The Error Called Nostalgia: Remember How the World Used to be Better? What if it Never Was?

Damon Ashworth Psychology

One of my favourite movies of all-time is ‘Midnight in Paris’. Let’s just forget about the director of the film for a second, and focus on the main reason why I love it – nostalgia.

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The main character in the movie, Gil, played by Owen Wilson, is writing a novel about a character who owns a nostalgia shop. He clearly idealises the past, especially the creative scene of Paris in the 1920s where Ernest Hemingway bumped shoulders with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Salvadore Dali and many other famous writers and artists.

In the first great scene of the movie, after a few wines and a midnight stroll, Wilson’s character somehow finds himself at a party back in the 1920s, meeting all of these icons. There, he also meets a beautiful and intriguing woman, Adriana, played by Marion Cotillard, who also idealises a time from her past, Paris…

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