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The Reluctant Film Art of Woody Allen$
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Peter J. Bailey

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813167190

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813167190.001.0001

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“People Reinvent Themselves, Don’t They?”

“People Reinvent Themselves, Don’t They?”

Midnight in Paris and Blue Jasmine

(p.343) 24 “People Reinvent Themselves, Don’t They?”
The Reluctant Film Art of Woody Allen

Peter J. Bailey

University Press of Kentucky

Whereas Gil Pender in Midnight in Paris uses (in John Lahr’s terms) fantasy to “reach greater accommodation with the real” and to become virtually “a new person,” Jasmine of Blue Jasmine experiences the cruelty of reality as a progressively psychic inducement toward deepening illusion, confusion, and sociopathy. Gil Pender’s imagined interactions with American expatriate writers of the 1920s psychically liberates him from Inez and her thoroughly right-wing family’s intentions of stranding him for life in Malibu; Jasmine’s lost life of wealthy insularity leaves her completely unprepared for the challenges of self-reliance, and she ultimately retreats into nostalgic fantasy and falsifications of the present rather than facing the hostile world of American commerce that had been the realm of her corporate magnate husband.

Keywords:   John Lahr, “golden age thinking”, Rodan, Picasso, Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, A Streetcar Named Desire, “you stupid little French whore”, “Blue Moon”

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