The Phoenix Network:
 
 
 
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Band Guide  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
 
Features  |  Reviews
FIND MOVIES
Find a Movie
Movie List
Loading ...
or
Find Theaters and Movie Times
or
Search Movies

Willy Wonka in Smellovision

Scent of the Times
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  September 9, 2009

0909_smell_main

If you'll imagine the New England Confectionary Company in Revere to be Willy Wonka's magical estate, then Union Square — where the Somerville Arts Council hosted an outdoor presentation of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in Smellovision this past Friday — would be the analogous working-class outskirt from where Charlie Bucket hails. The event, complete with communal candy and strong wafts of sweet fragrances, was just one of nine Somerville Arts Council events planned for Union Square this year to bring attention to the neighborhood's budding creative community.

Smellovision, a concept that was developed in the 1930s and revisited to varying degrees since (John Waters released an "Odorama" version of his Polyester in 1981), was probably a great idea — until the first movie in which someone took a dump. Luckily, this film has no scenes in which the audience is exposed to Wonka's willy, which makes it the perfect candidate for a sensual adaptation resembling a Gwar concert, Comic-Con, and a 1986 Gallagher show. After all, if the good Lord had intended us to watch Willy Wonka without toothsome tangs dazzling our sinuses, he wouldn't have invented Smellovision.

Though Somerville saw a similar aromatic presentation of the classic Gene Wilder film in 2007, this year the Arts Council stunk up more scenes and odor-dosed on effects, in the process attracting hundreds of animated locals, from programmers and painters to village clowns and wild grade-school kids.

With help from Roxbury's arts-minded, nonprofit Berwick Research Institute and other groups linked through the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the crew squeezed bottles of scene-specific scents into oscillating fans on the perimeter, while characters (including a dead-on Veruca Salt and a hilarious female Wonka) danced up and down the aisles. (Just one suggestion: for more authentic-looking Oompa Loompas, the producers should recruit Boston University girls whose rotting skin has turned puke-orange from marathon tanning sessions.)

Next Saturday, the Arts Council will host its annual Urban County Fair; on September 26, the group presents What the Fluff? (not that fluff, you sicko — it's a tribute to invention in Union Square, where the spreadable marshmallow treat was developed in 1919). Should Somerville artisans continue showing off at this rate, it won't be long before developers and culturally apathetic yuppies fully colonize the semi-bohemian enclave.

Related: Good dirt, A disco ball, Boston Music News: July 14, 2006, More more >
  Topics: Features , Boston University, John Waters, Massachusetts Cultural Council,  More more >
  • Share:
  • Share this entry with Facebook
  • Share this entry with Digg
  • Share this entry with Delicious
  • RSS feed
  • Email this article to a friend
  • Print this article
Comments

ARTICLES BY CHRIS FARAONE
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   HOP TO!  |  September 15, 2009
    Somewhere in Allston, there’s an over-caffeinated barista/drummer bitching about Bad Rabbits.
  •   WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS ITS NAME  |  September 09, 2009
    In describing the changes that have shaped the South End since Jeremiah J. Foley poured his first glass of whiskey there one century ago this month, one need not look far for metaphors.
  •   WILLY WONKA IN SMELLOVISION  |  September 09, 2009
    If you'll imagine the New England Confectionary Company in Revere to be Willy Wonka's magical estate, then Union Square would be the analogous working-class outskirt from where Charlie Bucket hails.
  •   INTERVIEW: GLENN HOWERTON  |  September 08, 2009
    "This is our sick twisted fantasy life."
  •   REVIEW: DAVID DALLAS | SOMETHING AWESOME  |  September 09, 2009
    In the 1990s, every rap album had mellow bangers buried in the tracklist.

 See all articles by: CHRIS FARAONE

MOST POPULAR
RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 



  |  Sign In  |  Register
 
thePhoenix.com:
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
TODAY'S FEATURED ADVERTISERS
Copyright © 2009 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group