Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. This is a truth many classic films and performers can attest to. In this segment of Filmstrip Memories we'll look back at some of the references, homages and tributes many movies, TV shows and even videogames have presented us throughout the years. These references further fuel the impact these classic films and their performers have left in our hearts.
In honor of the film that inspired this whole project, the first subject of our investigation will be none other than Audrey Hepburn.
Audrey Hepburn will forever be remembered as being a beautiful and talented performer with a great humanitarian soul. Her film roles have forever been engraved in pop culture, and many stories have been written in her honor. One of these is a Japanese manga/anime series called "REC."
REC tells the story of a young voice actress named Aka Onda. One day she meets an average "salary man" named Fumihiko Matsumaru at the entrance of a movie theater. After he realizes that his date has stood him up, he proceeds to destroy the film tickets. Aka stops him by doing the voice of the tickets. The weird meeting is enough to convince him to not throw away the tickets, and proceeds to invite the girl to the movie. During the movie, the girl keeps reading the lines aloud. After the film ends, Aka tells Fumihiko that she aspires to be a voice actress, most specifically, Audrey Hepburn's official Japanese voice actress. At the end of the date, they realize that they live on the same neighborhood. Later in the evening, Aka's apartment catches on fire, leaving her homeless. Fumihiko invites her to live on his apartment, starting a weird and funny relationship.
As I just explained, Aka wishes to be Audrey Hepburn. Her dream is highlighted throughout the whole series thanks to its many references to classic Hepburn films.
The first of these is the intro…
In a few segments of the opening, you see Ako dressed up as some of Hepburn's most memorable characters, including Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany's) and Sabrina (Sabrina). As the series progresses, the intro is upgraded to feature other Hepburn references, such as Roman Holiday.
Next are the titles of the episodes. Each episode is named after a Hepburn movie. In total there are 9 episodes, each 12 minutes long. Appropriately, the first episode is titled "Roman Holiday". Not only is this the film the main characters see when they first meet it’s the first American film Audrey Hepburn made. Her performance in that film earned her an Oscar.
As for REC, it's a very cute and charming anime series, if riddled with clichés and typical anime humor. The usage of Hepburn's films may come off as a gimmick, but I think it's great that they chose such a great actress and paid tribute to her in an unconventional manner.
Definite proof of how great movies and performers can inspire young artists and writers, no matter where they come from or who they are.