PERFUME 86

 Image Credit: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer ©2006 Constantin Film Produktion GmbH, VIP Medienfonds 4B GmbH & Co,KG, NEF Productions S.A., CASTELAO Productions SA

Nov 21: Lecture: Cinema and the Senses (Malgorzata Bugaj)

              In this richly illustrated and interactive lecture, we look at the cinematic techniques used to stimulate the five senses, especially smell. We will consider the variety of ways the film is able to evoke this absent sense, especially through the synesthetic associations with sound, colour, light, camera movement and framing.

The second part of the lecture concentrates on some discussion of screen adaptations. Cinema has always been drawn to literature, translating words into images and sounds. We will examine the relationship between a text and a film along with the challenges and opportunities that a screen adaptation offers.  

              Film: Perfume: the Story of a Murderer (Tykwer) 

Tom Tykwer’s Perfume. The Story of a Murderer (2006) is an adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Patrick Süskind. The film tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a low-born Parisian with exceptionally well-developed sense of smell. After discovering the overwhelming scents of young women, Grenouille sets out on a quest to preserve and possess their smells, ultimately turning into a serial killer.

Reputedly, Süskind himself thought that only Stanley Kubrick or Miloš Forman could produce an accurate screen version of his book; Kubrick actually considered adapting the novel, but eventually concluded that it was unfilmable. Tom Tykwer enthusiastically picked up the gauntlet stating that the idea of this adaptation “seemed completely unexpected and completely fresh, and there was something about it that was so challenging and so impossible, that it was exactly the thing I had been waiting for".