Saturday, March 24, 2007

I Smell Sex And Candy. Also Rotting Vagina Stuffed With Dirt And Twigs And Left By The Side Of The Highway.

Perfume: The Story of Murderer
2006, USA
Tom Tykwer
35mm



You know, I would have never thought to use 12 dead women to distill the scent of love. To top off my shoebox full of genitals? Sure. To make a dead skin mask? Of course. To help build a larger, stronger women out of the parts of smaller, weaker ones? Maybe. But a perfume? Never. I guess I just don't have the imagination to really succeed in the serial killing industry, since the most inventive pecadillo I can come up with is snorting the bone dust of a pulverized Native American prostitute. But in Perfume, murderer Jean-Baptiste Grenouille has done me one better, by reducing beauty, adoration, and the stink of sex to an essence. The closest I've come is making glue from a hooker's hair, a poor substitute for a perfume that, as the movie's climax suggests, will cause crowds to be so overcome with affection they will tear their clothes off and ravage each other. The only smell I know that will get women to take their clothes off is the stench of ether, and usually it's me doing the actually stripping while they loll around and try not to choke on their own vomit. The film is about Grenouille, who is born with a perfect sense of smell and no conscience in 18th century Paris, where his obsession with preserving the scent of perfection leads him to a career first as a perfumer, and then as a serial killer.

And they make fine sweater-vests, as well.


Perfume is directed by Tom Tykwer, a great filmmaker who has been applying poetic interpretations to literal themes for quite some time. The frenetic pacing he established in his breakthrough film Run, Lola, Run is absent here, replaced by a brooding, hypnotic speed that seeks to entrance the viewer with languid poetry. Unfortunately, the thrall of Perfume is often interrupted by bad performances, heavy-handed direction, and over-the-top theatrics. Towards the end of the film, this settles into its grove, and everything fits into a sort of magic realist interpretation, but in the first half, it's quite jarring. Dustin Hoffman, in particular, is violently terrible as faded master perfumer Baldini, with an accent that would shame even the people who do bad Christopher Walken impressions. He bursts every bubble of engrossing enchantment, so out of place it feels like your father is standing in the room while you masturbate over the body of a dead prostitute. Which, incidentally, is the best way to get them ready to be glue.

Underage? Read a PG-13 review at The Comic Book Bin. Then come over to my house and let me watch you touch yourself. Girls and effeminate boys only need apply.

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4 Comments:

Blogger nijaz said...

u must have hated the fact that he didn't make love to the dead corpses.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

No, I hated the fact that I couldn't make love to the dead corpses.

7:40 PM  
Blogger batturtle said...

Don't put yourself down...we all know hat you're quite the talented serial killer.

5:56 PM  
Blogger permazorch said...

Christ! I love your horrifying and lovely reviews. I'd like to link to your site, but you misspelled "groove" into grove.

6:59 PM  

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