Julian Schnabel in Pleasantville


Julian Schnabel hit the suburbs tonight, taking the stage at the Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY, along with erstwhile New York Times film critic Janet Maslin after a screening of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly for a pleasantly rambling Q&A. Among the topics covered was the real genesis of the project, which apparently has its roots in Schnabel’s thwarted attempt to film Perfume. Schnabel described the connection in some detail, but it boils down in part to the similarities he saw between Jean-Baptiste Grenouille’s ability to smell his way across continents and the paralyzed Jean-Dominique Bauby’s gift for traveling in his own imagination. (As an aside, both Schnabel and Maslin took the opportunity to trash the eventual adaptation of Perfume last year, by Tom Tykwer — which I didn’ t think was so bad, especially for a notoriously unfilmable novel, but whatever.)

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