Tuesday, August 08, 2006

More Luminous Than The Tiffany Diamond

A recent story that I wrote led to a bit of light debate between myself and one of my closest (I say 'one of' but the fact is that she and Marci are my longest-termest-closest-tell anything to girlfriends) galpals. I made some remark about Natalie Portman being the (physical embodiment) of this generation's Audrey Hepburn. Natch, Lisa-Gabrielle, lept to her idol's defense; yes, she was THE Audrey Hepburn devote before the rest of the world jumped on that bandwagon. There was a tiny period of time in the 80s when the older folks remembered and revered the great Miss Hepburn but when, to the young folk, she was just that old lady who plugged for UNICEF. Now, everyone (young and old) recognizes Audrey for all her gifts. She is acknowledged by everyone living as a great actress, a great beauty, a great humanitarian, a great fashion icon; simply a great person to have passed our way. Lisa-Gabrielle was one of the young girls of the 80s who opted for this greatness rather than a passing obsession with some Material Girl. This trail blazer waved the Audrey Hepburn flag until the rest of the world picked it up and remains, quietly, the woman who paved the way. Now, she defends her idol to me because I compared her to someone who could never, ever, match her in any way. I understand Lisa's train of thought. After all, I refused to even consider Kelly Clarkson a serious ANYTHING once she referred to Paris Hilton as being this generation's Marilyn Monroe.

We MUST defend our idols and their thrones.

Audrey Hepburn is one of the many things that Lisa and I have in common. I love this woman as devotedly as many others do, including Lisa. Audrey is not, though, my only love. A gay man, I have (what people tend to refer to, for gay men) my divas. Pat simply calls them "Stephen's Ladies". I love that he has done that. I love that he has recognized my dedication to these artists who have left a mark on my life. I think I will have to do regular stories on "Stephen's Ladies". It would be a pleasure to share my love for them and, perhaps, tip (at least) one person to the magic of someone to whom they had, previously, not given much thought.

I doubt there is anyone who has not given thought to Audrey Hepburn. There is little I can say here that the world does not know about her, not to mention the websites you can find online about her or the books you can buy about her. For the benefit of the reader, though, I will provide the following information:

My Favourite Audrey Hpeburn Books (and to be found in my personal collection)

--Adieu Audrey: SO many photos!! Heavenly
--Audrey Style: Lots of photos, lots of text. About Audrey and about her effect on the world of fashion.
--Audrey A Intimate Collection By Bob Willoubhby: This one is unique and important because this man was (one of, if not THE) a favourite photographer of Audrey's and shot a lot of pics of her over the years. It's more than the photos and the stories--it's the history and what her devotion to him says about her.
--Audrey Hepburn An Elegant Spirit: Important because it was written by Audrey's son, Sean Ferrer. What a tribute. What great memories and personal photos and the proceeds go to the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund.

As far as the websites go, I suggest anyone interested visit www.AudreyHepburn.com and if you do a google search on her you can find stacks of others and just spend a little time looking at them.

Audrey Hepburn. I still cry when I see the MOON RIVER scene in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S. I still laugh with joy when she dances down the hall of Higgin's house, singing "I only know when he began to dance with me...." I see her on the tennis court, twirling in the Givenchy gown that she made famous (at the same time she made him FAMOUS) in SABRINA. I have favourite moments from ROMAN HOLIDAY, LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON, PARIS WHEN IT SIZZLES, WAIT UNTIL DARK and, especially, FUNNY FACE. When in Paris, I visited the Louvre and I stood on the steps in front of Winged Victory and wanted to shout "I don't want to stop! Take the picture! Take the picture!!" I believe I am the only person in the world who LOVES the film THEY ALL LAUGHED and I DO own a poster from the (awful) film BLOODLINE. In my daily life, I can be heard to say "...you must cross your heart and kiss your elbow..." and I even have Pat in the act. When getting dressed to go out, the first one who gets around to it says :
--"How do I look?"
--"Very good. I must say, I'm amazed."
--"You were a darling to help; I could never have done it without you."

Everyone has a favourite Audrey Hepburn movie. Everyone has a favourite Audrey Hepburn story. She has left a mark on all our lives. I think my favourite Audrey Hepburn story is the one that begins on page 228 of AUDREY STYLE and it is about Steven Meisel's experience shooting photos of Audrey for VANITY FAIR. It tells of how ALL the crew wore jackets and ties. Audrey arrived alone, no entourage. For lunch she requested.......a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The story is GLORIOUS and deserves to be read. If you don't own the book; get one. If you are too poor; go to the store and read it and put it back.

One of my favourite moments in my LIFE and which I have never ever forgotten: for 20 years Pat and I have taken turns showing each other movies that we love but that the other has never seen. As a teenager, I fell in love with ROBIN AND MARIAN. During (I think ) our first (MAYBE our second) year together, I sat Pat down to show him the continuing story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian and there came a moment when Audrey Hepburn, kneeling by a river and washing, turned to look up at Sean Connery and said (in what is maybe the most honest moment I have ever seen on film) "Am I old and ugly?"

And Pat sighed so big that the word "ooh!" came out of his mouth, involuntarily. He echoed what was in my mind, indeed, what had happened to me the first time I saw the movie.

Everyone has a favourite Audrey. Sabrina Fairchild, Eliza Doolittle, Jo Stockton, Holy Golightly, Regina Lampert, Princess Ann, Ariane Chavasse, Nicole Bonnet...Everyone has a favourite Audrey era. It is as different and as personal a choice as what is your favourite colour of jelly bean?

Everyone has a favourite Audrey photo, a favourite Audrey look. I went online to get the photos I have included in this story and I will wrap up by saying, as a photographer that my favourite Audrey is not the glamour queen (though she was a GREAT glamour queen!). My favourite Audrey has to be the simple one, the one without trappings and 'stuff'. Note the photo of her sitting in a car--which I, once, saw in a gallery for sale for close to a thousand dollars! Sigh I wanted it. Ah, well...

How about the gorgeousness of her Maid Marian or the life she exudes on the bike. The stylish girl in the green suit or the eye of the hurrican, Holly Golightly? Or just that close up of her face? They are all my Audrey, the one I love--but I think my favourite is, simly, the one smiling up into the camera. She did it with such ease.

That is, smiling AND causing us to smile.


Anonymous Vince said...

Audrey as Regina Lampert. Sigh.

"Charade" is the movie in Bryant Park on Monday. I've seen it 9000 times and own the Criterion DVD, and I'll still be there, swooning.

"Do you know what's wrong with you??"



11:33 AM  
Blogger jungle dream pagoda said...

Ah, a posting just for me. My personal fave line,"There you are you sneak " is one that comes out of my mouth quite a bit.
I recall a seminar with some LA casting director I took. He ask who the class thought were the ,of the moment beautiful actresses, I ofcourse, was the lone disenter from the esxpected Demi Moore, Meg Ryan, and gosh I don't even remember which boring choices the UNimaginative panel were championing. The CD then opened it up for debate as to whether or not, Ms Hepburn, should get a face-lift. I again carried the torch for Audrey to be beautiful on her own terms.

A year or 2 later , I was called back for a film, to be the daughter of Jeff Bridges. This was with a different CD, well,different CD guy called the Audrey basher, for his opinion of me. Can you guess, he told the guy, while he thought I was a good , smart actress, I just wasn't sexy. (my agent shared this "constructive feedback")
I don' know if I ever shared this story with you I,I think I was ashamed of the not sexy part.
Now I feel very proud of it.

12:06 PM  
Blogger StephenMosher said...

Sigh! CHARADE is one of those movies. It is ESSENTIAL for every household. I am,actually, haunted by this picture. I think of it at least once a week and wish to look at it, to see the scenery, to gaze at Audrey and Cary, to hear that CRACKLING and witty dialogue ( I wish people still spoke that way! ).

I would adore to see it on Monday but I know myself well and I won't go. I'll be at the gym. But maybe today I will get down MY Criterion Collection dvd and go to town!

ps. Did you see the hateful remake? I made it through 20 minutes....

12:12 PM  
Blogger StephenMosher said...

No, you never told me that story. Wear it like a badge of honour.

But, by the way, you are sexy. Sexy is as sexy does. Audrey had her own sexiness, too; but it was usually overshadowed by her elegance and goodness. But, as I said before, sexy is as sexy does.

It's right there in CHARADE and LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON.

12:16 PM  
Anonymous vince said...

Never saw the unspeakable remake of Charade. Wouldn't go near it.

I did trip across the middle of it one day while channel surfing, and couldn't believe my eyes. Dreck.

Why remake that? I know that gets said about a lot of movies, but come on. THAT one? Mr. Demme and company were doomed to failure from the start. 'Twas perfect the first time.

"I love you, Adam / Alex / Peter/ Brian / Whatever your name is!... I hope we have a lot of boys, and we can name them all after you."

4:23 PM  
Blogger StephenMosher said...

Oh, it almost KILLED me!! They tried--even left in some of the orignal dialogue. But Thandie Newton (who is lovely) saying the lines that Miss Audrey said--it was like holding silk with dishpan hands!!

SO fed up with the remakes. And they aren't remaking anything good. Remake MAME or MAN OF LAMANCHA -- something that didn't work the first time.

Can't wait to see the remake of CITIZEN KANE starring Justin Timberlake.

My favourite line in CHARADE is when she tells him someone in her phone book will have to die before she can make any new friends....

4:07 AM  

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