Thursday, April 13, 2006

Terrence Malick Has Become William Castle

I never would have predicted it, but apparently Terrence Malick has morphed into a modern day William Castle. Yes, Virginia, there still is showmanship in filmmaking. It appears that Terrence Malick's most recent film, The New World will be shown in Smellovision at a Japanese theater displaying the epic.

Had someone told me that the director of Badlands, Days of Heaven, and A Thin Red Line, who happens to be a former philosophy professor at MIT by the way, would have a film "enhanced" by a scent producing process, I would have told them that it sounds like a John Waters movie. Oh, and before you start yelling, "But Mike Todd invented Smell-o-vision," I can read, I just think that William Castle embodies the showman/filmmaker character. Check out the list of gimmicks he used in movies at his Wikipedia entry, or ask my friend Jay if you have any questions about Castle.

BTW, the effect in his version of Thirteen Ghosts is nothing short of genius. If you watch the film with the ghost revealing glasses, and then once without them, you are watching two very different films. In the first version, the ghosts are real and in the second they aren't, yet the film still works. Good Stuff.

Apparently, according to the blurb that is the article, the idea of using Smell-o-vision is that of the theater and not Malick...too bad, it was nice to dream that some director still valued showmanship surrounding their creations.

On a side note, before you think that the idea of people with advanced degrees in philosophy making cheesy genre films is unlikely, don't forget Wes Craven.
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