SYRACUSE What kind of movie would Woody Allen make about Central New York? His most recent movie masterpiece, “Midnight in Paris,” could easily be remade to showcase a notable era in Syracuse history.
“Midnight in Paris” chronicles the adventures of a writer named Gil (played by Owen Wilson, but symbolizing Woody Allen himself) during a visit to Paris with his fiance and her parents. Plagued by writer’s block, Gil wanders the streets alone at night.
Paris should provide a writer with plenty of exciting ideas, even without the magical twist that appears.
A vintage car pulls up, right at midnight, and the occupants call Gil to enter. He is spirited away to the Paris of the 1920s, the heyday of well-known writers and artists, where he meets American writers F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, as well as artists Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali.
Ending up at Gertrude Stein’s noted salon, our writer even gets Gertrude to promise to read his work and make suggestions.
The next night, Gil returns to the same spot at midnight and the car arrives again. After a few nights of this, he has become an accepted member of the salon and participates in the Paris night life and intrigue.
His creativity has returned and his written output increases. Of course, his fiancée and her parents wonder why Gil disappears every night and her father hires a detective to follow him.
Eventually, lessons learned from the era he idolized help our writer discover what he wants to do with his life.
Transplanting this idea to Central New York, a modern writer looking for inspiration wandering around Onondaga Lake at noon could very well board a tram and find himself at one of the resorts that decorated the lake’s west shore in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This writer would also be the star of “Noon in Syracuse.”