Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

There are two things you have to know about me before I start reviewing Perfume. The first is that I have no sense of smell. Now of course, I must have one - its not like I was born disabled. I can still taste food, for example, and taste is closely linked to smell. But most smells are lost on me. I don't notice smokers in restaurants. I can't smell sewage, flowers, the sea. The idea of a "summer" smell is alien. In contrast, Friend 5 is real big on it - apparently, my house has a particular smell, and every now and then she'll catch a scent and instantly recall a time. The most recent olifactory experience I've had was with rotting celery, but that had been pinned to my hair for several hours before I noticed it. The smell, not the celery. I knew the celery was there.

I only point this out because smell isn't a sense I use at all, yet Perfume made me suffer from phantom smells all the way through. I understood what it would be like to have these sensations, without a reliable knowledge. Some masterly direction going on, methinks - like explaining green to a blind man.

The second is about the creepy-deepy stuff. What the back of the box calls "distubing imagery and sexualised nudity". My favourite series of photos by my favourite photographer is images of murdered women. Actually, I have them as my screensaver. I can see you backing off and smiling weakly - honestly I'm not a serial killer. I just love the way he uses the light, and creates images that are really, really wrong, without exactly knowing why. Look at them - they start here, and keep clicking right. All his pictures are somewhere in this line, though.

Imagery is a big - maybe the biggest thing for me in film, and much of the look of Perfume reminded me of these photos. All good directors are effectively creating art in the way they frame the screen.

It's a two-way process too - lots of Recuenco is inspired by old movies (and the next few to the right), 40s movies (and to the right), even Kubrick (this one and the next two to the left - Clockwork O, Dr Strangelove, and is the third meant to be Paths of Glory?)

With excellent direction and superb visual pretties, what else is there left? Well, the plot was fun - and I particularly liked the surreal direction it took towards the end. There were flaws, though. The acting was competant, but couldn't cover the characters were simply cardboard cutouts. The Murderer was drawn the best; but Alan Rickman's daughter was merely a sacrificial lamb to the plot. She was very nice to look at though.

The problem compounded: the script was prime awful. I only mention this because a) films based on books tend to have decent scripts if nothing else and b) I almost never notice them, so this must have been especially dull. To make the issue worse, its lumbered with a fairy-tale style monologue, lacking in charm. What he's saying is interesting, but the way he does it stinks. No pun intended.

It still comes highly recommended though - its just wonderful to look at, and the soundtrack prevented me from sleeping. That's right - not the imagery, or the plot, or the dead naked people. The music. Shudder!

I don't want to use the word "orgy", because its taken on a decadantly sexual meaning, and that's not what the scene was about - it was about love.


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