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.”
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!