Monday, February 16, 2015
still-sound 210. Revisit
On the night of Valentine's Day, Brennan and I went to the Los Angeles Theater downtown to watch Breakfast at Tiffany's. The theater has been restored to the opulent glory of its historic past. My friend Shahram owns it and graciously invited us to the screening. We wore suits. We were instructed to. All the women wore cocktail dresses. They too had been instructed.
I've seen Breakfast at Tiffany's countless times as a teenager. I remember certain scenes very well along with certain snippets of dialogue, like a drunk Holly Golightly reacting to Paul's criticism. She threatens him: "It should take you exactly four seconds to cross from here to that door...I'll give you two".
My friend Rachel told me that the line she best remembers from the film is "top banana in the shock department", enunciated in the signature Audrey Hepburn style.
It's funny rewatching or rereading something you knew as a young person with a few years under your belt. I used to think that Breakfast at Tiffany's was a cute love story about a kooky girl and a dependable, sensible guy. Now I realize that it's all about selling your ass. It's a game of players, strategizing gains from other people's desire. Every character is a player. In it to win it.
Until now I didn't appreciate how wonderful Holly Golightly's handwriting was. I marveled at the little handwritten note she left for Paul Varjak, inviting him to her place for drinks. The writing looks like the playful script Warhol used in his illustrations of shoes and cats.
As a teenager I could appreciate that Mickey Rooney's portrayal of the Japanese photographer neighbor was hopelessly racist. I didn't realize how cool his apartment was or that he performed the tea ceremony in this cool apartment.
I texted Shahram the day after Valentine's to thank him for inviting us to the screening. He came by the perfume store where I work to say hello and to introduce me to his girlfriend Sarah. She had an interesting camera with her. It turned out to be a Polaroid and she took my picture. When my likeness emerged on the emulsion after a couple of minutes, I thought that I looked cool. Like my teenage self, only cooler and more sophisticated than my actual, clueless teenage self. With facial hair.