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.

2 comments:

  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.

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  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.

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