Friday, July 14, 2017

Sabrina (1954)

Sabrina (1954)
seen @ Bryant Park Summer Film Festival, Bryant Park, New York NY

I had always thought of Sabrina as a romantic comedy, but there's not a lot of comedy in the movie. For the most part, it plays like a straight love triangle story: very wistful, very angsty. Audrey pines for Holden, Bogey pines for Audrey. Why was it that Audrey's romantic leads were always so much older: Bogey, Peck, Cooper, Grant? I would've liked to have seen her with someone like Monty Clift, or Warren Beatty - but so it goes.

I find it a little hard to believe Audrey could be so dead set against going to Paris in the beginning, although it's not so much Paris as what it represents: two years away from Holden, living a life she didn't ask for. When she comes back, though, she's a changed woman, in looks and spirit. Old movies were fond of mystifying the City of Lights in this way. 

Andi talks about Paris, and Europe in general, so much. I know she had a boyfriend over there, learned the language, absorbed the culture, but try as I might, it's kinda tricky for me to imagine her as having undergone a Sabrina-like transformation. Maybe it's because I met her later in life, after she had readjusted to living in America again; maybe it's because she strikes me as more of a traditional, working class Noo Yawker than Sabrina - who for all of the class differences espoused in the movie between her and the Larrabee brothers, still can't help being Audrey Hepburn!

I was about the same age as Sabrina when I went to Barcelona, but that was for only a month. If I had spent two years there, I imagine I'd be quite different. The one year I spent in Ohio changed me enough! Europe, though... We Americans fought a revolution to liberate ourselves from it and in a way, we've been longing to return to it ever since, in one form or another.

I went to Bryant Park to see Sabrina, although watching an outdoor movie there is not the best experience in the world, because I really wanted to watch this movie again. As before, I noticed a number of people videotaping scenes on their cell phones. Why? Is it only because it's an outdoor movie? If they were inside a theater, it would be a crime (I'm not entirely sure this is all that legal, either). What do they do with these recordings, besides post them on social media?

I can understand using your cell to record a minute or two of a concert. While that's probably illegal too, I get that it's a live, unique experience that can never be perfectly duplicated and some people want to preserve that moment. A movie isn't live, though. Granted, the novelty of a movie shown outdoors is special, but the movie itself is no different than if you were watching it on DVD at home. I could even get behind taking a photo of the outdoor screen to show that, y'know, you were there - but recording a minute or two of the film on video makes no sense to me.

I watched it on the rear perimeter of the lawn, standing up. I had a seat on the left-hand side of the perimeter, but by the time the movie started, too many people were standing in my line of sight; plus, too many others were coming and going in front of me. I think I may opt to stand at Bryant Park for a movie from now on. I had no obstructed views, and it kept me awake.


  1. I've only had one outdoor film experience. It was Steamboat Bill Jr., so the natural sounds of the city didn't do much to hinder enjoyment of the film.

    I love the different perspectives brought on by travel, but it hasn't been a huge part of my life. Hey, maybe in the next one.

  2. It hasn't? That's too bad. I'm still hoping I can go back to Europe one day - Paris and London are at the top of the list, but also places like Amsterdam, Vienna, maybe even Ireland. Until then, I'll settle for day trips upstate.