May / June 2015
THE LAKE HOUSE
The Allure of Long Ago
All Men Must Die
The Art of Patience
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
Days of Future Past
An Old Fashioned Hero Ode to The Things That Never Were
A Fan Fiction
When Everything is New Again
Produced by Charity’s Place. No copyright infringement intended. All written content is original and nothing may be reproduced without written consent. Disclaimer: the opinions of the individual writers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Charity’s Place or Femnista, and the entertainment mentioned is not always appropriate viewing for all ages.
ime travel has always fascinated us. Deep inside, all of us wonder if it’s possible, if perhaps we might step outside our own time and find the thread that unravels time itself, that allows us to step in and out of different periods, to see the beginning and the end of all things. Countless films, books, and television series explore this, and sometimes exploit it for their own benefit. Such exploitations are called “resets.” Fringe did it. Star Trek did it. Fans respond either positively (did the reset undo what they hated about the original plot line) or negatively (have all their favorite characters changed)? Sometimes, these shifts are good, and sometimes they are bad. In the case of Spock, it’s hotly debated. Do fans prefer the original cast (by in large, yes) or the new one? Do we like Kirk and Spock as friends or antagonists? The old Spock was mild-mannered; the new one, thanks to a time travel loop into an alternate reality, is hot-headed. Many characters go on adventures through time in these pages. It’s our hope that you will take the journey with them. Time travel is not just a great feat for the imagination; it has things it can teach us about ourselves. ◦
hat if, in traveling through space, you were also traveling through time? It takes only 0.000000000067 seconds for the body to travel from point A to point B, but the mind, aware and alone, travels through millions of years with only itself as a companion. What would happen to that mind? Would it still be whole or would it break under the strain? Stephen King asks that question in his short story, The Jaunt. An inventor, Victor Carune, learns how to travel from one point to another almost instantaneously. This happens during a gasoline crisis and ends up saving the world’s populations from almost -certain extinction. He first transports his fingers (by accident, though they’re still attached and whole when he pulls them back through), then a pencil. He moves on to mice, though they present him with difficulties. When pushed through the portals, they come through dead or dying. Pushed through tail-end first, they lose none of their vigor, but when the entire animal is fully forced through, it dies almost instantly. It’s not long before the government takes control of his machine and the problem is soon solved. The person or animal put through his machine must be put to sleep. Before long, people are Jaunting from country to country, and even to other planets.
“But what happens to those individuals who remain awake?” you ask? The government offers complete amnesty to a serial killer to find the answer. He comes through with no lines or wrinkles; in fact, aside from his new head of white hair, he looks exactly the same. But he has the air of someone who had lived a long, long time, and the only words he screams out as he comes through on the other side are, “It’s eternity in there!” Fast forward many years. Mark and Marilys are traveling with their children, Ricky and Patty. Of the four, only Mark has Jaunted before and in order to calm his children, he tells the back-story of Carune’s invention. He only briefly touches on the dangers of staying awake for a Jaunt, making it seem easy and painless, which it actually is. He also skips the story of the man who put his wife in the machine fully awake with no way to Jaunt out. Said husband is sentenced and put to death. As the time comes closer for the Jaunt to take place, Marilys and the children have calmed down. The attendant comes to place the masks over their faces and Mark inhales deeply to show them there’s nothing to fear.
When Mark awakes, he hears a commotion. He tries to pull himself out of his drugged state and emerges to find his son restrained and cackling horribly. Ricky held his breath when the sleeping gas was administered. His hair is white and his eyes are bulging with madness. He screams out, “Longer than you think, Dad! I saw! I saw! Long Jaunt! Longer than you think!” Then, clawing at his eyes and still screaming, he is wheeled away. This is one of my favorite stories. I have always been intrigued by the idea of space or time travel, and in most stories either it goes well or horribly wrong. This is the only story I’ve seen that addresses what happens in the time it takes to transport from one spot to the other. The characters aren’t actually traveling through time, as it takes less than a second to travel from one point to another. Though the actual Jaunt happens almost instantly, it takes a long time mentally. And those who are awake for the Jaunt cannot survive. ◦
Carol Starkley has a husband, three daughters and a live-in mother-in-law, three cats, five fish, and a hamster. She’s a Christian Blogger. 3
he concept of time travel may be one that still eludes scientists, and may always do so, but that hasn’t stopped writers and filmmakers from using the idea for stories across literature, film, and television. It appears in genres as diverse as action (the Terminator franchise) and comedy (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure), and in projects both small-scale (Looper) and big-budget (Back to the Future). The inherent drama of this plot device can show itself in many ways, but for the use of time travel in a story to truly be effective, the time the character travels to must be fully realized. Historical accuracy is very important when a well-documented period of the past is visited. Recently, one project admirably accomplished just that. The television adaptation of Outlander achieves a gorgeous sense of place and atmosphere to enrich the romantic, thrilling narrative. Outlander is based on the best -selling book series by Diana Gabaldon, which began in 1991. It continued through to the seventh book in the series, Written in My Own Heart’s
Blood, which was published in 2014. The story centers around Claire Randall, an English nurse during World War 2, who visits Scotland while on a trip with her husband and finds herself transported to the 17th century after touching one of the standing stones at Craigh na Dun. Claire tries to adjust to the unfamiliar time
while not revealing the truth and avoiding the trouble being English can cause in 1743 Scotland. She meets and slowly falls in love with Jamie Fraser and they both face the threat of a villainous British military commander named Black Jack Randall, an ancestor of Claire’s 20th century husband. Starz cable network adapted it for television. Ronald Moore developed the series and
retained a lot of creative input from author Gabaldon over the 16 episodes of the first season, the finale of which is set to air in the United States on May 30, 2015. The series is renewed for a second season, based on the second book, Dragonfly in Amber. Actress Caitriona (pronounced “Katrina”) Balfe plays Claire and Sam Heughan is Jamie Fraser. Other main cast members include Tobias Menzies, Graham McTavish, Laura Donnelly, and Bill Paterson. One of the hallmarks of this series is its mature tone. The book series can be classified as part of the romance genre, as it contains quite a few scenes of a sexual nature. The interpersonal drama and political intrigue of the plot more than balance this out, however, and the show runners of this series have wisely aimed to embrace all the aspects of the story. Because Starz is a pay cable network, they are granted the leeway to do so. Viewers should be prepared for nudity, sexual 5
Rachel Sexton is from Ohio and has a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Arts. She loves her parents and her dog Lily. But what you really need to know is that she has to have acting, film, reading, and dance in her life and her favorite fandoms are Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jane Austen, and Once Upon a Time. Plus, she is most described as quiet and her biggest vice is cupcakes. Her main hobby is editing fan videos.
content, and violence. Even if you are uncomfortable with this content at first, though, the plot is so compelling that you will keep watching. The most obvious and conspicuous element that assists the creators of this series in building an effective sense of place is the locations. Outlander films much of the time on location in Scotland. They take full advantage of the unparalleled Highland scenery as often as possible, starting with the unforgettable and narrative-important standing stones at Craigh na Dun. Different beautiful locations stand in for Castle Leoch, the home base of the MacKenzie clan who are related to Jamie, and Lallybroch, the home of Jamie’s Fraser family. The story features a lot of traveling around, and the filmmakers behind this series seem unable to find a place that isn’t green and rocky, accomplishing the task of appealing to the eye while immediately conveying to the audience that this is Scotland. Outlander has surely
boosted Scottish tourism since it premiered. Another method Outlander uses for evoking the setting is music. Bear McCreary is the composer, and every bit of the score for every episode has a sound unmistakably Scottish. One striking and memorable addition is the theme song that accompanies the opening credits. It is a poem by Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, “Sing Me a Song of a Lad that is Gone,” set to the tune of a Scottish folk song called “The Sky Boat Song.” It is a perfect choice. The score is full of the kind of music that will feel like Scotland to the audience, featuring drums and bagpipes. It telegraphs both drama and wistfulness, which is appropriate for this material. Costuming is invaluable in this series as a way to create authenticity for the period. There are kilts, corseted gowns and Redcoat uniforms, but the costume designer, Terry Dresbach, also got to bring the fashion of the 1940’s to life in
the pilot. He provided many thoughtful details to Claire’s costumes that stand out. She often wears a knitted cowl as a scarf along with knit sleeves paired with her gowns that serve the function of warmth but are also stylish. I won’t be surprised if the fashion industry soon takes notice. (There are already some similar homemade versions for sale on Etsy!) Due to impressive production values, Outlander creates an evocative atmosphere and sensuous setting. Given that the story features the concept of time travel, setting is a significant element that needs to be done right. The writers and directors faithfully and effectively adapt the plot and the actors turn in wonderful performances as well, so Outlander becomes a timetravel romance that is unique on television. With a second season on the way and a book series that hasn’t ended yet, viewers can easily enjoy a long journey into the past. ◦
an you imagine that from your first breath on earth you are told you will one day save mankind? Not only that, you will live through a nuclear war and fight apocalyptic assassin robots bent on annihilating the human race? Yeah, sure. Right. No kid is going to ever believe that kind of bunkum, instead, they’re likely to run screaming away from your madness. Unless your name is John Connor, that is.
John Connor could have had a normal childhood, except for the fact that he wouldn’t exist without time travel. You see, John Connor’s mother is Sarah Connor, born sometime in 1965, and in 1984 she should have had a nice, normal 19 year old life. She was a waitress, presumably seeing someone, and good friends / roommates with a gal named Ginger. She kept in contact with her mother, kept a relatively clean shared apartment, and never experienced anything phenomenally crazy in her life. Meanwhile, in 2027 the humankilling robots send a special assassin back in time to kill her before she can bear her son. And to counteract their plan, John Connor sends a specially selected soldier back to save 8
her: Kyle Reese, born in 2002. Kyle has never known anything kind or lovely in his entire life, having been born after the 1997 nuclear war called Judgment Day. This war was instigated by a security program known as Skynet, a self-aware world security program that today, thanks to the Avengers, sounds like Ultron. But Skynet was much more efficient in how it wiped out humanity, attacking with nuclear missiles and then rounding up survivors and taking them to crematoriums to be murdered. Kyle survived capture and was branded on his arm with a barcode, numbers and lines that represent a metamorphosis in thought: from human being to chattel. It is there he meets John Connor, the man who will save the world and end Judgment Day, the man he will willingly go into the past for. There’s just one catch… John Connor is aware of how events must play out. He knows that if he doesn’t send Kyle to the past, he will never be born, for Kyle Reese is his father. Yet if John Connor is never born, why do the machines need to kill his mother? There’s another catch. For John Connor is not the only one who creates himself. The assassin T800, or Terminator, is also in
the same boat as John. If there is no need to kill Sarah Connor because John is never born, the Terminator will never travel to the past and provide other humans with the idea or technological physical bits to produce Skynet. Judgment Day is averted. So the ultimate question might be, why can’t John Connor just die and keep the world safe that way? Oh wait… hang on, he’s the savior of the planet, right? Because when John Connor is ten years old, the Terminator tries to kill him again and in so doing disrupts the earlier timeline of Judgment Day. This event is then pushed forward 2004, so when John Connor is 20 and his mother has been dead of cancer since 1997, the Terminators try yet again to kill him. They are also after his lieutenants of the future, people he’s never even met before and never will once they’re murdered by the Terminator. And each time John Connor is saved by… himself, sending modified Terminators back in time to protect him. Each time this happens, more Terminator bits are left in a tantalizing trail that encourages a different future in which Skynet will be built and enacted. So at the end, John Connor cannot prevent
Judgment Day, which happened in July of 2004, anymore than he can prevent himself from surviving. The robots will always find a way because he finds a way to keep going. And then there’s the OTHER timeline for John Connor, which involves a specially modified female Terminator and John’s mother not dying of Leukemia and which generally doesn’t fit in with the established story. In that universe, John Connor sends help back in time for himself and his mother, continuing his meddling pattern and increasing the chance that Skynet will be created. John Connor is his own worst enemy. Some might think it is the Terminators sent to kill him, or to kill his mother, but it is really his own foolish meddling that creates every problem. He is possibly one of the most destructive time travelers, without having ever traveled in a wormhole himself, because he sacrifices those around him in
attempts to save his mother and younger self. Yet the Terminator tells us that in 2027, John Connor is killed by a machine. Because all his plots, his hopes to save mankind that are based solely on Kyle’s words to Sarah in 1984, won’t matter because he will be dead. John Connor is not the savior of the earth, after all. If he wanted to save it, he would have to give up the one thing he is unwilling to part with: his own life. He must
sacrifice himself by not sending Kyle, not fighting the inevitable, and not giving the Terminators a reason to go back to 1984. Thank goodness that the world didn’t rely on a man named Connor for their salvation and instead looked to a man named Jesus. Without Him, Judgment Day would be repeated as man creates his own worst enemy, with Him, Judgment Day can be averted. ◦
Caitlin Horton is a 20-something reader, seamstress, and history buff. She lives a life blessed in the knowledge that she is God's child, and her life has a purpose in the scope of His plan. She encourages her readers to remember, every day can be like Bilbo's "adventure" if you’re willing to take the "ordinary" and add some "extra" in front of it! She blogs about her crafts, and runs a Steampunk Emporium.
n a world of mad rushing to get things done, patience is very much a lost art. I have to contact this person now. I can’t wait for a week for the letter to be delivered, it must be now. We spend the majority of our time constantly plugged in, either through phones, laptops, tablets, or Bluetooth. Today is an instant gratification society. So imagine if you had to wait. Not through any fault or decision of your own but simply because life threw you a curve ball and you had no choice. This is the life of Alex Wyler in The Lake House. A young architect, Alex moves back into the house of his youth, the one his father designed but always felt cold and imperious with no room for love or growth. The lake house is not everything it should be, but Alex yearns to take it and change it into something more, something better. He is a man of eternal optimism. Then he receives a letter in his mailbox from the last tenant instructing the new one about the quirks of the house and explaining that the paw prints on the wooden walkway were there when she moved in. Now he’s puzzled. There are no paw prints on the wooden walkway. He writes her back saying as much, and thus begins a pen pal friendship with Kate Forster. 10
In an ordinary world with ordinary circumstances, letters are delivered via the mailman. In this scenario, however, the mailbox itself delivers them. Why? Alex and Kate do not share the same time. He lives in 2004, and Kate? Well, she lives in 2006. During a warmish day in 2006 and a coldish day in 2004, Alex and Kate stand in precisely the same spot, shoving scraps of hastily written bits of paper into the mailbox, trying to understand how this can even be happening. They never do reach a consensus as to the mechanics of the thing, but that doesn’t matter. Soon, Alex is deeply in love with the woman on the other end of the mailbox. Seeking her out in 2004, Alex knows she is not the same woman as in her letters. But it’s enough to just see her. He picks up and reads the copy of Jane Austen’s Persuasion that she loved so much and accidentally left on the bench at a railway station. He’s the man she dances with at her engagement party and finds herself kissing. There is no going back for Alex. She is his one and only, so he urges her to meet him, in her time. Kate is the reluctant party, having already been burned in love. But she agrees. Except Alex never makes it to their appointed dinner, and she writes to tell
him so. He can’t explain his absence. Her trust in him demolished, Kate breaks off their communication. He puts letters in the mailbox. No one answers. Kate is gone. Of course, like 90% of romances ever filmed, The Lake House has a happy ending. But did you ever stop to think about the ramifications of being in love with someone 2 years ahead of you in time? Alex wants that Kate… the Kate who knows him. Not the Kate of his own time who is engaged to be married. His Kate freely admits in her letters that she doesn’t even remember what he looks like from their brief encounters 2 years previous. He simply floated in and out of her life, without a lasting impression. Love is a remarkable thing when you are forced to wait. I’ve heard it said that oftentimes in relationships, one person loves more deeply than the other. I don’t know if it’s true or not, or how to even determine the worth of such a statement. But Alex had to wait. He spends 4 years waiting for the woman he loves, so he can hold her in his arms, hear her sweet voice, and look directly into her eyes. Who does that? Kate cut off their relationship. Once she realizes her mistake, it is almost too late.
But for her the gratification is instant because she turns around and there he is. For him, it took 2 more years of waiting for that moment. The time differential was harder for him because he’s the one who had to do all the waiting.
with him. It’s a tale of individual growth, strength, and maturity. In The Lake House perhaps the younger Kate would not have loved the younger Alex. Perhaps they would have made a poor match. They had to wait for the time to be right.
anyone else. Kate was it for him, the ideal woman, and he would have waited forever if necessary. Fortunately, he didn’t have to, and their meeting is sweeter than any honey, and judging by the look in his eyes, well worth the wait. ◦
It is profoundly symbolic that her favorite book is Persuasion. During her engagement party, she sneaks off to the back porch where she encounters Alex and they sit and discuss the book for a few moments. Persuasion is a story about patience. The heroine made a mistake in her youth, being persuaded by family and friends to send the hero away, and she must wait an entire 10 years to reconnect
Out of all the romances I’ve ever seen, The Lake House remains steadfastly one of my favorites. I don’t care that the time differential in their lives doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t have to. It’s a story of enduring patience. Kate needed a romantic hero who would literally wait years for her. She needed that type of proof of his love, just as Alex was willing to give it because he could not imagine himself with
Carissa Horton spends her working hours at Compassion International whose tagline reads “Releasing Children from poverty in Jesus’ name.” She is an avid crafter, a prolific blogger on Musings of an Introvert about all things literary and film-based, and dreams of someday getting her stories published. 11
ELORA CARMEN SHORE
he idea of an extension of the self is one of the oldest stories out there—if not the oldest one. It ties into the greatest friendships, friendships that sometimes become more, and the bond of friends turned family. The strongest element of Doctor Who is the fact that The Doctor needs someone. He loves much, and goes far and beyond protecting who he can, but often, even with pure intentions, love is the greatest instigator to go to extremes. As Donna (aka Doctor Donna) said, “I think sometimes...you need someone. To hold you back.” The Doctor's loved ones come and go—but none have so far been so excruciating as season seven's farewell to Amelia and Rory. It is one of my favorite story arcs. In the end, Amelia chose her true love. Not the Doctor—the crazy, powerful, mysterious, fascinating Doctor, but the regular Joe she grew up with, and who, for a long time, had to wait for her to realize just how much she loved him. Time travel often is associated with jumping centuries, or going back to a crucial moment when things changed. One thing I like about Amy and Rory's story is that they both end up waiting for each other at one point or another. They traveled the slow path in an agonizing 12
way, every moment felt. Rory, The Last Centurion, waiting two thousand years, protecting the Pandorica (I'm sure there's plenty of jokes on Rory's part—albeit unspoken--on how in some ways Amy was certainly the equivalent of Pandora's curse), waiting for the one he loved to be released again. One simple statement, when he was given a choice—to protect her a thousand years, or jump ahead with the Doctor: “Will she be safer?” “Well, yes, but Rory you will feel every second!” Simple as that, just armed with the knowledge she'd be that much safer, Rory stepped to attention and took up the wait of a millennium. I think the best statements of love are the simplest ones. Found among those just standing by our side. Rory in some ways is the stronger, better man for it. His love is plain, and strong. What is it like, intimately knowing a thousand years? Imagine a conversation with a traveler with that experience. Getting a glimpse into those moments. That reality. Talking
to older people is like literally stepping into a real moment, getting a fleeting look into a time long gone. For me, Eleven's time with Amelia Pond was a paradox and dance with time. Not only did Amelia and Rory end up waiting for each other for years, at different times, the product of their love went years into the past to meet them, and eventually marry the Doctor. Theirs is a tale in timey-wimey, weebly-wobbly circumstances, adventures, and looks into time and possibility. In the end, it is very much like a fairy tale. A splendid, complex, heartrending but joyous dive into the love that friends share, years spent together, and the time traversed. And the knowledge that there will always be that tie, even when—tragically—you can never see them again. But then, memory itself is a time-trip into the past. Like an afterword. ◦
Hello, old friend. And here we are. You and me, on the last page. By the time you read these words, Rory and I will be long gone. So know that we lived well and were very happy. And above all else, know that we will love you always. Sometimes I do worry about you though. I think once we're gone you won't be coming back here for awhile. And you might be alone. Which you should never be. Don't be alone, Doctor. And do one more thing for me. There's a little girl waiting in a garden. She's going to wait a long while, so she's going to need a lot of hope. Go to her. Tell her a story. Tell her that if she's patient, the days are coming that she'll never forget. Tell her she'll go to sea and fight pirates. She'll fall in love with a man who'll wait two thousand years to keep her safe. Tell her she'll give hope to the greatest painter who ever lived. And save a whale in outer space. Tell her, this is the story of Amelia Pond. And this is how it ends.
Elora Carmen Shore has been writing for almost fifteen years, has published a short story titled Eloise and her first collection of poetry titled A Road to Count the Days By last year, available on Amazon Kindle. It should also become available in print later this year. Her poems have appeared in several magazines, such as Moon Drenched Fables, Moon Washed Kisses, and Vox Poetica. She is currently working on a romcom and a fantasy trilogy. She likes to keep things diverse. Elora can be found at her blogs, Pendragon and Out My Front Door.
â€”Amelia Pond, The Angels Take Manhattan, Doctor Who Season Seven
What if you were torn out of your present reality and thrown into the future? Nothing you remember is the same. Most of the people you once knew are dead. The world has changed. The organization you once trusted is now dubious in its ethics. How would you adjust? This is the tragic plight of Steve Rogers, Captain America, in his franchise. He saves the world in the first film and then… wakes in a modern day reality of flashing television screens and nuclear war, where he fondly remembers old-fashioned values and record players. Modern society is a far cry from the 1940’s, where he intended to “court” Peggy Carter. Cap does adjust … but only to a point. He keeps his motorcycle, his value
Charity Bishop is an editor. Her free time is spent writing novels & movie reviews, blogging, and typing fictional characters on tumblr. She is known as an allaround contrarian who is serious about her faith.
system and his “old fashioned” moral code. He is a beacon of goodness in a darkened world, and the only person who can get through to his friend Bucky, also from the 1940’s, when Bucky turns up in the present … his memory wiped, as a villain. Cap goes toe to toe with him in combat, determined to save him and bring back the Bucky that was once his best friend. There are any number of ways to look at this situation and draw mythological archetypal parallels from it. One could liken Cap to Jesus, a symbol of divine “right” in a fallen world who lays his life down for his friends without hesitation, and would sacrifice it all just to save that one soul from damnation. One could liken Cap to a
believer, told to be “in the world, but not of it.” In a sense, that his what he is doing in his new life. He is from a much older and more respectable era, and while he embraces some of the new technologies, he is also highly resistant to their negative influences. “Language,” he reminds Tony Stark, after Iron Man turns the air blue. Trying to corrupt Cap is impossible; he’d just give you a stern look and go back to moralizing about right and wrong, how power comes with responsibility, and how we have a moral obligation to serve humanity in whatever way we can. In my three decades on earth, I have seen immense changes in modern society, some of them good and
others bad. It is a great struggle for me to remain contemporary, while holding onto what many would believe are “antiquated” values. I have a firm belief, like Cap, in things like honor, justice, patriotism, and morality. You can pull me toward alternative views all you want, but those things are unchanging in my soul. I will never let go of them, any more than Cap will ever relinquish his belief systems. I will fight any corrupt system, and turn on it in an instant if it becomes amoral. Cap takes comfort in grounding himself, in modern society, in things that remind him of his old life. His apartment is full of stuff from the 1940’s. Record players, bomber jackets, etc. With anyone else, this would seem weird, but on him, it’s cool. He holds onto his past,
but doesn’t allow it to define him in negative ways. He is slowly adapting, but not losing his true sense of self, or the core of his earlier beliefs. Time travel is a concept that might appeal to us, on a purely moral level, because of all the many possibilities it employs; but often when we think of it, it is with a sense of past regret. If only we could go back, change what happened in that moment, prevent something bad from happening or a relationship from falling apart. Taken a step further and our inevitable heroic fantasies step into play… what if we could stop Hitler? Or save Marie Antoinette? Or be at the crucifixion?
We can get so caught up in the past that we neglect to look at the future, and remember that we are exactly where God intends us to be, in the present. It is not a mistake that you were born when you are, in the period you live in, because He has things for you to do… now. So, while we may want to hold to the idealistic trappings of former civilizations, and we long to correct past wrongs, like Cap, we must learn to play the hand we are dealt and seek ways to impact our world right now, to be “in it” but not “of it,” to stand apart not in our penchant for old things, but in our honor code and “old-fashioned” values. Because perhaps, if we hold onto them, they will not be so “old fashioned” after all. ◦
idnight in Paris isn’t a story about time travel. It’s a story about longing. It’s about yearning for an age you’ve never experienced, wishing that whatever meaningless actions you take in life will carry weight. It’s about wanting to be a part of something bigger than yourself, and hoping you are the main character in your own story. It’s about how we idealize people, love, stories, and choose to ignore the flaws that surround them. It's about wanting more. The main character Gil Pender is a writer who, after a drunk walk through the streets of Paris gets him lost, the mysterious passengers of a midnight car urge him to join them, only to find that he’s suddenly transported to 1920’s Paris, meeting the great writers and artists he so admires. Talk about fun/weird. He meets Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Dali, Picasso, T.S. Eliot, and even Gertrude Stein. They share quips together, anecdotes, drinks, and parties. He experiences what all writers long for, to meet their literary heroes, perhaps even as equals. What struck me the most about Midnight In Paris was it’s brilliant and unconventional use of time travel. Some films, like Back to the Future, Kate & Leopold, or Groundhog Day, will play the convention for laughs—someone getting stuck in time and trying to figure out
what it takes to blend in or get themselves out. Other films, like Terminator, Looper, or About Time (which I highly recommend, if only for Bill Nighy) are about fixing mistakes in the past, and using time travel as a means to do so. Even Doctor Who is a romp through the ages, the dated backgrounds mere setting for alien adventures. Midnight In Paris is different. It uses the 1920’s as an exploration for Gil’s inability to cope with his present. The use of time travel here is paramount to the plot—as is the place he lands in. His idealized love of a different era is much like our own longing for something deeper in life. I won’t lie and say that I’m a fan of Owen Wilson’s constant gibbering, and though Woody Allen’s name on anything will at least spark my interest, even Tom Hiddleston’s name attached to the picture didn’t raise the appeal enough to watch the film. However, when I got wind that part of the story took place in the 1920’s, I was hooked. I love the 20s. The glamour, the music, the mafia, the clothes… I can suspend my dislike for the sexism and racism for two hours if you can promise me the reckless actions of the white elite with a few gunshots thrown in. Maybe even a private eye, or a mob boss. A flapper dress.
One of my favorite presentations I have ever done in my academic years involved the reading, rereading, and the systematic ruin of my only copy of The Great Gatsby as I made an analysis on the author’s use of color. (Don’t even get me started on my delight when I discovered Tom Hiddleston is the one that plays F. Scott Fitzgerald, the writer of The Great Gatsby.) I’m not the only one. Our generation is inundated with an obsession for the past. One look at our fashion, music choices, cult films, TV shows, subcultures, and they will ell you we love “vintage.” We ache for times and eras we have never been a part of, for authenticity, for community. Is it because of the sudden rise of technology that we favor less technologically advanced objects? (I’m surrounded by so many devices that sometimes I need to read a book for a while… outside, without cell reception.) Is it because of our shattered belief in safety that we push the desire to live in community? Is it because of increased globalization that we yearn for things to be authentic? (I’ve got a friend in Japan and another in France. We talk to each other in the same manner as we would if they lived nearby. Emails. Tweets. Blog Posts.)
Whatever the reason, this nostalgia is not confined to this movie or our generation, even though it seems most evident among millennials. Take a look at any film and some older character will be sitting in a creaking rocking chair droning on and on about “the good old days”—how things were better in some era or another. This is the embodiment of Owen Wilson’s character in Midnight in Paris. He idealizes the 1920’s, so fate intervenes and takes him there by the means of a magical cab ride. What I wouldn’t give for that. But maybe it’s about more than
dreaming of a better time, or fleeing your current troubles. We long for a world where things are in an eternal golden age. Where the possibilities and the universe tip in our favor. We want more like we miss it—but we’ve never even experienced it. A quote by C.S Lewis comes to mind: “These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the Thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have
not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.” I can’t help but agree. What is this nostalgia or longing more than a desire for things when they were closer to perfect? Closer to the True thing we long for. Midnight in Paris preaches a Truth—we shouldn’t be living in any era other than the now— but it also illustrates an unintended Truth: we long for things that are not of this world, because we are not a part of it. Because we've been cut off from the Truth that gives us Life. ◦
Deborah Olivera is a freelance video editor, aspiring writer, and full-time missionary. She's super passionate about the power of Story, is 100% a geek/nerd, and would find a metaphor if it was hidden under a rock. Her website is branchfromthevine.com, where you can read weekly devotions 18
“What is this?” Abe demanded, storming into the room. When his father didn’t look up, he shook the papers in midair. “Pops? Pops?” When receiving no response, he yelled, “Henry!” Henry Morgan’s head snapped up and he lowered his reading
material. “Sorry, what was it you were saying, Abraham?” When his young looking, 236 year-old father got comfy in his easy chair with a book, and was being serenaded by a boring old record of Chopin, it was difficult to get his attention. Despite all
of their differences, the huge age gap and the “curse,” Abe had no regrets. He would not have chosen a different father. Even so, now and then the effects of the curse caught up with them. He was the only boy whose dad never aged beyond 35 and the only one whose dad 19
never died. After losing his mother the way he did, Henry’s longevity came in handy in regards to Abe avoiding losing another parent. In time, though, it would pose a problem. There would come a day that Henry would have to bury him. No parent should have to outlive their child. “What is this?” Abe asked again. When he stumbled on the stack of papers in the basement, he thought it was more theories about the curse. He was stunned that his father had branched out. “Time travel?” Henry had the goodness to look sheepish, laid the book aside and rose to his feet. “It’s not what you think.” He paused and shook his head. “All right, it is exactly what you think. It is only a theory though, nothing more.” Abe tossed the papers on the coffee table. “Isn’t it enough that you’ve lived in four separate centuries, must you also travel through time too?” “I don’t wish to travel in time per se. I was only wondering if it were possible, if I could have prevented the curse somehow,” Henry said. “I wasn’t going to do it.” Abe sighed. This was almost as bad as when his father got the 20
flintlock that had originally killed him. Another mortal, one called Adam, had planted the idea in his head that if they were killed with the original weapon that killed them, their curses would be broken. Thankfully that theory was disproven, albeit the hard way. The last thing they needed was another cockamamie scheme to play havoc with the lives around
it. Will that make it better?” “Yeah, that would be a start.” Click. Henry and Abe froze. “Not so hasty,” a chilling voice hissed from the dark corner of the room. “I’ll be taking those.” A pasty man wearing an old cabby cap slinked out into the light. “Hello, Henry.” There was only one soul on the planet who could take two simple words and twist them into something creepy. Adam. “Adam!” Henry sputtered. “How is this possible?”
them. The curse itself provided enough of that. “It’s not a curse!” Abe snapped. “If anything, it’s a gift. A crazy gift, but a gift nonetheless.” Henry winced. He gripped Abe’s shoulder. “Abraham! I wasn’t going to go through with it. How could I? If I had, I never would have met you or your mother. You two were worth all of the pain.” He gathered his research and headed toward the fireplace where the flames were cracking with heat. “Look, I will destroy
The last time Adam attempted to kill Henry, Henry was able to inject him and cause him to have an air embolism, which had sent Adam into a semivegetative state. The only way for him to come out of it would be if he… died. “Did you really think you could leave me like that? Forever? I got lucky; I had another aneurism.” Adam merely smiled; the remainder of his face remained icy cold. He raised his arm, aiming the flintlock pistol at Henry.
“Hey!” Abe yelled. “Have you forgotten? Killing him with that only sends him back to the Hudson. It won’t change anything.” Adam chortled. “Who said anything about me killing him?” He whipped around, this time directing the pistol at Abe. “Give me the research or I will kill your son.” Henry let out a strangled cry. He lurched forward, to step in front of his son but then he stopped. Taking a bullet for Abe wouldn’t solve anything. After Adam shot him, he’d continue on to do something awful to Abe. Or at least that was what Adam wanted him to think. His fingers tightened around the papers and in a dramatic sweep, he flung them into the fire. “No!” Adam charged towards the fireplace and was able to reach in to pluck them out. Henry rushed forward, wrestled the weapon out of the immortal’s hands, and held it on him. “Don’t move.” Abe gritted his teeth, wishing his body wasn’t as aged and arthritic as it was. If only he could have moved that quickly. The flames swallowed the research, leaving only black crisps behind. So much for a theory. Adam tilted his head. “I underestimated you, Henry.
Gambling with your own son’s life.” “There was no gamble.” Henry said. “You may have killed me before and you may kill me again, you may kill countless others, but you’ll never harm Abraham.” As much as Abe hated Adam, he knew if it came down to it, Adam would do the right thing by him. They had a connection, one that he didn’t even share with Pops. He and Adam had been in the death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau. The infamous Dr. Mengele had experimented on them both. They had an odd little kinship. Adam lifted his hands, palms up and shrugged. “Now what? We both know you are incapable of killing anyone, Henry. Even me, even though it wouldn’t be permanent. Your conscience won’t permit it.” His eyes twinkled. “Just give me what I want and you’ll never have to see me again.” Henry rolled his eyes. “Now why don’t I believe you?”
around and smashed it over Adam’s head. The immortal listlessly dropped to the floor. The impact wouldn’t kill him, but it would incapacitate him long enough for them to tie him up. “Oh, Abraham! You shouldn’t have done that!” Henry scolded. “What if the gun accidentally went off? You could have been killed!” Abe waved him off. “We have bigger fish to fry. Right now we have to dispose of Adam. Again.” He put his hands on his hips. “Any bright ideas?” Henry rubbed his chin. A sly smile crept across his face. “Want to test my time traveling theory?” his Pops suggested. “We can send Adam someplace where he can’t hurt anyone.” Abe clapped his hands together. “I’ll get the rope!” He headed down to the basement, hoping that they were making the right choice. Perhaps they’d be rid of Adam for once and for all... ◦
While the two continued to exchange witty barbs, Abe held his breath. He grabbed the neck of a bottle of wine, swung
Veronica Leigh is an aspiring novelist, who lives in Indiana with her family and six furbabies. Her obsessions range from Jane Austen to the Holocaust to the TV show Once Upon a Time. She has published two short autobiographical pieces and hopes to see more in print. She also lurks on her blog. 21
love X-men: Days of Future Past, and a huge part of why I love it is how it handles time travel. Iâ€™ve long liked the idea of time travel, especially how it can lead to awesome character development as people deal with the differences between what might have been and what now is, depending on how their actions change things. Days of Future Past begins in a dystopian near-future where mutants have been hunted almost to extinction. Only a few have survived, including Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine, and Kitty Pryde. Kitty's powers used to be walking through walls, but they've expanded to being able to send a person's consciousness through the walls of time into their past body, which comes in handy for warning their past selves about future ambushes from the giant robots called Sentinels that have been wiping out the mutants. Professor X and Magneto decide the best plan to save what remains of mutantkind is to have Kitty send someone to the 1970s to keep the Sentinels from ever being created. Initially, Professor X wants to go himself, but Kitty says a person's mind can only stretch back for a few weeksâ€”any more and it would break. 22
Logically, then, the only one who can get sent back as far as the 1970s would be someone whose mind and body can heal as fast as they're broken, namely Wolverine. Which, from a filmmaking standpoint, is also logical, since Wolvie doesn't really age, so having Hugh Jackman play him in the 1970s and the near future works without major makeup or digital effects to age or de-age him. A little grey hair at the temples for Near-Future Wolvie, and none for Past Wolvie, and we're good to go. Once Wolverine's consciousness goes back to the 1970s, the real fun begins. Because he didn't get his adamantium skeleton and claws until the 1980s, he has just his bone claws, which surprises him and leads to one of the funniest moments ever to involve a metal detector. The movies have always depicted him wearing '70s flavored clothes, especially those awful paisley shirts, so for once, he really fits in well. Also, this allows him to meet up with younger Professor X, Magneto, and Mystique, and thus bridge the past and future versions of these characters neatly, passing the torch much more effectively than in X-Men: First Class. But the fun 1970s shenanigans, the epic prison break scene
involving Quicksilver, and the meeting of the minds between future and past Professor X aren't why I love this movie, though they add to the wonderfulness. No, this is my favorite X-Men movie, not to mention my favorite use of time travel, because of how it ends. I'm going to spoil that here, so don't read the next paragraph if you haven't seen this, but want to, and don't desire major spoilization. I love the ending because it effectively wipes out the biggest reason Wolverine has to be filled with heartache and remorse: the death of Jean Grey at the end of X3: X-Men's Last Stand. Wolvie's actions in the past create a new future, one much happier than the one he was living in at the beginning of the movie, and not just because the Sentinels are no longer an issue. At the end of the movie, Wolverine wakes up back in Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, which we all know shouldn't still be standing, much less in such lovely condition. He walks out into the hallways and sees characters who had either died or left the mutant family, and we begin to hope, just like you can see he does, that maybe others who died might also have been spared in this new timeline. And then, there she is â€”a woman
with bright red hair, standing with her back to Wolverine and to us. Wolverine's eyes widen with the realization that he has fixed so much more than he'd expected to as the woman turns around and reveals she is indeed Jean Grey. My heart nearly burst with joy for Wolverine the first time I saw it, because my heart has ached for him for so long, for the burden of grief he's borne over having to save the world by killing the woman he loved... and now, that never actually happened. Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen!
When she's not writing, Rachel Kovaciny passes the time by reading, baking, watching movies, crocheting, blogging, and homeschooling her three children. Her least favorite activities are housecleaning and wearing shoes, and she's been known to go to great lengths to avoid both. She blogs about books, and also has a personal blog that talks about movies and other important things.
Yes indeed, I like the idea of time travel. I even like it when it means that character development from old stories gets negated by new ones. There's always room for more in the future, after all. â—Ś
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