Thursday, July 14, 2011

Retro Matinee Double Feature: Funny Face and Paris When it Sizzles

File another one in the "How have I never seen this?!?" category. Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire in Funny Face: Hepburn as the bookworm that photographer Astaire and fashion editor Kay Thompson cross paths with during an impromptu fashion shoot at a book store. Soon the reluctant beauty, who dreams of meeting her favorite philosopher and instead of couture, is swept off to Paris.

At the start of the film, a high power fashion editor bemoans the pressure of having to satisfy "the great American woman who stands out there naked waiting for me to tell her what to wear." Isn't that so true, by the way, all those seasonal "trends"?

Thompson has a sudden vision. This season it's pink! Admittedly after watching the infectious "Think Pink" scene, I, who prides myself on questioning things and being an independent thinker, wanted to wear pink! Luckily, I had a thrifted Michael Korrs cotton top (know where it's from: made in India) from the CATS Resale Shop I just picked up for $9. Even warm and fuzziness works on me. Being seduced to go to a department store usually does not.

And who wouldn't want to go to Paris after the charming, "Bonjour, Paris!" number!

If you haven't seen Funny Face and love Astaire, Hepburn, fashion, Paris, or all of the above, watch it, for it is a love letter to all those things. I could watch it again and again.

Paris When it Sizzles takes place around and on Bastille Day, which is today, and finds Hepburn as a smart, savvy typist who aids William Holden in creating a movie script. It's no Funny Face, but I enjoyed it and loved the nod to Funny Face in a scene where Hepburn awakes to find the song played on a record player with a paper trail leading to Holden.

Did you know Audrey Hepburn didn't like her nose, thought her feet were too big and neck too long, and shoulders too wide? And that she considered herself just an average actress who considered Givenchy's clothes "armor" that helped her. I didn't either until I watched the Funny Face extras. Even one of the world's great beauties questioned herself. Why do we as women do that so much?

There's a great scene where Hepburn comes out of the bedroom in this nightgown of sky blue (one of my favorite colors). I'm not a man, but I find her more alluring than anything you'll find in the Victoria's Secret catalogue.

I adore her classic style. When assessing my summer wardrobe this year, I parted with a lot of skirts and dresses I thought were now too short (some just gotten last summer at swaps or thrift). At 35, I felt it was time for a more age appropriate look. Age appropriate - I concept lost many in a losing game of chasing youth. I also love how intelligent her characters were. Something we should covet - wisdom.

I already have her classic Sabrina waiting for me (thank you county library!) I love the frugality of watching all these films for free from the library. I've also recently seen Doris Day's April in Paris and Elizabeth Taylor and Van Johnson in The Last Time I Saw Paris. Do you have any films on Paris you adore? Or Audrey Hepburn films?

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