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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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).

 

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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Screen Time: “The Talented Mr. Ripley”

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I went to see “The Talented Mr. Ripley” in the theater when it was released in 1999, and I’ve re-watched it multiple times over the years. I enjoy this movie for many reasons—Italian locations! 1950s fashions! tightly plotted psychological suspense!—and a perfume moment never hurts.

In one scene, Tom Ripley (played by Matt Damon) sits at a portable typewriter to compose a letter that he will then sign as “Dickie Greenleaf,” another major character. (This story includes many themes of doubling and assumed identities; that’s all I’ll say.) Next to the typewriter sits a package from the venerable Florentine apothecary and perfumery Santa Maria Novella.

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Screen Time: The Muppets Take. . .Bergdorf

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My husband and I recently re-watched “The Muppets Take Manhattan” (1984). Neither of us had seen it in years and years, but we both found it as entertaining as we remembered, even if we were watching it through slightly different eyes. I got one of my biggest laughs from the sequence that begins with Kermit the Frog chatting with his friend Jenny, a waitress who’s an aspiring costume designer (such a New York occupation/aspiration!). As a child, I wouldn’t have been too concerned with the actual location of their conversation…

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