A superb George and Ira Gershwin score underpins another excellent Astaire musical, Stanley Donen's Funny Face (1957), screening Sunday at the Roxie. Astaire plays a fashion photographer modeled after Richard Avedon who discovers mousy bookstore clerk Audrey Hepburn and transforms her into a model. The film's anti-intellectualism is par for the 1950s course, as a labored satire of Jean-Paul Sartre occupies all too much screen time. And this Fred isn't at all disturbed by his own aging -- Donen (Singin' in the Rain, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) was always less interested in melancholy than his moody counterpart Minnelli. Funny Face does have beautifully modeled and subtly colored cinematography, even as The Band Wagon is the last of the great, candy-box Technicolor musicals Metro made.
-- Gregg Rickman
The Band Wagon screens Sunday, May 9, at 2 p.m. and Monday, May 10, at 7 p.m. at the Rafael Film Center, 1118 Fourth St. (at A Street), San Rafael. Admission is $7; call 454-1222. Funny Face screens Sunday, May 9, at 1:30, 5:30, and 9:35 p.m. at the Roxie, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $6.50; call 863-1087.