Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0396171/

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While in the spirit of fables and all that jazz; I give you Perfume. A boy with a gifted nose and overwhelming obsession with the pursuit of preserving scent. Amazing cast including Alan Rickman (Sweeney Todd, Die Hard, “Snape”) and Dustin Hoffman (I ❤ Huckabees, Rain Man). This movie had me doubting it for the good majority of the film which was odd as it came highly recommended. HOWEVER, the last leg of the film was just fantastic. Once you acknowledge the fact that it’s a fable and get over his almost stoic demeanor it plays out very elegantly with an unpredictable ending that leaves you pleasantly surprised a good 5 times in a row.

I saw the trailer for this many years back and it really didn’t give me the urge to see it. In fact I wanted to avoid it. I remember seeing a naked girl in a yellowish-watery tank and figured “meh, jack the ripper but with a perfume machine” and it turned out to be rather deep and well thought it. It wasn’t one of those 2 week old screen-plays and is actually based off a best selling novel. It was European grown and deemed ‘unmarketable’ to the American audience. In short, go see it. How’s that for marketing? It’s good for satisfying one of those ‘I need an awkwardly dark movie that has a unique flavor to it and leaves me pleasantly shocked.”

8.5/10

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The Legend of 1900

July 7, 2009

The Legend of 1900

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120731/

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This movie just did it for me and still does. I think I discovered it in High school if not earlier and it’s remained as one of my all time favorites. The basic concept of the movie is the story of a man who was born on a ship and was reluctant to ever leave. It also became apparent rather quickly he was gifted at piano and saw the world a tad differently than those around him.

It’s plot and underlying theme encompasses the paradox of choice. Why more choices don’t always mean more happiness. And the pursuit of one’s happiness vs the pursuit of the idea of happiness as defined by others. I linked a relevant TED video above the box-art for a good background on the paradox of choice and what you can come to expect from the film. A character’s ability to recognize and isolate himself from this paradox and his great journey as he uses his amazing gift of piano to entertain the immigrants as they head to their final destination, New York, the land of freedom and opportunity[cost]. I highly recommend watching the TED talk even if only the last half or last 30 seconds. It really polishes you up for the movie.

The genre of the film is a ‘fable’. All but the main character have this hazy almost cartoonist way of delivering their lines that frame the focus and plot in a way that I have never seen done before. Tim Roth plays his role well and despite the almost silly circumstances that unfold throughout the film, it retains this powerful flavor of a world that is imaginary by meer millimeters.

(top 5 favorite films of all time)
10/10