Those of you who know me definitely know about my love for movies, not only the European art cinema but the great Hollywood classics as well. Ever since my childhood, when my Dad first took me to the cinema once a year — usually around Christmas time —, the movie world has never ceized to infatuate and amaze me. I think I was about 13 when I first became aware of the impact movies have always had on me, the magic spell I was under, how deeply the movies influenced my way of thinking and feeling.
The works of Alfred Hitchcock were my first true revelation, so falling in love with Tippi Hedren was practically inevitable. To me, she will always remain the quintessential Hitchcock blonde; regally poised, elegant, and witty. I still admire her sophistication, her stunningly beautiful movements, her distinguished way of talking, the way she walked. How she handled a Martini glass or a cigarette in »The Birds« (1963) was incredibly photogenic, almost to the level of choreography — »the high art of smoking«. She represents so much of what I admire about the classic film era. One might say she’s the embodiment of understated glamour. The first (and only) fan letter I wrote, at the tender age of 14, went to her. In 1999, I received an autographed copy of her book, »The Cats of Shambala«, which I cherish to this day. Of course, I collected all of her films, read every article or interview I could get my hands on, and even though my passion for Hitch and her has dwindled down a bit — you mustn’t forget that almost 25 years have gone by —, I still google her at least once a week to keep up with her life and work, and for about 17 years now I’ve been calling her every year for her birthday (mostly leaving a message on the answering machine at Shambala, though). Needless to mention how thrilled and excited I was this May when I got the news that her autobiography, »Tippi: A Memoir«, would hit the shelves on November 1, 2016! I had been waiting for that book for 25 years!!
As many of you know, I’m in Paris right now. The filming of my new movie, »Bd. Voltaire«, directed by Alexandre Vallès, wrapped on Sunday. On Monday, I spent hours and hours in book stores all over Paris to get my hand on a copy of Tippi’s new book. I was looking in vain, so I finally downloaded the Kindle version (my first Kindle book!) yesterday in the early morning hours. I had already finished the entire book by the afternoon. Great parts of it have been old news to me — the Hitchcock years, Chaplin, the making of »Roar« (1982) —, but I was oddly moved by her childhood memories, her unconditional love for her daughter, her humanitarian work, and how she looks back on her three marriages. One phrase in particular stands out for me: »I’ve always been much more independent than ambitious.« — It was a exceptional day for me. And if that wasn’t enough, the now 86-year-old Tippi chose to read excerpts from her autobiography live on Facebook, followed by a brief Q & A with her fans last night. Now, what a treat! You can’t imagine my joy and excitement when Tippi actually answered one of my questions:
To be honest, there are a couple of things in the book that I dislike — the poor choice of photos for instance, and the lack of information on several subjects, plus several mistakes —, but all in all, »Tippi: A Memoir« is a must-have for every movie aficionado. I can’t wait to have the printed copy in my hands; it’ll arrive in about ten days.
I know it’s been a while since my last English entry — shame on me! —, and I’m very grateful that you still keep following me; it means so much! Thank you!