Army Archerd surprises us every couple of months or so with a scoop worthy of his 55-year reputation as "Hollywood's Original Blogger," or whatever Variety is calling him these days. Today, for example, the veteran gadfly brings word of a cinematic revival so towering, so ahead-of-its-time, so... smelly it could only emerge from the smoldering cerebrum of Brett Ratner:
How come Brett Ratner, director of multi-million-dollar features, agreed to judge a festival containing only two-to-three minute films? The event is the first annual Fragrance and Film Festival, presented by Vogue and the Fragrance Foundation. When I learned that the movies must be inspired by one of the Foundation's 2008-nominated fragrances, I had to ask Ratner what made scents to him — excuse it.
Ratner enthusiastically told me his reason to further the film and fragrance association and competition. It was because of Mike Todd, Jr.'s 1960 Scent Of Mystery in which various scents were wafted through the theater to jibe with the action on the screen. ... Ratner said he was impressed by the innovative filmmaking and moreso when in 1981 John Waters made Polyester and released it with his "Odorama" system whereby audience members could compound the visual by scratching and sniffing hand-held cards.
And filmwise Ratner also reminded me that scents were sprayed by fans in theaters in the pre-sound, "silents" days. "I like the idea (of the scented cinema)," enthused Ratner. "Maybe we'll have some in theaters again?"
Indeed, we anticipate a whole retrospective devoted to sussing out the essence of Ratner's output: The sulphuric chemistry of Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan! The horseflies and steam encircling Red Dragon! The hints of garbage-strike and vanilla from X-Men: The Last Stand! Not for nothing, Archerd also passes along news that President Shimon Peres has personally invited Ratner to join Israel's 60th anniversary celebration this month, where reportedly the fauxteur will be honored for "brave, pioneering advances of the nation of Israel through aromatic cinema." Congrats to him.