Monday, June 25, 2012

The Mean Reds: Some of the inspiration for Reds and Blues

What does a sensitive and emotive person do when the world is not a particularly sensitive and emotive place? The sensitive person needs to get over it. And potentially make some art.
I used to fret and immobilize myself because I felt (and was told by others), that I was too sensitive. My therapist told me to accept it and move on and we further discussed that as a filmmaker I just may be more affected. I may need to see and hear things deeply. To that end when I wrote my next short, Reds and Blues, I considered the depth of my senses, my big heart.

Emotions that I could practically see.
The idea of actually seeing surrealistically, your own emotions led into the visual motifs and overall themes in my film Reds and Blues.

-Reds and Blues-
Anna, the protagonist of the film, has an enlarged heart. She experiences spells and her heart literally glows within her chest. I wanted the film to shift with her emotions to red and blue tones. The title comes from emotional states- red for anger/fear and blue for sadness (like when you get the blues).

I lifted the words directly out of a scene in Breakfast at Tiffany's

Holly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul: The "mean reds"? You mean, like the blues?
Holly: No. The blues are because you're getting fat or it's been raining too long. You're just sad, that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid, and you don't know what you're afraid of. Don't you ever get that feeling?
Paul: Sure.

With few reservations and delight, I am unabashed to say that I love Breakfast At Tiffany's.*
I'm a girl, I get my period, I like to eat chocolate, I like to put a pillow between my legs and watch Breakfast at Tiffany's. My mother got the movie for me when I was sixteen. The film eventually informed a lot,  like my penchant for off-kilter dinner parties. It influenced the way I dressed- you can never learn too early that a black cocktail dress is basically all you need to go out in. & there's a loopiness/elegance that practically governed my decided outward persona. I've crawled on my hands and knees looking for my heels as a beau waited at the edge of my disheveled bedroom. I've stood in my kitchen with bare feet and drank champagne before breakfast (but as Paul says in the movie, it was more often with breakfast). I've also at times pushed people away who have gotten too close and responded with a cheerful indifference. 

Truman Capote's book and Blake Edward's film really don't have too much to do with each other. They are of two very different tones. But I believe that they are both significant and memorable in their own way. At times the film touched on some of the themes of the book. The "mean reds" sequence in the film always resonated with me. It was a counterweight to Holly Golightly's character, her life was not all Givenchy dresses and martinis. Her past bore memories of growing up poor and being a child bride. When you live in a big city like New York, LA or Chicago- you can go to amazing parties, meet amazing people, look amazing... but at times you wake up alone or feeling alone. You're lost and potentially afraid...but "you don't know what you're afraid of." That brief bleakness is what is shared with the novel.

I've felt that Truman Capote and Audrey Hepburn both had an air of sadness about them. They had many other noted characteristics that lead to their iconicity but there was some distance in the eyes. There was a lot of upheaval in their childhoods and they may not have had enough love. Hepburn went through some rough years during World War II. She suffered from illness and malnutrition and had to literally hide from Nazis at times. Truman Capote's mother passed him on to various relatives and was outwardly vocal about not wanting to of had a baby. He has stated that as a young child he went to bed early because he was so lonely. His writing, in part, came from a search for an activity to use his mind and take up some time. A lot of his short stories and the novel Other Voices, Other Rooms focus on a child who has been sent to be cared for by relatives.

Capote was not happy with the film adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's, he had requested another lost soul to play Holly-Marilyn Monroe.

*My reservation would be the insensitive portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi

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