An Interview with Jack Cardiff

Image credits to Cardiff Family via Wikipedia.

“Hello Miss Burnstock. 

By some ironic fate you have chosen a subject, the film I directed: 

“Scent of Mystery”, which is the one film I want to erase from my memory. 

The reason for this is that, through no fault of my own, the film was a complete disaster….”

The words my hero, the great cinematographer and director Jack Cardiff, sent to me on a cassette tape in 1986. In response to questions I sent him via snail mail while I was studying at the Australian Film, TV and Radio School (AFTRS).

This miracle, planted the seed for a dream, now realised: Fifty-five years after its original scented release, the film lived to smell another day!  At the National Science and Media Museum in the UK, for the Danish Film Institute in Copenhagen and smelling up the original Cinerama Dome for the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood!

Jack Cardiff’s take on the original ‘Stinker’, the first and last film to be presented in Smell-O-Vision! is that the smells were bad. But this is only one perspective, part of a detective story now told in the documentary In Glorious Smell-O-Vision! the true story of the Godfather of Smell-O-Vision! 

For those unlucky enough to not be familiar with his work, Jack Cardiff had an incredible career spanning ninety years and over a hundred films, both as director and Oscar-winning cinematographer. Including one of my favourite films, Black Narcissus (1947), the title referring to the perfume Narcisse noir and its effects on others in the film.

Jack Cardiff was cinematographer on two other Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s films, A Matter of Life and Death (1946), and The Red Shoes (1948). He shot panoramic scenes for Albert Lewin’s Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951) in Spain, The African Queen (1951) in the Belgian Congo and The Barefoot Contessa (1954). Another notable film, which Cardiff both directed and photographed, The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968), starred Marianne Faithfull.

Known as “the man who makes women look beautiful” Cardiff worked with Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn and Anita Ekberg (War and Peace) and Marilyn Monroe (The Prince and the Showgirl), as well as Elizabeth Taylor in Scent of Mystery.

Despite his reservations about his experience with Scent of Mystery, Jack Cardiff had experienced the power of scent for himself:

“I think one of the reasons I was interested in smells in films was that I had been to a show, a theatre show in London and they had had a kind of Turkish scene or Eastern scene with a Harem or something like that, and over the stage effects they’d released a lot of incense, and it had a powerful effect on me…”

Despite the commercial failure of Scent of Mystery and Smell-O-Vision!, Cardiff  expressed his ongoing belief in the potential of cinema with scent:

Frankly I think it has a future today.  I think sooner or later someone will get around to doing it properly…

When it will come I don’t know. 

I hope it will come soon because I would be interested in doing it again”

Jack Cardiff

Film Director & Cinematographer

(1914 – 2009)

You can listen to the complete audio interview here.

1,035 thoughts on “An Interview With Jack Cardiff”

  1. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I
    find this topic to be really something which I think I
    would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me.
    I’m looking forward for your next post,
    I will try to get the hang of it!

  2. Can I simply say what a relief to find somebody who genuinely understands what
    they are discussing over the internet. You actually know how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    More and more people ought to read this and understand this side of your story.
    I can’t believe you are not more popular since you most certainly
    have the gift.

  3. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital
    to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Any way I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently
    rapidly.

  4. Hey there! I realize this is kind of off-topic however I needed to ask.
    Does running a well-established website such as yours require a large amount
    of work? I am completely new to operating a blog however I do
    write in my diary on a daily basis. I’d like to start a blog so I will
    be able to share my own experience and views online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of suggestions or tips for brand
    new aspiring blog owners. Appreciate it!

  5. What i do not understood is in reality how you’re not actually a
    lot more smartly-favored than you may be now. You are so intelligent.
    You realize thus considerably in the case of this matter,
    made me in my view consider it from so many numerous angles.
    Its like men and women are not fascinated except it’s one thing to accomplish with Woman gaga!
    Your own stuffs great. Always maintain it up!

  6. Excellent blog here! Additionally your site so much up very fast!
    What host are you the use of? Can I am getting your affiliate hyperlink for
    your host? I want my web site loaded up as fast as
    yours lol

  7. I’m not sure exactly why but this site is loading extremely slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  8. Hi would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re utilizing?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and I must say this blog loads
    a lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good internet
    hosting provider at a reasonable price? Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

  9. Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did
    you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple adjustements
    would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your design. Bless
    you

  10. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well
    written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read
    more of your useful information. Thanks for the post.
    I will certainly comeback.

  11. Having read this I believed it was very enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this information together.
    I once again find myself personally spending way
    too much time both reading and leaving comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

  12. Hello There. I discovered your weblog the usage of msn. This is
    a very smartly written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to learn more of
    your helpful info. Thank you for the post. I’ll definitely return.

  13. I blog frequently and I truly appreciate your content. Your article has truly peaked my
    interest. I’m going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for new information about once
    a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.

  14. Hello there, I found your site via Google while searching
    for a similar matter, your site got here up, it
    seems to be good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    Hi there, simply was aware of your weblog via Google, and located that it’s truly
    informative. I am gonna be careful for brussels.

    I’ll appreciate should you proceed this in future.
    A lot of other folks shall be benefited out of your writing.
    Cheers!

  15. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your website on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone ..

    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, excellent blog!

  16. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed!
    Extremely helpful info specifically the last part 🙂
    I care for such info much. I was looking for this certain information for a long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  17. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google,
    and found that it’s really informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels.
    I will be grateful if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

  18. I really love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme.

    Did you build this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning
    to create my own personal blog and want to learn where you
    got this from or exactly what the theme is named.
    Many thanks!

  19. I am not sure where you’re getting your info, but great topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this info for my mission.

  20. Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers?

    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of
    hard work due to no backup. Do you have any solutions to stop hackers?

  21. I simply could not depart your site prior to suggesting
    that I extremely loved the usual information an individual supply
    in your visitors? Is going to be back continuously in order
    to investigate cross-check new posts

  22. Very great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to mention that
    I’ve truly loved surfing around your blog posts.

    In any case I will be subscribing on your feed and I’m hoping you write once more very soon!

  23. Very good blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid
    option? There are so many options out there that I’m
    totally confused .. Any recommendations? Thanks a lot!

  24. Hi outstanding blog! Does running a blog similar to this require a large amount of work?

    I have absolutely no knowledge of programming however I was hoping to start my own blog
    soon. Anyway, should you have any recommendations or techniques for new blog
    owners please share. I understand this is off topic however I simply had
    to ask. Thanks!

  25. Spot on with this write-up, I truly feel this amazing site
    needs far more attention. I’ll probably be
    returning to see more, thanks for the information!
    cheap flights yynxznuh

  26. Hi there to every body, it’s my first pay a quick visit of this webpage; this webpage includes amazing and
    genuinely fine information in support of visitors.
    cheap flights 3gqLYTc

  27. Hello! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers?

    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks of hard work due to
    no data backup. Do you have any solutions to protect against hackers?

  28. I’m not sure exactly why but this blog is loading very slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later and see if the problem still
    exists. cheap flights 34pIoq5

  29. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well
    written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post.
    I will definitely return.

  30. Simply wish to say your article is as amazing. The clearness to
    your put up is simply cool and i can suppose you’re an expert on this subject.
    Well together with your permission let me to snatch your feed to
    stay updated with impending post. Thanks 1,
    000,000 and please continue the rewarding work.

  31. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thanks, However I am having issues with your RSS.
    I don’t understand the reason why I cannot subscribe to
    it. Is there anybody else getting the same RSS issues? Anybody who knows the answer can you kindly respond?
    Thanx!!

  32. Taxi moto line
    128 Rue la Boétie
    75008 Paris
    +33 6 51 612 712  

    Taxi moto paris

    Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Thanks

  33. M.E.C Mon Electricien Catalan
    44 Rue Henry de Turenne
    66100 Perpignan
    0651212596

    Electricien Perpignan

    What’s Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have
    found It positively useful and it has helped me
    out loads. I’m hoping to contribute & aid other users like
    its helped me. Good job.

  34. Independance Immobilière – Agence Dakar Sénégal
    Av. Fadiga, Immeuble Lahad Mbacké
    BP 2975 Dakar
    +221 33 823 39 30

    Agence Immobilière Dakar

    Hi, every time i used to check webpage posts here in the early hours in the
    break of day, since i like to learn more and more.

  35. Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; many of us have developed some nice methods and we are looking to trade
    techniques with others, be sure to shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  36. Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve truly loved surfing around your weblog posts.
    In any case I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I’m hoping you write again very soon!

  37. Heya are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new
    to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you require
    any coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be really
    appreciated!

  38. Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger,
    and I was wondering your situation; we have created some nice procedures and we are looking to swap
    techniques with other folks, please shoot me an email
    if interested.

  39. Link exchange is nothing else except it is
    only placing the other person’s blog link on your page at proper place and other person will also do similar
    in favor of you.

  40. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank
    you, However I am encountering problems with your
    RSS. I don’t understand why I can’t subscribe to it.
    Is there anyone else having identical RSS issues?
    Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond?
    Thanx!!

  41. magnificent points altogether, you simply won a emblem new reader.

    What would you suggest in regards to your submit that you just made a few
    days in the past? Any sure?

  42. I absolutely love your website.. Great colors & theme.
    Did you make this website yourself? Please reply back
    as I’m hoping to create my own website and would like to find out where you got this from or just what
    the theme is named. Appreciate it!

  43. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video
    to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why
    waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  44. Great website you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics discussed here?

    I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get
    feedback from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Cheers!

  45. I am really loving the theme/design of your site.
    Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems?
    A handful of my blog audience have complained about my blog not
    operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari.

    Do you have any suggestions to help fix this issue?

  46. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and
    I am impressed! Very useful information specially
    the last part 🙂 I care for such info a lot. I was seeking
    this particular information for a long time. Thank you and best
    of luck.

  47. of course like your website but you need to take a look at the spelling on several of your
    posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it
    very bothersome to tell the reality then again I will certainly come again again.

  48. Good day! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using
    for this site? I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with
    hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform.

    I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  49. [url=http://elimitecream.com/]elimite 5[/url] [url=http://optadalafil.com/]tadalafil prescription drug prices[/url] [url=http://tadalafilgencialis.com/]where to buy tadalafil in usa[/url] [url=http://oralkamagra.com/]jelly viagra kamagra[/url] [url=http://sildalised.com/]cheapest generic sildalis[/url] [url=http://cipromed.com/]medicine ciprofloxacin 500mg[/url] [url=http://bluepillsildenafil.com/]sildenafil 100mg for sale uk[/url] [url=http://fluoxetinesri.com/]prozac buying online uk[/url] [url=http://ivermectinoverthecounter.com/]where can i buy stromectol[/url] [url=http://chloroquineactive.com/]generic aralen[/url]