Screen Time: A Perfume Moment in “Citizen Kane”

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Last night Mr. TC and I went to see Orson Welles’s “Citizen Kane” at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey, a restored 1929 movie palace in Jersey City. Watching this masterpiece on the “big screen” for the first time, I was able to appreciate it more than ever before — its compositions, its use of light and shadow, its wealth of detail.

Speaking of detail, my eye was caught by one small object in a particular scene…

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Screen Time: “Desperately Seeking Susan” (1985)

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The film “Desperately Seeking Susan” turned 30 years old this week.

I almost had to get out a pen and paper to confirm that number—THIRTY? really? I didn’t see it when it was released in the theater, but I rented it a couple of years later (VHS tape!) and it’s still one of my favorite romantic comedies. Actually, it might even be one of my “top 25” movies, if I were making such a list…

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My Passive-Aggressive Response to “50 Shades of Grey”

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I don’t want to go on a tirade against “50 Shades of Grey”—really, I don’t. I’d rather completely overlook its existence. I tried to ignore the books when virtually every woman on mass transit except myself was reading them. I tried to ignore the rumors about film versions. But this phenomenon just WOULD NOT GO AWAY, even in New York, where I somehow thought that readers and moviegoers were more sophisticated…

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Screen Time: Perfume in “Sunset Boulevard”

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I recently re-watched “Sunset Boulevard” (1950, directed by Billy Wilder) in order to include it in a list of movies with famous New Year’s Eve scenes (see here). There’s not much more to say about this movie that hasn’t already been said, but I did want to mention its two references to perfume here, as part of this ongoing series of posts.

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Confetti on the Silver Screen: New Year’s Eve at the Movies

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New Year’s Eve has never really been a favorite occasion of mine. 2014 was a frustrating and disappointing year for me, so I’m glad to see it end. I just can’t work up much cheer. That’s the way it crumbles, cookie-wise. (Apartment reference!)

All the same, I have to admit that this last day of the year works well as a plot device for movies. I recently wrote a “listicle” of ten films that take place partially or entirely on New Year’s Eve. You can read it here, at Biography.com.

Image: Shirley MacLaine in The Apartment (1960).

 

Kim Novak Shopping for Perfume at Dior (1950)

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Here we see Kim Novak circa 1950, impeccably coiffed and dressed (gloves! purse! pearl bracelet!) while she samples perfume at the Christian Dior boutique in Paris. The bottles with the houndstooth-print labels are most likely Miss Dior, in all its original glory. The dark, curvy Baccarat flaçon standing just in front of Ms. Novak may be Diorama. The bottles with the “basket-weave” labels at left might hold Eau de Cologne Fraîche.

Whichever fragrance she’s wearing, she must smell marvelous.

I’m posting this photograph because Ms. Novak’s appearance at last night’s Academy Awards has caused a bit of online commentary, to put things kindly. Please do take a few minutes to read my friend Farran’s post on this subject at The Self-Styled Siren.

Image: Kim Novak testing perfume at the Dior boutique on the Avenue Montaigne, Paris, circa 1950. Collection of Jean-Louis Quémar.

Screen Time: The Smell of Ambition in “American Hustle”

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Mr. TC and I went to see “American Hustle” at the movies last weekend. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. This won’t be a movie review—you can just go read what David Denby wrote in The New Yorker!—but I need to mention a brief but crucial scene that included a telling reference to scent.

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