20 November 2007


Suskind wrote Perfume in the mid-1980s, set in 18th century France but written in German. It was recommended by the professor for my 17th century Restoration literature class because Suskind managed to convey the dirtiness of cities prior to the advent of sanitation and public health. The amazing thing about this book was how you could "read" the smells right along with Jean-Baptiste Grenouille.

I was a bit apprehensive about watching the 2006 motion picture because, well, how can you smell what you see?

It's not quite the same as reading the book but Tykwer did an amazing job with the film. It's shot beautifully and realistically, lots of close shots to follow smells, and thankfully the scent trails weren't realized as clouds or anything hokey and cartoonish. I think the casting was well done; I'd heard that some reviewers thought Dustin Hoffman was all wrong, but I think he did very well as a man who is now a caricature of his past. Ben Whishaw and Rachel Hurd-Wood were also excellent (talk about dye job on Rachel's hair, that was some red).

I also finished off Wide Sargasso Sea, a good novel but a very painful movie to watch. The only good things were the scenery and the reconstruction of Afro-Carribean dances. Otherwise Nathaniel Parker is a bit all wrong (he was Mr. Skimpole in the 2005 Bleak House BBC adaptation) and the whole movie just seems to be a vehicle for Karina Lombard to get naked all the time. Boring.

Current book-in-progress: Middlemarch, The Western Canon, Idylls of the King, A Temple of Texts
Current knitted item: Second sock (Chaucer chewed on first sock so I now have to re-do the cast off for that one); I'm still stuck on this, having finishing avoidance issues
Current movie obsession: Hamlet until the Netflix shipment arrives, then Angels in America

No comments:

Post a Comment