An introduction to Funny Face

An Introduction to Funny Face

​I gave a talk on Funny Face (1957, dir. Stanley Donen) to introduce the film cycle I curated for Cinemateket i Oslo under the title 'Siste skrik fra Paris: Fransk mote på film' (French fashion in films). I demonstrated how fashion and film were intertwined in this film whose plot is loosely based on the life of fashion photographer Richard Avedon and his wife, Doe. Richard Avedon himself was involved in the making of the film as a visual consultant. The film used techniques inspired from fashion photography like the freeze frames, including the famous ones in which Audrey Hepburn holds colored balloons. The film also offered insights into the transatlantic fashion trade, especially the competition between Paris and New York as fashion capitals. A satire of high-end fashion on first view, the film ends up giving a more complex ‒ and more interesting ‒ account of fashion, upstaging the traditional hierarchy between philosophy and fashion.

Talk given at Cinemateket i Oslo.​

August 6, 2019.

Still from Funny Face, directed by Stanley Donen, 1957. © Paramount Pictures / Cinemateket i Oslo.