Jan 6, 2007

I saw Perfume last night and felt like I was put under a spell for two and a half hours. It's a gorgeous gorgeous sad movie, just totally rich and sensory and ecstatic. I was completely enthralled. After, my friends were talking about it and I couldn't even say anything, I was so overloaded by it... Not only is it just so emotional and overwhelming, but all the scents! All the close-up shots of coffee beans and oysters and feet dancing in mud and plums being cut in half and glimmering bottles of perfume and bright red hair falling down and baskets of bread and wet river stones... There is so much.. and the colors are bright and lush and ravishing. I loved it on every level. It was funny, tho: after, my friend Jason was saying how the movie is all about art and composition, about how atrocity is at the heart of creation, etc., and his friend was talking about how the movie is about class, and how it's an interesting take on the sociopath, and I just felt like this movie is a genuine, pure love story, all about love and desire and loss.. Then I got home and read some reviews, and they were all bad, talking about the film being emotionally hollow (!) or too squalid and sordid (!) or unbearably long or too much about a character we care nothing about (!). I was so wrapped up in that character; I was so hooked into his obsessions and so horrified by them at the same time. I love when a film or anything can make you completely empathize with and feel a (destructive) character while also letting you be heartbroken and horrified by what it is they're destroying. And Alan Rickman! It is so wrenching!! But I won't give too much away.

Anyway, Perfume is by the same director as Run Lola Run, of course, which is one of my all-time favorite movies, and that, too, was a movie that blew me away, that seemed to me so full and rich and profound and beautiful, just this flat-out breathtaking and utterly ferocious love story, run through with loss and pain, and I was surprised when some people I know just saw it as sort of candy-like and vapid, a peppy rock video or something. ! I saw Run Lola Run three times in the theater, really breathless and overcome, and don't think I was so knocked out by a movie until Mysterious Skin and Head On/Gegen die Wand. Anyway, it always surprises me, how a story/artwork can hit one person in the gut and leave the next unmoved. I remember leaving Brokeback Mountain feeling annoyed and tired--that movie seemed to me so inauthentic and lame, and that annoying little guitar riff was going to make me stab someone--and then the shock of looking over at my friend David, seeing him in tears.