Film Highlight: Breakfast at Tiffany's

Audrey Hepburn in Blake Edwards' Breakfast at Tiffany's
courtesy of Paramount

In this 1961 classic, Audrey Hepburn and director Blake Edwards perfected the filmic prototype that so many would later copy: the story of a nutty, stylish, mysteriously melancholy girl who refuses to be owned or understood. Hepburn's self-named and self-created Holly Golightly is a New York party chick on the lam from her former life as a chicken-scratch country girl. She keeps her shoes in the fridge and her phone in a suitcase, she has a cat named "Cat," and she gets wasted with mobsters and models. The unforgettable house-party scene, a montage of tracking shots that joyfully skewers early-'60s bohemianism, is reason enough to see this film. But, as based on the novel by Truman Capote, it's also a must-see for students of queer cinema. Like so many pre-Stonewall gay writers, Capote cloaked himself in female form to address his own struggle: mainly, that of reconciling a stifling small-town past with an equally stifling big-city adulthood. The tragedy, of course, is that party-boy Capote couldn't write an equally pretty ending to his own life story.

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