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...he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.
February 28, 2013 5:45 PM   Subscribe

Through the magic of capitalism, Audrey Hepburn; is restored to life. Again.
posted by R. Schlock (87 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
In the hearts of a million irritating Manic Pixie Dream Girls she never died.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:48 PM on February 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


I don't always agree with John Gruber, but: "how can you write about this without mentioning how revolting the entire concept is? What is wrong with the heirs to Hepburn’s estate that they’d sell her out like this?"

Even on the tiny YouTube square her face looks strange, plastic, and painted onto a body. James Cameron this ad-agency is not.
posted by JoeBlubaugh at 5:52 PM on February 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Just. Yuck. It looked like a transfer on a barbie head. How dare they do this to Audrey.
posted by arcticseal at 5:55 PM on February 28, 2013


Come on guys - they ran out of pretty women back in 2003. Advertisers gotta do what they gotta do.
posted by GuyZero at 5:56 PM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


That is some serious uncanny valley stuff.
posted by BungaDunga at 5:56 PM on February 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


That Galaxy ad is shockingly poor. As a concept, it's just vile. Do we now have to put together wills that include protecting our image after death?
posted by merocet at 5:56 PM on February 28, 2013


Isn't her whole appeal based on her winking artificiality? Being reborn as a commercial hologram seems like a fitting afterlife.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:57 PM on February 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


no horrible so horrible
posted by sweetkid at 5:57 PM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Her sons (who profited from this) claim that she'd love it because she loved chocolate. So, you know, it's obviously completely cool and not at all creepy.
posted by asnider at 5:58 PM on February 28, 2013


Well, they've come a long way since this creepy Orville Redenbacher CGI from 2007, but fake is still fake.
posted by briank at 5:59 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


huh, I was expecting this to be worse than it was. I'm actually impressed at how realistic it looks. It's not perfect, but doesn't fall into the uncanny valley and seem creepy (the concept of reviving a long-dead celebrity to sell products is still quite creepy).
posted by mathowie at 5:59 PM on February 28, 2013


The oddest thing about it is the product - the Audrey Hepburn brand seems more appropriate for higher-end fashion goods.
posted by GuyZero at 6:01 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Isn't her whole appeal based on her winking artificiality

No.
posted by yoink at 6:02 PM on February 28, 2013 [26 favorites]


Audrey HepburnTM (c) 2013

Isn't her whole appeal based on her winking artificiality

Yeah, no.
posted by BungaDunga at 6:03 PM on February 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


In the hearts of a million irritating Manic Pixie Dream Girls she never died.

Nor in the hearts of the men who love them.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:05 PM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


If they want to CGI stuff connected with Audrey Hepburn, could they please just erase Mickey Rooney's horrificly racist cariacature from Breakfast At Tiffany's? Thanks.
posted by KHAAAN! at 6:08 PM on February 28, 2013 [23 favorites]


Better than expected.
posted by Atreides at 6:10 PM on February 28, 2013


That Galaxy ad is shockingly poor. As a concept, it's just vile. Do we now have to put together wills that include protecting our image after death?

I liked it. I was fine with it. But then I wrote this earlier today.

Seriously, people, once I am dead do what you like. If others can have fun at my expense or make a buck, then please do. Also, you don't have to wait until I am deceased, but prior to this I ask you to ask permission. Most likely I'll say yes.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:11 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Isn't her whole appeal based on her winking artificiality?

Nope. People love her because she is Audrey Hepburn. She was cute, and then beautiful, and ended up helping children via UNICEF. The term "faultless" comes to mind when trying to describe her appeal.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:16 PM on February 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


Was just about to go to sleep, but now I'm afraid that Zombie Audrey Hepburn will haunt my dreams.
posted by Optamystic at 6:17 PM on February 28, 2013


Do we now have to put together wills that include protecting our image after death?

Protect our images from freeloading heirs, I say. For the small sum of $100000 (in cash, today), I am prepared to sell the rights in perpetuity to use my digitally reanimated persona in tasteful television and film appearances after my passing. Act now! Limited time offer!

What? No, I'm not famous. But maybe I will be some day! Get in now on the ground floor!
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 6:19 PM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Even death shall not release you....
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:21 PM on February 28, 2013


She's been big in Japan* for a long time now.

*self-link to Flickr
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:25 PM on February 28, 2013


Do we now have to put together wills that include protecting our image after death?

Sort of. The right to publicity (sometimes referred to as "personality rights"), including the right as it pertains to deceased persons, is a fairly recent legal invention. In the U.S., it came into being as a matter of state law, so it varies from state to state. In California, there are both statutory and common-law rights. The Celebrity Rights Act of 1985 extends the personality rights for a celebrity to 70 years after the individual's death and provides that the right is a property right that may be transferrable to a person's heirs after their death. The California statute came into being following the 1979 case of Lugosi v. Universal Pictures, which addressed the question of whether Bela Lugosi's film contracts with Universal granted merchandising rights in his image after his death or whether his heirs could restrict those rights. The California Supreme Court held in favor of Universal, such that Lugosi's widow and son could not stop Universal from merchandising jigsaw puzzles, belt buckles, lunch boxes, and so forth bearing Bela Lugosi's image.
posted by The World Famous at 6:35 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it YouTube or does it look incredibly fake? I thought my eyesight was pretty bad, but that's some serious uncanny valley going on there.
posted by MegoSteve at 6:35 PM on February 28, 2013


Isn't her whole appeal based on her winking artificiality?

Just stop talking.
posted by pompomtom at 6:38 PM on February 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


The closeups looked bad, movement-wise, but I'm ashamed to admit the rest of it was pretty convincing.

Am I just bad at knowing what people look like?
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:39 PM on February 28, 2013


Isn't her whole appeal based on her winking artificiality?

More like her *whole appeal* is based on her stunningly captivating beauty and effervescence, I'd wager.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:43 PM on February 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


Her eyes have the wrong angle and her mouth is just wrong. Not uncanny valley wrong, just bad portrait wrong.
posted by signal at 6:43 PM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm so hawking chocolate 50 years after I'm dead. My crypt ain't gonna pay for itself.
posted by mazola at 6:44 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


If they want to CGI stuff connected with Audrey Hepburn, could they please just erase Mickey Rooney's horrificly racist cariacature from Breakfast At Tiffany's? Thanks.

This. BaT would be my favorite movie if Rooney was removed. As it is, I can barely stand to watch it.
posted by signal at 6:45 PM on February 28, 2013


I recall, I think, we both kinda liked it.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:47 PM on February 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


When I'm dead, I want the BodyWorlds guy to have me.

But instead of injecting me with plastic, he inject me with chocolate and just prop me up at some guys door and ring the doorbell.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:47 PM on February 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


But seriously, this happens to even the greatest talents. Ceaser ruled Rome and now his image sells bad pizza. Who remembers that Captain Morgan was a real pirate? Eventually all the great personalities become icons, whether it's by being turned into saints or gods or coins or memes or advertising icons. The process is just accelerated.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:49 PM on February 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I did that to a neighbor, but it was a cardboard cutout of Kathy Ireland dressed all in green pimping beer. Same idea though!
posted by cjorgensen at 6:50 PM on February 28, 2013


This. BaT would be my favorite movie if Rooney was removed. As it is, I can barely stand to watch it.

Eh, it's not that great even without the yellowface problems. What it has are wonderful iconic images, but otherwise there's not a lot of there there. There's plenty of great Audrey Hepburn films without BaT (Roman Holiday chief among them IMO). And the "winking artificiality" is an aspect of the character she was playing in Breakfast at Tiffany's, nothing to do with Audrey Hepburn's persona or how she typically approached her roles. She is, in my view, underrated as an actress in part because of her extraordinary beauty and in part because of the very unaffectedness of her technique.
posted by yoink at 6:50 PM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Everybody should just go watch Charade right now. It's on Netflix!
posted by sonmi at 6:53 PM on February 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


If you are at all interested in the making of Breakfast at Tiffany's, I really recommend reading Fifth Avenue, 5 AM

It has interesting tidbits like Audrey almost not doing the movie because the character was a prostitute, what Truman Capote thought, and Japanese Americans protesting the movie because of Mickey Rooney's crappy racist racist crap (and people think "PC" is a new thing).

As far as Mr. Yumioshi, from what I recall Blake Edwards thought it was funny but regretted it later, and Rooney was and remains unrepentant.
posted by sweetkid at 6:54 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I read it as being intentionally stylised, like a movie poster come to life, and it worked really well from that point of view. Some of the other characters in particular are quite astonishingly realistic. The little "Audrey Hepburn™ © some other people" at the start is mildly dystopian though.
posted by lucidium at 6:58 PM on February 28, 2013


When I first heard saw the headline on the Verge, I thought Galaxy Chocolate was the new Samsung phone du jour. I figured it must come in brown suede or something.

What? It's a tech site.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 7:00 PM on February 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


If any of you see William Gibson around anywhere, give him a high-five for me.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:02 PM on February 28, 2013


"Some of the other characters in particular are quite astonishingly realistic".

They're actually real. But some of them looked fake, as well.

Creepy and bad. Not Orville-creepy, but creepy, nonetheless.
posted by sutt at 7:21 PM on February 28, 2013


Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug: I thought the same thing, that it was a commercial for new phone. I'm not sure why. It did add another layer of confusion to the video.
posted by entropyiswinning at 7:23 PM on February 28, 2013


Charlemagne In Sweatpants: "I recall, I think, we both kinda liked it."

Galaxy users and Deep Blue Something both hate when things are over, so I guess that's one thing they've got.
posted by Copronymus at 7:26 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


So in America, Galaxy chocolate is sold as Dove, the coated ice cream bar folks. Which seems really appropriate to me, because their chocolate struck me as being packaged and priced like a high-end product, but tasting rather plastic and flavorless.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:28 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


They shouldn't erase Mickey Rooney -- they should just replace him, kind of like how George Lucas superimposed a computer-generated Jabba the Hutt on a live-action stand-in. A computer-generated Toshiro Mifune should do the trick. Then all they would need to do is dub over the original lines, dub over Audrey Hepburn's dreadful voice, and superimpose another Toshiro Mifune on top of Audrey Hepburn, and I'd consider watching that movie again.
posted by flechsig at 7:31 PM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


A computer-generated Toshiro Mifune would also improve Star Wars.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:48 PM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Setting aside the commerciality of the, er, commercial, I honestly would not have noticed that the Galaxy one was not 100% real, with some chocolate closeups thrown in.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:06 PM on February 28, 2013


> They're actually real.

Are they? They looked like what I imagine pre-rendered MotionScan stuff would look like, and the motion and clothes in particular definitely look like CG to me. Something something pixels.
posted by lucidium at 8:10 PM on February 28, 2013


I don't get the surprised outrage. Did anyone imagine there was any possibility that this kind of thing wouldn't happen as soon as computers got powerful enough to do it?
posted by straight at 8:12 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The most scandalous (mis)uses of dead celebrities to push product.
posted by mediated self at 8:39 PM on February 28, 2013


And, of course, Yul Brynner's posthumous ad for the American Cancer Society.

And Bill Hicks' take.
posted by mediated self at 8:45 PM on February 28, 2013


In the future, advertising companies will personalize their ads, so you won't see Audrey Hepburn selling you chocolate, you'll see your own parents (living or dead) telling you to buy Doritos MegaCrunch on the way home. Or, if you're a parent, you might get a video-message from your child saying that they need to bring a bottle of Coca-Cola for the pizza party tomorrow at school. Further in the future, brands will be seamlessly inserted into live phone and video conversations. For example, if you mention that you enjoy the show Masterpiece Theater, it might get replaced with Survivor: Mars if NBC has paid for replacement rights to your phone conversations (it was in the EULA for your ISP, which you did read, right?).
posted by Pyry at 8:54 PM on February 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


I see Bill Hicks has been mentioned.
Not much more to say.
posted by Mezentian at 9:01 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


In the future, advertising companies will personalize their ads, so you won't see Audrey Hepburn selling you chocolate, you'll see your own parents (living or dead) telling you to buy Doritos MegaCrunch on the way home. Or, if you're a parent, you might get a video-message from your child saying that they need to bring a bottle of Coca-Cola for the pizza party tomorrow at school. Further in the future, brands will be seamlessly inserted into live phone and video conversations. For example, if you mention that you enjoy the show Masterpiece Theater, it might get replaced with Survivor: Mars if NBC has paid for replacement rights to your phone conversations (it was in the EULA for your ISP, which you did read, right?).

I can't wait for this, actually. Spotify runs ads telling me I don't like music that I do like. It's like, "You have all this data. You know what I enjoy."
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:02 PM on February 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yes, that's the problem, you enjoy the wrong music, i.e., the music advertisers haven't paid for.
posted by Pyry at 9:04 PM on February 28, 2013


Yes, that's the problem, you enjoy the wrong music, i.e., not the music advertisers have paid for.

A while back I was listening to The Pogues' Rum Sodomy & The Lash and was interrupted by Demi Lovato doing whatever it is she does. I was almost ready to upgrade to no ads right then just to make it stop. I think that's sort of their plan.
posted by fishmasta at 9:12 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't wait for this, actually. Spotify runs ads telling me I don't like music that I do like. It's like, "You have all this data. You know what I enjoy."

Facebook and YouTube are even worse, and I wonder if it's just because not enough serious marketers who actually use analytics are using either platform, leaving zombie monkies at the control.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:53 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


sweetkid: Not to get all threadjacky, but one chief reason that Breakfast at Tiffany's feels so flimsy today is that Hepburn is quite a few years too old for the role. Holly as written is supposed be 18, turning 19 in the course of the action of the story. Hepburn was 31 when she made the film and could perhaps plausibly pass for 26. The things Holly does and the things that happen to Holly have one meaning to a teenager and another meaning altogether to a woman nearly a decade older, e.g., making a living cruising nightclubs or being set up on blind "dates" with high-rollers.

The other problem, of course, is the introduction of a fairly straightforward romantic love story into a piece that had originally had no such thing: Holly was fascinating, and because of that men thought they were in love with her, but she certainly was not willing or able to love them back.

The commercial is okay for about ten seconds of mostly long shots that looked like they might have been composited from bits of Roman Holiday, but as soon as the "camera" gets up close, there's that eerie dead-eyed CGI person effect. Perhaps because we have evolved to discern such enormous amounts of vital information from facial expressions, the movement of the human face is still too complex and too subtle to model successfully.
posted by La Cieca at 10:52 PM on February 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Galaxy chocolate bars: the rich taste of chocolate now packed with human brain!
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:59 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


After watching it in HD, I think they did a fantastic job of rendering her. IMHO the thing that folks often forget about when creating these, is the light. The lighting in this is PERFECT, too perfect.

Give me some flicker, some passing cloud's momentary darkness, a slightly-unflattering shadow here and there. That'll help bridge the uncanny valley here, especially since they have the underlying framework of her face and movements dialed in so well. Don't be afraid to muss it up a little bit kids. It's the smudgie-realness of life that makes things memorable...
posted by Bohemia Mountain at 11:22 PM on February 28, 2013


Chocolate to die for.
posted by Segundus at 12:57 AM on March 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


"... lends to death a new terror."

- Oscar Wilde
posted by Segundus at 1:00 AM on March 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, that totally uncannied my valley. I was kind of confused that some people thought it was accurate, so I went and re-watched some Breakfast at Tiffany's to double-check my memory. Nope.
posted by lastobelus at 1:00 AM on March 1, 2013


So this made me look at the trailer for Breakfast at Tiffany's. Wow. I had no idea that George Peppard (c 1961) was so in my head. Who was that woman in the film with him again? I forgot.

It's funny. I was 4 years old when that film came out. I can't quite comprehend the times it portrays, yet I feel it as familiar.
posted by Goofyy at 1:18 AM on March 1, 2013


Why have chocolate covered cotton when you can have chocolate covered silk?
posted by flabdablet at 2:20 AM on March 1, 2013


Bohemia Mountain has it spot-on - if they'd roughed things up a touch, toned down the movement slightly & not allowed the viewer to scrutinise every detail of her face then it could've easily passed as real. Things like visual effects are all about knowing your limitations & cleverly disguising them.
posted by malevolent at 2:40 AM on March 1, 2013


I can't wait to see Princess Grace of Monaco advertising Yorkie bars. Meanwhile Kid Koalas version of Moon River does bring sometrhing new to something old
posted by Ben Neves at 4:20 AM on March 1, 2013


I can't wait to see Princess Grace of Monaco advertising Yorkie bars.

Well, she is pimping for Dior. Along with Marilyn Monroe, and Marlene Dietrich.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:40 AM on March 1, 2013


Facebook and YouTube are even worse, and I wonder if it's just because not enough serious marketers who actually use analytics are using either platform, leaving zombie monkies at the control.

Huh? Since when do YouTube videos have ads in them?
posted by straight at 7:50 AM on March 1, 2013


That was horrible. But as long as they don't revive the the Giant, Disembodied Head Of Ruby Keeler that haunts my nighmares, I won't say boo.
posted by lumpenprole at 8:00 AM on March 1, 2013


I wish I had this charm--alive or dead.
posted by stormpooper at 8:15 AM on March 1, 2013


She lives again?



It's a trick. Get an axe.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:50 AM on March 1, 2013


Although Ash will probably blow her away with a shotgun*

*twelve-gauge, double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. walnut stock, cobalt-blue steel, and a hair trigger. Shop smart: shop S-Mart
posted by Smedleyman at 8:50 AM on March 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Huh? Since when do YouTube videos have ads in them?

I have ads served before at least 50% of the YouTube videos I watch. Some can be turned off after 5 seconds, while others last for at least 30 seconds. I also get popup ads during some videos.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:55 AM on March 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Huh? Since when do YouTube videos have ads in them?

Since you forgot to install Adblock Plus in your browser.
posted by flabdablet at 9:03 AM on March 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess I've been using AdBlock since before YouTube starting showing ads. Except that I've watched tons of ads like this Zombie Audrey Hepburn video on YouTube, and AdBlock never tries to block them. Unless someone tries to stick an ad in my ad.
posted by straight at 10:15 AM on March 1, 2013


If you have a queasy feeling in your stomach now, just wait a few years for the greater horror when the last trace of uncanny valley pixel pushing vanish and we are presented with a reanimated Hepburn completely indistinguishable from the real one.
posted by gwint at 10:19 AM on March 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


That is not dead which can eternal lie
And after strange eons
Even poorly conceived ad campaigns using dead celebrities
may die

--H.P. Salescraft
posted by Renoroc at 10:51 AM on March 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Hepburn sons previously donated what they got from the Gap ad to UNICEF. I'm assuming there's no such payout here?
posted by pxe2000 at 11:34 AM on March 1, 2013


The Hepburn sons previously donated what they got from the Gap ad to UNICEF. I'm assuming there's no such payout here?

If there is, it hasn't been publicized.
posted by asnider at 11:37 AM on March 1, 2013


>Huh? Since when do YouTube videos have ads in them?

Since you forgot to install Adblock Plus in your browser.


I don't think ABP can block the ads that are often served before YT videos.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:43 AM on March 1, 2013


I don't think ABP can block the ads that are often served before YT videos.

Apparently it can, because I have literally never seen one, and I've watch thousands of YT videos. (If only it could snip out the Tosh ads before the Daily Show...)
posted by straight at 12:46 PM on March 1, 2013


I thought Galaxy Chocolate was the new Samsung phone du jour. -- posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:00 PM on February 28

I'm a little late to the thread, but have you seen the Sharp Q-Pot SH-04D? It is an Android phone that looks like a chocolate bar and features a wireless charger called the "CHOCOBED" that looks like a box of chocolates.
posted by autopilot at 5:39 PM on March 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't think ABP can block the ads that are often served before YT videos.

It's occasionally been the unexpected appearance of just such an ad that has reminded me that the particular browser I happen to be using has had no ABP love yet. And I always react by stopping the video, installing ABP and starting it again, because I object to letting the marketing-industrial complex create needs for me.

No fucker with the appalling lack of taste required to do that to Audrey Hepburn - in fact, nobody willing to be part of an industry whose cultural norms make shit like that OK - is welcome to get any of their shit on any of my devices unannounced. I don't care if they do fund the Web. Fuck 'em.
posted by flabdablet at 6:29 PM on March 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't think ABP can block the ads that are often served before YT videos.

Oh, yes it can and always does, for me at least. Commercials before The Onion videos are another story.
posted by mediated self at 10:18 PM on March 1, 2013


Nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:49 AM on March 2, 2013


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