8.11.07

perfume: the story of a murderer



i cannot shake the riotous perfume of this movie. the chords it played in me are still ringing high and low. it is the most beautiful movie about a serial killer as i think there could ever be. it makes me think of a line from another movie, one from the thirties or forties but i can't remember its name, in which someone says "crime is just a left handed form of human endeavor."

the main character's single-minded desire to preserve scent is really only his quest to capture the fleetingness of beauty in life. born into a loveless existence of squalor, his sense of smell is the only part of him that seems capable of developing to maturity. in other aspects he remains stunted; his movements and expressions take on a feral quality. scent for him is the only form of higher beauty to which he can aspire, as it is given without any exchange of consent. in all other ways he is locked out of the world of exchange between human beings. his uncanny ability to identify and orchestrate scents into inebriating harmonies is precluded by the fact that he has no identifying smell of his own, no sense of a familiar origin. the source of his primary strength lies in his most profound lack, which his strength cannot correct.

isn't it within this tension, between what we have and what we are missing, that all of us must make our alchemy?

1 comment:

patrick said...

Saw Perfume recently, well done in general, good character building, original cinematography... expresses a lot about human nature as well.