Thursday, June 23, 2011

Telling a Story

The rest of the class watched Sabrina (1954, directed by Billy Wilder) this afternoon (I watched it for the second time on Tuesday night, while mum and I had dinner). I have always said I cannot watch most movies more than once or twice, but it's amazing how that just does not apply to classic Hollywood films. I felt a bit lost leaving the lecture theatre today, I felt like staying and watching Sabrina again, but my head reasoned that it would be a waste of time when there is an Essay to research and write, and a film project to be thinking about.

The transformation in  S a b r i n a  is just so magical. Audrey Hepburn plays a young woman, Sabrina, who is sent away to Paris to get over a childish love, which actually not only makes her grow up, it helps her discover her power of femininity, while also adopting Paris elegance in her dress and mannerisms. As Pamela Church Gibson pointed out in our lecture this morning, Audrey Hepburn [was] never sexualised in the way typical for the startlets of that era -her image on screen seems to be constructed to appeal to the female gaze. Although when Hepburn is in her couture character, and especially with her short hair in Roman Holiday, she is nothing but sexy! A sophisticated sexy though, which may also have to do with her being brunette, as brunettes tended to be assigned sophisticated/serious roles -which is also very obviously presented in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953, directed by Howard Hawkes) in particular the dressing room scene, straight after the first introduction performance. 

Gentelmen Prefer Blondes, Part 1
Youtube video
See from 4:25 to 7:16 for the dressing room scene

Audrey Hepburn with Humphrey Bogart -Sabrina
Image: whatdvd
The other note on Hepburn, which Pamela brought up this morning is that she was always presented with men that were old enough to be her father, or even, grandfather! Somehow I never quite noticed this, it didn't hit me as odd, I guess because being paired with an older man, especially for a sophisticated woman is quite a norm for me. These men seem to compliment her. What do you guys think? 

The Fifth Element
As a final note, another absolute favourite movie of mine is The Fifth Element (1997, directed by Luc Besson). However, I never realised that the costumes in the film were designed by Gaultier, who got really involved with the film. It makes such a difference when the costumes are actually designed for the film, rather than just being a feature; one of the strong, obvious and appreciated differences between a narrative film and a commercial. 
Captivating Leeloo, played by Milla Jovovich
Image: famousmonstersoffilmland
Some of the most powerful costumes designed by Jean Paul Gaultier for the film
Image: fashioninthemovies
This scene of the Gaultier designed Alien is just incredible, the colours, silhouette, over-all style mixed with the powerful classic, yet very modern music just kept my eyes and heart glued to the screen.
Youtube video.

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