My second DVD pick of the week for Valentine’s Day is the other new Audrey Hepburn release, “Funny Face,” a gorgeous musical set in Paris with Fred Astaire and songs by Gershwin. The title tune, and “How Long Has This Been Going On” and “S’Wonderful” have become standards, and the non-Gershwin numbers like “Think Pink” and “Bonjour Paris” are lively and well-staged.
It’s the story of a shy bookstore clerk with an interest in French philosophy who gets invited to Paris as a model and agrees to go only because it will give her a chance to meet the philosopher she most admires. She thinks that fashion is silly and superficial. But the photographer (Astaire, playing a character based on Richard Avedon) shows her the passion, dedication, professionalism, and artistry required and the philosopher shows her that he does not always practice what he preaches. The film is a delight. Be sure to watch for a rare screen appearance by Kay Thompson, the author of the “Eloise” books, as the magazine editor, and some real-life supermodels spoofing themselves.
Be sure to check out the nominees for Beliefnet’s Spiritual Film Awards and vote for your favorites.
Justin Long, Bradley Cooper, and Kevin Connelly, the male stars of “He’s Just Not That Into You,” made a very funny short film explaining to men that it is all right for them to see the movie because it does not contain the top 10 chick flick cliches. How many can you guess? Can you name a movie for each item on their list?
On Idol Chatter, Kris Rasmussen has come up with a two-part list of haunting moments in movies that is well worth exploring and every one of the films and those added by the commenters is a worthy addition to your Netflix queue.
I like her definition of “haunting” — “cinematic points in time that bring revelation to our souls in some big or small way.”
The moments that haunt me tend to involve extraordinary kindness or devotion. Some that I would add:
1. The last moment in Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights. He has sacrificed everything to pay for an operation to restore the sight of a young woman who believed he was wealthy. In the last moment of the film, she touches his hand and realizes the tattered and almost broken man before her is her benefactor.
2. “Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passin.'” In To Kill a Mockingbird the children of Atticus Finch are sitting in the balcony of the courthouse with members of the African-American community and learn from the way they respond to him how important and meaningful his integrity is.
3. Helen Keller learns about language in The Miracle Worker. Teacher Annie Sullivan shows the blind and deaf girl that she can communicate.
4. A family farewell in A Man for All Seasons. Sir Thomas More’s family comes to say goodbye to him in prison after he has chosen almost certain death rather than compromise his principles.
5. Erin Brockovich visits the families. At one home she smiles at a terribly sick little girl and gently teases her about how she is so pretty she must be driving the boys crazy. For one moment the girl and her family get a glimpse of a life in which they have the luxury of worrying about boys instead of worrying about chemo.