What do the wives and loves of Ernest Hemingway, Robert Louis Stevenson, Pablo Picasso, William Shakespeare, and Frank Lloyd Wright have in common? They all have recently appeared as the main characters in literary novels. Paula McLain’s “The Paris Wife” tells us the story of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley. Nancy Horan’s “Under the wide and starry sky” portrays Fanny Stevenson, Robert Louis Stevenson’s wife. Another book by Horan, “Loving Frank” profiles Martha “Mamah” Borthwick’s relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright. “Madame Picasso” by Anne Girard is about Eva Gouel, Picasso’s companion and a great muse in his artwork. Andrea Chapin’s “The Tutor” tells the story of a muse of Shakespeare.
Ah, Spring in Paris – what everyone dreams of, at least I do. My friend Tifenn promises us that when we arrive at the airport she will greet us with croissants and pains au chocolat. But until that happy day arrives we can escape into films about Paris, including two that are at the Long Island Community Library: Hugo, and Midnight in Paris.
Hugo, a magical 3-D romp directed by Martin Scorsese, takes place in early 20th century Paris, specifically in the central train station. Based on the book, “The invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick (also located at LICL), this movie will thrill you with the characters, story, and visual scenery.
Midnight in Paris, directed by Woody Allen, is a different kind of period piece, alternating between modern-day Paris and the Paris of the 1920s, populated with the literary characters of Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and others.
So, unless you are lucky enough to escape to Paris any time soon, curling up with your croissants and pains au chocolat and these two movies will transport you into this other world, of Paris of almost 100 years ago.