sparkle. It’s life. But recently, I’m taking the mundane, and keeping it that way.
The majority of the books and films that I adore all have a hint of surrealism; imagination. The paranormal, different realms, talking bears; they all challenge the mundane and make things a lot more interesting.
I think the boring life I lead is in turn, creating writing that is boring. Both in need of some imagination… excitement… drama… Life!
I’m thinking about using some techniques employed by those of the surrealist movement. I’ll experiment with automatic writing; I’ll write about the crazy dreams I sometimes have; I will liberate my imagination!