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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

entry arrow11:21 PM | A Scene of Utter Perfection

Consider this opening scene from Blake Edwards' Breakfast at Tiffany's [1961], a lovely film based on the novella by Truman Capote. It is a composition of such lovely well-considered cinematic elements -- a scene so complete in itself and yet also manages to be a good evocation of the film's eventual themes, gently balancing both pathos and comedy, all done with a sense of great style. We open to a shot of New York. Manhattan in the early morning light. The edifices of great buildings, swathed in a scene of utter loneliness. The streets are deserted. There is something romantic about this picture -- lonesomeness in the metropolis. And then a yellow taxi slowly comes towards us, to the foreground. Out steps a beautiful young woman. Audrey Hepburn. Coifed hair. Dressed in stylish black cocktail dress. The camera shifts, and we are behind her. She gingerly goes towards the front doors of Tiffany's, shuttered still but its show windows -- displaying jewelry, perhaps hope -- are already open for window shoppers. In the background, the score for Henry Mancini's "Moon River" swells, lovely and remote. The music paints for us a semblance of the young woman's dreams. It draws us in emotionally. Suddenly, we feel for this character: this stylish young woman who suddenly seems sad to us. She is beautiful, but like all beautiful things, she is sad. She takes out a pack of food. A brown bag. A tumbler of coffee and a bagel. She starts eating as she looks at each display. She moves about casually from window to window. She turns a corner. And when she is done, she throws what remains of her breakfast into a nearby trash bin, and walks away as casually as she had come in. A perfect scene: no dialogue, just a girl, a lonely city, and forlorn music. It's a virtual short story all its own.

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