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16 July 2008 @ 10:02 am
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer  
K. and I watched Perfume: The Story of a Murderer last night. For some reason, I had assumed it was going to be one of those lush costume dramas about annoying aristocrats with a story that was vague at best. I couldn't have been more wrong. It was fantastic. It tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a poor and exploited 18th century orphan who is born with an uncanny sense of smell. His gift quickly becomes an obsession and his quest to create the ultimate perfume makes him a monster. I won't say any more except that I've never seen a piece of magical realism that was so haunting and horrifying. Director Tom Tykwer (Run, Lola, Run) even gives the art of perfumery itself a fascinating, alchemical depiction that reeks of mad science.

 
 
Listening to: Rilo Kiley - "Capturing Moods"
 
 
 
(Anonymous) on July 16th, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC)
you guys saw Perfume! fantastic! now rundon'twalk and read the book; if you dug the movie, you'll dig the book. twyker did a good job making the shift from print to screen, but the book, of course, has a different sense to it.

I first found out about Perfume in my sophomore year of college, in a chemistry class. I'd been assigned a seat next to a spectacularly beautiful Iranian girl, we got to talking, and in an attempt to impress her, I ran out and read in one night this book she'd mentioned was her favorite. Anyhow, we did end up being friends through school, but I still count that book as one I remember especially well. It's sensual and lush and vivid and incidentally savage, all at once. I think it was Hemingway who once said that really good writing becomes part of your emotional vocabulary. This book is like that, for me.

Cheers!

alex.
Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: drooling monkeyassmonkeydiary on July 16th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
Cool, I'll check it out the next I'm hitting a used book store. Although I'm not sure the experience will be quite as fine without a beautiful Iranian girl to fantasize about impressing. Then again what's to stop me from fantasizing?
misterhumbug on July 17th, 2008 01:14 am (UTC)
Yes, I read the book in college and loved it. Good news about the movie, since it's about 3 items away on my Netflix list!