3x3: favorite representations of smells

We discuss our favorite smells in movies at the 1:27 mark of the Qt3 Movie Podcast of Split.

Tom Chick
3. Reeker
2. Rosemary’s Baby

  1. Apocalypse Now

Kelly Wand
3. Austin Powers in Goldmember
2. Fargo

  1. Reeker

3. Goodfellas
2. French Kiss

  1. The Unbearable Lightness of Being

We’re talking about favorite representations of smells. These smells can be bad or good. The point is to express your favorite ways the filmmakers get that smell across. Listen to the show to hear Dingus read some listener picks, and send in your ideas for next week’s topic to [email protected].

I love this gif, Chris [please note, I’m quoting this gif from the animated gif thread in Everything Else…where @marquac is doing…well…just honestly breathtaking little things that make me happy every day] . It’s exactly as I remembered the scene. And I particularly love the way he tosses that Vicks. It’s so natural. [note: the actual pick of this scene was sent in by listener Nick D]

I had to go back to the book to make sure I was right about it being Vicks. Because I’m anal like that. From the book:

I love that gif.


“It matters, Mr Crawford. Cops look at you to see how to act. It matters.”

Perfume: The Story of a Murder, a movie all about smells, opens with the best visualization of a gorgeously realized disgusting 18th century French fish market.

Maybe NSFW for childbirth

How does Ratatouille not make even one list?

It’s minor Pixar.


Maybe so, but it’s visual representation of the joys of cooking - including smells - was exceptional.

This 3x3 puts me in mind of Tales From The Darkside, which I rewatched recently. The first story in the anthology is about Steve Buscemi resurrecting an Egyptian mummy to take revenge on Christian Slater’s sister for using him. Buscemi and Slater unpack the mummy together, and there’s careful attention given to the aromatics used in his preservation. There’s a whole onion in there, a variety of herbs, old flowers. It really brings you into the scene, no matter how silly it all is.

I loved the book. How does the movie hold up?

It’s gorgeously shot. There’s some creative scenes to depict smells in the movie.

It follows the book pretty well. There are a few changes, but nothing you couldn’t live without. A couple of changes I actually liked better than the book.

But… It’s also oddly sterile despite all the luscious imagery. I think it’s the way the main character comes off on the screen. In the book, his aloof weirdness is part of his yearning for connection. In the movie, it just plays as weird and annoying.

Thanks. Added to Netflix queue.

Labyrinth - The Bog of Eternal Stench

My theme for this topic today is using smell to identify a person -

X-Men - Logan used his sense of smell to determine the approaching Storm was actually Mystique in disguise. The camera did not focus on Logan’s face but you can clearly hear him sniffing.
Contact - William Fichtner (playing a blind man) walked by James Wood. Sniffed the air a little bit and said “Nice to smell you again, Mr. Kitz” and a few second later said “Wouldn’t peg him as a Polo man” to Matthew McConaughey.

Blazing Saddles

How does this not make number one?

And if the answer is “because only old farts like you know it” I give you

and ask the same question.

Ha! I still have that “Polyester” scratch n sniff card.