Smells Like Teen Slaughter

As you know, I love reading. I also love watching a good movie; I don’t see the two activities as mutually exclusive the way some stuffier bookworms might. I don’t like to sit through dreadful feculence like, say, Leprechaun 2 or Battlefield Earth, but if it’s a film of some quality, I’ll sit and stare at a screen for two or three hours, no problem.

That said, I’m usually pretty uneasy when I learn of one of my favorite books being made into a motion picture. This is probably due to my naturally cynical nature as well as woefully unfortunate catastrophes such as The Accidental Tourist. Anne Tyler’s novel was a beautiful and insightful look into the human condition; the movie was little more than a veiny goiter on the careers of some exceptionally fine actors.

Needless to say, when I heard one of my favorite novels of all time, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, was being made into a movie, I experienced a feeling akin to having the bottoms of my feet flayed while simultaneously riding a wicked orgasm. Happy and hurting all at the same time. Complete with comical faces and a PG-13 soundtrack.

Noting that Dustin Hoffman and Alan Rickman had both been cast did little to quell the foot-flaying thanks to, of course, the painful lessons learned from The Accidental Tourist. If William Hurt could betray his calling so offensively, I reasoned, so could Hoffman or Rickman.

I waited patiently for some time – maybe as long as a year – before finally getting to see a trailer. When I finally saw those 30 seconds of teasing glimpses, I was most relieved. The film adaptation of Perfume: The Story of a Murderer appears to be remarkably well-made and, from what I can tell, sufficiently follows the author’s established plotline.

“The story revolves around a strange young man born in 18th Century Paris, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, whose prodigious gift of an incomparable sense of smell and inexplicable lack of personal scent isolates him from society. Obsessed with the rich sensory world he alone inhabits, his single objective in life becomes the preservation of the perfect scent: the skin of young, beautiful virgins.”
Via Wikipedia

Then came a piece of information that I regarded as a good omen: the movie was to be released in the U.S. on December 27th – my birthday. Very nice, indeed.

As you might expect, when my birthday rolled around, I was searching for Seattle show times before even having breakfast or taking Marley out to pee. To my loathsome chagrin, the movie was not being shown anywhere in western Washington. I cursed the lucky pukes in New York and Chicago and Houston who were getting to see MY movie before me! Loathsome bastards!

I’m Heading Downtown!

This morning, while checking my e-mail, I happened upon some most delightful news: Perfume is now playing at the Pacific Place Theater 11! So tomorrow, Karin and I are heading into downtown Seattle to have some lunch and take in a flick. Sounds Smells like a lot of fun, doesn’t it?

It occurs to me, by the way, that if we had more perfumers who cared as much about their craft as our protagonist Grenouille, I might not have had to suffer this olfactory torment. Now, I’m not suggesting artisans of fine scents should kill people in order to perfect their craft, but we could at least do with more perfumes that are perfected so as not to kill people.

UPDATE: Okay, well, it looks like we won't be seeing it now until next weekend. Big Seahawks playoff game in Seattle yesterday (we won; eat it, Dallas!) deterred us from going downtown all day. Parental responsibilities prohibit us from doing it today, so we're going to have to wait. Patience is a virtue and all that. *sigh*

UPDATE: Now it's !@#%&! snow that is keeping me from seeing this movie. I don't see movies in the theater very often and I haven't wanted to see a film this badly in a very long time; it figures that my obstacles would be elemental forces like winter storms and winter sports!

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About kirkstarr

I draw pictures for a living.
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12 Responses to Smells Like Teen Slaughter

  1. Jenn F. says:

    can't wait for your review…

  2. I hope it turns out as good as the book.It is sad but many film makers think if it's based an a novel they don't have to make a good film. Thankfully there is a recent trend to make good novel adaptions (ie the LOTR, and Harry Potter series)

  3. Lauri says:

    Amen, Iceweasel! LoTR, my favorite series of books, was one exception to the "good book, crappy movie" rule. That was such a relief!Kirk, I have to thank you, first for making me aware of the word "feculence". All these years I have been missing out on the use of a wonderful word! :DSecondly, thank you for saving me the distasteful act of watching Accidental Tourist. I loved the book, too, and was thinking that I really should see the movie. Nope, not anymore. And, anyway, who wants to watch a veiny goiter? Ewwww! Lol!I loved Stephen King's The Dead Zone, and I got the DVD for Christmas, so I'll see what that's about. I'll have to read Perfume. And, then, when I have heard your opinion of the movie, maybe go see it!

  4. Kirk says:

    Jenn: Oh, you can bet I'll be all full of opinions on it!IceWeasle: LotR was indeed masterfully done. I've only read the first few HP novels and I think the movies of them were good (if a bit rushed). My daughter Amanda, however, feels the later HP movies fail to impress. But then, she's a bit of a Harry Potter purist. I doubt they could have made the movies good enough for her even with twice the budget.Lauri: I'm always thrilled to add to someone's vocabulary. 🙂 Everyone should use the word "feculence" at least once a day. Definitely do not bother with The Accidental Tourist movie. You'd be much happier taking a cheese grater to the inside of your thighs! The Dead Zone movie is actually really good. It takes some liberties with the story, but not in a way that will bug you. The ending is fantastic!

  5. Rachel says:

    I've been excited about this for a while but I was a bit afraid… the trailer does look amazing. I hope it holds up to the book, which is one of my favorites too.

  6. Miss Parker says:

    I can't wait to read your thoughts on the film. That's one of my favorite books as well, but I get very uneasy about the book to movie transition, and generally try to avoid movies of my favorite books, after too many disappointments. But the trailer does look good.

  7. Dancing Bear says:

    Each time I see the ad I think of you. I just am not a theatre attendee. I managed a theatre for 10 years and still find it hard when I can't walk around adjusting heat, sound, lighting and so forth. I love the premise. Haven't read the book but I also have been disgusted with my favorites being compromised.

  8. Kirk says:

    Rachel & Miss P: Wow, two more people who loved this book. I'm finding the more I mention it, the more people I find who count it among their favorites. Many of them don't even know the movie is out or even that one was in the making!I'm currently re-reading it, since I have an extra week now before I see the film (see update above), which should really help me form a decent review that can honestly deal with the book-to-movie transition itself in addition to the movie's quality as a singular whole.DB: Perhaps the theater doesn't suit you, but if you want to experience a story like nothing you've ever read, then trust me on this: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is a novel you cannot afford to miss out on (provided you like stories about murder in the 18th century, of course).

  9. sonyaseattle says:

    Oo, I'm so glad you posted about this. I loved Perfume too; also one of my all-time favorites. I recently heard some pre-release reviews that suggest we will not be let down; people seem to be universally praising it. I probably won't get to see it for a while (though I'll definitely try) – please post a review once you've viewed it!! Great tags on this post, by the way. :)Oh, and have you read The Crimson Petal and the White? That's supposed to be in production too, though I haven't heard anything about it lately. If you haven't read it, give it a try. I thought it was excellent.

  10. Lauri says:

    Hi, Kirk! I am still wincing from the thought of the cheese grater on the inside of my thighs..but anyway, you can be assured I will NOT see The Accidental Tourist.I did see The Dead Zone last night! I was very impressed that they did as good a job with the movie as they did. To get so many of the nuances, the deeper meanings….they did a fantastic job with it! But, I still stand by my feeling that by not reading the book a person misses out on 95% of the story. There was more, oh, so much more in the book! It's one of my favorite books. Movies just can NOT pack in the details like a book can.

  11. Lauri says:

    PS. As to the fact that everyone should use the word "feculence" once a day…I am sure that is the best way to stay regular! ;)I totally agree with Amanda. I love the HP books, but have only seen…meh…three of the movies.

  12. RedScylla says:

    I have never read the book, but am inclined to do so before seeing the movie. All that aside, you win without any real competition, for the piece of writing which made me laugh maniacally outloud in my office this week:I experienced a feeling akin to having the bottoms of my feet flayed while simultaneously riding a wicked orgasm.

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