An Interview with Carmen Laube

Carmen Laube, Tammy Burnstock and the Smell Brain, NYC

One of the wonderful outcomes of this In Glorious labour of love has been meeting new friends all around the world. Including Hans Laube’s daughter Carmen. I wanted to know how Carmen felt about her experience so far…

Tammy: Carmen, can you remember how we connected?

Facebook! For no reason, one night some years back I typed ‘Smell o Vision’ in the search bar. Not only was there Smell o Vision, but ‘In Glorious Smell o Vision’. Having expected nothing, I was stunned to find this busy and talented international community actively dedicated to reviving and preserving the concept and the film, which I’d presumed forgotten 50 years ago. And there you were. The face of it all, the standard bearer, the troubadour. I was shocked and in awe, not sure what to say. Childishly I posted, thank you for keeping my father’s dream alive. I think your posted reply was a polite ‘…and who might you be?’ And here we are. 

Tammy’s actual response

Tammy: What is it like to see the interest in your father’s work still so very much alive?

Central Park family outing

Very healing for me. I was a baby when the film came together, three when it opened and about five when its failure cracked apart my parents’ already brittle relationship. They blamed the legal people, producers and technical people. They were resentful and felt cheated and ill used. But to a kid, those problems were just angry words.

I loved the catalog and poured over it endlessly, not knowing what I was looking for, but looking anyway. I’d torn out the souvenir 45 record and, whenever my parents were busy, shut my door and played it on the toy record player, and danced and sang along quietly, kind of under my breath, enjoying the pleasure of singing but without disturbing anyone.

Premiere 1960, © Art Shay

I always thought it was an amazing idea whose time had come and gone. So the love and support of so many talented and dedicated people around the world show for this project, generations later, make me very happy.

It deserves attention for being incredible, beautiful work rather than just another a business failure, or as is sometimes written, as ‘Mike Todd’s only stinker.’

Cinerama Dome, 2016 © Mike Cahill

Tammy: What's next?

I’d love to see the smell brain find a home in an appropriate museum or collection. It gathers dust and serves no use sitting in my living room. Perhaps that’ll happen too.

The Brain

And unending gratitude to you for your vision, passion and drive to move mountains and continents and talents and more to make this film, and for helping me get to this point with this double-edged gift in my life, and for being my friend.

– Carmen, August 2019

Carmen, thank you for your generosity and for being my friend.

- Tammy, August 2019

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