Archive for May, 2014


The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival is coming to an end tonight. Yesterday, 24th of May, 2014, all the winners were announced (except in the Un Certain Regard category), including for the Palme d’Or. The Un Certain Regard section was announced, day before yesterday, on the 23rd of May, 2014.
Cannes 2014 poster
The over three hour long (196 minutes to be precise), Turkish drama, Winter Sleep (2014), directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, took home the top Palme d’Or award. This is the second Turkish film to win the Palme d’Or.

The Grand Prix went to Italian director, Alice Rohrwacher (one of two female directors in competition) for the Italian film, Le Meraviglie (2014) a.k.a. The Wonders.

The Jury Prize was a tie between the youngest and oldest filmmakers in competition, Xavier Dolan and the legendary, French New Wave director, Jean-Luc Godard. Dolan for the Canadian film Mommy (2014), and Jean-Luc Godard, who was absent from the show, for Adieu au langage (2014).
Cannes Awards Ceremony
Among the other prizes, Bennett Miller won the ‘Best Director’ award for his wrestling drama Foxcatcher (2014), which is now considered an early frontrunner for the Oscars next year. Timothy Spall, bagged the ‘Best Actor’ award, for his portrayal of English artist J.M.W. Turner, in Mike Leigh’s biopic, Mr. Turner (2014). Julianne Moore, who though present earlier in the week, was absent from the award ceremony, won the ‘Best Actress’ award, for her performance of a neurotic aging screen diva, in David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars (2014). She beat some top rated actresses, including Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard and Hilary Swank. Russian film Leviafan (2014), won for ‘Best Screenplay’, awarded to Andrey Zvyagintsev and Oleg Negin.

The Un Certain Regard prize was awarded to Hungarian film Fehér Isten (2014) a.k.a. White God. The Un Certain Regard Special Prize went to the French-Brazilian drama, The Salt of the Earth (2014) by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado. The Un Certain Regard Jury Prize went to Swedish drama, Force Majeure (2014), which was directed by Ruben Östlund. The Un Certain Regard Award for Best Actor went to the Indigenous Australian actor (aborigine actor), David Gulpilil for Australian film, Charlie’s Country (2014). The Un Certain Regard Ensemble Prize went to the cast of Party Girl (2014).
Cannes 2014 winners
The French film, Party Girl, also won the Camera d’Or award.

The 16 minute Columbian film, by director Simón Mesa Soto, Leidi (2014), bagged the Short Film Palme d’Or.

Thus comes an end to yet another great festival of the Year 2014. Can’t wait to watch all these movies.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

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I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award. I was nominated end of last month (30th April 2014), but just found out 11 days ago, on the 11th of May, 2014.
LiebsterAwardLike in my previous Blog Awards (s), the rules are similar.

Rule.1 Thank the person who nominated me, and add the picture of the award on top.

I know, last time I mentioned not to be nominated for any more awards after I completed a post for…

The Sunshine Award

…(last year) and …

A Multitude of Awards

… (January 2014), but this is the first time Jim Turnbull of ‘The Good, the Bad and the Average’ (http://goodbadaverage.com/) has nominated me, so I thought I might as well do this post. So Thank you Jim, for this great honour you have bestowed upon me.

Rule .2 Answer 11 questions given by the person who nominated me.

Q1. What got you into blogging originally?
A1. My love and desire to write about cinema. I use to make lists/write-up critiques on IMDB (nuwansdel_02 and/or See all lists by nuwansdel_02), soon I wished to have my own page, my own blog.

Q2. What was the first movie you saw at the cinema?
A2. Oh Boy, I don’t remember, I was most probably a toddler when I first visited the cinema.

Q3. What was the last movie you saw at the cinema?
A3. Ramchand Pakistani (2008), a Pakistani Art film, based on a true story set in a prison in India, near the India/Pakistan border. I watched this around October last year, when it came for a Film Festival here. Prior to that, the last movie I watched at a cinema, that wasn’t in a festival, was Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children (2012), exactly one year ago, in May 2013. Rarely are there good movies shown in the cinema’s here, thus these two movies are the only ones I watched on the big screen here, last year. I haven’t been to the cinema this year at all, so far.

Q4. If you could write and direct any film, what would it be about?
A4. Conversations with my Shrink Ha!!!

Q5.What do you think the most underrated film of all time is?
A5. There might be so many, but nothing specific comes to mind.

Q6. Who is your favourite director and why?
A6. Alfred Hitchcock, ‘cause it’s Hitchcock man, of course !!!! The greatest film director that ever existed. He had a unique style to convey psychological horror and tension, without any modern day visual antics. He manages to conjure up the atmosphere of a movie, and make you feel the presence of something that doesn’t exist on the screen. For example, in Rebecca (1940), he manages to make you feel the existence of a ghost without ever showing you one on screen, not even flicker or a hint of a sprit. The titular character ‘Rebecca’ doesn’t exist in the movie, but you feel her presence throughout while watching it. How many film directors today can do that without showing visually horrific images.

Q7. Where do you stand on blu-ray?
A7. Never, seen a film on ‘blu-ray’, so can’t comment. Prefer to check out the fishy ‘sting-ray’ whip it’s tail in warm water instead 🙂 .

Q8. What is your favourite movie line?
A8. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”, from Gone with the Wind (1939)

Q9. If you could recast any role with any actor/actress, who would it be?
A9. Why, Audrey Hepburn of course!!! Or do you mean someone alive, then I’d go for – actor Jude Law/actress Kate Winslet.

Q10.What is the longest film you have seen?
A10. Man, I’ve seen sooooo many long films; from Metropolis (1927) to Gone with the Wind (1939) to Taj Mahal (1963) to Cleopatra (1963) to Mera Naam Joker (1970) to Gandhi (1982) to Schindler’s List (1993) to more recently Les Misérables (2012); thus, am not sure which is the longest film I’ve seen till date. The shortest film, however,  that I’ve seen till date, happens to be the very first movie ever made, Lumière Brothers L’arrivée d’un train à La Ciotat (1895), which lasted only one minute.

Q11. Popcorn. Sweet or salted?
A11. Salted, Definitely!!! Ironic, considering the fact I have a sweet tooth.

Rule.3 Nominate 11 people, let them know and prepare 11 questions for them to answer. And, I cannot nominate the person who nominated me.

Through my experience of previous posts on s, am aware that many of you don’t like to continue this chain. So I shall be kind enough to bend the rules for you here. All my fellow Bloggers, who wish to continue this chain, and any other newer blogger, who might come across this post, within this month, are nominated. Other than you of course, dear Jim, for you nominated me. Sorry!! And so far as answering the 11 questions are concerned, you may either answer the 11 questions prepared by Jim Turnbull, that I’ve answered myself, or check out my older s (press on the link) and answer the questions I prepared in my previous Blog awards. Luckily this time I didn’t have to write something ‘About myself ’, unlike earlier.

So wish you all the best, and thank you Jim once again.

Cheers mate
Nuwan Sen

Shree Pundalik (1912), the very first Indian movie, was released 102 years ago today, on the 18th of May, 1912.

Ram Chandra Gopal Torne (a.k.a. Dadasaheb Torne)
Though Shree Pundalik; a silent film directed by Ram Chandra Gopal Torne (a.k.a. Dadasaheb Torne); happens to be the very first Indian movie made, yet since the film negatives, of about 1,500 feet and about 22 minutes long, was sent to London for processing, most Indians argue that Shree Pundalik does not deserve the honour of being known as the first Indian film ever made. Added to that, the cameraman was an Englishman, named Johnson. Of course this was during India’s Freedom struggle against the British Raj, so it makes sense at the time. But today, it’s absurd to think like that.

Since Shree Pundalik, hasn’t been given it’s due recognition till date, it was only last year, on 3rd May 2013, that India celebrated it’s centenarian of Indian Cinema. 100 years since the icon Dadasaheb Phalke’s silent film, Raja Harishchandra (1913), which was released publicly on 3rd May 1913 (but actually premiered on 21st April 1913, to a selected audience, including famous personalities of Bombay, at the time). Even though there were a few other films released between Shree Pundalik and Raja Harishchandra.

Raja Harishchandra  (1913)

Raja Harishchandra (1913)

Raja Harishchandra, was also the first Marathi film ever, made with inter-titles in Hindi and English. The whole cast and crew were from Maharashtra, and no other Indian states and no Englishman or other foreigners worked on this movie. The movie was completely made in India itself. Thus, the 40 minute long, Raja Harishchandra was considered the very first Indian movie ever released in India.

But today Shree Pundalik (1912), and Dadasaheb Torne, both should be given their long due credit.

Even though I am yet to watch either of these films, no matter which is a better movie, to me Shree Pundalik will be the first Indian movie (Hindi Film) ever made, and Raja Harishchandra, the very first Marathi movie ever made, and the first all Indian movie ever made. I’d love to watch both these movies.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

85 years ago today, on the 16th of May 1929, the 1st Academy Awards ceremony was held, honouring the best films of 1927 and 1928, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Chaplin Oscar win 1929
Hosted by Douglas Fairbanks, with only 270 people in attendance, the event and the presentation ceremony lasted only 15 minutes, with a private dinner held at the hotel itself. It’s the one and only Academy Awards ceremony which was not broadcast, either on radio or television. With only twelve categories, winners were announced 3 months in advance, before the live event.

Wings (1927), won the Oscar for ‘Best Outstanding Picture’, and is the only silent movie, with no sound, to win the ‘Best Picture Oscar’ till date. It also won the Academy Award for ‘Best Engineering Effects’.

Lewis Milestone, won for ‘Best Director, Comedy Picture’ for Two Arabian Knights (1927); and Frank Borzage for ‘Best Director, Dramatic Picture’ for 7th Heaven (1927).
JG Oscar wins 1929
Emil Jannings bagged the ‘Best Actor’ award, with a tie, for two films; The Way of All Flesh (1927) and The Last Command (1928).

Janet Gaynor won the ‘Best Actress’ award, a tie for three films; 7th Heaven (1927), Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) and Street Angel (1928).

Charlie Chaplin and Warner Brothers, each received a Special ‘Honorary Award’ for their contribution to Cinema. Chaplin would later win yet another ‘Honorary Award’, at the Academy Awards in 1972.

Happy 85th Birth Anniversary to the Oscars.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Yesterday, 14 of May, 2014, the Cannes Film Festival 2014 opened with the premier screening of Grace of Monaco (2014). The film was booed by critics’ and audiences alike, for inaccurate portrayal of the famed Princess of Monaco and Hollywood royalty. The movie is out of the competition though. But am still keen on checking out this movie.
Cannes 2014 poster
The 67th annual Cannes Film Festival is running from 14th to 25th of May, 2014. The jury for the main competition is headed by New Zealand film director Jane Campion. Other members of the jury include, American film director Sofia Coppola, American actor Willem Dafoe and Mexican actor & film director Gael García Bernal among others. The winning film in the Un Certain Regard section should be announced on 23rd of May, 2014. The winner of the Palme d’Or will be announced on 24th of May, 2014 (due to European Parliament elections taking place on 25th May 2014). The festival poster features Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni from Federico Fellini’s 1963 film . Another great movie am yet to watch.
Opening Ceremony & "Grace Of Monaco" Premiere - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival
Looking forward to seeing who wins the Palme d’Or this year.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

On Sunday night, 11th May 2014, I watched Men in Black 3 (2012), when it was shown on Star Movies.
MIB pic 2
I watched Men in Black (1997) back in the late 90’s, a pretty good comedy and I really enjoyed the movie (7stars). Men in Black -II (2002) was quite bad, and a waste of time (4stars), the third instalment, however, which I watched day before, was not that bad and surprising was enjoyable enough. It was kind of an amalgamation of Back to The Future (1985) and Aliens (1986). Back to the Future was an excellent science fiction comedy that came out in the 80’s (10stars, Yup! a guilty pleasure of mine), but Aliens wasn’t that great a gory sci-fi B-movie (3stars). I preferred Alien (1979), the predecessor of Aliens, which too was just OK, not bad (6stars). Hans Rudolf Giger, Swiss artist known for his work on Alien and Aliens, died yesterday, aged 74, in Gruyeres, Switzerland, after succumbing to injuries he suffered in a fall.

Men in Black 3 (2012), has the infamous comic Agent J (played by Will Smith), going back in time to, July 15th, 1969, to save the life of his partner, Agent k (Tommy Lee Jones) from being killed by a villainous alien, Boris The Animal (Jemaine Clement), who travels back in time to, 16th of July,1969, to kill off the younger Agent K (Josh Brolin), thus changing the course of history. Thus Agent J, just has to go back and make things right, and change history too, so that the younger Boris, doesn’t survive at all, preventing a future alien attack on earth, period.
MIB pic 1
It’s always fun to see new movies set in the 60’s and 70’s, when the world changed into (or rather should have) to a more relaxed and open-minded lifestyle we are accustomed to today. The 60’s in MIB3 looks fun and colourful and more stylish than the 21st century. The Back to the Future  element adds to the hilarity of the situation. And so does the retro style, 60’s, colourfully dressed, glamorous, B-movie aliens. The icing on the cake most probably was seeing Bill Hader playing Andy Warhol, and that too at ‘The Factory’. That was hilarious, he was spot on, until he removes the wig and dark glasses and exposes the great artist as an undercover agent for MIB. And added to that, apparently all the models are actually Aliens in disguise. Ha!! wonder what Andy Warhol would have said if he were alive today. He most probably would have had a good laugh and opened a can of Campbell’s soup.
Overall, the movie was pretty enjoyable, yet predictable. There is nothing new, that has not been done before. The rush to Cape Canaveral, Florida, where Apollo 11 is set to shoot into space is fun. That’s the enjoyable part, of interconnecting actual events with fictional ones, pertaining to the movie. We also see Neil Armstrong (played by a virtual unknown, Jared Johnston) briefly, ready for take off.

Barry Sonnenfeld, isn’t among my favourite directors ever, but I don’t dislike him either. MIB, the first was pretty good, and the latest is watchable. The worse movie he directed, so far as I’m concerned, was Wild Wild West (1999). But I do like him as director of photography (cinematographer) for films like Big (1988), When Harry Met Sally… (1989) and the MIB trilogy, though he’s not the among the greatest, or my favourite, cinematographers ever. Will Smith is the one who came up with the idea to a make a movie where he travels back in time, for the third instalment of MIB, to Sonnenfeld. Etan Cohen wrote the screenplay.

Men in Black 3  Rating: 6/10 OK-Not Bad, can enjoy if there is nothing else to watch, or do.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

MIB posters

Nuwan Sen n’ The Space age

 

Guess these international films, from around the globe, released between 1949 and The Year 2000 :-

Q1. Q 40'sQ2.Q 50'sQ3.Q 60'sQ4. Q 70'rQ5.Q 70'rsQ6.Q 70'rszQ7.Q 70'sQ8.Q 80'sQ9.Q 90'sQ10. Q 90'z……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Clues:-

  • Check out Tags for hints on various genre’s, stars et al

Answers:-
I shall provide the answers myself, once some of my fellow bloggers have given this a try

Have Fun with the quiz

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Guess the films below, and the year of release :-

Q1. Q & A 1Q2.Q & A 2.Q3.Q & A 3.Q4.Q & A 4.Q5.Q & A 5.……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Clues:-

  • The movies were released between 1920 and 1950
  • Check out Tags for hints on various genre’s, stars et al

Answers:-
I shall provide the answers myself, once some of my fellow bloggers have given this a try

Have Fun with the quiz

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

 

Late last night I watched Room at the Top (1959), on Youtube. The quality wasn’t necessarily that great, and black boxes kept jumping on screen, ruining the picture for me, but when I came across this movie, by accident, on the web, a much awaited movie, I had to watch it.
Room at the top (1959)
Room at the Top is a beautiful movie, set post World War-II, in the late 1940’s, about a man, with a heavy ego and a heavier inferiority complex, who climbs to the top via unethical channels.
The film stars Laurence Harvey as Joe Lampton, a man from the ‘blue-collar’ working class, who, ashamed of his background, aims to marry Susan Brown (Heather Sears), daughter of the local industrial magnate, Mr. Brown (Donald Wolfit), to find ‘room at the top’ for himself’, even though he is in an illicit affair with an unhappily married, older, woman, Alice Aisgill (Simone Signoret), with whom he seems to be really in love with. Thus the term ‘Room at the Top’ is not a literal one, but a metaphorical room, amongst the elitist society of that town (Warnley, in Yorkshire), in England, UK. Joe Lampton’s desire to climb higher socially, through wrong means, and to be accepted among the privileged circles, makes him ruin an innocent girl, Susan, by forcing her, through the use of reverse psychology. Thus the impregnated girl’s parents would have no choice but to formally accept their alliance, despite their knowledge of his philandering ways.
A tragic movie, where, towards the end, Joe Lampton, does end up developing a conscience, but by then it’s too late. Simone Signoret is magnificent as the tragedy queen, who finds solace when she falls for a conniving young man, a man with only one selfish aim, in this Spring/Autumn (May/December) romance. Signoret’s expressive eyes and body language suggest great depth of wisdom and vulnerability, at the same time. Simone Signoret bagged the ‘Best Actress’ trophy at the Oscars, making her the second French actress to win an Oscar. Laurence Harvey, too, was nominated for his ‘angry young man’ performance. The film had six Oscar nominations, and also won for ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’. Simone Signoret also won the ‘Best Actress’ trophy at the Cannes Film Festival, and film director Jack Clayton was nominated for the Golden Palm.

Room at the Top is one of the finest British films made in the late 50’s, and considered to be the first of the ‘British New Wave’ of realistic film dramas. The ‘British New Wave’ was a British replication, and equivalent, derived from the famous ‘French New Wave’ films that was taking Europe by storm at the time. Usually made in Black and White, the ‘British New Wave’ style of modern cinema was mainly centred on the working classes and the fundamentals of everyday life. The film also features the first open direct reference to a sexual act in a British film.

Room at the Top is an unforgettable experience, especially thanks to a great cast and equally superb film direction, and worth checking out by any true film buff. Amongst the greatest British ventures I’ve seen

Rating 10/10.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense
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Audrey Hepburn, one of the classiest actresses Hollywood has ever seen, with an impeccable dress sense, is among rare actresses of her time, along with Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren, who rarely, or never, appeared in a Musical. Hepburn has appeared in only two musicals in her career.

Audrey Hepburn in the classic 'Funny Face'Pix: ; In front of the Winged Victory of Samothrace (a 2nd-century BC, Hellenistic, marble sculpture of the Greek goddess ‘Nike’, a.k.a.‘Victory’ ), at the Louvre, in Paris, France; in a scene from Funny Face (1957)

Playing Eliza Doolittle
Even though not a musical star, Audrey Hepburn played the lead in one of the best musicals ever made, which also happens to be my all time favourite musical ever, and my favourite ‘Best Picture’ Oscar winner from the 1960’s. The film was My Fair Lady (1964); directed by George Cukor, and co-starring Rex Harrison, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Stanley Holloway, Gladys Cooper and Jeremy Brett; which took home eight Oscars, including for ‘Best Director’, ‘Best Actor’, ‘Best Cinematography’, and ‘Best Costume Design’.
My Fair Lady was based on a Broadway musical starring Julie Andrews, which was based on a play, Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw.

Professor Higgins (Rex Harrison), Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) & Colonel Hugh Pickering (Wilfrid Hyde-White): at the ball from ‘My Fair Lady’ (1964)

Professor Higgins (Rex Harrison), Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) & Colonel Hugh Pickering (Wilfrid Hyde-White): at the ball from ‘My Fair Lady’ (1964)

The first time I watched My Fair Lady was when I was about 8 or 9 years old, way back in the 1980’s, in New Delhi. And I’ve watched it a zillion times since then. Among my favourite musicals, we (my little sister, friends and I) use to sing and dance to these songs, especially “Lot’s of chocolates…” and “Just you wait”, and cycle to “Do a Deer…” from The Sound of Music (1965), and pretend to be Topol from Fiddler on the Roof (1971). Ah! The innocence of childhood and good movies we use to watch. These films are timeless and age well. I can’t think of any musical today that could have the same effect on a child. Sure Chicago (2002) and Nine (2009) are two very stylish musicals, but those seductive numbers are hardly suitable for little innocent minds.

Initially Audrey Hepburn had refused the part, stating that the role of Eliza Doolittle belongs to Julie Andrews and Andrews alone. But Warner Brothers weren’t that keen on taking Andrews as she wasn’t yet a famous film star, thus once Hepburn refused they were asking around to take some one else as popular as Hepburn. Soon Hepburn accepted when she realised Andrews wasn’t going to get the part anyway. Audrey Hepburn is brilliant as Eliza, in this story of an ordinary ‘Flower Girl’ who is transformed into an ‘Hungarian Princess’, with the help of a snobbish professor of phonetics, Professor Higgins (). Professor Higgins’ Edwardian library with a spiral staircase is one of my favourites, when it comes to set décor, and I’ve wished to have a library like that someday, since childhood. It still remains a dream, unfortunately.

Professor Higgins’ (Rex Harrison) Home Library from ‘My Fair Lady’

Professor Higgins’ (Rex Harrison) Home Library from ‘My Fair Lady’

Sadly unaware to Hepburn, her voice was dubbed for the songs by Marni Nixon. Hepburn, initially furious, had walked out of the sets when she found out, for she had practiced hard to sing the songs to perfection, with lengthy vocal preparation. But the next day she came and apologised, yet she mentioned that she should have been told. So except for one line in “I Could Have Danced All Night”, first verse of “Just you Wait” and it’s repetition, and the  partial singing n’ talking parts of “The Rain in Spain”, the rest of the songs are all dubbed by Marni Nixon’s operatic vocals, who supposedly had stated that Hepburn’s voice was too “low-mezzo”. What rubbish???? How can one forget Audrey Hepburn singing all her songs in Funny Face (1957). And Hepburn’s rendition of Édith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose” in Sabrina (1954) and Hepburn lending her vocals to Henry Mancini’s “Moon River” in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). Plus I saw Hepburn’s original rendition of “Lot’s of chocolates for me to eat” in an old Television documentary, over a decade ago. She was magnificent, the songs did not need dubbing. Jeremy Brett’s songs too were dubbed, by Bill Shirley.

What was worse was, that at the Oscars the following year, Audrey Hepburn was not even nominated, in the ‘Best Actress’ category. Julie Andrews won for Mary Poppins (1964). Andrews was superb as the flying governess, but Hepburn was a zillion times better as Eliza. The Press had a field day concocting up a fictional rivalry between the two contemporaries. Yet, Andrews herself believed she won the Oscar out of sympathy for losing out on the role of Eliza. In fact, Andrews later mentioned that Audrey Hepburn did a great job and should have won the Oscar instead of her.

Professor Higgins bribes Eliza Doolittle with ‘Lots of Chocolates’ in ‘My Fair Lady’

Professor Higgins bribes Eliza Doolittle with ‘Lots of Chocolates’ in ‘My Fair Lady’

Playing Jo Stockton
The first time I watched Funny Face (1957), was as a teenager in 1994, in New Delhi. Roman Holiday (1953), which too I watched, in 94’ just before Funny Face, 20 years on, is till date, not just my favourite Hepburn movie ever, but also my all time favourite movie. Back in September 2003, after handing in my final dissertation, a 30,000 worded book titled Marriage in Hitchcock Films: From Rebecca to Marnie, for my M.A. in International Cinema, I treated myself to a video box set of Audrey Hepburn films which included Roman Holiday and Funny Face, from the main shopping complex in Luton, UK, close proximity to my University there. Thus I have watched those tapes a zillion times since then.

Unlike in My Fair Lady (1964), Audrey Hepburn sings all her songs in Funny Face (1957). An enjoyable musical set among the fashion elite in Paris, contrasting to the Parisian underground where the existentialist meet. Hepburn plays a young existentialist, Jo Stockton; with high belief in ‘Empathicalsim’, and Empathicalsim being the only way to move forward and to achieve world peace; who is lured into a modelling contract for a lead American Fashion magazine by fashion photographer Dick Avery (Fred Astaire) and the magazine editor Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson). The only reason she takes the job is so that she can go to Paris and meet Professor Emile Flostre (Michel Auclair), one of the lead modern day philosophers behind the existentialist movement in Paris at the time.

Audrey Hepburn’s bohemian style dance number in ‘Funny Face’ (1957)

Audrey Hepburn’s bohemian style dance number in ‘Funny Face’ (1957)

Audrey Hepburn also displays her dancing skills along with her singing talent, especially with the bohemian style dance number she does in the underground night club where, modern 1950’s, existentialist meet. She brings life to the movie. Check out the black attire she wears in most of the movie. An attire with ankle length black pants, white socks and black shoes, which ended up being a trademark style of an 80’s pop icon, i.e. Michael Jackson. Ironically Jackson’s love for dance was inspired by the older star of Funny Face, i.e. actor/dancer Fred Astaire. Sadly none of them are alive today.

What I enjoyed most about this musical, was the sub-plot of the existentialist philosophy and Audrey Hepburn’s rants about ‘Empathicalsim’. But being a commercial venture, and that too a musical, the movie mainly revolves around the fashion industry, along with the breathtaking views of Paris and some catchy song and dance. Though not an excellent movie, it’s still very enjoyable, especially thanks to Audrey Hepburn.

Jo Stockton (Hepburn) and Dick Avery (Fred Astaire), have an existentialist dispute on the subject of ‘Empathicalsim’, at the underground Parisian Bar, in ‘Funny Face’ (1957)  NSFS

Jo Stockton (Hepburn) and Dick Avery (Fred Astaire), have an existentialist dispute on the subject of ‘Empathicalsim’, at the underground Parisian Bar, in ‘Funny Face’ (1957)
NSFS

Musical Verdict
My Fair Lady (1964) Excellent 10/10
Funny Face (1957) Pretty Good 7/10

Today happens to be, my all time favourite actress, Audrey Hepburn’s, 85th Birth Anniversary. She was born on 4th May 1929, in Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium to Dutch-Irish parentage. She departed this world on the 20th of January,1993, aged 63. (also see Audrey Hepburn’s 20th Death Anniversary)

The legend lives on through her movies and philanthropy, especially her contributions to the UNICEF since 1954, and later work as the UNICEF Goodwill ambassador in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, until her death.
She was awarded the ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom’; in recognition of her work in some of the most profoundly disadvantaged communities of Africa, South America and Asia between 1988 and 1992, as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador; in December 1992, a month before she died.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense