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Funny Face

DFI Cinema

Stanley Donen / Feature Narrative / United States of America / 1957 / 103 min / Colour / DCP
In English, French / Arabic, English subtitles
Interests: Comedy, Romance, Musical
Rated: Parental guidance advised for viewers under the age of 15. Individuals under the age of 15 are not admitted into cinemas unless accompanied by an individual aged 18 or over.



Screenings

Synopsis

Perhaps best-loved for showcasing Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn’s jovial on-screen presence, classic beauty and wonderful sense of comic timing, ‘Funny Face’ is a light-hearted musical take on the clash between capitalist consumerism and the counterculture of the late 1950s. Ricocheting between the cafés of Greenwich Village and Montmartre, high-modern Manhattan offices and Parisian ateliers, the film is awash in both costume and fashion.

In a new marketing ploy, New York City fashion-mag executive Maggie Prescott decides to present to the world the Quality Woman, who will embody everything fashionable about the women of today. Naturally, this calls for a photo shoot in Paris, so Maggie, photographer Dick Avery and beatnik-turned-model Jo Stockton hop on a plane for an extravagant production featuring outfits and situations one more sensational than the next.

As Dick puts Jo through her paces, she takes on personae from jilted lover to bride-to-be, debutante to bereaved wife. Together, these sequences provide interesting insight into the intersection of costume and cinema. Like cinema, fashion is an exciting spectacle, but within that spectacle, costume can be used as a powerful tool to indicate time, place and character. In particular, Hepburn’s costumes in ‘Funny Face’ are intricately organised to signify the various elements of Jo’s personality ¬– from serious intellectual to top model and, most touchingly, young woman in love.

Official Film Website

About the Director

Known as the King of the Hollywood Musicals, Stanley Donen got his start in filmmaking when he co-directed ‘On the Town’ (1949) with Gene Kelly. The two would go on to direct the classic ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ (1952). Donen continued working in the musical genre with celebrated films including ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ (1954), ‘The Pyjama Game’ (1957) and ‘Damn Yankees!’ (1958), then moved to the UK, where he made comedies including ‘Charade’ (1963), ‘Two for the Road’ and ‘Bedazzled’ (both 1967).

Credits

Director
Stanley Donen
Screenwriter
Leonard Gershe
Producer
Roger Edens
Cinematographer
Ray June
Sales Company
Park Circus Limited
Cast
Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Kay Thompson, Michel Auclair and Robert Flemyng

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