My Fair Compulsion

October 22, 2009
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Tomorrow night begins our weekend film series dedicated to the work of Audrey Hepburn. This excites me for two reasons. First, none other than Peter Bogdanovich will be on hand tomorrow night to introduce the series and the opening double-feature: Hepburn’s first starring role, Roman Holiday; and her last, Bogdanovich’s They All Laughed. Second, obsessive-compulsive that I am, I get to check a few more flicks off my Audrey Hepburn list. Let me explain.

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Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), image courtesy Paramount Pictures/Photofest

When it comes to art and pop culture, I have what you might call a personality quirk: when I get into something, I really get into it. For instance, after reading and loving a couple Graham Greene novels, I decided I had to read every Graham Greene novel ever written, in chronological order, in succession. Once I fell for the Byrds I had to purchase all twelve of their albums, in order.

Film is no different. I keep lists of all the films Jimmy Stewart ever made, noting how many I’ve seen (he made 83 films; I’ve seen 60). Same goes for Cary Grant (73, 38) and, yes, Audrey Hepburn (21, 15). (This website is a great help in keeping track.) By the end of the series I’ll be able to check two more films off my list. Next month I’ll be able to do the same for Alfred Hitchcock (51, 36). Film retrospectives like this must have been specially created just for obsessives just like me. And as an added bonus, I’ll finally get to see corkers like Charade and Wait until Dark on the big screen—never mind lavish productions like War and Peace or My Fair Lady. The next four weekends are pretty much win-win all around.

Scott Tennent