“Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” and “Melancholia”

It is quite interesting how I am using two not such happy movies. “Melancholia” is just depressing and “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” is very dark. But there is a good reason for both of these movies to be a part of the development of my ideas:

As I mentioned in the very beginning of my experimental project I really like the opening sequence for the “Melancholia”. It is unique and sets the right mood for the movie so the audience is already tuned in with the theme, pace and atmosphere of the movie from the very beginning. I would like to do exactly the same thing because I think it is a crucial element for my project and for experimental films in general. I was talking to my classmate and she said “Remember we watched that experimental film in class and I found it really boring? Well, I watched it again yesterday and I quite enjoyed it”. I think the reason for it is because the audience has to be in the right mood to be able to watch an experimental film and enjoy it. By enjoying it I don’t mean they have to like it, but they just need to be able to accept it the way it is. So maybe if every experimental film had a sequence in the very beginning of it that makes the audience tune into the right mood, these kind of films will be more accepted and more enjoyable for the audience to watch.

-a little reminder-

“Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” has a couple of reasons to be here. Firstly, it does exactly the same thing as “Melancholia” in the beginning of the movie. It sets the mood and prepares the audience which is exactly what is needed because the story is very strange. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an opening scene of this movie on YouTube but I’m posting a trailer because it reflects the mood of this film:

The second reason why I use this film as an example is because it is an experimental film in a way. The filmmakers had to transmit a sense of smell through the visual images and it is a pretty difficult thing to do! I read an article about 4 years ago about the making of this film in a russian magazine called “Make-Up”. It said how much preparation the crew had to do in pre-production to evoke the smell through visuals. The way they did it was very interesting: a few crew members had a list of smells and objects, they went around their family and friends asking what colour evokes what smell. They wrote down their family/friends answers and compared them. They used the answers that were the same in the film.

(an image above is from the opening scene. It sets the mood and explains what the film is about straight away. It also encourages the audience to use their nose while watching this movie)

My aim is to transmit a sense of touch in my film. I am not going to go around my friends and family asking them questions because my project is very personal but I will put the shots that I think will make the audience sense a touch on their skin. I am not sure how well it will go but there’s only one way to find out!


Water Crystals and Masaru Emoto

Water of crystallization (definition) – (Chemistry) water present in the crystals of certain compounds. It is chemically combined in stoichiometric amounts, usually by coordinate or hydrogen bonds, but can often be easily expelled. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/water+of+crystallization)

I’ve been very interested in work of Masaru Emoto for a few years now and I think my experimental film is a great opportunity to try putting still images of water crystals into video for a couple of seconds and to see if it has any effect on the audience.

Masaru Emoto (江本 勝 Emoto Masaru?, born July 22, 1943) is a Japanese author and entrepreneur, best known for his claims that human consciousness has an effect on the molecular structure of water. Emoto’s hypothesis has evolved over the years of his research. Initially Emoto claimed that high-quality water forms beautiful and intricate crystals, while low-quality water has difficulty forming crystals. According to Emoto, an ice crystal of distilled water exhibits a basic hexagonal structure with no intricate branching. Emoto claims that positive changes to water crystals can be achieved through prayer, music, or by attaching written words to a container of water.( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masaru_Emoto)

“It was 1994 when the idea to freeze water and observe it with microscope came upon me. With this method, I was convinced that I should be able to see something like snow crystals.

After two months of trial and error, this idea bore fruit. The beautifully shining hexagonal crystals were created from the invisible world. My staff at the laboratory and I were absorbed in it and began to do many researches.” –Masaru Emoto (http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/ephoto.html)

Ever since Masaru Emoto kept experimenting with the effects that the words, music and environment has on water crystals. He created a series of water crystals images which are available for public to buy and to turn water that they drink into water with beautiful water crystals that will have a positive effect on their emotions and well being.

This is a video of how water crystals develop while listening to Russian national anthem:

I would like to put a few images of water crystals into my experimental film and see if they will help me to achieve desired positive feelings that I want to evoke in the audience.

I read one of Masaru Emoto’s books called “The Miracle of Water” and in the beginning of this book he says the quote “No two snowflakes are the same”. I’d like to start my experimental film with these words because it will reflect that my project is personal and unique to everybody. I’d like the audience to experience love and happiness in their own unique but powerful way. This phrase also justifies the images of water crystals that will appear throughout the film.

I believe the original idea of creation by the creator of this universe was “the pursuit of beauty.” Everything is combination of energetic vibration. As vibration resonates, it makes some tangible objects.
Combination of non-resonating vibration can result in destructive energy, and nothing can be created out of it. When some vibration and the other resonate each other, it always creates beautiful design. Thus, most of the Earth is covered with beautiful nature. –Masaru Emoto

A few images of water crystals:





http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/ephoto.html – official Masaru Emoto’s website

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masaru_Emoto – Wikipedia, Masaru Emoto

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/water+of+crystallization – The Free Dictionary

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDCHizh-8Gk – Russia National Anthem Water Crystal. Youtube

http://books.google.co.nz/books/about/The_Miracle_of_Water.html?id=bJSfMdlUy3kC&redir_esc=y – The Miracle of Water, Google Books


There are a couple of things I’d like to experiment with in my experimental film:

*Water Crystals http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/ephoto.html

*Bringing up a sense of smell in a movie (in my case it will be a sense of touch) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfume:_The_Story_of_a_Murderer_(film)#Development

I will go into detail about how I am planning on achieving these in my next entries


Brainstorming how to show and express the feelings that I want the audience to get.

My Experimental Project

What project am I doing?
I’ve never been particularly good at expressing my feelings through words so in this project I will try to express my feelings through moving images- I am a very visual person so let’s experiment how it’s gonna work!
A question that I am going to answer (or at least try my best to answer) is “What’s it like to be pregnant?” I’ve been asked this question a lot since I’m 34 weeks pregnant and I can never fully express what’s it like. My answers always seem to be not what I really feel. And I haven’t seen any short films that express the emotional level of this subject. So here I am at the beginning of my project that I hope to finish by the beginning of June.

Why am I doing this topic?
I gave a couple of reasons for me doing this topic before but i’d like to add something else on this matter. I believe that a lot of people nowadays concentrate on negative emotions and a lot of art works evolve around dark feelings rather than positive and light ones. In my opinion it happens because negative emotions are easier to explore as there are a lot of different issues behind them. And on the opposite side positive emotions are harder to explore because they are very simple. When you feel happy, you’re just happy and there’s not much you can add to it. It’s simple and pure. The same way when you are in love. People will ask you “Why do you love this person?” and you will say “I don’t know” or “I love them because this, this and this”. But to be honest the first answer is the most honest one because when you love you don’t need this, this and this. Love just makes you feel pure and simple happiness. You see sun rise and it can make you feel happy. There’s no issues behind this emotion, it’s just the way it is.
This is the reason why I really want to create a project on my chosen topic. It will be very person but at the same time I don’t want people to feel the exact same feeling after they watch it, I’d like them to feel the way I do but in their own unique way. I’d like to explore a positive feeling of life, love, honor and happiness through light and simplicity, just the way these feelings are.

The main elements that I want to show and get across in my experimental work are life, honour and happiness.

7331-1 Thierry Arbogast and his collaborators

Arbogast made most of his movies with Luc Besson, a director. Their collaboration seems to be very strong because Thierry Arbogast was a director of photography on all of Luc Besson’s films apart from a couple of early ones:

2011 The Lady

2010 Arthur 3: The War of the Two Worlds

2010 The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec

2009 Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard

2006 Arthur et les Minimoys

2005 Angel-A

1999 Joan of Arc

1997 The Fifth Element

1994 Leon: The Professional

1990 Nikita

Another person that Arbogast worked with a number of times is Jean-Paul Agostini. Jean-Paul Agostini was in Thierry’s camera crew as a camera operator and first assistant camera on a few films:

2008 Asterix at the Olympic Games (camera operator)

2006 Arthur et les Minimoys (first assistant camera)

2003 Bon voyage (first assistant camera)

1999 Joan of Arc (focus puller: second unit)

7331-1 Thierry Arbogast

My chosen cinematographer is Thierry Arbogast, French director of photography who started his big career working on Luc Besson’s movie Nikita. His cinematography work started in 1978 and still successfully continues till present day.

One of the reasons why I find this director of photography so interesting is because he”obstinately refuses to work for Hollywood, in spite of the colossal sums that are proposed to him, and prefers to work with the French directors”.

Thierry Ardogast’s significant movies include:

2008 Babylon A.D.

2005 Angel-A

2004 Catwoman

2003 Bon voyage (Won Caesar Award, France: Best Cinematography)

1999 Joan of Arc (Nominated for Caesar Award, France: Best Cinematography)

1997 She’s so lovely (Won Technical Grand Prize at Cannes Film Festival; Nominated for a Golden Frog at Camerimage)

1997 The fifth element (Won Caesar Award, France: Best Cinematography; Won Technical Grand Prize at Cannes Film Festival)

1996 The Horseman on the Roof (Won Caesar Award, France: Best Cinematography)

1994 Leon: The Professional (Nominated for Caesar Award, France: Best Cinematography)

1990 Nikita (Nominated for Caesar Award, France: Best Cinematography) 

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